White Sox Minor Keys: May 8, 2018

Former White Sox pitcher Dylan Cease
Dylan Cease in 2018. (Jim Margalus / Sox Machine)

Birmingham and Winston-Salem keep winning, and the players fueling it keep getting their due.

Dane Dunning: Jumped up 15 spots on MLB.com’s updated Top 100 Prospects list, from No. 88 to No. 73. James Fegan talked to Dunning, who said that his additional time in Winston-Salem didn’t mean much to him, but gave James Shields credit for helping him with his breaking stuff.

Eloy Jimenez and Dylan Cease: Made Baseball America’s Hot Sheet for the last week. Jimenez might make it two in a row.

Gwinnett 8, Charlotte 1

  • Charlie Tilson went 2-for-5 with a strikeout.
  • Eddy Alvarez was 1-for-2 with two walks.

Birmingham 5, Pensacola 2

  • Tito Polo went 1-for-4 with a double.
  • Zack Collins went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.
  • Eloy Jimenez had his eighth straight multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with his seventh homer.
  • Seby Zavala went back-to-back with Jimenez for his eighth homer. He went 1-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout.
  • Spencer Adams: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR
  • Ian Hamilton: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K


*Video of Jimenez’s homer:

Winston-Salem 10, Salem 2

  • Joel Booker went 1-for-5 with a double and a walk.
  • Alex Call, 2-for-6 with a double and two strikeouts.
  • Blake Rutherford went 2-for-6 with a stolen base.
  • Micker Adolfo walked thrice and struck out twice.
  • Gavin Sheets went 3-for-5 with two doubles.
  • Yermin Mercedes was 1-for-5 with a double and a strikeout.
  • Yeyson Yrizarri had his second four-hit night in three days: 4-for-5 with a double.
  • Ti’Quan Forbes was also 4-for-5, all singles. He stole a base.
  • Jimmy Lambert: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 1 HR


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Dane Dunning: Jumped up 15 spots on MLB.com’s updated Top 100 Prospects list, from No. 88 to No. 37

Now, I’m no mathologist, but I am pretty sure 88-37 =/= 15


Numbers transposed. 88-73. Bam, mathologist here to straighten things out.


Anyone want to make the case that the org plans on pushing Eloy’s MLB call-up into 2019? I’m struggling to find a compelling reason for him not to be in Charlotte. We’re only four weeks from a reasonable Super Two date.

Via Vinnie Duber of NBC Sports Chicago, some buck-up boilerplate (still true, necessary, and encouraging) from Jimenez earlier this week:

Each day brings more news of big numbers being put up by Jimenez, Kopech, Dunning, Dylan Cease, Micker Adolfo, Zack Collins, Seby Zavala and Luis Alexander Basabe. Alec Hansen and Luis Robert, two of the organization’s highest-rated prospects have yet to even play this season.

Jimenez said that those guys all know and discuss the potential and bright future this team has.

“We all know we have a lot of talent in this organization, from the Dominican Academy through the minor league teams. What we talk about is how good it will be for us to be all together in the majors and to perform at the level we all know we can do it,” Jimenez said. “That’s like a dream for us. And one of the things I always remind the guys is, ‘You know what, if we want to accomplish that we have to work hard every day.’ That is my mindset, and that is the only thing I try to remind them of every day.”



How much does trying to keep the affiliate happy play into the decision? Do they tell Birmingham what they’re thinking and give them a chance to sell tickets before moving him to Charlotte?


That was meant to be implied in my question, but I also thought/think the Sox could weather four weeks of fan clamoring without the slightest difficulty.

If a 2018 call-up is the working idea within the organization for Jimenez, I don’t think they would sweat a few weeks of heightened intensity from the punters. Maybe I’m misunderestimating.

I take it that you don’t think that, given Eloy’s current developmental trajectory, there’s much likelihood that the Sox will try to hold him back for another run through the same service time deadlines in 2019. I certainly don’t. But it’s my (perhaps misjudged) sense that the Sox could have him at AAA without significant marginal increase in the fans’ unrest that has the irrational doubts creeping in.

edit: My first comment was hugely informed by your earlier suggestion that fan expectation played the role you suggest today. I did a poor job of indicating that I guess.

Greg Nix

I’ve said this before, but I think there will be a lot of organizational movement around the minor-league All Star break, which happens to coincide with the Super Two deadline in mid-June. Kopech to Chicago, Jimenez and Stephens to Charlotte, Basabe to Birmingham.

That would give Jimenez a month or so in Charlotte until the trade deadline, at which point the front office will know whether Avi and Abreu are staying in the organization, and have a better idea of what exactly Davidson and Delmonico are. From there, they can figure out the major league depth chart and promote Jimenez for the last two months of the season.

Eagle Bones

Isn’t the draft also around that time? Usually a lot of movement after those guys sign as they sort out some of the dead wood to make room for the new guys at the lower levels.


“I’m struggling to find a compelling reason for him not to be in Charlotte.”


Greg Nix

I doubt there’s a meaningful difference between trying to improve defensively at AA or AAA.


I don’t think so either. It’s all reps in the field. The quality of pitching he’d face holds the significant difference.

Edit: Even if there’s more acreage to cover at Regions Field.


There’s a 0% chance that his defense is bad enough to be keeping him in AA at this point. He is absolutely demolishing the ball on a nightly basis. I expect him to get the call up soon, and if Zack Collins can come even remotely close to repeating his last 15 or so games, he should get the call too – although improving his defense is SIGNIFICANTLY more important. 

Heck, for that matter, the entire High-A outfield should be on their way to AA shortly. Adolfo, Basabe, Rutherford, and Booker all look VERY promising right now. I think at least one will be making the move once Eloy gets called up, and then another one will probably get the call when Robert is back, which shouldn’t be too far away.


I don’t know what he needs to work on most, but it’s probably worth noting that he’s going to be facing more talented, but less polished pitchers in AA than AAA. AA to AAA isn’t like all other promotions where you’re facing better players, full stop. I wouldn’t assume that time spent in AA instead of AAA is delaying his MLB debut.