White Sox Minor Keys: July 12, 2022
With Oscar Colás hitting .312/.369/.475 with improving numbers in all regards at Winston-Salem, the only question was whether he’d get promoted to Birmingham before or after the Futures Game.
Colas ended up making his Double-A debut in the week of the showcase, which is Saturday. The White Sox promoted him to Birmingham, and while I’m expecting him to spend the rest of the season there, recent cases like Lenyn Sosa and Romy González theoretically put him within range of the active roster if things go remarkably well, given that he’s a left-handed hitter and a natural outfielder.
Colás opened modestly with the Barons, going 1-for-5. The hit was an infield single in his first trip, grounding out thrice and striking out in his other four plate appearances.
The White Sox made room on the Birmingham roster by promoting Tyler Neslony, and if a left-handed-hitting true outfielder is needed sooner, he’s worth a thorough evaluation at Triple-A. Between his midseason arrival in 2021 and the first 64 games of this season, Neslony spent the last calendar year raking at Birmingham, hitting .335/.417/.609 over 104 games with the Birmingham.
It’s easy to write off Neslony because he’s 28 and has never produced anywhere close to this scale in professional ball, but with Charlotte lacking high-upside outfielders, he’s earned a shot to shed any labels. James Fegan found some fans in the scouting ranks.
Charlotte 5, Lehigh Valley 2
- Yasmani Grandal went 2-for-3 with a walk.
- Adam Haseley, 2-for-4 with his 10th homer.
- Carlos Pérez was 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.
- Lenyn Sosa, 1-for-4 with one strikeout.
- Yolbert Sánchez went 1-for-3 with a walk.
- Tyler Neslony’s Charlotte debut: 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts.
*The strike zone at Truist Field is no longer dictated by Automated Balls and Strikes, but with umpires and a challenge system.
Birmingham 5, Montgomery 4 (10 innings)
- José Rodríguez went 1-for-5 with a double and a strikeout.
- Oscar Colás’ Double-A debut: 1-for-5 with a strikeout.
- Yoelqui Céspedes was 1-for-4 with a double, a walk and a strikeout.
Asheville 13, Winston-Salem 7 (8½ innings, rain)
- Colson Montgomery went 2-for-5 with a homer and two strikeouts.
- Bryan Ramos, 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts.
- Luis Mieses, 1-for-4.
- Adam Hackenberg doubled, walked and struck out twice.
*Montgomery’s homer was to right field, which is 297 to the right-field corner and 320 to the power alley at McCormick Field.
ACL Rangers 10, ACL White Sox 4
- Cam Butler went 1-for-5 with three strikeouts.
- Luis Pineda, 2-for-5 with a double and a strikeout.
- Dario Borrero was 1-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout.
- Victor Quezada singled and struck out thrice.
- Emerson Talavera: 0.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
- Lane Ramsey rehabbing: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K,
- Luke Shilling rehabbing: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K
DSL White Sox 3, DSL Reds 0 (7 innings)
- Erick Hernandez went 0-for-2 with a walk and a strikeout.
- Loidel Chapelli, 0-for-2 with a walk.
- Guillermo Rodriguez was 2-for-3 with a double.
- Carlos Jimenez went 1-for-3.
- Leandro Alsinois was 0-for-3 with a pickoff.
- Ronny Hernandez, 1-for-3 with a K.
*White Sox hitting coordinator Andy Barkett posted more video of Chapelli:
Will Montgomery arrive before or after the window of contention has been nailed shut?
On a normal running baseball team he would be a window extender assuming he keeps progressing. Think along the lines of Alverez on Houston.
I like Montgomery but don’t think he will ever get compared to Alvarez. That dude is just an absolute beast. Sox will probably never have a player like that on their roster.
Maybe the Sox can trade a mediocre reliever to the Dodgers at the trade deadline for a player who turns into someone as good as Yordan Álvarez. That’s what the Astros did.
I know it’s hard to envision now, but there are at least traces of another wave building that could equate to a new window of contention.
Guys like Montgomery, Ramos, Mena, Chapelli, Vera, Sosa are interesting not just to us, but when compared to the rest of the league. A few of them have even popped on Prospect Larceny’s formulated prospect rankings (Mena is currently ranked as the 13th best pitching prospect in MLB).
