White Sox Minor Keys: May 3, 2022

The fresh week of minor league action opened with Oscar Colás and Colson Montgomery still in roster limbo. Both are still listed as active, but neither has played in a considerable amount of time (Colás last appeared April 28, Montgomery April 24).

In the meantime, the White Sox made a few other minor transactions of note:

*Luis Basabe was released by the Sox after an ugly start to his organizational return. he went 2-for-25 with one walk and 15 strikeouts with the Knights.

*Lincoln Henzman received a promotion to Charlotte, as he’s experiencing more success in his return to the bullpen. He couldn’t miss enough bats to survive in the rotation, but pitching for the first time since 2019, Henzman looked like somebody who’d closed in college. He struck out 13 against four walks over 11 innings with the Barons, picking up a couple saves. His introduction to Triple-A relief work was considerably rougher, as you’ll see below.

*Rafael Dolis joined the White Sox on a minor league contract. The 34-year-old righty has appeared in five different seasons between 2011 and 2021, most recently with the Toronto Blue Jays. He still averages 94-95, but walks are a problem.

*Brody Koerner doesn’t throw hard, but the White Sox transaction page says the club also acquired him. The 28-year-old righty completed his own lengthy climb from the 15th round to pitch in a couple of games for the Yankees last year, but he had to settle for a contract with Dos Laredos of the Mexican League to open this season. He averaged 89 mph with his fastball lsat year, using a cutter to throw hitters off his harder stuff.

Gwinnett 11, Charlotte 7

  • Adam Haseley went 1-for-5 with a triple.
  • Yolbert Sánchez was 2-for-5 with two strikeouts.
  • Yoán Moncada played third and went 1-for-4 with a K.
  • Carlos Pérez struck out for the second time this year, but he also homered twice during a 3-for-5 day.
  • Wes Benjamin got a dose of regression: 3.2 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 4 HR. His ERA is now 3.38.
  • Lincoln Henzman’s Triple-A debut: 1 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 0 K.

Highlights:

*Pérez is now hitting .321/.348/.631 after these dingers:

Tennessee 3, Birmingham 2

  • Lenyn Sosa went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
  • Yoelqui Céspedes, 1-for-4 with a strikeout.
  • Jose Rodriguez went 0-for-4.
  • Jason Bilous: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 1 HR

Winston-Salem 11, Hickory 9

  • Bryan Ramos started a new hitting streak by going 2-for-5 with a double.
  • Luis Mieses was 0-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout.
  • Adam Hackenberg went 1-for-5 with two strikeouts.
  • Harvin Mendoza had a perfect night at the plate, going 4-for-4 while coming up a double short of the cycle.
  • Matthew Thompson: 5 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR

Notes:

*Thompson gave up all six runs in the fourth inning. Only one was earned, but Thompson allowed five consecutive hitters to reach after Ramos’ error extended the inning, so he wasn’t completely blameless.

Down East 9, Kannapolis 3

  • James Beard went 0-for-4 with a walk and two strikeouts.
  • Wes Kath, 2-for-5 with two strikeouts.
  • DJ Gladney was 0-for-3 with a walk.
  • Wilfred Veras went 1-for-4.
  • Noah Owen: 4 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 3 HR
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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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670WMAQtheElder

Maybe Colas and Montgomery are being packaged for a trade to get a high quality MLB starting pitcher, or two?

phillyd

My guess is COVID.

Should the Sox be trading their best assets for starting pitching when Lynn should be back in a month? Gio-Cease-Lynn is a heck of a top 3 that I personally don’t see the need to use valuable assets to upgrade on. Kopech is more than fine as a 4th starter.

Last edited 1 month ago by phillyd
Willardmarshall

7 HRs, 2 Ks. My goodness….

Right Size Wrong Shape

I like Reese McGuire, but if Carlos Perez keeps this up and his defense is as good as was advertised, I don’t know if you can hold him down all year if McGuire continues to struggle at the plate.

GrinnellSteve

Tony needs to know if Perez can bunt.

calcetinesblancos

Tony probably would ask Frank Thomas to bunt.

As Cirensica

He would put Leury to bat before Thomas.

GrinnellSteve

McGuire’s bunt last night is going to cement his standing with Tony. It will take a lot to shake that.

In fairness, Reese is doing what they got him for. Pitchers seem to like throwing to him. He’s not bleeding strikes like backups of recent past. Teams aren’t running wild on him. He executed a bunt in a critical situation. His hitting would be forgiven by almost everyone if the other 8 spots were holding up their end. They’re not, so his weakness is magnified.

texag10

It astounds me that all offseason everyone was bitching about how we needed a defense first backup catcher and now that we have one, all anyone seems to care about is that he can’t hit. What that tells me is that what everyone really wants is two starting catchers in a league where a lot of teams don’t even have one.

