White Sox Minor Keys: Aug. 20, 2023

When the White Sox opened Day 3 of the MLB draft by selecting Oregon second baseman Rikuu Nishida in the 11th round, I saw a couple of tweets giving White Sox fans a heads-up about his entertainment value, although none of the videos that crossed my feed exactly explained why.

It only took the first inning of his first game in A-ball to understand it completely.

I found out about Nishida’s debut through White Sox Daily’s tweets, so when I went back to watch the game, I was already primed to watch Nishida’s every move. If I weren’t, perhaps I wouldn’t have thought anything of the way he took this pitch in the dirt.

But as he gets into a two-strike count, that’s when his movements start transcending the typical scrappy slap-hitter oeuvre. He started stepping into the back of the batter’s box, then dropping into a deep crouch while waiting for the pitcher and catcher to come to an agreement.

If that wasn’t enough, he started manipulating the rest of the batter’s box before poking a single through the middle.

And because Nishida was intent on living up to the hype as quickly as possible, he fulfilled the plus-baserunning part of his scouting report by stealing second and scoring from there on a single that didn’t reach the outfield.

In his third plate appearance, he delivered another single after creeping up in the box, but only after he called timeout on a 1-1 count to put on his right-handed batting glove, after taking the first two pitches barehanded.

I then had to go back to his previous plate appearances to see if he wore batting gloves earlier in the game. Sure enough, he came to the plate wearing batting gloves on both hands in each of his first two plate appearances. Even when you’re watching him closely, there’s no way to notice everything.

Nashville 5, Charlotte 4

  • Korey Lee went 1-for-4 with his first extra-base hit (a double) and two strikeouts.
  • Adam Hackenberg also was 1-for-4 with two K’s.

Chattanooga 6, Birmingham 1

  • José Rodríguez went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.
  • Colson Montgomery, 0-for-3 with a walk, two strikeouts and a CS.
  • Bryan Ramos went 1-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout.
  • Tim Elko wore the collar and silver sombrero.
  • Alsander Womack was 0-for-2 with two walks.
  • Terrell Tatum, 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts.
  • Luis Mieses, a simple 0-for-4.
  • Yoelqui Céspedes went 1-for-3 with a stolen base.
  • Jake Eder: 3.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 1 HR, 1 WP

Winston-Salem 8, Greenville 4

  • Loidel Chapelli went 2-for-5 with a strikeout.
  • Jacob Burke, 2-for-4 with a double, walk and stolen base.
  • Brooks Baldwin was 3-for-5 with a stolen base.
  • DJ Gladney singled, walked and struck out thrice.
  • Wes Kath, 0-for-2 with a walk and a sac fly.
  • Tyler Schweitzer: 4 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 7 K

Kannapolis 8, Carolina 6

  • Rikuu Nishida went 2-for-4 with a stolen base.
  • Jacob Gonzalez, 1-for-4 with a strikeout.
  • Anderson Comás gae up his first A-ball runs, but in his longest-ever outing: 5 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 1 HBP


*Noah Schultz was put on the injured list with a shoulder impingement. It’s supposed to cost him a few weeks, but the season only lasts a few more weeks.

*Shane McLaughlin was hit by his own catcher’s throw on a stolen-base attempt. I don’t recall seeing a direct hit like this.

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Nishida very fun, Eder and Burger going opposite directions not fun


Yeah, the early returns of the Eder-Burger trade are ugly. I wasn’t encouraged to hear Danny Farquar talk about Eder on the FutureSox podcast, either. I’m trying not to read too much into it since it was typical media-speak, but he made it sound like Eder’s got a lot wrong that needs fixing (as opposed to Nastrini, who didn’t).

We knew Eder was a risk but Burger hitting .359/.423/.531 in Miami so far isn’t helping. We probably won’t know who, if anyone, “won” this trade for 2-3 years. But I was skeptical enough of the trade when it happened that I think the scales have tipped just enough for me to take it back, if I had the power.


Trading Burger instead of Vaughn or Eloy was not my preference, as he has more years of control. But we don’t know what offers were out there for the other 2.

  • I am glad they did clear up the 1B/DH a bit. (Burger offered flexibility with playing 3B below average but not atrociously this year)
  • I am interested in Eder next year. Get further from injury and working on what this organization wants him to be working on. (Not that I have great confidence in the org development)

I am glad Burger seems to be having fun and doing well.


