White Sox Minor Keys: May 4, 2018

As James Fegan noted, when the White Sox beat writers vote on the organization’s player of the month awards, they’re basically voting on who they want to talk to in a conference call setting.

Sure enough, Michael Kopech, Seby Zavala and Luis Alexander Basabe all talked to reporters on Friday, and Fegan provided a rundown for The Athletic.

Kopech: Reiterated what he said about his last start, that his changeup felt as good as it ever has in getting swinging strikes. He said, “I hate to sound like I’m beyond ready because that’s not what I’m trying to say at all,” but he at least sounded ready.

Also, it sounds like he trusts his armside command:

“For me, personally, throwing inside to a right-handed hitter is easy. That’s a spot that I don’t really struggle with command. I like to throw inside. I like to keep guys off the plate. I like to keep guys honest instead of diving out. So I have hit a few batters this year. That’s not something I’m going to change. I wouldn’t say I’m a headhunter but if you are leaning over the plate, I throw in and you get hit, that’s not my fault.”

Basabe: He’s healthy. That’s the big difference.

Zavala: He said he and Zack Collins get the rundown before a series of who is catching which game, and he says it’s a working system.

Columbus 7, Charlotte 5

  • Jose Rondon went 1-for-5 with a homer and three strikeouts.
  • Eddy Alvarez was 1-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout. He also swiped his first bag.
  • Thyago Vieira: 2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 2 K

Birmingham 5, Tennessee 4

  • Tito Polo went 0-for-2 and was picked off. He was slow to get up after that, and he was replaced defensively next inning.
  • Zack Collins singled, walked thrice and struck out once.
  • Eloy Jimenez came up a triple short of the cycle during a 3-for-5 night, striking out once.
  • Seby Zavala is starting to come down, going 0-for-5 with a strikeout.
  • Matt Rose went 1-for-4 with a walk.
  • Jameson Fisher, 3-for-5 with a double. He was caught stealing.
  • Jordan Stephens: 6.2 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 2 WP
  • Ian Hamilton: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K


*Finally, a Jimenez home run highlight with a good camera angle.

Buies Creek 10, Winston-Salem 6

  • Joel Booker singled and struck out thrice.
  • Luis Alexander Basabe went 1-for-3 with a double and two walks.
  • Blake Rutherford was 2-for-5 with a strikeout.
  • Micker Adolfo was 1-for-3 with two walks, a strikeout and a stolen base.
  • Gavin Sheets, 1-for-4 with a double, walk and strikeout.
  • Yermin Mercedes went 0-for-4 with a walk and a K.
  • Yeyson Yrizarri, 2-for-4 with a double and a strikeout.
  • Ti’Quan Forbes, 0-for-4.

Kannapolis 11, Hagerstown 0

  • Justin Yurchak went 1-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout.
  • Evan Skoug homered, walked and struck out three times.
  • Carlos Perez went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts.
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How might Collins’s ability to draw walks play out at the MLB level?

Brett R. Bobysud

Is it conceivable that Ian Hamilton could end up in Charlotte before too long, or would they want to keep him in Birmingham for a while?


Or to the big club later in the year if they think his stuff plays up?

Trooper Galactus

Matt Rose looking very prospect-y all of a sudden, and has stuck at third. Do we need to start looking at him as a throw-in from the Q trade and re-evaluate him as a legit top-30 (if not top-20) organizational prospect?


Good to see he’s playing well. Though, he’s currently striking out 31.7% of the time and with a some what unsustainable BABIP of .382. He will come back to earth at some point. 


Today’s SP: House, Guerrero, Flores, Parke

Has anyone watched enough of Micker Adolfo this season and in the past to say whether he’s altered his swing because of his on-going elbow injury? Is he taking the same cuts?

His batting line is better across the board: hits, power, whiffs, and even walks. (BABIP .433) Some of his improvement might be just him growing up from the high schooler he was when signed, and more-damaging injuries have afflicted him in the past, but nothing he’s done previously would have predicted the month he just put up.

What gives? What changed? Just the UCL? What?


His walks and strikeouts are pretty close to the same. He’s hitting in a hitter-friendly park. Two thirds of his homeruns have come at home despite considerably fewer PAs there. I haven’t seen him this year, but I’d say he’s more or less progressing normally in terms of stats.


Thanks. It’s a small sample, and there’s the unsustainable BABIP as well, so natural prospect development could cover the whole shebang. Still, +.045 on last season’s wOBA is a substantial improvement.

See below, too, if you feel like chiming in some more, which would be welcome.

edit: and ballpark, as you mentioned.

lil jimmy

Two things I see. For several years, I saw line drives, sometimes really long line drives. Every thing straight away center to the left field line. Now I see moonshots and home runs to Right center. So more loft and a willingness to go the other way.



Do you think if we cued up, say, a hundred swings from this year and last using only scout video — the side view, or from behind the plate, where you see the swing and the ball off the bat but the camera doesn’t track it — we would see a change in his swing?

Of the differences you mentioned, want to play internet physiologist and attribue them to his forearm issues requiring a different approach?

Although I seem to be working backwards from the stat line results, I’m really not interested in them for the purposes of this question. I’m more after whether any fundamental change has been made at the plate, and whether his ucl/tendon stuff forced the change, if any.


The elbow injury has nothing to do with his swing.


I’m inquiring about injury effects, not causes. Are you saying his swing hasn’t been affected by the elbow issues?



lil jimmy

One other thing about Micker. I thought he is a very graceful runner. He seemed to glide across the out field.