If some of these guys pop and you add them to a core of Cease, Vaughn, Robert, Moncada?, Jimenez?, and perhaps hit on a few more draft picks, you can envision contention in a few years.
But, lots of things can change between then and now.
That seems like a very optimistic assessment of the farm system rated as worst in baseball by the people that rate farm systems.
The Sox have 0 prospects with a FV of over 45+, which means no one in the system currently projects as more than a utility/platoon player. It’s possible Montgomery will get re-graded to 50 but that’s still just one average regular in the whole system.
First, Fangraphs has the Sox 29th now—progress! Second, FG is pretty out of date and I’d expect things to look *very* different soon. For example: Montgomery is 3rd in the system, Chapelli isn’t listed, Vera is in the same tier as Burke and Lambert, Sosa is below Kath and Dalquist, Mena is in a tier with Kade McClure and Stiever. All that probably was defensible before the season, but it clearly doesn’t reflect a lot of new (and relevant) information.
We have definitely had worse 30th ranked farm systems in recent memory. But I think this one is still at or near the bottom.
The sox may not be good, but they have a pretty stable floor to not be bad either. So depending on what you consider contention window (a 500ish team in striking distance of a weak division)….. Id say he will for sure be here for that. Robert, Jiminez, Vaughn, Moncada, Anderson, Cease, are all gonna be around a few more years and if Montgomery keeps progressing you are looking at him being a viable option by 2024.
“A .500 ish team in striking distance in a weak division” sounds like Jerry’s idea of a perfect Sox team.
As you mentioned it, to put some timeframes on folks, team control according to bref:
Robert (age 24) signed through ’27 (last 2 team options)
Jimenez (25) through ’26 (last 2 team options)
Moncada (27) through ’25 (last 1 team option)
Anderson (29) through ’24 (both team options)
Vaughn (24) arb through ’26
Cease (26) arb through ’25
Kopech (26) arb through ’25
When I see the growing pains of Robert, I note he has made a little over 800 PA, not even 1.5 seasons worth of full time play. Jimenez at over 1000 isn’t too far off. And Vaughn at 750 is almost up to Robert’s experience.
Right, they aren’t doing another full scale rebuild anytime soon, so this teams floor with the above mentioned guys will keep them at least mediocre….
Its a matter of the next wave of guys filling in or heaven forbid plugging their holes with elite free agents not band aids.
There are no elite 2B FAs coming out anytime soon and so will have to be filled either internally or via trade.
Yes Judge will be a FA this winter and yes I’d love to see him on the Sox next year but I would absolutely hate to be the owner of his next contract.
There are no other RFers that you’d want coming out soon so another position you’d need to either fill internally or via trade.
Wilson Contreras comes out next yr and is probably the most reasonable elite FA coming out that matches up to a need but that then would move Yas to DH? Idk, but I wouldn’t hate it.
Contreras aside, I was thinking the Sox might make Grandal primary DH this past offseason. I could imagine it for next season, especially if Abreu moves on
That’s the part I don’t like, trading Abreu for Yas is a step down imo and there’s no way to trade Yas right now(maybe if he has a monster 2nd half) so it would have to be at a loss of Abreu.
Knowing Jerry, Abreu is coming back…
If the guy keeps hitting, I think the most likely long-term solution to 2B is 6’4” and from Indiana.
Too tall to be Drew Brees
I love Colson as a hitter but he seems to be pretty challenged as a fielder so far at least. 14 errors in 55 games is a lot, I was hoping for a better showing than that. One thing for sure the Sox need is to improve defensively. I had hoped he would be a great fielder (maybe eventually he can be I don’t know) and maybe a better long term solution at SS than TA. It’s really hard for a team to be good defensively with a weak fielding SS, which TA will probably always be to some degree. I hope TA is not a Sox for life for that reason, personally.
I read something about the potential for Colson to switch to 3b if his fielding does not improve. They may need a 3b as well, I’m not sure Moncada is going to be the guy. This has been just an awful, awful year for him so far. This team has so many gaping holes it’s pretty hard to picture them getting it together in a year or two. A big resurgence from Moncada is probably needed for this team to compete, I’m not sure how likely that is.
