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White Sox: 2018 Minor League Viewing Guide

For all you White Sox fans who can't get enough of the future stars of the Southside, we suggest you get yourself an MiLB.TV subscription, and check out this comprehensive viewing guide.

If you have recently found yourself more interested in the White Sox minor league teams, you are not alone. Due to a recent influx of talent, teams like the Charlotte Knights all the way down to the Great Falls Voyagers have all of the sudden found themselves as must see TV.

It’s OK if you, the newly minted minor league enthusiast, are a little overwhelmed. There’s a lot of options, and even more players to try and keep with us. Since we’re here at The Loop Sports to help you, we’ve graded each Sox minor league team based on a few of the most important categories of view-ability.

So without further ado, the comprehensive White Sox minor league system viewing grades.

Rookie League: Great Falls Voyagers C+ 

Team Name/Mascot: A

We’re off to a strong start on this list. Who doesn’t love aliens? As the legend goes, in 1950, Nick Mariana, then General Manager of the now defunct Great Falls Electrics, recorded 16 seconds of film of two spinning objects that were apparently approaching at a high speed. The incident is now referred to as the “Mariana UFO Incident”. More importantly, it’s a strong story to backup a strong name and logo. This is an easy A.

Uniforms: B-

The voyagers, like many minor league teams employ a bevy of uniforms. Their basic home uniform is a classic pinstripe on white look that no one can complain about. They also feature an alien style green uniform that is reminiscent of the “little green men” people think of when they think of aliens, and they also sometimes rock a black on white uniform with a bold “Voyagers” across the front.

While the home uniforms are classy and really good looking, the alternate uniforms leave a bit to be desired as they are a tad plain, that’s what prevents their grade from being anything more than a B-.

Notable Players: TBD

Great falls is the lowest team in the minor league system. As a result we typically don’t see too much talent on the roster until after the draft. If the last few years are any indication not much talent will be there as most early round picks will start a level or two higher. That being said, there has still been some premier talent in great falls in the past, but not much. In the name of fairness, I will give them another chance before grading the major league type talent on the roster.

Notable Alumni: C

Alec Hansen

Aaron Bummer

Jacob May

Trayce Thompson

Eduardo Escobar

Chris Getz

Alec Hansen is the most exciting name on this list, and he isn’t even a major leaguer yet. Most of these guys have only experienced brief cups of tea in the majors to this point. Most players that end up in Great Falls are not there for great expectations. Eduardo Escobar has experienced the most success on this list, and most of that has come with the Twins. Not a pretty grade here.

Final Grade: C+

We will wait to see what kind of talent ends up on the roster, but history suggests it won’t be very exciting. The uniforms are nice and the name is cool, but as far as actual baseball goes, you can probably give the Voyagers a pass.

A-Ball: Kannapolis Intimidators: C 

Team Name/Mascot: C         

Initially named the “Boll Weevels” after coming to Kannapolis in 1995. NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt purchased a stake in the team and decided to change the name to the “Intimidators”, a marked improvement.

The logo is a letter K, throwing what can only be assumed to be a fastball, it also has a face. Odd, and not very intimidating, although the name is good.

Uniforms: F

Put bluntly, the Intimidators uniforms look like the t-shirts you would give to a youth t-ball team. Plain black or red on white pants, boring and uninspired. Our first failing grade of the day.

 

Notable Players: C

The Intimidators are the first stop for many highly drafted prospects. Jake Burger spent some time in Kannapolis last year, as well as Tim Anderson. This is another wait and see in terms of what players are on the roster right now, but one name worth watching is Evan Skoug, one of the top catching prospects in the Sox farm system. An interesting history and high draft pick for the major league team allows Kannapolis a passing grade in this category.

Notable Alumni:

Nicky Delmonico

Adam Engel

Omar Narvaez

Yolmer Sanchez

Hector Santiago

Addison Reed

Gio Gonzalez

Brandon McCarthy

A bevy of current and former Sox major leaguers have called Kannapolis home at some point. There were some other notables left off the list from when the Intimidators were the Phillies minor league team, including Jimmy Rollins. A strong finish in the grades for Kannapolis — B+

Final Grade: C

An uninspired logo and uniform combination paired with a lack of big name talent at the moment, causes Kannapolis to be no better than a ‘C’. Although the possibility of getting some of the higher drafted players from this year draft, and an impressive alumni lineup get Kannapolis through the finish line with a passing grade. As far as watch-ability goes, feel safe giving them a pass until after the draft.

Advanced-A: Wintson-Salem Dash: A 

Team Name/Mascot: B                

While the Dash is not in it’s self a particularly interesting or intimidating name, they make up for it with a strong logo and interesting mascot. “Bolt”, the mascot of the team, appears to be the cousin of Southpaw from the big leagues. Some collaboration of sorts seems in order. Match that with the baseball logo speeding towards home plate and you have a strong grade.

Uniforms: A

The Dash uniforms incorporate a perfect amount of purple, but not so much as to have it considered gaudy. The majority white uniforms with the purple accents walk a fine line, and nail it. The incorporation of the logo across the chest is perfect as well. Great uniforms.

