White Sox Minor Keys: Aug. 9, 2023

White Sox prospect Tim Elko
Tim Elko (Photo by Brian Westerholt / Four Seam Images)

The arrival of Jacob Gonzalez and other first-round picks in Kannapolis forced a number of promotions elsewhere, and there are a couple I’m watching in order to better assess some off-the-radar potential.

Birmingham: Tim Elko is the new everyday first baseman for Birmingham, which is probably best for Luis Mieses, who nearly lost his arm in an awkward collision there. Elko, who beat up both levels of A-ball as a 24-year-old …

  • KAN: .297/.360/.556 over 66 games
  • W-S: .319/.374/.569 over 31 games
  • Total: .297/.360/.556, 22 2B, 4 3B, 22 HR, 85 RBI, 36 BB, 121 K

… will get something much closer to an age-appropriate test with the Barons. Terrell Tatum preceded him in a similar situation, and he went from .268/.434/.421 with a 25-percent strikeout rate with the Dash to .244/.367/.336 and 28 percent with the Barons.

Winston-Salem: Brooks Baldwin, the 2022 12th-rounder who hit .245/.338/.445 while playing all over the diamond with Kannapolis, has started his first two games at shortstop for the Dash. He does a little bit of everything and can run hot, but good weeks tend be balanced out by quiet ones in short order. He turns 23 next week.

Gwinnett 9, Charlotte 3

  • Lenyn Sosa went 1-for-4 with a double.
  • Korey Lee, 2-for-4 with a strikeout.
  • Adam Hackenberg was 0-for-4 with a K.

Birmingham 12, Montgomery 3

  • José Rod’riguez drove in five runs while going 3-for-6 with two stolen bases and two strikeouts.
  • Colson Montgomery, 1-for-3 with two walks.
  • Bryan Ramos homered for the third straight game, and also doubled and walked during a 3-for-4 night.
  • Wilfred Veras, 2-for-5 with a homer and a strikeout.
  • Edgar Quero went 2-for-4 with a double and a walk.
  • Luis Mieses went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts.
  • Terrell Tatum, 1-for-5 with a strikeout and a stolen base.
  • Yoelqui Céspedes singled, walked twice and struck out twice.
  • Nick Nastrini: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 3 RE, 3 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 1 WP, 1 HBP, 64 of 91 pitches for strikes.


*Ramos’ blast:

*Nastrini had some moments:

Rome 9, Winston-Salem 8

  • Jacob Burke went 3-for-5 with an HBP.
  • Loidel Chapelli, 1-for-6 with two strikeouts and a stolen base.
  • Brooks Baldwin went 0-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts.
  • DJ Gladney went 1-for-4 with a homer, a sac fly and two strikeouts.
  • Wes Kath went 1-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts.

Down East 10, Kannapolis 4

  • Jacob Gonzalez went 0-for-5.
  • Calvin Haris, 0-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout.
  • Eddie Park was 1-for-4.
  • Jordan Sprinkle, 2-for-4 with a strikeout.
  • Aldrin Batista: 5 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 2 WP, 49 of 66 pitches for strikes.


*A first look at Aldrin Batista:

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It’s great to see Montgomery and Ramos start to have success at AA. I was worried their lengthy injury absences would make ‘23 a lost season, but if they both finish strong that’s a step forward. I imagine they’ll start in B’Ham in ‘24 but both will hopefully be knocking on Charlotte’s door in early ‘24

What’s the word on Ramos’ defense? I know it’s been spotty in the past.


I hope/wonder if Colson and Ramos will be going to AFL to get more innings.

For hitters, I am more worried about their AA performance. Sure there will be game planning, and fine tuning in AAA. But the results from Charlotte make me pay more attention to the AA numbers.

Augusto Barojas

Hopefully Colson/Ramos will improve their left side of infield. Very hard for a team to be even average defensively with a bad SS. Would be nice to have a SS who can field, and a 3b that can actually hit.


Curious why the Dodgers thought these two were less impressive than the S. Korean kid they used the internaltional signing money on. Sure a higher ceiling but these two kids look like a pretty high floor (even if all three flame out in AA in 5 years.)

Though I’m sure all it took was them nodding and telling Hahn “well we think they’re great and we’re better at this than you are; and what are you going to do SPEND money?”


I have read that some organizations may have a minor league roster crunch next year given the changes taking effect on how many players they can carry.


Thankfully we don’t have that problem!

Augusto Barojas

Nastrini looked impressive, some talent at least. I’m surprised they were able to get anything for Lynn/Kelly, although Lynn has done well so far in 2 starts with the Dodgers. Good riddance to both, nonetheless.


Hahn can trade MLB players for industry liked prospects. That is what he is good at. Teams also identify “talent” guys not getting it done in the White Sox org. Then they make a tweak to unlock a bit more performance. (See Lynn, Diekman, Rutherford, etc). Some work out, some don’t.


Rodriguez has nothing more to learn at AA, where he has been since late 2021.

That logjam has to be cleared because he is our #9 prospect, blocked by our #11 prospect in AAA and by Tim Anderson, who might be insane, and Elvis Andrus, who is not very good.

If the org is not going to progress these guys through the system then they need to trade them before they lose value.


He’s not even being blocked by our #11 prospect, 31 yo Erik Gonzalez is getting the vast majority of the starts in Charlotte. Whatever remote case they can make for playing the vet in Chicago is one thing, but there’s no case for playing Gonzalez in AAA.


Agreed, and to be clear I just meant blocked in a general middle infield sense. Most of our middle infield depth will end up competing for limited at bats and playing time available at 2B or in a utility role regardless of where they played in the minors.


He’s only been there for 4 games in 2021 and he still has a sub .300 OBP at AA. I don’t mind waiting till the end of the season to promote him


New Pipeline top 100
Montgomery 17
Schultz 66
Quero 87



Ramos number 7 on the White Sox top 30 seems low. Maybe it’s every bias, but he’s been fantastic since the return to the regular ball in AA and was quite good before then. https://www.mlb.com/prospects/whitesox/


Recency bias*!


Agreed. I thought we’d see Ramos in the top 100.

Someone else I’m surprised to see so low: Matt Thompson. I wonder if the bias here is prospect fatigue. He should be in the top 15 in this system. It doesn’t seem like it, but he’s actually younger than Cannon and Burke. He’s turned out a much better performance this year, too, and has better stuff. He should at least be above burke and in the ballpark of Cannon, IMO.


So half of the Sox top 20 have joined the org in the past month and another 4 in the past year. I think at this point a wait and see attitude is the prudent course.