White Sox Minor Keys: Sept. 13, 2021

When the final week of the regular season for the White Sox’s top four affiliates opens tonight, Jose Rodriguez is expected to be playing for the third one of them this season, as Dan Victor had previously reported.

It’s not an unreasonable assignment, as Rodriguez hit .361/.381/.538 over 29 games with Winston-Salem, striking out just 13 times over 126 plate appearances. All of those numbers represented improvements over his already impressive work with Kannapolis (.283/.328/.452 over 78 games). The promotion to Birmingham would give him an extra week of games, at least if the Barons seal the deal with their postseason spot this week.

Add it up, and you get this line: .303/.342/.475, 26 doubles, five triples, 14 homers, 30 stolen bases in 40 attempts, 26 walks, 76 strikeouts over 487 plate appearances.

Birmingham will represent a legit test, even if it hasn’t been an impenetrable obstacle the way it played two years ago. The park plays a lot bigger than Winston-Salem’s, and the defense at Double-A is generally better at diminishing the impact of speed alone. Basestealing is the one area where Rodriguez didn’t fare better upon his promotion …

  • Kannapolis: 20 SB, 5 CS
  • Winston-Salem: 10 SB, 5 CS

… which brings to mind the way Nick Madrigal’s ability to steal bases didn’t join him on his way up the ladder. Rodriguez has a lot of talent, but some of his success has been built on forcing the issue, and A-ball defenses generally create their own problems. The game tightens up considerably from here.

The good news is that Rodriguez’s game isn’t built entirely on speed. He’s great at putting the ball in play, and can put a charge into mistakes. His play at shortstop has been inconsistent, but he’s greatly reduced the throwing errors.

If you’re looking for a reason that he might suddenly start resembling a $50,000 signing, it’d probably because there are fewer mistakes for sustenance, and so a lot of his contact will be turned into outs, or limited to singles. That said, he’s aced every level he’s played with no time wasted, so if Birmingham’s finally the level that forces him to make adjustments to his game, he’ll have the time to do so. He’s just 20 years old after all.

ACL White Sox 6, ACL Royals Gold 4 (7 innings)

  • Colson Montgomery went 2-for-4.
  • Wes Kath was 2-for-3 with a triple and a strikeout.
  • Wilfred Veras was 1-for-3 with a double and a K.
  • Cam Butler, 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.

DSL White Sox 11, DSL Padres 5

  • Victor Quezada doubled, singled twice, walked twice and struck out once. He was also caught stealing.
  • Carlos Hinestroza: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K
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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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Jim. Can you list the pitchers who may have a shot in the show next year?

Trooper Galactus

Some of those trajectories need more of a trebouchet than a leap.

Trooper Galactus

Rodriguez still being 20 years old is the biggest thing for me. He could fall flat on his face at Birmingham for two years and still be ahead of the curve. I think there’s still more to be unlocked from his toolshed.