Each week we bring you a report on the White Sox prospects throughout the farm system, this week’s farm report will cover the entire month of April, and serve as a progress report for the talented youth corps of the Chicago White Sox.
Triple-A – Charlotte Knights
Yoan Moncada was named the White Sox offensive minor league player of the month on Monday after compiling a .314 batting average through his first 21 games for the Knights’. Moncada hit four home runs and drove in seven runs over that span, collecting 27 hits in 86 at-bats in the month of April, including two doubles, a triple and the aforementioned four homers.
Moncada’s strikeout rate is still higher that desired at roughly 34 percent, but the young slugger also drew 10 walks in April and boasts a .885 OPS entering play on Tuesday.
Nicky Delmonico and Willy Garcia also posted solid April’s for the Knights, with Delmonico checking in at .299 with two home runs and 11 RBI, and Garcia hitting .294 with four home runs and 13 RBI for the Knights. Adam Engel had an awful April, hitting just .169 and striking out 20 times in his first 65 at-bats.
Reynaldo Lopez and Carson Fulmer both posted 2-1 records in April with Lopez posting an ERA of 4.10 and Fulmer checking in at 3.52. Lopez has struck out 28 opposing hitters, but walked 14 hitters through his first five starts. Fulmer has showed more control of the zone, striking out 19 and walking just five hitters in April. Unfortunately April was not as kind to Lucas Giolito, who posted an 0-3 record with a 6.63 ERA in 19 innings pitched. Giolito struck out 23 and walked 11 hitters in the month of April.
Zack Burdi logged 8.2 IP, allowing three earned runs while striking out 15 opposing hitters and walking just three in the month of April.
Double-A – Birmingham Barons
It was a rough month offensively for the White Sox Double-A affiliate, as the leading hitter, outfielder Mason Robbins, posted an underwhelming .259 batting average. Eddy Alvarez hit just .238 in his first 23 games of the 2017 season, and former first round draft pick Courtney Hawkins is dead last on the team in hitting with a measly .143 batting average through his first 63 at-bats.
Spencer Adams had a good month for the Barons despite his unfair 1-4 record, Adams was like the Jose Quintana of Double-A in April. Adams allowed a combined 10 runs in his first five starts, logging a 2.93 ERA and striking out 24 hitters while walking only four. Unfortunately, the putrid offensive attack that I touched on above caused Adams to lose four of his five starts in April.
Michael Kopech posted a 1-1 record in his first four starts for the Barons, logging an ERA of 2.50 to go along with 28 strikeouts. Kopech still needs to work on the command of the strike zone, evident by his 14 walks thus far, but the signs are good for Kopech, who some doubted was ready to begin the season at the Double-A level.
High-A – Winston Salem Dash
Luis Alexander Basabe had himself a pretty nice month of April for the Dash, hitting .275 with a .351 OBP through his first 18 games. Basabe has a home run, a double, and three triples to go along with five RBI and four stolen bases to date.
Zack Collins, who started the season on a tear, has struggled since posting an April batting average of .200. Collins has 14 hits in his first 70 at-bats, but holds a .367 OBP thanks to his 19 walks that he has drawn thus far. Collins has shown some flashes of power, hitting two-home runs and five doubles while driving in eight runs.
While his bat hasn’t been much to write home about, his work behind the plate has been nothing short of excellent, giving the White Sox hope that he can continue to develop behind the plate moving forward. Collins has thrown out 10 of 22 would-be base stealers throughout the month of April.
Low-A – Kannapolis Intimidators
If you don’t know who Mitch Roman is yet, get acquainted because he is having himself a very nice start to the season in Kannapolis. Roman was the White Sox 12th round pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, an infielder from Wright State. Roman is hitting .350 through his first 22 games of the season, logging 28 hits in 80 at-bats thus far.
Jameson Fisher, another 2016 draft selection (4th Round), is sporting a .253 batting average through his first 21 games this season. Fisher has a home run and 12 RBIs thus far for the Intimidators. Sticking with the 2016 draft class theme, Alec Hansen was 1-2 with a 3.33 ERA in five starts for Kannapolis in April, allowing nine runs over 24.1 IP this past month. Hansen struck out 24 and walked 11 in April, posting a WHIP of 1.36.
Last but most certainly not least, Dane Dunning, the 16th overall selection in the 2016 MLB Draft (by the Washington Nationals) was absolutely lights-out in the month of April. So good, that this month you will need to look for his updates in the Winston Salem portion of this feature, because he was deemed too dominant to stay with the Intimidators any longer last week.
Dunning posted a 2-0 record in four starts in April, recording a microscopic ERA of 0.35 over the course of 26 innings of work. Dunning allowed just one run on 13 hits, with 33 strikeouts and just two walks during his time in Kannapolis. Dunning was filthy in April, and will begin May with the Winston Salem Dash this week. Lots of excitement surrounding the former first round draft pick acquired in the Adam Eaton trade this past winter.