White Sox Minor Keys: Aug. 16, 2023

Colson Montgomery hits a grand slam on Sept. 10 against Chattanooga. (Jim Margalus / Sox Machine)

Once Colson Montgomery showed that he could hit the ground hitting after oblique and back injuries delayed his start until mid-June, his prospect stock continued its steady rise. He set personal bests in each of the midseason prospect rankings updates. Keith Law ranked him 21st, MLB Pipeline ranked him 17th, and Baseball America ranked him 14th.

But ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel went there in his midseason 2023 top prospect list, putting Montgomery at No. 2. The blurb:

This is an aggressive ranking, but nobody I spoke with has Montgomery outside of their top 10; most have him in their top five. Montgomery has a shot to be a plus hitter with plus power and play shortstop in the big leagues, so the idea is similar to Holliday, but you’d see differences if you watched them. Montgomery is bigger and stronger at 6-foot-3, is one notch slower on the bases and will probably settle at third base eventually, but he’s in the Corey Seager range of size/speed/strength/feel: He could thread the needle and be the best of both worlds.

The only catch: Montgomery hasn’t played since last Thursday, and was 1-for-16 with six walks and three HBPs in his last five games. It’ll be easier to celebrate this ground-breaking ranking once he re-establishes that he’s in the clear.

Nashville 7, Charlotte 5

  • Lenyn Sosa was 1-for-4.
  • Adam Hackenberg caught and went 1-for-3 with a sac fly and a strikeout.
  • Luis Patiño: 3 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 1 HR


*In solidarity with Gregory Santos, Edgar Navarro also gave up a three-run walk-off homer.

Birmingham 10, Chattanooga 1

  • José Rodríguez went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts.
  • Terrell Tatum, 0-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts.
  • Bryan Ramos singled twice, walked and struck out twice.
  • Wilfred Veras went 2-for-5 with a double, two strikeouts and a stolen base.
  • Edgar Quero was 2-for-4 with a walk
  • Luis Mieses went 3-for-4 with his eighth homer.
  • Alsander Womack, 0-for-2 with a walk, HBP and strikeout.
  • Nick Nastrini: 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 10 K


*Nastrini turned in the best start yet of any pitcher acquired by the White Sox at the deadline, getting some goofy swings and misses.

*Nastrini said his changeup is the pitch that unlocks his entire arsenal.

Winston-Salem 6, Greenville 0

  • Jacob Burke went 1-for-5 with three strikeouts.
  • Brooks Baldwin, 1-for-3 with a walk, strikeout and two stolen bases.
  • DJ Gladney hit his 16th homer during a 1-for-4 night,. striking out twice.
  • Loidel Chapelli was 0-for-3 with a sac fly and two strikeouts.

Carolina 2, Kannapolis 0

  • Jacob Gonzalez went 1-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout.
  • Calvin Harris, 0-for-4 with a K.
  • Jordan Sprinkle struck out thrice and got plunked once.
  • Eddie Park went 2-for-3 with a walk and a stolen base.
  • Aldrin Batista: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 43 of 61 pitches for strikes.

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Wasnt Baldwin playing 3rd… he seems to have been in at SS quite a bit recently… can he actually handle that spot or is this just apart of his versatility?


It’s part of the Sox development plan. If there’s one obvious infield prospect at a level, they push them to SS if possible. They get more reps and end up with a higher prospect value just by the virtue of being a SS.

Augusto Barojas

Nastrini looks great, his initial time with the Sox looks worlds better than Eder. If Hahn (or rather, KW) got burned in the Berger trade, would be laughable. Berger had the 2nd highest OPS on the roster and was one of the few that you could count on showing up ready to play. Would be fitting if they wound up dealing him for a pitcher who flames out. I hope he kills it in Florida.


Burger can’t play defense anywhere, he strikes outs a ton, and his OPS is extremely SLG-first. I love the guy but it’s pretty unlikely he’s gonna be good enough to “burn” us.

Also, Eder’s coming off TJS this year and he’s had all of three starts with the Sox. I think we can pump the breaks on “flaming out”


Burger’s defense this year has not been as bad as previous years.
Also, he has been better than Moncada this year, in OAA, Fangraphs DEF, and DRS.


I agree WAY too early for this kind of talk. I liked the trade because the Sox traded from excess for a need. But this isn’t a fair presentation of Burger.