Yeah fair enough. Even though my first reaction was “no! why?” my more measured initial reaction was, “Okay I get it.” Flipping a 1B/DH for SP upside makes sense. But I seem to be a bit more bullish on Burger’s upside than others. I don’t think it’s a foregone conclusion he will be who he is now (though that’s certainly a possibility).

Either way, it’s a fun trade. Both teams took a risk and could be bit by this trade later.

Augusto Barojas

The main criticisms of Burger were his K rate, and his fielding. Burger’s K rate is down almost 50 percent since the trade. His WAR since the trade is almost 1.

His fielding isn’t great, but is nowhere near as unplayable as Yoan’s hitting. Devers isn’t a good fielder either. He and Burger share two things in common, they are both putting up really solid offensive numbers, and overall they are way better than bleeping Moncada. Burger’s WAR is almost 3 higher than Yoan. The Sox won’t have a 3b equal to or better than Burger for probably 2 or 3 years, until and if Ramos develops. He had the 2nd highest OPS and homer total on the team, was cheaply under control for several years, and probably showed up more ready to play than anybody. I don’t think we need to wait 2 or 3 years to know who won the trade. Kenny pulled the trigger, which is all we need to know. Probably will be worse than the Gio for Swisher trade. We can only hope that Eder winds up having some value a couple years from now. Just add this trade to their sordid list of pathetic blunders.


The White Sox lost that trade definitively. We don’t need to wait to acknowledge something that’s already obvious.

Burger is on his way to a 3 WAR season in the majors and is under control for a ridiculous number of years. Eder is getting lit up in double A in a strong pitching environment.

The only reason this isn’t the worst trade of Hahn’s tenure is that they traded Tatis Jr. for Shields.

I’m happy for Burger though.


These are both wild overreactions. The early returns are ugly but they aren’t just early returns. They are super early returns. We’re talking about three games for Eder and seventeen games for Burger. Come on, folks.


OK…how about there’s a high probability Sox lost the trade definitively?

Do you have any confidence that the Sox development team can turn Eder around? Assuming Burger stays healthy, it seems pretty reasonable that he could accumulate 6 WAR total over the next 3 seasons. The odds are notably against Eder accumulating nearly that much…if any.


Do you have any confidence that the Sox development team can turn Eder around?

I mean, they turned Burger around so there’s a chance.Sox Development isn’t good but it doesn’t have a 0% success rate.
I was against the Burger trade as he was my favorite player on this team but I still think Eder has a chance to come good.


If there’s any kind of “probability” the Sox won the trade then it isn’t “definitive.”

Pessimism about Sox development goes both ways: do you have confidence Sox development/coaching can unlock the plate discipline Burger needs?

If you’re right and Burger is just a 2 WAR/year player, this was a fine risk to take.

Augusto Barojas

I mean all else equal, who is more likely to have better future: a 27 year old 3b posting a 3 WAR season, or a AA pitcher coming off TJ surgery who didn’t pitch in 2022 and who hasn’t even thrown 50 innings with an ERA of 6 at AA this year? Eder wasn’t a top 100 prospect, and it wasn’t Theo Epstein who made the trade, it was Kenny.

Sure there’s a chance the trade works out, but odds are very much against it.


It’s fair to question whether moving Burger was the right move, but I’m not going to be too upset if Eder busts. A big chunk of the Orioles’ current success can be attributed to their commitment since 2020 to loading up on lottery ticket arms from other orgs. IMO these deadline returns should be viewed in the aggregate.


Eder was absolutely a top 100 prospect; Longenhagen had him at #54 and KLaw has him even higher *before* he came back from TJS. The FG blurb on him is very simple: “Might be lefty Spencer Strider”. The Marlins fansites had him at #2 or #2 in their system. I don’t care what the Pipeline amateurs think; they’re very reliably the worst of the public prospect outlets, and had him at #6 in the Miami system.

Eder is an excellent pitching prospect. He’s still striking out a ton of dudes, and wildness is expected after TJS: control/command is the last thing to return. Hyperventilating over the trade after three weeks is just silly.


I recommend suspending your reflexive Sox pessimism for about two minutes and reading evaluations of the trade from trusted third parties, like this profile of the trade from Fangraphs. The upshot is: “We won’t know who wins this trade for years.”

