AFL Report: Chris Getz discusses White Sox prospects in fall ball

On Saturday’s episode of White Sox Weekly on ESPN 1000, Connor McKnight talked to Chris Getz about the Arizona Fall League, and a few of the prospects getting a stage to make a leap.

Here’s a link to the show, with the interview starting at the 28:40 mark and lasting about 15 minutes. Regarding the White Sox prospects we’re following in the AFL, but I’ve spliced in the most applicable quotes below their weekly summaries.

* * * * * * * * *

AFL Report

YOELQUI CÉSPEDES

DateABRHRBIXBHBB/KSB/CSEtc.
Oct. 2540101/0PO
Oct. 2740000/3
Oct. 28
Oct. 2950102B0/2
Oct. 30
Total393812 2B1/131/0.205/.279/.256

Céspedes is still wrestling with plate discipline, although he did manage to draw his first walk in AFL play after getting on base the painful way with three plunkings. He also notched his second double, but the whole bag of tools hasn’t yet come together in this setting.

Getz said: “Strike zone judgment is going to be something that he needs to continue to focus on, but his swing, mechanically, is sound. Just needs to stay under control, not try to do too much. He’s just naturally a strong player that doesn’t need to expand and try to go meet the baseball out front. He needs to use the whole field and let the power just show up.”

JOSE RODRIGUEZ

DateABRHRBIXBHBB/KSB/CSEtc.
Oct. 2550200/1
Oct. 27
Oct. 2852112B0/0
Oct. 2950111/01/0
Oct. 30
Total364991 2B, 1 HR2/41/0.250/.289/.361

Rodriguez’s game log is steadier than his slash line would indicate, and his ability to put the bat to the ball is still meeting the demands against more advanced competition. He also stole his first base, which is something I’m paying attention to as he moves up the ladder.

Getz said: “It just stood out: the passion for the game, the ability to play shortstop, the strength that he has. […] He’s never stopped hitting. From game one this year to his last game he just constantly was getting hits. He’s another one that his instincts, defensively, in the box, baserunning, and then you break down his swing where he slots his swing, it’s a very simple, strong path to the ball. Now that he’s in the Arizona Fall League he’s getting an even greater following. But sure, talking to other clubs, they’re constantly asking about Jose Rodriguez. They’re interested. He’s an enjoyable player to watch.”

YOLBERT SÁNCHEZ

DateABRHRBIXBHBB/KSB/CSEtc.
Oct. 25
Oct. 2730000/1
Oct. 28
Oct. 29
Oct. 3021112/0
Total131314/10/0.231/.412/.308

Sánchez is still getting limited reps, so while it’s not great for the other prospects that Sánchez has more walks than Céspedes and Rodriguez combined, it shows that he’s not pressing in the sporadic action he’s receiving.

PITCHERS

PitcherIPHRERHRBBK
Dominguez5.1977338
Olson6.2755225
Moore5644145
Freeman4.2421043

Johan Dominguez rebounded from a five-run, one-out disaster in his second start of the fall to throw three decent innings on Tuesday. His ERA is still in the double digits, but he just about cut it in half by lowering it to 11.81.

Caleb Freeman made two appearances, but one was an 11th inning appearance where he balked the runner on second to third, then gave up a walk-off single to the only batter he faced. In the other more standard outing on Wednesday, he retired the side in order with a strikeout. McKnight asked Getz about Freeman’s progress over the course of the season.

Getz said: “[Freeman] has three plus pitches presently. […] Sometimes professional baseball is a better setting. There’s a better rhythm to it. There’s more room for a playerlike a Caleb Freeman to be given the leash for four outs, to five outs, to six outs, for them to really gain confidence through more opportunities. I think that’s where someone like Caleb, that’s why he has thrived with the Chicago White Sox, and you’re starting to see the progress with the limiting of walks, and able to show off the stuff that he has.

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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Trooper Galactus

Popeye has 9 RBIs in 9 games; third on the team behind two players who are three years older. It’s impressive how he competes while the far more heralded Cespedes struggles.

Joliet Orange Sox

What’s the origin of the Popeye nickname? I remember announcers using it on some clips Jim included in minor league updates earlier this year. He doesn’t seem to have unusually large forearms or have one eye permanently closed.

I think there is some brilliant animation in the very early Popeye cartoons from the Fleischer days before the awful ones churned out later. You can find a bunch of the great cartoons easily on youtube but it’s a big risk since for every one that is a delight of sleepwalking or chasing Swee’ Pea through a factory, there is one that is very much a product of its time with racial stereotypes that are unacceptable in 2021.

He is what he is.

Joliet Orange Sox

For Rodriguez, “as a teenager” could mean less than 6 months ago!

LeftistLefty-Righty

Yoelqui has failed to impress me so far. Been skeptical of him from the beginning and he hasn’t done much to change my mind.

At a minimum, he’s shown that the power, speed, and arm are legit. Problem is, his swing and approach are over-aggressive and easily exploited by savvy pitchers. I think FanGraphs was low on him because they believed his hit tool ruined his outlook at the plate, and there seems to be some merit to that.

Josh Nelson

It would be fitting as soon as I start enjoying following Jose Rodriguez’s development that he gets traded this offseason.

Trooper Galactus

I would be a bit conflicted. I thought Popeye was our best prospect even before his promotion to W-S, so for my money, I think he’s a legit prospect who will have something to offer at the Major League level within the next two years. On the other hand, one could consider this selling high on him, depending on what the return is. I’d certainly not be happy if he’s just used as a throw-in.