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White Sox prospect changes swing, excels

Booker's adjustment helps lift him to organizational honor for June
MLB.com

CHICAGO -- After struggling following his promotion to Class-A Advanced Winston-Salem last season, outfielder Joel Booker knew that he'd have to make some changes.

He started by attending a White Sox hitting camp during the offseason at their Spring Training facility at Camelback Ranch.

CHICAGO -- After struggling following his promotion to Class-A Advanced Winston-Salem last season, outfielder Joel Booker knew that he'd have to make some changes.

He started by attending a White Sox hitting camp during the offseason at their Spring Training facility at Camelback Ranch.

"I'd like to say [my swing is] totally different," Booker said Tuesday during a conference call with reporters after being named the organization's top Minor League Player for June. "But I'd like to think I lowered my hands and I don't wrap my bat around my head as much, so I can get more on plane and stay through the zone longer.

"I'm a lot more direct to the ball, and so far that's helped me maintain the hot streak that I've been on."

Chicago's 22nd-round pick in the 2016 Draft out of the University of Iowa has been rewarded for his hard work. The revamped swing helped push Booker, who was promoted to Birmingham on June 21, to a .369/.430/.583 slash line between the two levels this season.

He hit 12 doubles and two home runs, and he also stole five bases last month. Booker also made headlines earlier this season when he stole home for a walk-off win at Winston-Salem on April 12.

Since his promotion to Double-A, Booker has batted .298/.340/.447 with a home run and four doubles in 11 games.

Before changing his swing, Booker said he didn't know if a month like he had in June would have been possible for him.

"I struggled last year around this time," Booker said. "To be around this time and showing that, in my second year, I'm back stronger, hopefully I can keep it up for the rest of the year, and hopefully [it will] set me up well for the offseason and next year."

Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago.

Chicago White Sox