James Fegan made a smart call on Thursday. Instead of publishing a story pertaining to a 9-1 loss to the Royals nobody would prefer to revisit, he instead posted a major prospect update with input from Chris Getz.
It’s worth your time to read the whole thing, as it proves some perspective from the White Sox front office on uneven seasons, even if you’re not going to get a scathing review of any shortcomings. There’s Matthew Thompson, who started varying the timing of his wind-up a la Marcus Stroman. There’s Lenyn Sosa, whose increased slugging percentage is the result of a concentrated effort to use his lower half. There’s Jose Rodriguez, whose clump of errors about a month ago Getz attributes to a mechanical issue with his throwing motion.
But perhaps the most valuable item covers Romy Gonzalez, who homered and reached base six times during Birmingham’s Opening Night doubleheader, and has refused to settle back into non-prospect status. He’s hitting .264/.356/.483 with 16 homers and 20 stolen bases over 67 games, most of them at shortstop, which is also out of nowhere.
“Romy has really put himself on the map,” Getz said. “There’s always just a short list of players that take giant leaps within the organization and I believe Romy is one of those players.”
Gonzalez has played every defensive position in the organization at some point besides pitching and catching, but the commitment to him at shortstop began during 2019 instructional league, which Getz believes spurred Gonzalez’s confidence and commitment. That has continued to show up as Gonzalez got himself in shape over the pandemic, and emerged offensively despite being assigned to a traditional pitcher’s park for 2021. Because of the reputation of utilitymen, Getz doesn’t want to make it sound like he’s selling Gonzalez’s offense short by preparing him for a multi-position role. He’s just being realistic, and believes Gonzalez’s value will come from providing viable at-bats from all over the diamond.
“He’s a real offensive force,” Getz said. “He’s got tremendous bat speed and strength to all fields. He makes good swing decisions and it’s beginning to pay off. The kid is rock solid, he shows up every day with a major league mindset.”
Charlotte 10, Gwinnett 6
- Luis Robert stuffed the stat sheet: 2-for-4 with a homer, walk, two strikeouts and a stolen base.
- Blake Rutherford went 2-for-4 with a double.
- Laz Rivera is filling in for Jake Burger: 1-for-5 with a homer and a strikeout.
- Jonathan Stiever: 5 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 HR. Hey, it was good enough to beat a rehabbing Ian Anderson.
Birmingham 7, Mississippi 2
- Romy Gonzalez went 2-for-5 with a double.
- Yolbert Sanchez, 1-for-5 with a strikeout.
Winston-Salem 11, Asheville 6
- Yoelqui Céspedes left in the seventh inning of his best game yet: 3-for-3 with a homer, walk and a stolen base, although he was picked off third. He twisted his ankle on the single.
- Lenyn Sosa went 2-for-4 with a double and a walk.
- Luis Curbelo was 1-for-4 with his 16th homer and an HBP.
- Luis Mieses went 3-for-5 with two doubles and a strikeout.
Carolina 4, Kannapolis 3 (11 innings)
- Jose Rodriguez went 0-for-5.
- Bryan Ramos was 1-for-5 with a strikeout.
- Harvin Mendoza was 1-for-4.
- DJ Gladney doubled and struck out four times.
- Alexander Comas made his A-ball debut and was 0-for-5 with three strikeouts.
- Caberea Weaver also wore the silver sombrero while going 0-for-4, but he stole a base.
- James Beard went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
- Theo Denlinger blew the save in his first game with Kannapolis: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
ACL White Sox 14, ACL Cubs 8
- Misael Gonzalez went 0-for-3 with a walk, strikeout, HBP and stolen base.
- Shawn Goosenberg’s pro debut: 1-for-3 with a homer, walk and HBP.
- Wilfred Veras hit for the cycle during a 4-for-5 night. He also stole a base and struck out.
- Adam Hackenberg was 0-for-3 with two walks.
- Jefferson Mendoza, 1-for-5 with a homer and a K.
- Logan Glass tripled, got plunked twice, struck out twice and stole a base.
- Cristian Mena: 4 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 K
- Erick Bello: 0.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
DSL Reds 9, DSL White Sox 2 (7 innings)
- Randel Mondesi went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.
- Victor Quezada was 1-for-3 with a double.
- Manuel Veloz had some decent numbers for the DSL in 2019, but he’s back here: 0.2 IP 3 H, 3 ER, 3 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 HR
With no Lamb yesterday, I wonder if he’s rejoining the Sox today.
Just got called up. Foster back to Charlotte.
After having nothing in the way of middle infield prospects forever, it’s nice to have some interesting guys to follow. Rodriguez, Yolbert and Romy all look like guys who could be major league players someday. Even Laz Rivera has reemerged a bit (risen from the dead? -sorry).
Emilio Vargas since July 1 in Birmingham:
25IP, 39K, 5BB, 2R, 2HR, 0.64 WHIP
Wasn’t he a Rule 5 signing?
Waiver claim. Probably got caught up in a roster crunch
The removal of advanced rookie leagues and short-season A leagues should make the full season leagues all worse, as players get rushed to low-A faster, which requires knock-on effects of other players bumped up a level higher than they otherwise would be to make room (they changed roster rules, but this doesn’t make more playing time become available).
It should also make the quality of competition in the complex (rookie) leagues better, as some players who might have been good enough for advanced rookie or short-season A, but aren’t close to being ready for Low-A are held back.
Assuming that this is what happened, I wonder if that has anything to do with why we haven’t really seen the high school draftees in the Arizona complex league yet.