The Chicago White Sox farm system has been much improved over the last couple of seasons. The added talent has resulted in their Charlotte (AAA) team becoming one of the best and deepest at the Triple A level.
Birmingham (AA) and Winston-Salem (A Adv) don’t quite have as much talent but there are individuals who have been able to stand out above the rest of their teammates.
For the Winston-Salem Dash, that has been the case with Adam Engel this season.
In the month of April, Engel hit .316/.404/.434 with eight RBIs, 11 stolen bases, 10 walks and 17 runs scored. In fact, Engel led the Carolina League in runs last month.
Engel was yet another selection of the White Sox in the 2013 draft.
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Last season between rookie ball, Kannapolis (Low A) and Winston-Salem, Engel hit .264/.335/.400 with seven home runs, 10 triples and 71 runs scored in 103 games. He also stole 39 bags.
His speed not only translates at the plate, but in the field as well. Angel has excellent range in the outfield and has shown the ability to gun out runners who try to take the extra base on him.
Like any hitter who gets selected as late as the 19th round in the amateur draft, Angel does have his flaws. He doesn’t always put the bat on the ball which was evident by his 113 strikeouts last season. He also doesn’t possess much in the power department.
Engel is one of the most athletic players in the White Sox system so it will be interesting to see how much more he can develop.
Feb 22, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox center fielder Keenyn Walker (82) poses for a photo during photo day at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Though Engel is truly in a class of his own this season at Winston-Salem, the Dash have also seen some things out of Keenyn Walker.
Walker was a compensatory pick (47th overall) of the White Sox in 2011 but hasn’t quite met up to his potential.
The speedy outfielder has stolen 159 bases in five minor league seasons but is a career .229 hitter and has struck out at least 140 times each of the last three seasons. His last two seasons at Birmingham have been his worst which has forced the White Sox to demote him back to Winston-Salem.
Walker fits the bill of a leadoff hitter much more than he does a run producer. His speed and willingness to take his walks are what the White Sox want to see as oppose to him trying to hit the ball out the ballpark.
With Engel hitting at the top of the order this season, Walker has been at the bottom of the order hitting eighth or ninth.
In April, Walker hit .263/.400/.368 with 13 runs scored, 12 stolen bases and 11 walks.