White Sox Minor Keys: Aug. 17, 2023

As the rosters begin to jell following an active trade deadline, the White Sox farm system appears to be invigorated. The Birmingham Barons have won three in a row, the Winston-Salem Dash have rattled off four straight, and the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers have scored double digits in two of their last three, including a thrilling walk-off victory on Thursday.

Don’t ask about Charlotte.

Even though it appears as though the system has received a shot in the arm, it’s not reflected in a couple of updated MLB organizational rankings. For all the intriguing talent the White Sox added two to three weeks ago, it only boosted them from 26th to 20th on MLB Pipeline’s rankings, while Baseball America re-slotted the White Sox at No. 22.

That feels a little bit underwhelming, especially when Bryan Ramos has been playing like a top-100 candidate as of late. But there are some gaps in the system. The Triple-A roster is largely barren, and while the Sox did receive an infusion of Double-A pitching, Nick Nastrini, Ky Bush and Jake Eder haven’t yet taken root (although Nastrini is getting there).

They’re in better position, but they’re also at least a year away from being able to fashion even a surprise contender with in-house talent. I didn’t quite expect them to finish in the top half, so I’m not sure there’s much of a difference between 20th, 22nd, and, say, 17th.

Nashville 5, Charlotte 4

  • Korey Lee singled and struck out four times.
  • Adam Hackenberg was 1-for-4 with a double and two strikeouts. He also stole his first base in Triple-A.

Birmingham 6, Chattanooga 3

  • José Rodríguez went 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout.
  • Colson Montgomery is back in the lineup: 2-for-4 with three RBIs.
  • Bryan Ramos was 0-for-4 with a strikeout.
  • Wilfred Veras went 2-for-4 with a homer and a double.
  • Alsander Womack was 0-for-3 with a walk.
  • Tim Elko hit his first Double-A homer while going 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.
  • Luis Mieses, 1-for-4 with a K.
  • Yoelqui Céspedes, 1-for-2 with a sac bunt and a stolen base.
  • Jonathan Cannon: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 57 of 88 pitches for strikes.


*Cannon told Elijah Evans he’s working on speeding up his slider, as the tinkering with the arsenal continues.

Winston-Salem 8, Greenville 5

  • Loidel Chapelli went 2-for-4 with two doubles and a walk.
  • Brooks Baldwin, 3-for-5 with a double and a stolen base.
  • DJ Gladney was 2-for-4 with two homers and a walk.
  • Wes Kath, 1-for-4.
  • Josimar Cousin: 6 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 K

Kannapolis 11, Carolina 10

  • Jacob Gonzalez went 2-for-5 with a strikeout.
  • Calvin Harris was 1-for-3 with a walk and an HBP.
  • Jordan Sprinkle went 0-for-5 with a strikeout.
  • Shane Murphy: 3.1 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 2 HR


*The Cannon Ballers came back from down 10-4, winning it on this walk-off bases-clearing double by Mario Camilletti.

ACL White Sox 2, ACL Athletics 1

  • Ryan Burrowes went 1-for-3 with a double.
  • George Wolkow was 1-for-2 with two walks and a stolen base.
  • Ronny Hernandez, 1-for-4 with a K.
  • Norge Vera: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
  • Seth Keener: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K
  • Christian Oppor: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K

DSL Padres Gold 7, DSL White Sox 3

  • Javier Mogollon went 2-for-4 with a double and a strikeout.
  • Abraham Nunez and Stiven Flores both went 0-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout.
  • D’Angelo Tejada was 1-for-4.

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I saw that a side-view video emerged of Wolkow’s homerun the other day.


That’s quite a crack off the bat.


Oh wow Tim Elko in the Minor Keys! @knoxfire30 ‘s work is accomplished.




And he struck out twice and only got 1 hit in his 4 at-bats. (Ignore that it was a HR). /s


He has 28 bombs in 500 pro at bats, he was a 10th round pick obviously he is gonna have some swing and miss and be a long shot to ever play in the bigs, but he is fun, he has a ton of power, live a little!


So he’ll be traded in the offseason? He don’t do fun, we do culture. Please don’t ask what culture is….


The “/s” meant sarcasm. I love the 10th round, senior sign draft pick succeeding for the White Sox. He has grown his walk rate and reduced his K%. I am excited to see if he can keep hitting as he moves up.


Elko’s the kind of guy that you could squint and see some value in in a well-rounded roster. As a right-handed 1B/DH only type guy, his ceiling is likely the very definition of replacement level, but he’d be a cheap/near no-cost piece that could fill out a roster if we was surrounded by OBP-first, defensive stars.

Unfortunately, in the White Sox system, he might not be in the top-5 of right-handed 1B/DH only types (maybe top-5 now that Burger is gone), so unless everyone else is traded or plays themselves into a bigger contract somewhere else he probably won’t even reach that modest ceiling.


Fair enough and you’re probably right. The odds are stacked against him. But also they are odds, after all. You never know. Pujols was famously drafted in the 13th round. More recently it was a guy like JD Martinez. Before everyone FREAKS OUT I’m not saying Elko is one of those guys. But the 1B/DH types can sometimes fly under the radar. Elko shouldn’t even be penciled into the Sox future plans but I’ll keep an open mind!