Like @bobsquad said, it’s fair to dislike the trade. But to write it off as a loss and even mention Tatis-Shields is one of the craziest takes I’ve seen in these comments. And that’s saying something.

Augusto Barojas

I never compared to the Tatis trade, and concede that it’s possible the trade works out. But cynicism around anything Kenny has his fingerprints on proves justified an awful lot of the time.

What I don’t get is with all the charitable perpetual optimism that several offered Moncada, why very little was given to Burger. This is his first MLB season of more than 50 games. I see no reason to think this year is the peak of his development or ability. I don’t think he is limited to 1b/DH, but that he has a future as a 3b in the Devers mold, weak fielding that is more than made up for by solid hitting, with power. That’s where Miami has played him exclusively.

Hopefully a year from now Eder is putting up some serious numbers. Burger might be doing that for the Marlins. I see no reason to think he won’t turn out to be a pretty good player.


Ah, right, I conflated your comment with hitless. But you did add it to “their sordid list of pathetic blunders” so the point stands.

For what it’s worth, I agree with you on Burger. I think Burger has upside too few Sox fans appreciated in reacting to the trade. But, on the flip side, I don’t think you’re giving Eder a fair shake. The best I can tell, you’re stat scouting and not hearing out the publications who evaluate prospects for a living. There’s upside wth Eder, too.

My take on the trade was, and continues to be, this trade could look really bad for either team in a few years. There’s big upside and floor on both sides. The White Sox have the higher ceiling, I think, but the Marlins have the much higher floor. I do think Jake Burger will at minimum be a useful player. But it’s too early to call a winner for sure.


In fairness to myself I did say the Tatis trade was worse.

As Cirensica

Eder is 2 months shy of 25 with a meager 100 professional innings. How is this super early returns? Do we need to wait until Eder is 28? Shit…it is the Michael Kopech story all over again. Already saw that movie. It ends badly


This is not really fair to Eder. Dude was drafted at 21 almost-22 (w/ October birthday) outta college in 2020, obviously couldn’t pitch that year, and was really good in ’21 before his UCL blew in August ’21. That was rough timing because it wipes out not just ’22, but also much of the buildup to ’23.

Increasingly, pitching prospects’ debuts come at much older ages than hitting prospects, because the rate of serious injuries for pitchers has risen drastically as every prospect throws high 90s. This delays their development significantly, especially as they require time to build back up after significant injury. Here’s the complete list of pitchers in their age-25 season or younger with at least 6 career fWAR:

Spencer Strider
George Kirby
Emmanuel Clase

That’s not a long list. And obviously one’s a reliever. Eder’s almost exactly same age as Strider; the age to pro IP difference is explained by Strider having TJS in late 2018 (missing all of 2019) while in college, and thus didn’t miss out on much in 2020.

As Cirensica

This is not really fair to Eder. Dude was drafted at 21 almost-22 (w/ October birthday)

If he was drafted that late, then perhaps there was a reason like…I don’t know…he wasn’t good enough.

 Here’s the complete list of pitchers in their age-25 season or younger with at least 6 career fWAR:

Spencer Strider

George Kirby

Emmanuel Clase

So, you think Eder has a shot to be to pitch next year? He has never pitched beyond AA, and has100 professional inning in his career. He is nowhere near ready to face Major League hitters? What, he think he is Chris Sale? I don’t think so.

He is being hit hard in the minors too.

Strider is younger than Eder, and has already 2 years of major league experience. I am skeptical.


He’s all of *three weeks* older than Strider. They both got drafted in the 4th round of the 2020 draft: Eder with the 3rd pick of the 4th round, Strider with the 25th pick of the 4th round. Who clearly wasn’t “drafted that late” because he “wasn’t good enough”. I’m not saying Eder is going to be as good as Strider; I’m saying the big gap in pro innings difference is due to timing of TJS for each. Strider simply had his in college!

Eder could absolutely pitch in the bigs next year, if things go right and the command/control return to 2021 levels; the strikeouts are still obviously there. That’s why his ZiPS projection for 2024 is 22 starts/98.1 IP at 3.83 ERA/3.77 FIP.

Right Size Wrong Shape

They lost the trade! Heh.




I stand by my hyperbolic comment – there’s no reason to indulge in optimism with this organization.

