Tending to the Farm: Duke Ellis propels Winston-Salem

This series will recap the performances of each White Sox minor league affiliate throughout the week. Here is the third installment of the 2022 season.

Charlotte Knights (7-11)

Weekly Record: 1-5

Charlotte took a journey up to Nashville to take on the Sounds this week, and things went pretty poorly for the Knights in the country music haven. The Knights couldn’t get anything going on either side of the ball, losing four of six games by seven or more runs, and ultimately dropping five of six games to the Sounds. Charlotte sits tied in second to last place and four games back in the International League East Division.

Putrid would be one way to describe the Knights offensive production this week. Nashville dominated the Charlotte bats all week long, leaving the Knights with a .177/.260/.224 slash line and a .484 OPS. The other key stats: 11 runs scored, 34 hits in 192 at bats, four doubles, one triple, one home run, 21 walks to 58 strikeouts, stole five bases while getting caught stealing twice. Complete season totals for the Knights offense can be found here.

Sticking with the above trend, the Charlotte pitching staff had more rotten performances than not this week. The Sounds lineup torched Knights pitching, leaving the squad with a team ERA of 7.16, a 1.76 WHIP, .293 Batting Average Against, 39 earned runs to 40 runs allowed, 58 hits to 49 innings pitched, 28 walks to 50 strikeouts, with one hit batter and five home runs allowed. Complete season totals for the Knights pitching staff can be found here.

πŸ”₯ Hot Player of the Week πŸ”₯

Wes Benjamin: If there was any silver lining to a bad week Knights baseball, Wes Benjamin’s start would be it. The St. Charles East High School graduate went seven innings, allowing five hits, one run, one walk (no hit batters), struck out five, and had a .200 Batting Average Against with a 0.86 WHIP.

Honorable Mentions: Blake Rutherford

Birmingham Barons (7-8)

Weekly Record: 5-1

Biloxi came to Regions Field to take on the Barons this week in what turned out to be a tightly contested series. Birmingham prevailed more often than not, winning four of five one run games this week before taking the series five games to one. The Barons still occupy last place and are two games back in the Southern League North Division.

The Birmingham offense had a great overall week against the Shuckers pitching staff. The Barons hit Biloxi pitching to a .290/.359/.475 triple-slash for an .834 OPS. Other notable stats: 29 runs scored, 58 hits in 200 at bats, 13 doubles, no triples, eight home runs, 19 walks to 46 strikeouts, and 7-for-3 on the basepaths. Complete season totals for the Barons offense can be found here.

The Barons pitching staff rebounded strongly after a brutal previous week. The Birmingham pitching staff kept the Shuckers in check, finishing the series with a 3.50 team ERA, 1.31 WHIP, .239 Batting Average Against, 21 earned runs to 22 runs allowed, 49 hits to 54 innings pitched, 22 walks to 64 strikeouts, hit one batter while allowing four home runs. Complete season totals for the Barons pitching staff can be found here.

πŸ”₯ Hot Player of the Week πŸ”₯

Tyler Neslony: Since joining the White Sox organization, Tyler Neslony has done nothing but hit. That trend continued, as the 28 year old slashed .364/.462/.682 for a 1.144 OPS, scoring three runs, hitting four doubles and RBI, one home run, and had eight hits across 22 at bats.

Honorable Mentions: Raudy Read, Felix Paulino, and Yoelvin Silven

Winston-Salem Dash (9-6)

Weekly Record: 5-1

The Dash took to the road to square off against the Greenville Drive. Despite dropping the first game of the series, Winston-Salem caught fire and won the final five games. The Dash are tied for second place and are two games back in the South Atlantic League South Division.

Greenville pitching had problems with Dash hitting all week long. Winston-Salem rocked the Drive pitching staff to a .322/.368/.487 slash line and an .855 OPS. The Dash also scored 44 runs, had 74 hits in 230 at bats, 16 doubles, two triples, six home runs, 15 walks to 67 strikeouts, and went 6-for-7 on stolen bases. Complete season totals for the Dash offense can be found here.

Luckily for the Dash pitching staff, the offense carried the load this week. Winston-Salem pitching had a so-so week against the Drive lineup. ending the series with a team ERA of 4.25, a 1.34 WHIP, and a .220 Batting Average Against. Winston-Salem also allowed 26 runs (25 earned) on 42 hits over 53 innings, 29 walks to 55 strikeouts, with four HBPs and 11 home runs. Complete season totals for the Dash pitching staff can be found here.

πŸ”₯ Hot Player of the Week πŸ”₯

Duke Ellis: Duke Ellis was a nightmare for Greenville pitching all week long. The 24 year old outfielder slashed .421/.500/.684 for a 1.184 OPS, scoring six runs, knocking two doubles, one home run, three RBI, 3-for-3 on stolen bases, and had eight hits across 19 at bats.

Honorable Mentions: Tyler Osik, Adam Hackenberg, Jason Matthews, and Matthew Thompson

Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (7-8)

Weekly Record: 1-5

The Fredericksburg Nationals came to town and took on the Cannon Ballers at Atrium Health Ballpark. Kannapolis won in blow out fashion on Tuesday, but the wheels fell off after and the Ballers lost the next five games. Kannapolis is now tied for third place and three games back in the Carolina League South Division.

The Cannon Ballers offense improved from the previous week, but still finished with middle of the pack production. Kannapolis wrapped the series with a .245/.325/.409 slash line, a .734 OPS, 38 runs scored, 51 hits in 208 at-bats, 11 doubles, one triple, seven home runs, 22 walks to 71 strikeouts, and went 6-for-1 on the basepaths. Complete season totals for the Cannon Ballers offense can be found here.

Hopefully members of the Kannapolis pitching staff have short memories, because this is a week that most of them would love to forget. The Nationals walloped the Cannon Ballers pitchers, leaving the latter with a team ERA of 7.04, 1.76 WHIP, and a .278 Batting Average Against, 54 runs (43 earned) on 64 hits over 55 innings. They also issued 33 walks against 68 strikeouts, hitting three batters and allowing 11 home runs. Complete season totals for the Cannon Ballers pitching staff can be found here.

πŸ”₯ Hot Player of the Week πŸ”₯

Wilfred Veras: Wilfred Veras was a fan of extra base hits this week. The 19 year old infielder slashed .263/.391/.632 for a 1.023 OPS, scoring four runs, knocking one double, two home runs, six RBI, and had five hits across 19 at bats.

Honorable Mentions: Terrell Tatum, Misael Gonzalez, and Noah Owen
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