White Sox Minor Keys: Aug. 22, 2019

If you’ve been listening to the Minor League Reports in the Sox Machine Podcast the last few weeks, you know I’ve been tracking with great interest whether any of Birmingham’s full-season outfielders can get to a .700 OPS. Luis Gonzalez, Blake Rutherford and Luis Basabe have all made runs at that number, only to go into a slump that knocks them back down several steps.

But Gonzalez is making the boldest play yet. He went 4-for-5 in Birmingham’s victory over Jacksonville, which was good enough to raise his OPS to .691. The components are a .317 OPS and .374 slugging, neither of which are good, but better than they were thanks to a .289/.353/.438 performance over 66 games in the second half. He and the Barons have 10 days to close the gap, and with Rutherford at .672 and Basabe at .620, Gonzalez is the lone hope.

Charlotte 4, Durham 2

  • Nick Madrigal went 2-for-3 with a triple, double and two walks.
  • Luis Robert went 0-for-4 with a sac fly and two strikeouts.
  • Yermin Mercedes was 0-for-4.
  • Zack Collins, 1-for-3 with a homer and two walks.
  • Seby Zavala was 0-for-3 with an HBP and two strikeouts.
  • Danny Mendick was 1-for-4 with two strikeouts.
  • Caleb Frare’s return to Triple-A: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 0 K, 1 WP

More:

*The Knights’ magic number for the wild card spot is 7.

Birmingham 6, Jacksonville 0

  • Luis Gonzalez went 4-for-5 with a stolen base.
  • Luis Basabe and Blake Rutherford both were 1-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts.
  • Gavin Sheets went 1-for-4.
  • Ti’Quan Forbes was 1-for-3 with a double, walk and stolen base.
  • Laz Rivera went 2-for-4 with two doubles and a strikeout.

Winston-Salem 9, Lynchburg 4

  • Steele Walker went 0-for-3 with two walks, a strikeout and a stolen base.
  • Andrew Vaughn woke up, going 2-for-4 with a homer, walk and strikeout.
  • Carlos Perez, 1-for-4 with a double.
  • Manny Bañuelos: 4 IP, 9 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K

Rome 14, Kannapolis 4

  • Lenyn Sosa went 0-for-5.
  • Corey Zangari was 2-for-4 with a homer and two strikeouts.
  • Camilo Quinteiro was 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout.

Great Falls 7, Missoula 6 (10 innings)

  • Kelvin Maldonado went 1-for-6 with a double and two strikeouts.
  • Harvin Mendoza went 1-for-4 with a double and an HBP.
  • Lency Delgado went 1-for-5 with three strikeouts.
  • Luis Mieses, 0-for-5 with two strikeouts.
  • Anderson Comas went 4-for-5 with a triple.

AZL White Sox 16, AZL Brewers Blue 15 (10 innings)

  • James Beard went 2-for-7 with a double, three strikeouts and a stolen base.
  • Samil Polanco was 4-for-6 with a walk and a stolen base.
  • Jose Rodriguez went 3-for-5 with a double, walk, sac bunt, strikeout and stolen base.
  • Bryan Ramos, 4-for-6 with a strikeout and a stolen base.
  • DJ Gladney was 3-for-6 with two strikeouts.
  • Josue Guerrero, 0-for-4 with two walks and a strikeout.
  • Logan Glass went 3-for-4 with two HBPs and a strikeout.
  • Victor Torres went 3-for-6 with a K.
  • Sidney Pimentel, 2-for-6 with three strikeouts.
  • Matthew Thompson: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K
  • Yoelvin Silven’s ERA took a hit: 4 IP, 11 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 4 HR, 2 WP

DSL D-backs1 6, DSL White Sox 2

  • Wilber Sanchez went 2-for-4 with a walk.
  • Yolbert Sanchez was 3-for-5 with two doubles and a strikeout.
  • Jefferson Mendoza was 0-for-1 as a pinch hitter.
  • Alberto Bernal wore the collar and silver sombrero.
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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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lil jimmy

Gavin Sheets looks to have 80 RBI on the season. 5 to go. That would be a nice result.

andyfaust

AAA Charlotte is red hot. I’d like to see this group overtake Gwinnett during these final 10-12 games and win the division rather than settle for a wildcard. Only a game and a half behind.

