White Sox Minor Keys: Aug. 27, 2023

White Sox prospect Brooks Baldwin
Brooks Baldwin (Jim Margalus / Sox Machine)

The Winston-Salem Dash’s final game against Bowling Green this season was cancelled due to an over-saturated field, so I made the drive for nothing.

Mostly, I wanted a second look at Brooks Baldwin, who is having a counterintuitively good time with the Dash. Not only is he doing his best work at the plate over his first 15 games at the new level …

  • Kannapolis: .245/.338/.445, 34 BB, 61 K over 283 PA
  • Winston-Salem: .328/.379/.443, 5 BB, 13 K over 67 PA

… but he’s also playing shortstop full time, after making just one appearance there with the Cannon Ballers. He played mostly second base and the outfield UNC-Wilmington before the White Sox selected him in the 12th round of the 2022 draft, so it’s not like he was temporarily squeezed out of his primary position.

I saw him play on Wednesday, when he went 1-for-5 with a sharp single, a stolen base and two strikeouts, while handling the few plays, all routine, that found him in the field with ease. He’s a switch-hitter, but he faced all righty pitchers. He possessed a knowledge of the zone, although the two times he expanded the zone came on two strikes. The first was a high and away 3-2 fastball he regretted offering towards while it was happening, and the other was a quality 0-2 slider that darted out of the zone over the heart of the plate.

Baldwin turned 23 a couple weeks ago, and considering he was Colonial Athletic Association’s Player of the Year, it’s not the biggest shock to see him thriving in A-ball. Double-A is usually where those third-day draft picks can be pressed into something more ordinary.

Memphis 7, Charlotte 5

  • Adam Hackenberg went 1-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts.
  • Luis Patiño: 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K

Rocket City 9, Birmingham 7

  • José Rodríguez went 3-for-5 with his 17th homer, 27th stolen base and a strikeout.
  • Colson Montgomery was 2-for-5 with his second homer.
  • Alsander Womack, 0-for-5 with a K.
  • Wilfred Veras went 1-for-3 with a double, walk and strikeout.
  • Tim Elko, 1-for-3 with a three-run homer and a strikeout.
  • Terrell Tatum was 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts.
  • Luis Mieses, 0-for-4.
  • Jake Eder: 4 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HR
  • Jared Kelley: 1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR

Kannapolis 14, Myrtle Beach 10 (completion of Saturday’s game)

  • Jordan Sprinkle doubled, singled, walked twice, struck out twice and stole two bases.
  • Calvin Harris went 3-for-5 with a K.
  • Rikuu Nishida entered midgame and went 2-for-3.
  • Peyton Pallette before the delay: 1 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 20 of 33 pitches for strikes.

Myrtle Beach 7, Kannapolis 1 (Game 2, 7 innings)

  • Rikuu Nishida went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
  • Jacob Gonzalez, 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts.
  • Calvin Harris went 1-for-3 with a K.
  • Seth Keener’s A-ball debut: 1 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 1 HR, 2 WP, 16 of 32 pitches for strikes.

Winston-Salem at Bowling Green, cancelled

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Luis Patino is about all that’s left to follow in Charlotte.

You left off Jake Eder with 4.0 IP 8 H 5 R 5 ER 1 BB 5 K 1 HR
Unless of course you are not following him anymore which is becoming the logical choice.

Elko just keeps crushing it.


Elko is increasingly looking like a guy worth trying in Chicago in 2024. If 2024 is about development and seeing what you have, it’d be nice to give him a good long look in low leverage. Maybe he’s where you pivot at DH when Eloy hits the IL. So he should see his first action sometime in early April.

Right Size Wrong Shape

They need to be ready to pivot from Vaugn if he doesn’t show any improvement next season. I would hate to think that he’s penciled in as the starter for the next three seasons just because he’s under contract and they spent a high draft pick on him.


Yeah, maybe, but Vaughn is generally fine, even if that’s a disappointment. They should definitely be ready to pivot from Vaughn, but pivot to whom? Unless it’s Elko (or like Wilfred Veras?) there’s not an heir in the system. I’m not keen on them spending more high draft picks on 1B and I’d prefer they prioritized bigger holes in free agency. Though wildly disappointing for a 3rd overall pick, Vaughn is at least a league-average hitter. I don’t see a rush to replace him, unless Elko really does force the issue.


Elko should be ready for Vaughn or Eloy injury, and even Vaughn ineffectiveness. Vaughn’s bat has regressed from 2022, and it was not good enough then for 1B.


I don’t know about 2024 but if he keeps crushing it it’s going to be sooner rather than later. Hey we may have an opening at 1B before you know it….but yes DH is a possibility.


Hate to be an Elko wet blanket, but he’s 24 and has 23Ks and 2BBs.
Wouldn’t be wasting any 40 man roster spots on him any time soon.


Oh because of all the other really good players they need those 40-man spots for?

I don’t think anyone has Elko penciled in for 2025 or beyond. He’s been a fun story and he’s probably an org guy for a few years and that’s it. But you say “he’s 24 and has 23Ks and 2BBs” and I say “It’s his first full professional season and he’s mashed across three levels.” Development isn’t linear and you never know.

Whatever the case, Elko has already exceeded expectations. If he’s still hitting next year, why not give him a shot in a lost season and see what you have?


I’m all for giving any prospects a shot. If only to get that sweet juicy health insurance for life.


Eder got 14 whiffs on 82 pitches, so the stuff is still encouraging.


I’ve tried to stay patient with all the focus on stuff recently but at some point you have to show that your “stuff” can get get guys out consistently.

Right Size Wrong Shape

He’s coming back from TJS, so I’m not going to write him off just yet.


Not talking about him specifically but the org emphasis on stuff guys who then can’t get guys out. It goes a lot farther back than Aug 1st.