It’s funny that the likes of Logenhagen and McDaniel are so much higher on the White Sox’ system than BA or Pipeline. It’s usually the inverse.


I think known Sox hater Keith Law is also higher on the system compared to BA or Pipeline, if I’m not mistaken. At least, he likes the top of the system more.


KLaw and Longenhagen both like Ramos a lot (top-50 a lot), KLaw and Kiley both absolutely love Montgomery.

Kiley mentioned that Montgomery’s chase rate this year is 16%. Which would be top two in baseball this year; the three lowest chase rates among qualifiers are Jack Suwinski, Juan Soto, and Mookie Betts. And Suwinski, tho I like him bc he’s a Chicago kid, has a hit tool maybe two grades below Monty. So you can see why Kiley’s drooling.


They’re not really. They like a few of their top prospects but there’s still a tremendous lack of depth. Neither has done a full org re-ranking.


McDaniel said in interview that he’d rank it 12th or 13th and they’re currently 13th on FG. The FG ranking might change, granted, but I can’t imagine it would drop that much lower.


Im on board with a top 15 system ranking. They have pretty good depth all of a sudden at key positions ss, c, sp, and their top 4 are all likely top 100 level…


Yeah, I don’t really have a sense of where they rank compared to other systems because I don’t know other systems. But I’m eager to see re-rankings in the offseason. Montgomery seems on the road to consensus top 10 and I expect Ramos to be firmly top 100.

But I’m most interested in Shultz. I could see him staying put, hovering between 50-100 across the board. But he could rise fast. If he keeps it up, it wouldn’t shock me if he shows up in someone’s top 15-20 this offseason.


There’s not really a tremendous lack of depth anymore. They have 37 prospects at 35+ FV or better (FG’s cutoff point). FG puts 10 teams below them. I certainly wouldn’t call them deep. They may be back part of the middle-of-the-pack. But they are still middle-of-the-pack-ish. Their ranking (top 15 vs. early 20s) depends mostly on what you think about Montgomery, Shutlz, and Ramos. If you like all those guys, this is a top-half system. If you’re meh on them, it’s not.


Fangraphs hasn’t done a re-rank since the pre-season. Outside of a few top guys in the system, the minor league affiliates have been terrible. To your other comment below, it might be worth paying attention to other systems.

I am high on those 3 guys but that doesn’t really make a farm system. Especially when giving the player development track record, some of the orgs below them on depth like HOU/SEA/ATL have a long and established track record of turning non-prospects into prospects and prospects into better prospects.

I’d probably split the difference giving I like the high-end value at the top of the system and say late-teens in terms of ranking.


Not true re FG system rankings. Their rankings are dynamic and quantified by translating prospect grades into $ value and summing those.

The wins/losses of minor league affiliates means absolutely nothing, though. Even in a deep system with 50 real-ish prospects, that comprises maybe a quarter of all a team’s minor leaguers.


The system ranks are dynamic but I don’t think the individual prospects work like that. I think the FVs of all the individual prospects get updated in the offseason, which will obviously affect the team rankings. But I could be wrong.

For example, I can’t imagine Korey Lee keeping that shiny 50 FV. Some others could see reductions, too (Lenyn Sosa at 45?). On the other hand, I’d expect to see some guys get bumps (Shultz at 45?). We’ll see how it shakes out. Overall I’d expect the system to take a small hit based almost solely on Lee, but I’d imagine other ups and downs will more or less even out.


Ha same comment


W/L does mean something, not everything, but something. There’s a reason the Rays affiliates do so well every year.

I’m talking about FG system rankings in terms of the FV given to prospects. I know how they are calculated. If FG does their rankings dynamically, why is Korey Lee a 50 and Noah Schultz a 45? They’ll move a few players up or down some but the vast majority of players aren’t re-ranked until pre-season lists come out (or during season since they typically take until June to rank all the orgs)


The W-L record of the MiLB affiliates isn’t the best way to measure depth. The FG re-rank may change their ranking but it’s likely not going to change the amount of prospects on the board. One or two might fall off, but they might add one or two. In other words, they’re likely to stay in that 15-20 range with raw amount of prospects ranked after the re-rank, even if they slide a little bit thanks to hits to other players (like Korey Lee will surely drop from 50 FV).

I don’t pay attention to other farm systems, but FG does. That’s why I cited how the Sox stack up in raw number of prospects ranked. FWIW, Pipeline also mentioned the improved depth of the system in their most recent writeup.

I’m not really sure we disagree about the state of their system. I don’t think depth is a strength at all. Late teens seems like a fair spot for them. But my only point is there’s not “a tremendous lack of depth” anymore. They are probably on the low side of average when it comes to depth.


0 solid outfield prospects who aren’t 17 years old.


Yea they have a few interesting guys in Tatum, Burke, and Veras who now seems firmly in RF but no one who is really close or what would be considered a “top” prospect.

Might be a spot to look with their up and coming top 5 pick.

They do control Benintendi and Robert through 2027 Eloy through 2026, and Colas through 2028… although some of that is underwhelming. Its not an immediate pressing need.


To Rick Hahn, no, it’s not a pressing need to have corner outfielders who can hit.