For one, Burger (like Wayne pointed out) has been fine at 3B. He’s no Moncada, but he should be able to stick there. More importantly, Burger isn’t a finished product. He just passed the 600 PA mark for his career. By comparison, Vaughn has 1,485—more than 100 PAs than Burger has in MLB and MiLB combined. So speaking of pumping the breaks. It’s not unreasonable to think Burger could improve his plate discipline and defense. In fact, we’ve seen Robert (another power-first bat with plate discipline problems) take modest strides this year in his swing selection for a nice payoff.

My take on the trade is: the risk-reward is high for both teams. Both teams moved controllable upside. The Sox took the higher ceiling/lower floor, while the Marlins took the (much) higher floor, but the trade could end up looking really ugly for either team in a few years.


You have to grade on a serious curve to apologize for Burger’s defense. Also, all the time he missed isn’t an asset. It just makes him old to still be developing. They traded away from their DH depth, and I’d be fine if they continue to do so by jettisoning Sheets and Vaughn in favor of guys who could provide adequate defense in at least one position.


I called his defense “fine” and said, “he should be able to stick there.” Hardly an apology for his defense.

But I don’t have to grade on a curve, even an unserious one. His defense is fine. Anyone who says otherwise is going off instinctive reactions based on outdated impressions. By the eye test, even, Burger was much improved in 2023 but the numbers back it up. He’s in the positive for FG DEF stat (19th of 28; better than Moncada) and UZR/150 (16th of 28). And he’s been relatively sure-handed, as his .980 FP is 7th of 28. So, yeah. He’s not a good defensive 3B. But “fine” and “should stick” at 3B seem entirely appropriate.

I agree he’s old to be still developing. But my point is he’s still developing. Development isn’t linear and he’s clearly bounced back from the early injuries.


You’re also forgetting he has 700+ plate appearances in the minor leagues and a below average BB% to show for it. I’m not saying he can’t improve his plate discipline but if you don’t walk at a good clip in the minors, the odds aren’t in your favor that you’ll do it at the MLB level.


To be clear, I’m not saying he’ll ever be good at plate discipline. He’s a free swinger and, chances are, he’ll always have a high K% and low BB%. That’s why I cited Robert. Robert is never going to be a BB machine, but he hits the ball so effing hard that he can be an offensive force even without many BBs. But he still improved his selectivity a little this year, which has helped.

For what it’s worth, Burger’s 6.6% isn’t good (or even decent) but it’s not atrocious, either (better than Robert, for example). You have to hit the ball really hard to succeed with a BB% that low but Burger does. His main problem, I think, is the Ks. Way too many Ks. But if he can be a little more selective, I think more BBs (and power) can come.


For someone who claims not to be an apologist for his defense, that’s quite the reaction. He’s improved, but to call him an average defensive player would be doing him a tremendous favor. And he might still be developing, or he might be what we’ve seen – a high strikeout, power or nothing hitter who does not add value defensively.


I don’t even know what that means or how that’s “quite a reaction” but okay.

Your last sentence says it all—yes, he might be. Exactly my point. Upside is always what “might” be. He’s far from a lock to get there. He might be what he is now or he might even get worse! My first post said as much, since I acknowledged this could look bad for either team. But my original point is that there is upside, still.


1-for-16 with six walks and three HBPs in his last five games, followed by an unexplained absence? Speculation, anyone?

Right Size Wrong Shape




Apparently not COVID because he’s been at the games


And Montgomery drives in 3 runs tonight, the world can sleepy easy tonight now.


Now that Tim’s suspension is finalized and he’ll start serving the 5 games tomorrow, who comes up to take his spot on the roster? I would’ve thought Sosa would be the easy choice a month ago but I’m not so sure now. Jose has played well enough lately that I’d have no issue with him coming up and he’s already on the 40 man. Ramos would be an interesting choice for a 5 game shorty but he’d have to be added to the 40 man.
I could see an OF coming up, maybe Reyes or possibly Frasier.
I’m sure Hahn would love to bring up a 3rd C though we are pretty short of those in the higher leagues. I guess Hahn could do a final FU to the fans who want him gone and leave the roster spot open, that’s the one that appeals to me most if I don’t have to see that fricken smirk anymore.


We have discardable shit on our 40 man, bring in Ramos while he’s hot.


Not sure if this is still the case, but it use to be a player suspended for an on-field incident may not be replaced on the active roster, leaving his team a man short for the duration of the suspension.


Hhmm not sure on that, seems Sosa’s first callup this year was for a TA suspension. I could be wrong though.