White Sox minor league affiliates end their regular seasons on Labor Day. Many positives emerge for Sox top prospects as season concludes for affiliates.
Chicago White Sox minor league affiliates saw their season end on Monday. With the DSL White Sox and AZL White Sox seasons already concluded, the remaining Sox affiliates season ended on Labor Day. The Great Falls Voyagers of the Rookie League will end their season on Saturday.
There have been many positives for the Sox top prospects this season as fans are eagerly anticipating the arrival of more young players in the coming years. The Sox made many good additions to a farm system that was ranked in the bottom half of MLB just a few years ago.
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Although the Sox have just one affliates that reached the postseason in Single-A Kannapolis, there have been some good development for top prospects this season. The Charlotte Knights of Triple-A ended their season with a 6-3 win over the Norfolk Tides. The Knights finished their 2017 season with a 61-81 record.
Charlotte began the season with many of the Sox top prospects who already had experience in the majors. Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Carson Fulmer all briefly appeared in the majors in 2016. However, they were in Charlotte for development and they certainly received it. Each aforementioned player has been promoted and none of them are looking for a return to the minors.
The Birmingham Barons of Double-A finished their season with a 8-3 loss to the Mississippi Braves. Birmingham concluded their 2017 campaign with a 53-85 record. The Barons offense was largely ineffective this season, but current Sox top pitching prospect Michael Kopech had a stellar season in Birmingham. After going 8-7 with a 2.87 ERA and 155 strikeouts with the Barons, Kopech was named the Southern League Most Outstanding Pitcher for 2017.
Eloy Jimenez would be promoted to Birmingham after a brief stint with Single-A Advanced Winston-Salem on Aug. 15. Jimenez was acquired from the Cubs as part of a return for Jose Quintana on July 13. Jimenez has since become a highly popular prospect among Sox fans. Through 18 games with Birmingham, Jimenez hit .353/.397/.559 with three home runs, five doubles, seven RBIs and a .956 OPS.
The Barons also received Alec Hansen just before the end of their regular season as he was promoted from Winston-Salem on Aug. 27. The 2016 second round draft pick of the Sox didn’t record a win in two starts with Birmingham, but had a 4.35 ERA with 17 strikeouts in 10.1 innings pitched. Hansen could start 2018 with the Barons as he has quickly risen through the Sox system since being drafted.
Winston-Salem ended their season with a 4-1 win over the Salem Red Sox on Monday. The Dash finished 2017 with a 56-84 record. Winston-Salem benefited from a one-hit complete game shutout on Sunday from Sox 10th ranked prospect Dane Dunning. Dunning could likely start next season with the Dash, but Winston-Salem could get some offensive reinforcements from Kannapolis.
The Kannapolis Intimidators finished their season with a 3-2 loss to the Lakewood BlueClaws. Despite a 68-69 record, the Intimidators qualified for the postseason as they were winners of the First Half South Atlantic Northern Division Championship. Kannapolis has recent Sox draft picks Jake Burger, Gavin Sheets and Evan Skoug. The Intimidators begin their best-of-three playoff series on Wednesday.
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