White Sox Minor Keys: July 11, 2021

Jul 11, 2021; Denver, CO, USA; General view of Coors field during the 2021 MLB All Star Futures Game. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

In the ongoing coverage of Winston-Salem’s current high-profile designated hitters, Yoelqui Céspedes ducked out of North Carolina for a moment to participate in the Futures Game in Denver on Sunday. He went 0-for-2 with a popout in foul territory and a strikeout, but the results weren’t as significant as the fact that writers and evaluators could get their first look at Céspedes in a competitive environment they understand.

It just wasn’t an unimpressive one, especially for skeptics like Keith Law …

White Sox outfielder Yoelkis Céspedes looks somewhat like his brother, with a deep load and a huge swing that generates big power, but his two at-bats were unimpressive and it looked like he was guessing on at least some of the pitches he saw.

… but then again, the Futures Game assignment seemed a little premature given his stunted stateside start.

Meanwhile, Jiménez played left field for the first time in his rehab stint, where he committed an error three innings in.

Jacksonville 3, Charlotte 2

  • Yermín Mercedes went 2-for-4 with a homer and a strikeout.
  • Luis González homered, singled twice and struck out once. He was also picked off.
  • Ti’Quan Forbes was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.

Biloxi 6, Birmingham 3

  • Romy Gonzalez went 2-for-5 with a strikeout.
  • Carlos Pérez was 0-for-3 with a walk.

Winston-Salem 7, Hickory 5

  • Yolbert Sanchez went 0-for-3.
  • Eloy Jiménez played left field and was 1-for-3 with a walk.
  • Lenyn Sosa went 3-for-4 with a homer. He was caught stealing/picked off.
  • Luis Curbelo was 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout.
  • Davis Martin: 3 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR
  • Bailey Horn: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K. His ERA is down to 30.00.

Kannapolis 6, Fredericksburg 3

  • Jose Rodriguez went 3-for-5 with a homer and two stolen bases.
  • Bryan Ramos was 0-fr-4 with a strikeout.
  • Luis Mieses went 1-for-4 with a K.
  • Caberea Weaver went 1-for-4 with a K. He was also picked off/caught stealing.
  • Harvin Mendoza, 1-for-3 with a walk.
  • Chase Krogman singled, walked and struck out twice.

(Photo by Ron Chenoy / USA TODAY Sports)

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I do like how Eloy and the centerfielder weren’t in the same frame….


I don’t see the logic in Eloy playing LF. He has either hurt himself or come close too many times in his short career to justify the risk. His mishap this spring was not “bad luck”. It was inevitable. On a ball so far over the fence that probably no other OF in MLB would have injured himself.

Vaughn is clearly better defensively now, such that there is no legit reason for Eloy to play the field. It is not best for the team, and nothing good can come from it. If it’s all because of his personal preference, he needs to mature and get over that. Surely he had already been told a thing or two about being careful prior to this spring. What if he runs into Engel in CF, or Robert, or a wall? It’s just nonsense at this point, and they need to keep him safe to make sure he actually makes it back this season, and remains healthy for the playoffs. Ditto their CF playing next to him.


I’m not ready to say that Vaughn is better defensively but he hasn’t injured himself and others yet so even if they are of equivalent defensive skill, Vaughn is still the preferred option.


Eloy has played LF his entire adult life. This is Vaughn’s first season playing out there… ever.

Using UZR/150… in 2019 Eloy was 2nd to last of all qualified LFers. In 2020 Eloy was again 2nd to last.

This season Vaughn is below average, but he’s still 4th for qualified LFers… and middle of the pack overall. Eloy is bad bad bad. And not just bad, he’s a danger to himself and others.


It’s interesting that you are using UZR which is notoriously unreliable in small sample sizes. Statcast/DRS paint a less rosy picture about Vaughn in LF and slightly more bullish on Eloy’s defense. Either way, we are getting average at best defense in LF between the two of them but the injury concerns are significantly lower with Vaughn out there.


Exactly. I mean I love Eloy, and totally want the guy to be happy. But I’ve never seen anybody look the way he does out there. I’m not even concerned about his defense at all, just the risk to his health. I think I can recall what, maybe 4 or 5 times that he’s run into something and missed a game or two, or more? Just want the guy to be safe so we can watch him hit, because he hits like a mofo!


They should be using this time for Eloy to get comfortable batting as a DH. Some guys have trouble adjusting to not playing in the field.


I thought they were going to wait a bit before putting Eloy out in the field?


What position(s) has Mercedes been playing? Is he catching?


I did the big boy thing and looked it up myself. If anyone else is interested he has 5 games starting a catcher out of 7 per Fangraphs.

LuBob DuRob

Looks like the double-pump is ready to go.