Tending to the Farm: Cristian Mena displays brilliance for the Ballers

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

Charlotte Knights (10-14)

Weekly Record: 3-3

This week, the Jumbo Shrimp of Jacksonville came to Charlotte to duke it out with the Knights. In what turned out to be a series featuring a couple of rehabbing White Sox, Charlotte and Jacksonville both took home three wins. Charlotte resides in fourth to last place and four games back in the International League East Division.

Charlotte’s offense sorely needed a strong showing after their dismal performance last week. A strong showing for the Knights hitters came to fruition, as Charlotte hit Jumbo Shrimp pitching to a .311/.371/.479 slash line and an .850 OPS. The other notable stats: 34 runs scored, 68 hits in 219 at bats, 13 doubles, no triples, eight home runs, 20 walks to 53 strikeouts, and stole two bases while getting caught stealing thrice. Complete season totals for the Knights offense can be found here.

All things considered, the Knights collectively had one of the better pitching performances this week in all of the International League. Charlotte’s staff concluded the series with the Jumbo Shrimp with a team ERA of 4.58, a 1.40 WHIP, .279 Batting Average Against, 28 earned runs to 31 runs allowed, 61 hits to 55 innings pitched, 16 walks to 62 strikeouts, with two hit batters and 11 home runs allowed. Complete season totals for the Knights pitching staff can be found here.

🔥 Hot Player of the Week 🔥

Wes Benjamin: For the second week in a row, Wes Benjamin stood tallest among his teammates. The former fifth round pick threw six innings, allowing just three hits, no runs, no walks, struck out nine, and had a .143 Batting Average Against with a 0.50 WHIP.

Honorable Mentions: Johnny Cueto, Andrew Perez, Zach Remillard, Micker Adolfo, Carlos Perez, and Adam Haseley

Birmingham Barons (9-12)

Weekly Record: 2-4

This week, the Barons paid a visit to the Trash Pandas in Rocket City. Unfortunately for Birmingham, the Trash Pandas were victorious four out of six tries. The Barons are in last place and are four games back in the Southern League North Division.

The Birmingham boys were solid with the bats for the week, despite how their record turned out at the end of the week. The Barons found success against Rocket City pitching and ended the series with a .271/.338/.495 triple-slash for an .833 OPS. Other notable stats: 40 runs scored, 58 hits in 214 at bats, eight doubles, two triples, 12 home runs, 17 walks to 70 strikeouts, and stole four bases with getting caught three times. Complete season totals for the Barons offense can be found here.

The Barons had another miserable time on the mound this week, courtesy of the Rocket City lineup. Birmingham got shelled to a 6.48 team ERA, 1.60 WHIP, .300 Batting Average Against, 36 earned runs to 39 runs allowed, 62 hits to 50 innings pitched, 18 walks to 50 strikeouts, hit four batters while allowing 12 home runs. Complete season totals for the Barons pitching staff can be found here.

🔥 Hot Player of the Week 🔥

Raudy Read: Raudy Read was one of a handful of Barons that truly enjoyed hitting in Rocket City this week, but Read’s performance was the most notable. The 28 year old slashed .375/.389/.938 for a 1.327 OPS, scoring four runs, knocking in eight RBI, three home runs, and had six hits across 16 at bats.

Honorable Mentions: Tyler Neslony, Alex Destino, Lenyn Sosa, and Scott Blewett

Winston-Salem Dash (13-8)

Weekly Record: 4-2

The Dash spent the past week in Asheville taking on the Tourists, another team without a live stream available. The Tourists have struggled this year, and Winston-Salem made sure those struggles persisted another week, taking four of six games from Asheville. The Dash are tied for second place and are one game back in the South Atlantic League South Division.

Asheville pitching couldn’t contain the Dash offense very well in this series. Winston-Salem smoked Tourists pitching to a .303/.395/.498 slash line and an .893 OPS. The Dash also scored 42 runs, had 67 hits in 221 at bats, 19 doubles, no triples, eight home runs, 30 walks to 57 strikeouts, and went 2-for-4 on stolen bases. Complete season totals for the Dash offense can be found here.

The Dash pitching staff found a good deal of success this week against a scuffling Asheville lineup. Winston-Salem concluded the series with a team ERA of 3.46, a 1.21 WHIP, and a .241 Batting Average Against. Winston-Salem also allowed 23 runs (20 earned) on 46 hits over 52 innings, 17 walks to 45 strikeouts, with three HBPs and eight home runs. Complete season totals for the Dash pitching staff can be found here.

🔥 Hot Player of the Week 🔥

Bryan Ramos: Bryan Ramos just continues to keep mashing baseballs, much to the chagrin of opposing pitchers. The 20 year old third baseman slashed .385/.448/.692 for an 1.140 OPS, scoring six runs, knocking two doubles, two home runs, six RBI, and had 10 hits across 26 at bats.

Honorable Mentions: Alsander Womack, Oscar Colas, Duke Ellis, Luis Mieses, Fraser Ellard, Edgar Navarro, and Matthew Thompson

Kannapolis Cannon Ballers (10-11)

Weekly Record: 3-3

The Cannon Ballers had a date with the Fayetteville Woodpeckers, looking to right the ship after a tough previous series. While five out of six games were closely contested, Kannapolis ended up splitting the series with the Woodpeckers. Kannapolis resides in fourth place and five games back in the Carolina League South Division.

The Cannon Ballers offensive production this week was mostly lifeless until a much needed outburst on Sunday afternoon. Kannapolis wrapped their series with the Woodpeckers with a .163/.262/.264 slash line, a .526 OPS, 19 runs scored, 29 hits in 178 at-bats, six doubles, no triples, four home runs, 19 walks to 65 strikeouts, and stole 10 out of a possible 12 bases. Complete season totals for the Cannon Ballers offense can be found here.

While the offense was horrid, the Cannon Baller pitching staff was outstanding, rebounding in big fashion after the debacle that was the previous week. Kannapolis dominated Woodpecker hitters all week long, leaving the series with a team ERA of 2.11, 1.09 WHIP, and a .192 Batting Average Against, 13 runs (11 earned) on 34 hits over 47 innings. They also issued 17 walks against 57 strikeouts, hitting no batters and allowing six home runs. Complete season totals for the Cannon Ballers pitching staff can be found here.

🔥 Hot Player of the Week 🔥

Cristian Mena: Cristian Mena was nearly unhittable against Fayetteville this past week. In his lone start, the 19 year old threw 6.1 innings, allowing just one hit, no runs, one walk, struck out 10, and had a .050 Batting Average Against with a 0.32 WHIP.

Honorable Mentions: Noah Owen, Tommy Sommer, and Jared Kelley
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Sleepy Harold
Sleepy Harold
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