CHICAGO -- Pitching continues to impress up and down the farm for the White Sox.Michael Kopech, Dylan Cease and Dane Dunning have already gotten off to hot starts, and promotions may be in their near futures.However, some of the middle-tier pitchers have also performed well, illustrating the vast depth of
CHICAGO -- Pitching continues to impress up and down the farm for the White Sox.
Michael Kopech, Dylan Cease and Dane Dunning have already gotten off to hot starts, and promotions may be in their near futures.
However, some of the middle-tier pitchers have also performed well, illustrating the vast depth of the team's Minor League system.
In addition, young outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe is off to a scorching start at Class A Advanced Winston-Salem.
Here is a rundown of some strong early performances:
Ian Clarkin, LHP, Double-A Birmingham
Clarkin was acquired in the midseason trade with the Yankees last season that sent Todd Frazier, Player Page for David Robertson and Tommy Kahnle to the Bronx. Entering 2018 as Chicago's No. 16 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, Clarkin has been lights out thus far in Birmingham.
Through two starts (12 1/3 innings) with the Barons, Clarkin has given up one run on nine hits while walking two and striking out eight. That includes a seven-inning complete game against the Montgomery Biscuits last Sunday.
Clarkin, 23, still needs to prove he can stay healthy -- he hasn't thrown more than 98 innings in a professional season -- and this is his first stint in Double-A.
Luis Alexander Basabe, OF, Class A Advanced Winston-Salem
Basabe signed with the Red Sox out of Venezuela in 2012, and arrived as part of the Chris Sale blockbuster that also netted Yoan Moncada and Kopech. After spending all of 2017 at Winston-Salem, he has started off this season scorching hot.
Through the first couple weeks of the season, Basabe leads the Dash in OPS at 1.030, which also trails only Royals prospect Khalil Lee's 1.090 mark in the Carolina League. His full slash line is .340/.426/.604, adding two home runs and 11 RBIs. Basabe, 21, is also sixth in the league in batting average, behind two of his teammates -- Blake Rutherford and Micker Adolfo.
John Parke, LHP, Single-A Kannapolis
Parke, 23, was drafted by the White Sox in the 21st round of last year's draft out of South Carolina, and threw 68 1/3 innings for the rookie league AZL White Sox, earning a promotion to Kannapolis this season.
Thus far, Parke has not made the White Sox regret that decision. Parke has thrown 17 innings over three starts, giving up three earned runs and striking out 17. Most impressive might be that he's walked only two, though he has hit three batters.
Jimmy Lambert, RHP, Class A Advanced Winston-Salem
A fifth-round pick in 2016, Lambert earned a midseason promotion from Kannapolis to Winston-Salem last season and struggled in his first go-around. Lambert, 23, pitched to a 5.45 ERA in 14 Carolina League starts in 2017, walking 29 against 59 strikeouts.
While it's a small sample size, things are different thus far in 2018. Lambert has turned in two excellent starts, giving up just three hits and four walks in 10 1/3 innings. That's good for a .094 batting average against, and a 2.61 ERA. The home run ball, which gave Lambert trouble in Winston-Salem last season, has yet to bother him this year.
Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago.