White Sox Minor Keys: April 5, 2018

All four White Sox minor league affiliates are underway

The White Sox picked a good day to blow a four-run lead, because White Sox fans can distract themselves with the opening of the minor league season.

Welcome to White Sox Minor Keys, a daily rundown of the White Sox farm system. We’ll jog through the box scores and key performances every day along with news, highlights and other trends.

For example, here’s the place to note that Baseball America updated a couple of lists before the start of the season.

*Best tools: The survey says Michael Kopech has the best fastball, Eloy Jimenez has the best power, and Dylan Cease has the fifth-best breaking ball.

*Top 100 prospects: Jimenez (No. 4), Kopech (No. 11), Alec Hansen (No. 57), Luis Robert (No. 58) held their ground, but the addition of Juan Pablo Martinez dropped Dane Dunning down a spot to No. 83.

As for the previews, while the Birmingham Barons released their roster with a couple days of notice, the White Sox waited until the last minute with the other three affiliates, so we’ll run through the rosters for Charlotte, Winston-Salem and Kannapolis over the next few days.

On to the box scores!

Charlotte 6, Durham 2

  • Charlie Tilson played center and went 2-for-5 with a stolen base.
  • Ryan Cordell played right and went 1-for-4 with a sac fly and a steal of his own.
  • Daniel Palka singled twice, walked and struck out twice.
  • Casey Gillaspie was 1-for-3 with a walk, sac fly and two strikeouts.
  • Matt Skole singled twice, walked twice and struck out once.
  • Dylan Covey started the opener: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 1 HBP

Birmingham 5, Chattanooga 4

  • Tito Polo went 2-for-4. He also drew a walk and was picked off.
  • Jameson Fisher doubled, walked, struck out thrice and was picked off.
  • Zack Collins caught, going 0-for-2 with three walks and a strikeout.
  • DH Seby Zavala went 1-for-3 with a double, two walks and two strikeouts.
  • Trey Michalczewski played second, but nothing else was notable (0-for-4, walk, three strikeouts).
  • Danny Mendick went 1-for-4 with a double.
  • Spencer Adams: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 50 of 78 pitches for strikes.

Carolina 6, Winston-Salem 5

Kannapolis 4, Lakewood 3

  • Luis Gonzalez went 1-for-3 with a walk.
  • Johan Cruz is back at Kanny, and went 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout.
  • Justin Yurchak was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
  • Evan Skoug, 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout.
  • Michael Hickman made the jump from the AZL with immediate success: 1-for-2 with two walks and a walk-off double.
  • Kade McClure: 7 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 10 K, 1 HR
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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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Josh Nelson

No love for Tate Blackman.


This can mean only one thing. The Riddler’s henchmen have infiltrated the Kannapolis Intimidators.

Trooper Galactus

Meanwhile, at stately Wayne Manor…


Not to be totally paranoid here…but..any reason Kopech is not scheduled to start any of the first 4 games at AAA and game 5 is TBD??

Trooper Galactus

Clearly Covfefe is the staff ace.

get him on get him over get him in

I like the 10 k’s and 7 innings pitched for McClure. I haven’t heard how high his ceiling is. What are your thoughts on him?

Not very much written about him given his limited professional sample to date, but here’s what I’ve found: He’s a big boy, listed at 6’7″, 230 lbs. A Louisville product, he reportedly has a fastball that sits in the 88-92 mph range and can touch 94, a 76-83 mph breaking pitch that apparently is some sort of curve/slider hybrid, and a changeup that, like most prospects in low-A, lags way behind his two primary pitches. Considered a solid college pitching prospect who can reliably turn into a back end starter, but not likely to be anything more than that.

I really hope he makes it if only for the Troy McClure references. They are endless and we shall never tire of them.

I like that they’re getting him as many innings as possible by working him as a starter, but I actually think he could have been a guy they could have fast-tracked to the majors as a reliever. The fastball can hit mid-90s when he really reaches back, and it’s got solid movement. The breaking ball can be absolutely filthy when he’s on. As Trooper noted, he’s probably only ever going to be a back of the rotation guy, but I think the stuff could really play up in short stints.

If the Sox were looking at competing this year, I think he would have been a serious candidate for a reliever role, with the hopes of a late summer shot at the MLB pen.

Off topic but interesting… Kade is best friends with Mitchell Trubisky. They both grew up together in Mentor, Ohio. Would be cool if McClure made it to the big leagues and reunited with his good buddy.


Word of the season: undermatched….


Sheets’ single was a bunt with a runner on. Heh.


It’s a beautiful thing clicking on a players name and getting b-ref page, one of the many welcome changes. 

get him on get him over get him in

You get a surprise when you click on Spencer Adams. 

Isn’t he a bit old for the level?


Zack Collins’s night was extremely Zack Collins. And Covey’s totally going to be the first guy called up and it’s not going to reassure me at all.

But hey! Basabe did some stuff! Among others!


Ha they even stole a base on Collins. Quite Collins-y indeed.



Some pretty good draft notes by Kiley Mcdaniel. Including, Travis Swaggerty who’m supposedly the White Sox have been linked to at pick 4. Wichita State 3B Alec Brohm got high marks, who may be in play for the White Sox at 4 also.