I wouldn’t be too concerned about errors from a guy in his first full pro season. Reports are that he has the ability to stick at short and has looked pretty impressive there.
Keith Law thinks Montgomery’s glove is good:
Anderson could move to 2B at some point in his career
With Sosa, Montgomery, maybe Mendick comes back, a few others the pressing need at 2nd doesnt seem as big too me as catcher. A washed up Grandal for 2023 and no real good option for 2024 is pretty scary.
You really have to wonder with Grandal, Lynn, Moncada, and Eloy being as awful as they have been so far this year, if the peak of their rebuild wasn’t in 2021.
Going into next year they have a gaping hole at 2b, and potential gaping holes at 3b, catcher, and RF. And Lynn doesn’t exactly inspire, we can only hope he doesn’t wind up as useless as Keuchel. This team is not great at much of anything, no real supertars, and just has holes and uncertainty all over the place.
That’s incredibly dour.
It’s almost allstar break, Grandal has a WAR of -1.1, Eloy and Moncada are both below zero, and Lynn -1. Any of them could improve, but it’s quite likely that Grandal and/or Lynn are on the decline, the other two have fallen off a cliff and look like shadows of the players they appeared to be two years ago. And they will be paying those 4 over 60M next year. Call it dour, it’s hard to spin how that realistically bodes well, even if you want to be a die hard optimist.
They’ve played below .500 since July ’21 for many reasons. And then there’s Tony. Reality is what it is, not what we would wish it to be.
Have you been watching Moncada since he came back? Calling 3B a gaping hole is pretty extreme. Even if Grandal can’t catch every day any more, I don’t think he’s toast if he can get healthy. Second base isn’t that difficult to fill. Buck up, kiddo.
Moncada came back at the start of July. His July OPS is .525, which matches his for the year. That’s a hair better than Leury. I’m not impressed, or sure what you’re referring to. That’s awful production for a 3b. If he was a rookie they would be thinking of sending him to AAA. He would have to improve a lot just to be mediocre.
Look I hope he gets better along with the other 3. I’m just not picturing a tremendous hot streak from a team that has been below .500 since last summer, and the worst manager ever. If your optimism proves out I stand corrected. Optimism hasn’t proved justified with this team in a long time. Especially the past two Octobers.
He’s been hitting the crap out of the ball. He plays great defense. He’ll be fine. I don’t consider myself optimistic right now, but I also don’t think the worse case scenario is going to happen with every player on the team.
If Montgomery keeps progressing, we’re looking at him being a viable option by the second half of 2023. 2024 is more realistic because I expect him to hit some bumps at some point. But he already looks too good for A+ and like he might be worth a quick look at AA at the end of this season.
Montgomery has 14 errors in 55 games. I love him as a hitter, but you can’t exactly add somebody who is still learning how to field to a league worst defensive team the middle of next year and hope for the best. He hasn’t even played 2b at all yet either if I’m not mistaken.
If Law says he’s a good fielder I think people should be optimistic about the glove. Errors only tell part of a story and supposedly minor league field conditions are often poor often to contribute a few that would not happen on a major league field…
Scouting >>> error numbers when it comes to defense for minor leaguers, especially at the lower levels
What hitless and a-t said. But, also, it sounds like a move to another, less difficult position is in his future, too.
And, to be clear, I’m not saying he will be ready in mid-’23. I’m saying he will be if, borrowing knoxfire’s phrase, he keeps progressing. Or to put it another way: his current trajectory would put him in the Majors by the end of ’23, I think, but there are so, so, so many ways he might get knocked off that trajectory that we ought to expect it.
Even if Neslony can’t stick, it seems like he should get a chance if we have another rash of injuries. Maybe we get a Yermin-like supernova that carries us for six weeks and ends up in the Bay Area.
Giants were probably the ones who called to get him promoted
It’s unlikely Neslony is going to hit better than Haseley has, and Haseley never got a chance even when he was up. Leury played outfield a couple times during that window. I mean they could trade for Juan Soto or Semien and they’re not going to get guaranteed playing time over Leury with La Clown.