TheBigHrabosky

I think Charlotte has the lineup to overtake Gwinnett. For a AAA team, they are deep and feature a whole bunch of thump in the middle.

digger0910

Rough day for Mieses and Sosa. Besides those dudes who else are you dreaming on in the lower levels? Gladney, Beard, anyone particular? Abbott. Forbes, obv. 

ParisSox

Laureano. But that’s just me.  And one other guy. 

evenyoudorn

Word!

PauliePaulie

Most hopeful for Dalquist. But I don’t follow prospect stats until after Great Falls. Too many outside influences for them to be reliable at the really low levels.

lil jimmy

Great Falls really is the “Wild West”

Greg Nix

I’m interested in Harvin Mendoza and Jose Rodriguez. Both have produced well and been young for their level. 

Dingo_Sox

Abbott has been one I’ve been dreaming on. If they can turn him into somebody then that could be something. Otherwise, probably Logan Glass or James Beard.

Trooper Galactus

I’m mainly fascinated with Abbott because he’s kinda like Tim in being a guy who didn’t really focus on baseball until way late but has so much raw talent that he’s able to hang in a professional league. He has way more raw power than I was expecting, and if he can cut down his K-rate, he’ll be a force.

lil jimmy

Victor Torres for me,
and now Avery Weems.
1.64 era 49.1 innings/ 43 hits / 9 earned runs/ 63 strike outs 1.05 whip

Smclean09

Jose Rodriguez has a nice swing and athletic actions. Producing at decent age too

soxfan

Speaking of OPS races, what are the chances that Collins catches Robert?

(Eloy v. Abreu also looked like it might get interesting before Jimenez’s injury.)

TheBigHrabosky

Collins has definitely changed something because he’s been en fuego since he was sent down. If the Sox don’t reward him with a Sept call-up then they’re bad people.

andyfaust

Also, late last night, MLBTR posted a pretty lengthy assessment of the Sox rebuild. It talks about the Sox being right around the point where they flip the switch to win mode and it’s a fairly well informed piece. It includes a couple quotes from Hahn in yesterday’s Sun-Times, where he sounds like he’s pumping the brakes on flipping the aforementioned switch. It also includes more Hahn quotes from a piece written yesterday by William Shakespeare, er I mean Bruce Levine (I’m sorry, but his writing makes cringe at times.) Speaking of cringing, MLBTR also brings up the $68M contract with Abreu as being the biggest contract they’ve ever inked. Although this is true, I hate how it’s always brought up by outside observers. I guess I hate it because it’s true.

roke1960

This is the most critical winter of the rebuild. The Sox have to “flip the switch” this winter. If not, they will be losing another year of Giolito, Moncada and Timmy. If Hahn/Jerry don’t spend this winter, you really have to wonder if they are at all interested in winning a World Series. Though Hahn’s quote, “In terms of putting ourselves in a position to contend, let’s get to the offseason and then set some priorities and see how good we are being able to convert on hitting those priorities before we assess it,” gives me hope that they will spend.

knoxfire30

No idea how you think that quote gives you hope after what we have seen from this ownership group. That quote reads to me as we will kick the tires again, only to fall short and thus say we at least kind of tried. The chances of a less competitive free agent market as compared to last off season is slim to none. This rebuild is destine to fail due to lack of spending.

roke1960

Ok, it gives me hope that they will TRY to spend. But you’re probably right, they will lowball free agents again and lose out. I really expected them to sign Machado or Harper last winter and was fooled again by their cheapness. So I would expect the same result this winter. “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”

knoxfire30

There is no “try” though, you do or you dont. And we are on fool me like number 1,409,683,495

evenyoudorn

yodaman

anthonyprinceton

You do have a point, this past offseason was laughable in how it played out. I don’t expect Cole, but a quality SP and a Grandal would be a nice start. It should be noted that Reinddorf did spend money not that long ago. From 2006 to 2011 the Sox had top 10 MLB end of season payrolls according to Cot’s. Top 12 in 2012 and 2013. For example, the $113,641,026 year end 40 man payroll in 2008 is $135,423,062.76 in today’s dollars. Maybe Reinsdorf has really changed in recent years, or his goal is to be buried with all the money. We shall see.

