White Sox Minor Keys: Aug. 27, 2022

It’s already difficult enough to put a real firm prospect number on a high school pitcher, but it’s even tougher when said pitcher misses most of his recent season like Noah Schultz did with mono, not to mention another season eliminated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

James Fegan does his best to paint an origin story around this incomplete track record, talking to Schultz’s first pitching instructor, White Sox scouts, and the manager for the collegiate summer team that afforded Schultz the opportunity to establish a positive presence and some dynamite numbers before the draft.

For what it’s worth, they looked like they should when a future first-round pick faces … a bunch of guys who are not future first-round picks. Schultz allowed two runs in 19 1/3 innings, across six games, striking out 37 and walking seven. Moreover, the Sox felt they got the opportunity to see Schultz face better competition than he did in high school — largely a mixture of Division I college and junior college players — at a point where other teams might have dropped off the scent.

“It was electric from the beginning,” said John Jakiemiec, who managed the Pistol Shrimp. “What impressed me with Noah against right-handers is he doesn’t even just go straight to a changeup, but he’s got a fastball that he’s not afraid to really paint on the inside part (of the plate) and make for an uncomfortable at-bat. And then he’ll still throw that slider to the back foot of a righty and get a lot of swing-and-miss as well.”

Fegan also provides some feedback from non-Sox evaluators who provide some welcome skepticism for somebody so unknown. Here’s a case where the bad news — his low arm slot and sweeping slider scream “future reliever” — is also sort of good news, in the sense that nobody questions the arm. I suppose he wouldn’t have had a commitment to Vanderbilt if he were a complete shot in the dark.

It’s going to be a while before anybody will see him in meaningful competition, so I imagine his spot in the White Sox farm system will be highly contested as the lists emerge during the offseason.

Memphis 11, Charlotte 1

  • Yasmani Grandal split time between catcher and first base in his first rehab game, going 2-for-4.
  • Leury García DH’d and went 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.
  • Lenyn Sosa was 0-for-3 with a walk.

Mississippi 6, Birmingham 5

  • Duke Ellis went 4-for-5 with a double and two stolen bases.
  • Colson Montgomery was 1-for-4 with a double and a strieout.
  • Oscar Colás, 1-for-5 with two strikeouts.
  • Bryan Ramos went hitless in five trips, striking out twice.
  • Luis Mieses went 3-for-5 with a double.
  • Yoelqui Céspedes was 1-for-5 with three strikeouts and two stolen bases.
  • Cristian Mena: 3 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K

Winston-Salem 10, Asheville 9 (11 innings)

  • Colby Smelley went 2-for-4 with a walk, a strikeout and a stolen base.
  • James Beard went 1-for-3 with two walks, a strikeout and a CS.

Carolina 4, Kannapolis 1

  • Jordan Sprinkle went 0-for-4.
  • Brooks Baldwin, 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.
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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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Augusto Barojas

Can’t wait for Grandal and Garcia to get back. Good times ahead.

ParisSox

Mieses, your table is ready.

soxygen

I remain skeptical about the 2022 draft class. Using the top 3 picks on guys who have big questions marks seemed unnecessary. We drafted:

(1) a high school lefty who might be a reliever and who barely pitched this last year and so it is difficult to know how his velo and spin will play under anything like a routine/regular schedule;

(2) a guy who had a good year (not this past year!) in college after not really being scouted in high school and who is coming off surgery;

(3) a guy who had arm trouble mid-year and then sucked thereafter but we drafted him anyway.

I hope all of these guys pan out, obviously. But it concerns me that the team might have used their top 3 picks on guys they can’t have seen much or have only seen pre-injury or in situations that are not very representative of what they will be asked to do going forward.

In any event, pitching depth is a good thing so it will be interesting to see how these guys do next year.

HallofFrank

When you’re drafting late in the first round, your only option is guys with question marks. This was a good class, with a good mix of upside and floor, from where they were picking.

soxygen

I guess the thing is that you’re only drafting late in the first round in the first round. If you’re going to draft someone with question marks in the first round, you do still have second and third round picks that can be used on safer picks.

But beyond safer picks versus picks with question marks, my specific issue is that I’m not really sure that the team can have seen these guys much during times that we’re relevant or representative: Schulz barely pitched as a senior; Paulette didn’t pitch at all last year and most scouting reports indicate that few teams scouted him in high school; and Cannon was good during the first half of the season and then really struggled post forearm injury this last year. It seems like the Sox might have drafted three guys that they hadn’t really seen much.

Augusto Barojas

Other than Sosa, the Birmingham box score is really the only thing for Sox fans to follow with any optimism. I’ve missed a few days, did something happen to Jose Rodriguez?

Joliet Orange Sox

Broken hamate bone. Jim covered it in the August 24 Minor League Keys.

Last edited 3 months ago by Joliet Orange Sox
Augusto Barojas

Yikes, sorry to hear. Thanks for the update.