Notable Players: A+

Dylan Cease

Dane Dunning

Mitch Roman

Gavin Sheets

Micker Adolfo

Luis Robert

Blake Rutherford

Luis Alexander Basabe

Wow, a who’s who of top White Sox prospects here in Winston-Salem. Two of the top pitching prospects in the organization, paired with some of the top outfielders in the organization including Luis Robert. With a roster featuring 10 of the top-30 prospects in the White Sox organization, the Dash are classified as MUST WATCH. Despite being one of the lower teams in the organization, the Dash have more than enough talent to make them a must follow team.

Notable Alumni: A

Chris Sale

Bobby Jenks

Jon Garland

Aaron Rowand

Joe Crede

One of the greatest pitchers in White Sox history and four World Series heroes? The Dash pass the notable alumni category with flying colors.

Final Grade: A

The Dash are one of the most interesting teams in the White Sox system. Tune in on any given day and you will see multiple prospects who could become true impact major leaguers in the coming years. Not to mention all these stars of tomorrow are doing it in some of the best looking uniforms in the organization. So throw on your purple hat, tune into MiLB.TV and WATCH THE DASH.

Double-A: Birmingham Barons

Team Name/Mascot: A+                  

A cool name, paired with an adorable dog mascot named Babe Ruff and his female companion Lilly Mays, the Barons nail it in this category. There is something for everyone here.

Uniforms: B+

The Barons uniforms are very similar to the White Sox. A home uniform featuring black pinstripes and a script “Barons” across the chest paired with a simple gray away uniform with a block “Birmingham” across the chest works well for any team. You can never go wrong attempting to style yourselves after the White Sox, but for these purposes, a lack of creativity hurts the grade.

Notable Players: A+

Spencer Adams

Ian Clarkin

Jace Fry

Alec Hansen

Zack Collins

Seby Zavala

Jameson Fisher

Eloy Jimenez

Another strong list here. Winston-Salem may still have a slight leg up in terms of talent, but with Eloy Jimenez and a large chunk of the organizational pitching depth residing in Birmingham, there’s plenty to watch this season. With eight of the top 30 prospects in the organization calling Birmingham home, including the number one prospect, Birmingham is well worth watching. Come for Eloy Jimenez, stay for the major league-potential arms.

Notable Alumni: A

Mark Buehrle

Frank Thomas

Robin Ventura

Magglio Ordonez

Michael Jordan

The GOAT for the Bulls and the GOAT for the White Sox? Thomas and Jordan make this list elite on their own, Buehrle, Ordonez and Ventura make it the best on the list.

Final Grade: A

This team is bolstered by it’s pitching depth and features the best hitting prospect the White Sox have had since Frank Thomas. The uniforms are classy and the mascots are genius. This team is definitely worth watching.

Triple-A: Charlotte Knights: C+ 

Team Name/Mascot: A+  

The Knights have a great name, perhaps the best in the organization. Who doesn’t think of Knights in shining armor jousting for honor with this name. A fun dragon mascot named “Homer” is good friends with Southpaw. The Knights pass with flying colors here. Although it is not a category, the Knights also play in a beautiful stadium situated in the middle of downtown Charlotte.

Uniforms: A

The Knights base uniforms are very similar to the White Sox, except neither uniform features any script. What sets the Knights apart are their unique take on the White Sox ’83 jerseys, as well as the number of other features they do throughout the year. Including one last year where they became the “Charlotte Pit Masters” and had an entire night dedicated to barbecue. Another big passing grade.

Notable Players: C

Zack Burdi

Michael Kopech

Charlie Tilson

Ryan Cordell

Triple-A is a weird stage. It consists of many players that are just on the cusp of being major league ready, but not good enough to claim a spot of their own. Because of that Charlotte does not have much “must see” talent aside from Michael Kopech. So if you choose to watch the Knights on a non-Kopech day, expect to see a bunch of Sox prospects who’s future with the organization is likely nothing special. Kopech gives the Knights a passing grade, but barely.

Notable Alumni: B+

Harold Baines

Paul Konerko

Yoan Moncada

Since becoming the White Sox affiliate the Knights have not featured too many major talents. However, the knights have a rich past with some other organization, that saw players like Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez, Cal Ripken Jr, and Curt Schilling pass through. So although the White Sox history is not rich, a nod to some of the all time greats gives the Knights a good grade here.

Final Grade: C+

There really is not a whole lot to see here, aside from Michael Kopech and a few depth guys that could get some at bats with the Sox this year. That being said, there is enough to make them still worth watching.

Well, that concludes our White Sox minor league viewing guide. The Barons and Dash are your best bets to see the stars of tomorrow, but the reality is you cannot go wrong with any of these teams.

Baseball is baseball, and every guy at every level in this organization has the same goal, and that’s winning a championship with the White Sox. That makes them all worthwhile watching.

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1 comment on “White Sox: 2018 Minor League Viewing Guide

  1. Now the charlotte has ’83 throwback jerseys. Seriously? Why anyone likes these butt ugly uniforms is beyond me. I guess it is just a matter of taste, bad taste. Created out of a fan contest and allegedly judged by some local fashion designers and J.R.’s wife, they are nothing more than a poor imitation of the Astro’s uniforms of the 80’s. Awkward with the color band only in the front, hats that look like they should have a propeller on them and a logo which ignores the old English logo used for years before and after. At the time of the contest, applicants were turned away for using the classic logo.

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