Stock Up, Stock Down for Chicago White Sox Top 10 Prospects for Week 2
The Chicago White Sox (5-7) had a rough week. They had lost five in a row before Jake Peavy and Paul Konerko helped give the White Sox a much needed victory over the Cleveland Indians on Sunday.
Not much has gone right over the last seven days for the White Sox, to say the least.
Things were a bit better in the minor leagues though.
There were shutouts, walk-off victories and multiple home-run games for some of the top White Sox prospects.
Here is the stock up, stock down report for the White Sox’s top 10 prospects after two weeks (per BaseballAmerica.com).
All news and game information courtesy of each affiliate’s team site.
Chris Beck: Pitcher
Stats: 1 GS, 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 6 K, 3 BB
Chris Beck faced off against the Carolina Mudcats for the second time in a week on Saturday night and picked up where he left off for the Winston-Salem Dash.
Beck pitched well enough to win the first time, but fell victim to some poor defense. This time was different.
Brian Boesch, the Dash’s beat writer, summed up Beck’s outing following the 4-1 victory.
Beck (1-1) tossed six scoreless innings for the Dash's first quality start of the season. The former second-round pick scattered five hits and whiffed six. The Mudcats threatened in every inning but the sixth against Beck, but he stranded eight runners in the victorious effort.
One stat from his start stands out. In addition to the six strikeouts he posted, Beck induced 10 groundouts. He kept his off-speed stuff down in the zone all evening.
Locating the ball as effectively as he did will serve him well.
Jared Mitchell: Outfielder
Stats: 26 AB, 5 H, 6 R, 3 SB, 13 K, 3 BB, 9 LOB
The good news for Jared Mitchell is that he raised his batting average from .105 to .146. The bad news is that he looked really bad doing it for the Triple-A Charlotte Knights.
Forget the 13 strikeouts. What is most alarming are the number of runners Mitchell left on base. He is supposed to be a run producer, and although he scored six times, he is not driving them in when given the opportunity.
I would expect his numbers to improve over the course of the next few weeks. But for some reason, the former first-round pick has not been able to find any sort of consistency at the plate.
Keon Barnum: First Baseman
No stats available.
Keon Barnum is currently on the disabled list following surgery during spring training to remove the hamate bone from his right hand.
Andre Rienzo: Pitcher
Stats: 1 GS, 5.1 IP, 7 ER, 4 K, 3 BB, 1 HR
Things are getting worse for Charlotte right-hander Andre Rienzo. After giving up five earned runs during his first start, Rienzo gave up a whopping seven his second time out Thursday evening against the Gwinnett Braves.
He was handed a seven-run lead and promptly gave them all back.
In the top of the sixth inning Rienzo served up a home run, gave up two singles, walked two batters and uncorked a wild pitch. His only out of the inning was on a force play, and even that scored a run.
His location is quickly becoming problematic.
Scott Snodgress: Pitcher
Stats: 1 GS, 6.0 IP, 1 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 2 K
It was quite the outing for Double-A left-hander Scott Snodgress Saturday night against the Mississippi Braves.
Nick Dobreff, the Barons’ beat writer, elaborated on the performance in his game recap.
Barons starter Scott Snodgress (2-0, 3.27) was the beneficiary of the scoring outburst but pitched well in his own right, allowing just two runs (one earned) on six hits over 6.0 innings. He's picked up the win in his first two starts as a Baron.
It is quite the start to the season for the young left-hander.
He was much more efficient this time out—62.20 strike percentage—and induced 10 ground-ball outs.
Keenyn Walker: Outfielder
Stats: 21 AB, 4 H, 2 RBI, 4 R, 12 K, 1 BB
Keenyn Walker is another young outfielder who is struggling mightily in the minor leagues.
The leadoff hitter for the Birmingham Barons reached base only six times in 22 plate appearances. He is also striking out far too often.
It is really a matter of being much more selective at the plate. Walker is simply going to have to commit to laying off pitches out of the zone if he is to take the next step.
That is easier said than done. Expect more struggles from him.
Erik Johnson: Pitcher
Stats: 1 GS, 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 6 K, 0 BB
Erik Johnson (1-0) is on a roll for the Barons.
He followed up an impressive first start with an exceptional one on Friday night against the Mississippi Braves.
Johnson pounded the strike zone early and often, as his 71.74 strike percentage can attest to. The right-hander also kept his pitch count down—and limited his walks—which was something he struggled with his first time out.
He continues to impress.
Carlos Sanchez: Infielder
Stats: 21 AB, 5 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 8 LOB
Carlos Sanchez had his batting average fall from .333 last Monday to .233 by this past week's end.
His defense has been exceptional but he has only collected two hits in his last 15 at-bats. At times it has looked worse than the numbers suggest.
Also, the eight runners he has left on base over the past week is something that will hinder his progress.
The departure of Tyler Greene, who had his contract purchased by the White Sox, should get Sanchez some more at-bats to work on his discipline.
Trayce Thompson: Outfielder
Stats: 23 AB, 7 H, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 7 K, 12 LOB
Trayce Thompson did a lot to improve his stock last week. He raised his batting average from .158 to .257 and scored six runs.
He also continues to impress in the field.
The one negative from last week’s play is the number of runners he is leaving on the bases. As the third hitter in the Barons' batting order, Thompson must do a better job with runners in scoring position.
His seven strikeouts didn’t help but otherwise it was a rather good week for him.
Courtney Hawkins: Outfielder
Stats: 20 AB, 5 H, 4 HR, 9 RBI, 10 K, 2 BB
The only saving grace for Courtney Hawkins this week was his power. He slugged four home runs—two on Wednesday—and drove in nine runs in only five games.
Otherwise it was a mostly forgettable week for Hawkins.
He continues to strike out at an alarming pace and is hitting a meager .182 for the season.
His stock went up this week because when he made contact, it was solid. His defense was also superb.
Much like the other outfielders in the top 10, Hawkins is mercurial.