One game in, Project Birmingham appears to be a massive success.
Not only did Bryan Ramos and Luis Mieses homer, and not only did they join the promoted Cannon Ballers Wilfred Veras, Wes Kath and DJ Gladney in debuting with multi-hit games, but the incumbents appeared invigorated as well. Oscar Colás reached base three times, Yoelqui Céspedes had a monster game, and Sean Burke dominated over five innings in Birmingham’s 11-7 victory over Mississippi.
Of course, the real implications of this shift will be learned over weeks, not innings, but the idea of a prospect supergroup remains fresh and fun one day in.
For the time being, the bigger implications are felt below. I was curious what the rosters would look like downstream, and it’s a mixed bag:
Winston-Salem: The Dash are thinned considerably, at least when it comes to name-brand talent. Without Ramos and Mieses, the remaining intriguing position players are mostly noteworthy for unusual backgrounds, like outfielder Ben Norman (24, Iowa product signed out of independent Great Falls) and catcher Colby Smelley (13th round JuCo pick in 2021, 22, hit .274/.390/.384 for Kannapolis). 2019 fourth-round pick Jams Beard also got the bump, but that’s because the Dash need bodies. He hit .163/.298/.242 with 118 strikeouts in 71 games for Kannapolis.
Cristian Mena and Norge Vera are still listed on the Dash’s roster, but they were reported to be joining the fray at Double-A at some point. Sorry, Julie.
Kannapolis: The recent batch of draft picks allows the Cannon Ballers to absorb the losses of guys like Kath, Gladney and Veras. Jordan Sprinkle and Brooks Baldwin should get everyday play up the middle, while Ole Miss hero Tim Elko should anchor first base. Jacob Burke, the Miami product picked in the 11th round, gives this roster an outfielder worth following.
Kohl Simas and Jared Kelley are also still listed on Kannapolis’ roster, but the Ballers should get plenty of help from the ACL White Sox with regards to recently drafted pitchers, and Manuel Veloz was recently added as well.
ACL White Sox: Since midseason additions from the DSL are unusual, these Sox are mostly stuck with the guys who were there before the draft. Maybe Cam Butler, Victor Quezada and Manuel Guariman can make the most out of the remaining games.
- Lenyn Sosa went 2-for-5 with two strikeouts.
- Adam Haseley struck out thrice during an 0-for-5 night, and he was caught stealing.
- Yolbert Sánchez went 3-for-4.
- Oscar Colás went 2-for-4 with an HBP and a strikeout. He was also caught stealing.
- Bryan Ramos drove in four by going 3-for-5 with a homer. He struck out once.
- Luis Mieses also homered in his first Double-A game and struck out during a 2-for-4 night.
- Colson Montgomery went 1-for-5.
- Yoelqui Céspedes homered, doubled, singled twice, struck out, stole two bases scored two runs and drove in three.
- Wifred Veras went 2-for-5.
- So did Wes Kath, but with two strikeouts.
- DJ Gladney was 2-for-4 with a K.
- Adam Hackenberg was the only one who couldn’t get involved, going 0-for-4 with a GIDP.
- Sean Burke: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 9 K, 47 of 73 pitches for strikes.
Ramos RAKES!— Birmingham Barons (@BhamBarons) August 24, 2022
Birmingham: 10 Mississippi: 5 pic.twitter.com/qlPTB08lWM
Mieses is on fire! First HR in AA ✅ pic.twitter.com/R1QoD3K4UJ— Birmingham Barons (@BhamBarons) August 24, 2022
Céspedes wants in on the HR fun! He’s 4-5 tonight 😤 pic.twitter.com/w9udcxM1I0— Birmingham Barons (@BhamBarons) August 24, 2022
#ProjectBirmingham isn’t only about hitting. Sean Burke was absolutely dealing tonight. 47 of 73 for strikes, 0 BB, 2 H’s, 0 R, and a career high 9 K’s. 🔥 🔥 ⛽️ ⛽️ #Barons #WhiteSox pic.twitter.com/5a0SbOumac— White Sox Daily (@dailywhitesox) August 24, 2022
- Colby Smelley went 2-for-4.
- James Beard has to wear it: 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
- Jordan Sprinkle went 3-for-5.
- Brooks Baldwin, 2-for-5 with a strikeout in his A-ball debut.
- Jacob Burke hit his first A-ball homer while going 1-for-4.
- Victor Quezada walked once and struck out thrice.
- Manuel Guariman went 1-for-3 with a strikeout.
- Cam Butler was 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout.
- Yohemy Nolasco: 2 Ip, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K
- Erick Bello and Emerson Talavera: 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K
- Guillermo Rodriguez went 1-or-3 with a walk, and was caught stealing.