Observations from Week 8 of the AZL White Sox

This week, the AZL White Sox posted a 2-3 record, giving themselves an overall record of 18-26 on the season. The team currently sits at 5th place of the Arizona League Central Division for the second half and on the entire 2019 season. While the team isn’t winning as much as they hoped to and with playoffs seeming like a long shot at this point, there’s still some exciting things happening within this affiliate.

Chase Krogman, a 34th round selection in the 2019 MLB Draft, has made his return to the field after being sidelined for a few weeks with what seemed to be a hamstring injury. Through four games this year, Krogman is slashing .182/.182/.182 with two singles, one RBI, no walks, and two strikeouts in 11 at-bats. During his debut on July 18, Krogman left the game after just two trips to the plate and didn’t return to the field until Wednesday of this week. The professional adjustment for prep players can be tough at first, but it makes it even tougher when you have to comeback from an injury shortly after getting the first game under your belt.

While Krogman is still adjusting to the professional game and the numbers haven’t been great so far, there’s still a lot to like about his game. He’s shown the ability of having good bat to ball skills and I think that’s something that will continue to be a strength of his moving forward.

Krogman has a smaller frame (5’11”, 180-pounds) and I think he’s going to be more of a contact hitter throughout his career than a power hitter. Defensively, he has been awesome so far and that looks like it’s going to be one of his biggest strengths, if not the biggest strength. He frequently gets great reads off the bat and he’s flashed some athleticism in both corner outfield spots. He also displays a strong arm and the ability to make highlight reel plays in the outfield. Him becoming a consistent hitter would be a major bonus to an already strong foundation of defense.

Another White Sox outfielder that has spent time with the AZL affiliate this week is Micker Adolfo. Initially, Adolfo was ruled out for the rest of the 2019 season after having arthroscopic surgery on his elbow back in May of this year. Luckily, Adolfo was able to comeback earlier than anticipated and he now has a few weeks left in the 2019 season to get some more at-bats in him. Adolfo has played in three games with the AZL White Sox and is slashing .300/.462/.700 with one double, one home run, one RBI, three walks, and four strikeouts.

I got the chance to see him in his first game back after the surgery and it was clear that his timing was off. He struck out three times and walked once in that game. However, things would quickly turnaround for Adolfo as he fell just a triple short of the cycle in his next game. With Adolfo coming back healthy at the end of this season, you can pretty much bet on him playing in the Arizona Fall League this year to gain more experience and not make the 2019 season a completely lost one.

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Jakob Goldfarb, who was selected in the 24th round of the 2019 MLB Draft, is currently spending time with the AZL White Sox after making his professional debut with the Great Falls Voyagers. Goldfarb struggled a bit in Great Falls, slashing .154/.353/.256 in 14 games. Things have turned around quickly for him and he looks much better since joining the AZL White Sox.

In Arizona, Goldfarb is slashing .308/.400/.769 with two home runs, eight RBI, two walks, and five strikeouts in four games. Both of his home runs were grand slams as he’s shown the ability to produce some pop in his bat. Not only that, but the left-handed hitter has also shown the ability to drive the ball to all fields. Goldfarb was drafted as and is listed as a catcher on the roster. However, he has also seen some time in left field. He only got one fly ball hit his way that night, but he held his ground defensively. If the White Sox plan on trying him out in the outfield more often moving forward, I don’t see any reason why he wouldn’t be able to handle that task.

Speaking of trying out new positions; Sidney Pimentel, Bryan Ramos, and DJ Gladney have all started seeing some time at first base with Pimentel having the most experience there so far. I’ve seen each of them play one game at the new position and it seems like Gladney looks like he’s the most comfortable of the three at first base.

Gladney showed that his glove could transfer over to the other side of the diamond on Saturday as he snagged a one hopper and fired the ball accurately over to second base for a force out. In that same game, Gladney got pulled off the bag on a throw and flashed his athleticism by turning around in mid air and applying a tag to secure the out. I’d be surprised if this was a permanent switch happening for any of these players right now. The AZL White Sox had one listed first baseman on the roster in Tyler Osik, who was promoted recently and is no longer with the team. Regardless, it’s nice to see that these guys can handle playing another position when they are asked to.

On Saturday, I had the opportunity to see Joseph Jarneski for the first time since he joined the White Sox organization. Jarneski, along with Ray Castro, was acquired at the trade deadline in the deal that sent Nate Jones to the Texas Rangers. Since joining the AZL White Sox, Jarneski has a 1.80 ERA with two walks and three strikeouts in 5.0 IP. The 19-year-old right-handed pitcher also has a 0.80 WHIP with the AZL White Sox. Overall, his arsenal doesn’t seem very overwhelming, but he flashed a strong curveball that looks like it can be one of his best offerings. He was perfect through two innings when I saw him on Saturday, but he also gave up a few loud outs. He’s put together a strong 2019 season and it will be interesting to see if he can continue to build off of that moving forward.

In other news and notes, Jose Rodriguez hit his eighth home run on the season on Saturday. He is now tied with Gladney for the team lead in that category and they both now own the record for most home runs hit in a single season by an AZL White Sox player. Rodriguez continues to be one of the biggest bright spots for the AZL White Sox this year. He is now the team leader in batting average, slugging percentage, RBI, triples, and is tied with Gladney in home runs.

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