Right Size Wrong Shape

If you’re referring to me, that’s a mischaracterization of my comment. I stated that I like McGuire, but at the same time, if you have a guy in AAA who has been known for his defense and is now a guy who hits with power and never strikes out, I don’t think that should be ignored. I don’t know why it’s astounding that people would want the best players to play. I don’t think we are at that point yet, but if Perez continues to destroy AAA all season it’s something to consider.

texag10

Not referring to you because I’ve seen similar comments on here and other places for the last week. Its Tyler Flowers all over again.

joewho112

So the strengths in Carlos Perez game are evident. Besides a weak arm, what are his flaws? What has keep his prospect profile so unremarkable? Is this a Yermin Mercedes situation where scouts all see an issue with his swing that won’t play in the majors?

Right Size Wrong Shape

Interesting – I had heard he was looked at favorably as a receiver, but it doesn’t sound like this is the case. If he has a weak arm and is a poor framer, where did this reputation come from? Or am I just misremembering the old scouting reports.

a-t

Fangraphs guys very briefly described him as a “good receiver”. Not much else out there in writing

texag10

They also described him as a “30 arm”

HallofFrank

It’s probably worth tempering excitement about Carlos Perez. It’s a very impressive and hot start, to be sure. But other than the 102 wRC+ he put up in Birmingham last year, he’s not put up a 100 wRC+ since Rookie ball in 2015. He’s not even really considered a prospect, as he went unranked on Fangraphs and MLB’s lists. He can confound expectations, of course—but we should need to see a lot more than one hot month in Charlotte. And even so, the numbers he’s putting up now are roughly what Zack Collins put up at every MiLB level. Barring injury, I’d be surprised to see Perez get a chance in Chicago this year.

Still – he’s put himself in position to be the 3rd catcher, which is not nothing. But we’re a long way from him taking the jump from 3rd to 2nd.

GrinnellSteve

For Collins to only strike out twice in a month, he’d have to play a game and then go on the 60-day IL.

tommytwonines

And Perez can actually, like, you know… catch.

HallofFrank

Well if Collins swung often enough to only walk 4 times in a month, he may not only strike out twice—but he’s strike out a lot less.

HallofFrank

To be clear, I’m not anti-Pérez nor do I think it’s only a mirage.

By tempering excitement, I mostly mean in relation to replacing McGuire. Pérez has put together an excellent month. But I would think we’d need to see at least another before it’s even considered. And even then, I think it’s tied to McGuire’s offensive production.

a-t

It’s not so much that he’s hitting great but more how he’s getting there. Plenty of guys can get hot and crush for a month but not really change their outlook much because the warts on their profile aren’t going away; see Adolfo, Micker

Perez was interesting because he’s always been characterized by really excellent bat-to-ball skills— over 8 minor league seasons, he’s struck out just 129 times, 7.5%, and walked 96 times 5.6%. Madrigal-esque plate discipline numbers for a viable up-the-middle defender is practically guaranteed to be a useful major leaguer— ZiPS agrees and projected backup catcher-level production from Perez before this power surge.

He’s now exciting, because this is the exact path for unheralded guys to become stars— adding power to a really strong plate discipline foundation. Jose Ramirez is the poster child for that profile. He looks like at least a backup catcher now and maybe a lot more, because if even as much as half this power production is a Charlotte mirage, that’s still 20-homer pop in starting C playing time.

HallofFrank

But as you point out, this has always been his profile and he’s not been an offensive force. Last year was his best in affiliated baseball and he had a .730 OPS. AVG and SLG are way up this year. The question is: why?

The answer may be a sustainable change and, even if he doesn’t hit this good, something like a .850+ OPS is certainly interesting, for a catcher. But if the answer is some combo of SSS, Charlotte, and luck, and he falls back to career norms, he’s likely not a backup catcher or better. It seems like the defense is fine… if the bat is good. But if the bat is what he’s done everywhere else except 20 games in Charlotte, then it’s probably not fine as a 2nd catcher.

Again, I’m not making any predictions about Pérez nor saying that he will regress. I’m saying: we need to see a lot more. Good early returns, but he doesn’t have the history or prospect pedigree for me to jump on the bandwagon yet.

texag10

Man, I hope you’re not talking about in the majors because an .850+ OPS is like, top 5 catchers in baseball territory.

HallofFrank

Lol no. I was saying that if he’s around there in Charlotte.

a-t

I’m pretty confident in saying that Perez has made a change that has added pop. He has 27 career homers in 8 years in the minors; 20 of them have come in the past calendar year, between AA and AAA. The question is what his newfound power talent level is, and what’s driving it. 20 homers in 545 PAs is 50-55 grade in-game pop if it happened in the bigs. He clearly has had a power surge going back to last year in BHam, where you absolutely cannot hit a homer by accident, but it’s not yet clear if his current torrid streak is that same newly averagish pop in a small ballpark with a hot streak, or indicative of another offseason boost to his power talent level.

tommytwonines

What’s the status of the Yerminator?

LamarJohnson

Just a curiosity- has anyone heard anything about the balls MilB is using this year? There doesn’t seem to be any power outage in the minors this year, particularly for the Sox.

Foulkelore

The primary reason for the dead balls is suspected to be the humidors they are using in all 30 MLB stadiums for the first time. That also would explain the difference in the minors – they may be using the same ball, but they aren’t storing them in humidors for the minor league games, as far as I know.

SocksO’Graham

Aren’t we to trust Narron as the expert on Perez defense?