Trooper Galactus

Yes, the White Sox used to be a top-10 spender for a while, but when payrolls expanded across the league they didn’t keep pace in the slightest, even when they were trying to compete around Sale/Eaton/Q/Abreu. Top-10 spending now is somewhere around $160 million. They could literally sign $100 million of free agents this offseason and not approach the top-10 while blowing past their previous spending record.

roke1960

There is no reason for them not to spend at least $70 million this winter. Except, of course, that Jerry is too cheap. They could spend $70 million and still have a payroll in the $120-130M range.

Trooper Galactus

I think that would put them around $115-120m.

roke1960

And if they trade Colome that would free up $10 million more- though it sounds like he will stay.

Trooper Galactus

If they trade Colome it means two things:

1) Acquiring him in the first place was a mistake since they couldn’t compete in his two control years.

2) They set themselves back because they won’t get back what they traded to get him, or even close to it.

roke1960

Well adding Colome and signing Herrera to a two-year deal was a mistake because they didn’t do anything else last winter. But most of what Hahn does is a mistake, so at least he’s consistent. And if they don’t try to win next year, then you have to wonder what he was possibly thinking when he acquired those two last year.

metasox

Probably thinking the same thing every bad team thinks when they try to have a couple credible relievers to close out games: the team needs to win games when it leads late to prevent the fans and players from rebelling

Trooper Galactus

Yeah, how’s that working out for them?

metasox

Nearly perfect in games leading in the 8th. So that part is working

PauliePaulie

Roke
I’m not trying to argue this point, but I thnk a reason to not spend $70mil this offseason would be not “wasting” a peak year of a FA on a non-competitive team.
Although many see that as more excuse than reason.

roke1960

I see your point. I just think they can win in 2020. With a lineup of Robert, Timmy, Moncada, Eloy, Didi, Abreu, McCann/Collins, Madrigal and another bat and a starting staff of Giolito, Kopech, Cease, Lopez and another quality starter, they can compete next year. I don’t want to see them waste another year of Timmy, Giolito and Yoan. And they should be able to get 3 quality free agents and resign Abreu for $70 million.

karkovice squad

Yeah, let’s waste surplus value on all the guys in the core instead.

PauliePaulie

Just playing devil’s advocate- You can buy additional peak years of Moncada and the rest of the young core, if still expecting to contend past ’23. You can’t get back peak years wasted on 30 year old free agents singed to augment a 75-80 win team in ’20.

roke1960

Hopefully, Moncada and Giolito become yearly all-stars. The bad news then will be there is no way Jerry will pay them what they will be worth on the open market. So they will probably be gone in 23-24.

karkovice squad

Ah. So their surplus value can be wasted now so that the Sox can try to compete later when they’re more expensive and there’s less money available to supplement the core.

The devil’s got the better argument there.

roke1960

I wonder who we’ll be able to get for Moncada and Giolito in a couple of years?

evenyoudorn

Not as much as they’ll get for Robert that same early offseason.

roke1960

Bring on another rebuild!!

PauliePaulie

Or you can try to “remain” competitive in 3 or 4 years carrying overpaid 33+ yo FA’s that you signed in hopes of jumpstarting something in ’20, before having a clue of what Madrigal, Robert, Cease, Kopech, Rodon, Eloy, Vaughn Dunning, Steiver, Collins will bring to the table and zero current trade assets behind them.

Trooper Galactus

If only there were 26-year old free agents they could have signed.

karkovice squad

As opposed to the talent we already know you’re ready to definitely throw away to delay competing.

PauliePaulie

“Throw away” is harsh. I’m willing to risk losing a great 2020 from Moncada and Giolito, to better understand what else we have and need.

I understand potential advantages of using this offseason the way you, Roke and many others would prefer.
I just bristle at the stance that waiting until next July is somehow a ludicrous, or totally uninformed stance.

roke1960

The sad part is, we are all passionate and really want to see management do something, sometime in the near future. After punting on the 2018 offseason, if they punt on the 2019 offseason too, I seriously doubt they will do anything next July. If the last 7 years are any indication, I’m not sure there will ever come a time when they will go “all in”. And then the endless rebuild cycle will kick in. It’s just so frustrating.

roke1960

I’m really not sure Hahn has a plan. He just keeps pushing back the window. First it was that we got a head start on the rebuild because we acquired so much near MLB-ready talent. Then last winter he said the money will be spent when it is time. Now he supposedly mentioned a 5-7 year window? That’s just ludicrous.

roke1960

How long do we wait? Do we wait until Vaughn and Cease and Madrigal and Robert and Kopech have established themselves? Then we’ll have to replace Moncada, Giolito and Timmy and the process will just start over again. You have to build/add and trust that the minor league studs will be solid contributors. Otherwise, you’ve waited too long.