Rationally it’s obviously true that anything can still happen, but Eder’s age, injury history, Miami’s willingness to trade him, the Sox talent evaluation history, the Sox development history, and Burger already proving that he can hit at a major league level all weigh in favor of this being a bad trade for the Sox.


Can’t understand how Burger’s fielding has improved when Miami isn’t even smart enough to play him at 2B and 1B as well as 3B.


The Burger trade was always going to create a rife between Sox fans simply because he was a big positive in a horrific season. He hit well this year, liked being here, and showed up everyday giving 100% (or it at least showed that way).

I certainly see both sides of the argument. I think that Burger is a useful baseball player but it has to be with the right team. He power only approach and being limited defensively was never going to work on a Sox team built this way. I like the idea of the Sox getting a guy with TOR stuff but obviously it’s going to depend on how the Sox develop him. The trade was always going to favor Miami in the short term but the Sox made the trade for the long term.

Regardless, judging the trade on what Burger has done in 71 plate appearances on the Marlins is ridiculous. Burger and players of his hitting profile are typically prone to very high highs (right now) and also very low lows. His BABIP in August is .420.

Augusto Barojas

I don’t need to judge the trade based on what he’s done so far for Miami to not like the trade. He had more homers this year than anybody else on the team but Robert, or than everybody did in 2022. I hate watching a team with little to no power. Burger was one of the only guys I thought had a bright future. I like his a lot more than Vaughn or Eloy at this point, personally. He’s certainly been more valuable than both this year.

I hope Eder pans out and makes it a decent trade, we’ll see. That would mean Kenny did something smart, which I will believe when I see. Hopefully nothing winds up being seriously wrong with Schultz. That was the last kind of news Sox fans needed to hear.


Probably will be worse than the Gio for Swisher trade. 

I am more worried about Semien/Bassitt for Samardzja

As Cirensica

We probably won’t know who, if anyone, “won” this trade for 2-3 years. 

I don’t need 2-3 years to I know who won this trade. The Marlins won this one by a mile. I don’t get the hype with this Eder, as I was saying in Twitter:

Eder is an almost 25 year old prospect who has never pitched above AA with a little over 100 innings in his professional career. People say he needs pampering as he recovers from TJ surgery that occurred 2 years ago.

He is basically a LH version of Kopech. If we are lucky.


I’m glad you think that. But trusted prospect evaluators without emotional attachment to either team vehemently disagree with you. Like I said to Augusto above: I recommend suspending your reflexive Sox pessimism for about two minutes and reading evaluations of the trade from trusted third parties, like this profile of the trade from Fangraphs. The upshot is: “We won’t know who wins this trade for years.”

As Cirensica

Prospect evaluators raved about Kopech too. I am not an expert, but I have been following baseball for a long time. The cases where a Double A pitcher that is already 25 years old with 100 professional innings panning out to be good is, well, not great. If Eder reaches the Majors in any capacity, that’d be as surprising as the Jesse Scholtens story.


I love how Nishida walks up the box while the pitch is coming and still slaps the run scoring single. I look forward to daily highlights

Greg Nix

Watching Nishida score from second is what I *thought* the Nick Madrigal experience would be like.


Very happy to get this type of player in the 11th round.


Javier Mogollon is going to have the most homeruns and highest ISO of any qualified White Sox DSL 17 y/o since Fangraphs has the stats (2006).

When he signed, BA had him clocked as having surprising power for his 5’ 8’’ size. He also has the highest Spd score on the team and has 11 SB to 2 CS. They say he is likely to end up at second base.


Spd? Spud Webb score?

Right Size Wrong Shape

It’s also fun to say his name.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Was not expecting people to lose their mind over trading Jake Burger. This has been thoroughly entertaining.


In fairness to Augusto it was more like just me losing my mind.

Although I still think I’ll be right.

Augusto Barojas

Truly losing your mind would be having positive expectations or faith in this org in some way.

Having a negative bent toward moves Kenny makes is a natural byproduct of looking at his history. May not prove right with the two Jakes, but the percentages are very much in your favor.


He started stepping into the back of the batter’s box, then dropping into a deep crouch while waiting for the pitcher and catcher to come to an agreement.

With a squat like that, maybe he can do a reverse Biggio and shift to catcher.