There’s seldom ever a reason to defend Kenny Williams — at least the Kenny Williams of the Late-Stage White Sox — but you can understand why he wanted to add a real-deal pitching prospect to the farm system at the trade deadline, even if it cost them Jake Burger.
Ideally, you’d want that pitching prospect to be fully functional, or close to it. Failing that, you’d at least want the principal members of your front office all agreeing on trading Burger for Jake Eder in the first place. Williams accomplished neither, which is why you shouldn’t feel sorry for him.
But MLB Pipeline announced its hitting and pitching prospects of the year for each team, and while the position player isn’t a shocker …
Jacob Burke, OF (No. 20)
In his first full pro season, Burke hit .294/.392/.439 with 19 steals in 85 games between Single-A and High-A.
… I didn’t see the selection for top pitcher coming.
Tyler Schweitzer, LHP (No. 25)
More efficient than overpowering, Schweitzer made a strong pro debut that included a system-best 3.94 ERA and 121 strikeouts in 107 1/3 innings at two Class A levels.
The problem with Schweitzer is that that 3.94 ERA wasn’t meted out evenly between those two levels. He indeed overmatched hitters with Kannapolis, but when he received a promotion to Winston-Salem, they gave him a far harder time.
- Kannapolis: 67.2 IP, 62 H, 31 R, 29 ER, 5 HR, 21 BB, 76 K
- Winston-Salem: 39.2 IP, 32 H, 23 R, 18 ER, 5 HR, 24 BB, 45 K
Considering didn’t pitch in pro ball last year after the White Sox took him in the fifth round and he spent the entire season as a 22-year-old, the performance is … fine. But if you’re weighing for prospect status or draft pedigree, I’d probably give Cristian Mena’s season the nod, even if it disappointed a little bit in terms of run prevention. If you’re mostly disregarding reputation, then Mason Adams had the best season of any pitcher in the Sox farm system, posting a 3.14 ERA with 125 strikeouts against 29 walks over three levels.
Whichever route you choose, the competition is far from fierce, which makes it understandable why the Sox targeted so much pitching at the trade deadline. But Eder was acquired after the Sox traded for Nick Nastrini, Ky Bush and Juan Carela, so the trade felt a little superfluous, especially if only one person wanted to make it happen.
Arizona Fall League update
Colson Montgomery’s second week in the AFL was far more productive than his first, including three homers over two games.
That prompted a second MLB.com story of the season by Ben Weinrib on Friday, and this one had far more to write about:
What made the roundtrippers even more impressive is that he stayed patient in his approach, fouled off pitches and kept his A-swing with two strikes to pounce on pitches low and over the plate
“I just kind of try and see the ball as deep as I can and when I got two strikes, I’m trying to be as early as I can,” Montgomery said. “So if anything, I can foul off some pitches or whatever. So, and it just so happened that through breaking balls that I just caught out front and I’ve been, I’ve been trying to catch some breaking balls out front for the past week now. So it feels good to finally do that.”
The season stats for the White Sox’s delegates on the Glendale Desert Dogs are below:
Colson Montgomery: 9-for-36, 3 HR, 1 3B, 0 BB, 11 K, .250/.250/.556
Jacob Burke: 8-for-36, 1 HR, 1 2B, 6 BB, 15 K, 2/2 SB, .222/.364/.333
Bryan Ramos: 8-for-40, 2 2B, 2 BB, 10 K, .200/.238/.250
Jake Eder: 6.1 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 HR, 4 BB, 6 K
Josimar Cousin: 5 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 HR, 5 BB, 7 K
Jordan Leasure: 3 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 1 BB, 5 K
Fraser Ellard: 3 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 HR, 0 BB, 2 K
Adisyn Coffey: 2.1 IP, 3 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 HR, 5 BB, 3 K