White Sox Minor Keys: June 6, 2019

Tonight’s Birmingham Barons game had some good news and bad news.

Good news: Nick Madrigal looks no different in Double-A.

Madrigal went 3-for-4 at the plate and 2-for-3 on the basepaths in his Birmingham debut. His first single wasn’t all that impressive, but it doinked off second base and resulted in the first of two forced errors and a night full of misery for the infield.

He shot a one-hopper through the right side in his second plate appearance to give him an honest-to-goodness base hit.

Madrigal wreaked further havoc on the left side of the infield over his latter two trips to the plate. He reached base his third time up on an error by the third baseman, who had to attempt to cut down a hop on a bouncer due to Madrigal’s speed out of the box. And in his fourth time up, he might have double-hit the ball on a line drive, based on the spin that broke the shortstop’s ankles:

So that’s the good news.

Bad news: Luis Robert departed the game early.

Technically he departed it late, leaving during a mound visit with one out on the ninth.

In the seventh inning, he hit the deck in the batter’s box after fouling a pitch hard off his shin. But that wasn’t the same side he was stretching out as he talked to Omar Vizquel, and Barons broadcaster Curt Bloom speculated about his back.

It seemed like something was physically amiss, but fortunately, it might not be the lasting kind:

Charlotte 5, Louisville 2

  • Daniel Palka was 1-for-4 with a homer and a strikeout.
  • Zack Collins went 2-for-3 with a homer.
  • Danny Mendick singled twice, struck out and stole two bases.
  • Joel Booker went 0-for-3 with a K.

Birmingham 4, Jackson 3

  • Luis Robert went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, then departed the game in the ninth.
  • Nick Madrigal and Blake Rutherford both were 3-for-4 with two stolen bases, although Madrigal was caught once.
  • Luis Gonzalez was 0-for-4 with a strikeout.
  • Gavin Sheets homered again, giving him seven on the season after a 1-for-4 night. He struck out once.
  • Blake Rutherford joined Madrigal in going 3-for-4.
  • Laz Rivera was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.
  • Ti’Quan Forbes went 1-for-3 with a strikeout.


*Sheets hits some handsome homers:

Winston-Salem 5, Myrtle Beach 2

  • Steele Walker went 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout.
  • Carlos Perez went 2-for-3 with a walk.

Augusta 3, Kannapolis 1

  • Lenyn Sosa went 1-for-4 with a strikeout.
  • Romy Gonzalez went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.
  • Bryce Bush wore the collar and silver sombrero.
  • Corey Zangari did him one better with the golden kind.
  • Luis Curbelo went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.
  • Davis Martin: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K

DSL White Sox 18, DSL Padres 13

  • Anthony Espinoza went 1-for-4 with a walk, strikeout, sac fly, HBP and stolen base.
  • Wilber Sanchez was 4-for-7 with a triple and a stolen base.
  • Enoy Jiménez showed up as a pinch runner and scored.
  • Jefferson Mendoza singled in his only plate appearance.
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Right Size Wrong Shape

The Birmingham team is starting to be as fun to watch as we thought it would be before the season. And I have to say, Curt Bloom is great. It’s a real pleasure to tune in to a AA broadcast and hear someone that exciting and professional.


Now that Wilber Sanchez has hit his way onto the recaps, I request the same for fellow well-named-17-year-old Benyamin Bailey 🙂 .


I was surprised to see that “Bailey” is actually a fairly common surname in Panama.

Upon lots of digging, Bailey might be someone worth watching. He comes from the same program as Cardinals prospect Ivan Herrera (who’s already up to A-ball at 18), and has been getting attention for a few years. He’s got good size and speed at 6’4 to likely stick in the OF, and has put up phenomenal numbers with some power in Panamanian youth and amateur ball. He could be stateside sooner than later.

Brett R. Bobysud

Does fangraphs not start tracking BsR data until the player gets to the majors?

It would be interesting to see what Madrigal’s numbers are, since it appears he’s quite adept on the base paths.


BP has Base Running Runs for minor leagues. Madrigal was +3 this year at WS. https://legacy.baseballprospectus.com/card/127403/nick-madrigal

Greg Nix

Sheets is weird. 7 homers but only 3 doubles. For some reason he seems like the kind of the guy the Rays will turn into an All Star after he washes out with the Sox. 

Brett R. Bobysud

For a guy who’s best feature is supposed to be his power, his ISO at Birmingham is only .116.

Compare that to Robert’s .211.


Madrigal is just a different player- he’s a definite throwback. With all the power the Sox have or will have (Robert, Moncada, Eloy, Vaughn, Collins), he will be a nice change of pace at the top of the lineup.

Right Size Wrong Shape

I see him as more of a bottom of the order guy, but we’ll see.

Brett R. Bobysud


I think if Robert pans out like we think he can, he’ll be your leadoff guy with Moncada behind him.

I could see Madrigal function as perhaps an “old-school” leadoff type while hitting in the #9 spot leading into those guys.


Yeah, you’re right. I guess ideally the top 4 would be Robert, Moncada, Vaughn, Eloy. It’s fun to look forward- let’s hope this becomes a reality some day soon.


I wonder if Collins would get some run in the 2 spot vs righties… load up on an obp option in the right situation in front of all that power


I wouldnt be surprised at all if Madrigal has a better OBP for his career than Robert.

Robert is still going to have quite a bit swing and miss to his game. All the rust and injuries made us forget he was far too advanced for A ball. I think you see Devil Ray BJ Upton type seasons for his first couple seasons up.

Brett R. Bobysud

I know you’re not supposed to project minor league numbers to the majors in most cases, but at each of his stops so far in the minors (not including Birmingham), Madrigal’s OBP has been between .346 & .355.

If he can hold a .333+ OBP in the majors he may end up being the best lead off option we have. Just looking at internal options, if Robert or Moncada aren’t leadoff guys than Madrigal is probably the best option.

I’d be lying if I didnt like the small ball idea of hitting Madrigal behind Anderson for some sexy hit and run action at the back of the lineup though


One adjustment that it looks like Madrigal has made is that when he starts his leg kick he’s standing more straight up. It’s very noticeable in the line drive single to left. Previously when he started his leg kick he would lean pretty far back towards the catcher.

Josh Nelson

Luis Robert and Jimmy Lambert elected to the Southern League All-Star Game