2018 DSL White Sox season review

(White Sox)

Great Falls opens the Pioneer League championship round against Grand Junction on Tuesday. If all three games are required, the minor league seasons for White Sox affiliates will come to a close no later than Friday.

With the end in sight, we can start wrapping up the seasons of affiliates who finished playing a while ago, starting at the bottom and working our way up.

And the DSL White Sox spent all year familiarizing themselves with the bottom.

Thanks to the Luis Robert signing, the White Sox were prohibited from spending more than $300,000 on any single international signing for both the last signing period and the current one.

It’s a worthy trade-off, but the Dominican Summer League’s White Sox affiliate felt the absence of toolsy talent. They posted the DSL’s worst record at 18-54, and that’s a record that actually reflects improvement toward the end of the season.

Without an influx of some of Latin America’s best talent, the DSL White Sox were bottom-three in hitting (OPS), bottom-five in pitching (runs allowed), and they were also one of the league’s oldest teams to boot.

Of course, there’s a lot of noise in DSL stats, as it’s the rawest level of professional baseball. Lots of errors, lots of walks, lots of HBPs, few first-hand views and no real injury reports make it difficult to tell what’s what.

The guys who usually make the jump have a strong peripherals and age on their side, but as you can tell from the team stats, the White Sox didn’t have many candidates emerge from stat-line scouting:

  • White Sox pitchers: 13.7% BB, 24.4% K,
  • White Sox hitters: 7.1% BB, 24.5% K
  • The league: 11% BB, 21% K

One note as we embark on these reviews: The prospect of note will be covered at the affiliate with which he finished the season, even if he played the bulk of the year at a different level.

Pitchers

With Brayan Herrera and Ramon Pineda making the jump stateside and Yordi Rosario joining the Arizona Rookie League midseason, the White Sox didn’t have much in the way of players who overpowered the competition while at an intriguing age. The closest?

*Wilber Perez: Acquired from the Brewers in the Joakim Soria deal, the 20-year-old allowed just 31 baserunners (19 hits, eight walks, four HBPs) to 28 strikeouts over 30 innings, posting a 1.80 ERA. But if you include him, then you have to include…

*Cristofer Melendez, who led the DSL Sox in innings (70.1) and strikeouts (93) while allowing just a 0.953 walk. He posted a 1.54, which, on this team, was only good for a 4-4 record. He spent his last three seasons with the DSL Astros, but didn’t distinguish himself.

*Yoelvin Silven, who struck out 71 to 16 walks over 64 innings in his first pro season. He did allow 65 hits, although I imagine that’s partially attributable to defense that put 10 unearned runs on his tab. He’s a year younger than Perez and Melendez.

Position players

*Harold Diaz, a $300,000 signing out of Cuba in the most recent signing class, was the DSL White Sox’ most polished hitter during his 18 games in action. He hit .290/.388/.406 over 80 plate appearances with seven walks to nine strikeouts. He committed just three errors over 18 games divided between shortstop, second and third.

*Sydney Pimentel is a Dominican shortstop who signed for $300,000 the previous year. The 17-year-old switch-hitter made a delayed debut in August and didn’t stand out, hitting .167/.219/.300 with 18 strikeouts over 64 plate appearance, although he did finish second on the club in homers with two, a potential reflection of the bat speed Baseball America said he had when he signed.

*Jefferson Mendoza also signed for $300,00 in the 2017-18 class, and the 17-year-old catcher had an OK pro debut, batting .207/.289/.289 with 12 walks to 26 strikeouts over 135 plate appearances. He’s credited with 24 baserunner kills in 52 attempts, but also 12 passed balls over 29 games. Given the control problems of the pitching staff, blocking is difficult to establish from numbers alone.

*Jerrick Francees made news in March as the White Sox’ first international signing from Aruba.

Perhaps buckling under the pressure of his pioneer status, Francees hit just .174/.253/.174 with seven walks to 35 strikeouts over 96 plate appearances.

*Jose Rodriguez grabbed everybody’s attention when he was the only position player performing early in the season. The 17-year-old Dominican infielder doesn’t seem to have been signed for a noteworthy amount, but he hit .291/.318/.401 with 13 doubles, three triples and two homers over 240 plate appearances, and also stole 16 bases. The 12 percent strikeout rate is intriguing; the 3.8 percent walk rate no so much.

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jorgefabregas

Francees’ father is director of Pony League baseball in Aruba and that signing struck me more as “relationship building” and getting into the market than actually acquiring a prospect. But what do I know–literally very little. I watched his hype video when he was signed.

MrTopaz

In light of tonight’s absurd walk off loss, and the last few weeks in general, I just want to say thank you, Jim, for doing this work. This season has not been easy for those of us who have only been watching, it must be a tremendous slog for you guys doing the recaps and analysis. Especially recapping a White Sox Dominican team that was truly… well… what can one say about our 2018 White Sox DSL team? They really… existed. Josh, Patrick, and all the other contributors included, of course. You guys have been great.

Greg Nix

Ted and I have just put you on our shared “enemies list.”