Trooper Galactus

Buying additional peak years of Moncada and Giolito means they are no longer cost-efficient players who allow you to fill in gaps elsewhere on your roster with top free agents, which was the whole damn point of getting them.

lil jimmy

there is nothing saying they can’t extend some of the young talent.

Trooper Galactus

I’m guessing it’s the talent themselves saying the can’t, because they know pushing back free agency will cost them big. Moncada already got an eight figure payday. Giolito made millions on draft day. Neither of these guys has to give up a potential 9-figure payday for financial security now. Also, even if they’re extended, they’ll still be getting paid commensurate with their likely arbitration salaries. They buy more control, but they don’t save any money or gain more efficiency.

andyfaust

“The money will be spent,” Hahn said. “It might not be spent this offseason, but it will be spent at some point. This isn’t money that is just sitting around accumulating interest. It is money that is waiting to be deployed to put us in the best position to win some championships.”
That was from February 2019. I may print a bunch of tshirts for people to wear at Sox Fest 2020 that say “The money will be spent.” Or would pitchforks be more effective?

knoxfire30

When hahn and kw laughably started talking about saving money because they would need it to keep this core together down the road thats when you knew they were totally full of shit about spending on any premier free agents.

karkovice squad

More ambitious and proactive: go to San Diego for the Winter Meetings.

roke1960

I like the pitchforks idea. We are coming up from Atlanta for this year’s Soxfest, so put me down for 8!

lil jimmy

they could spend 40 million and not brake 100 million in payroll

andyfaust

**makes me cringe. Haha, right in the middle of me criticizing Bruce, I managed to screw that up.

CaptainEuphemism

I believe this is an example of Muphry’s Law: if you criticize someone’s spelling or grammar online, you will make an error in your post.

I’ve run afoul of it more times than I can count!

PauliePaulie

One or more of those AA players spending the first half of next season playing their way to quality trade bait would really help the rebuild.

zerobs

Get them into Charlotte with the juiced ball and their value will go up.

PauliePaulie

If only it worked that way.

Trooper Galactus

If that were true Matt Skole would have netted us a top-100 prospect.

lil jimmy

Way to go TG. Tipping Rick’s hand.

zerobs

I look at 2021 lineup holes to see what to address this off-season. Projected 2021:

1b/DH: Vaughan/Collins/Sheets
2b: Madrigal
SS: Anderson
3b: Moncada
LF: Jiminez
CF: Robert
RF: ???
C: Collins/McCann/???
Bench:Mendick/Garcia/???
Rotation: Giolito/Cease/Lopez/Kopech/???

Bullpen: every team is throwing crap against the wall to see what sticks so I’m not addressing it here.

I’d be shocked if Cole went to a team not in the top-6 in revenue. I’d be OK with a guy like Gibson or Wood. RF is hard because the obvious candidates are Castellanos or Puig but that means both corners are defensive liabilities; an out-of-the-box consideration there would be Gregorius. I’d consider Grandal since the 26-man roster might make carrying 3 catchers less of a problem since the DH spot can be used (as Renteria is already doing) and I have doubts about McCann repeating a 100 OPS+.

roke1960

Getting Cole or Wheeler would be best, but I’m sure Jerry won’t go there. With all the hard throwing righties in the rotation, adding Bumgarner or Hamels on a shorter term deal wouldn’t be bad. I’d really like to see them add Gregorius and sell Timmy on using his athleticism in right.

Neat_on_the_rocks

If they went after DiDi it’d make more sense to put DiDi in right IMO

roke1960

I would be ok with that. I just think that with as good of an athlete as Timmy is, he would transition to right easier.

lil jimmy

Having Madrigal, Timmy, DiDi, and Yoan is what you call a good problem.

andyfaust

Hard to speculate on the 2021 pen, but I think i can describe the 2020 ‘pen with one word…
Bummer. Interpret that however you like.

roke1960

Eloy out of the lineup again. I don’t think Hahn is going to allow Ricky to start Eloy, Yoan and Timmy in the same lineup. That would give the fans something to be excited about. Gotta keep those expectations low for 2020.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Probably gonna send him to AAA for a rehab stint to help win the wild card, amirite?

roke1960

Don’t give Hahn any ideas!!