CHICAGO -- The White Sox Minor League system continues to chug along as the season progresses, with top prospects and under-the-radar players performing well.Dane Dunning, one of the three players acquired in the Adam Eaton trade along with Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez, made news this week by being promoted
CHICAGO -- The White Sox Minor League system continues to chug along as the season progresses, with top prospects and under-the-radar players performing well.
Dane Dunning, one of the three players acquired in the Adam Eaton trade along with Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez, made news this week by being promoted and starting for Double-A Birmingham for the first time. Blake Rutherford, acquired from the Yankees for Player Page for David Robertson, Todd Frazier and Tommy Kahnle, continues to hit as well.
Here is a rundown of those strong performances, as well as other notable outings:
Dunning, RHP, Birmingham
Dunning became the first White Sox top prospect to earn a promotion when he was called up to Birmingham on Thursday. He posted a 2.59 ERA in four starts with Class A Advanced Winston-Salem, walking only three and striking out 31 batters, impressing the White Sox enough in 24 1/3 innings.
Dunning, 23, made his first Double-A start also on Thursday, taking on Brewers affiliate Biloxi. In six innings, the White Sox No. 6 prospect per MLB Pipeline gave up three runs on five hits, and struck out four while walking two. Most of that damage came in the third inning, when consecutive hits to open the inning snowballed into three runs.
Rutherford, OF, Winston-Salem
Rutherford, 20, got off to a scorching hot start at the plate, and was hitting over .400 as recently as a week ago. He's cooled off slightly since then, but is still hitting .349/.386/.460. Rutherford has been somewhat overaggressive on the basepaths this year, attempting seven stolen base attempts but getting caught in four.
Nevertheless, Rutherford has shown an impressive hitting ability. The White Sox No. 7 prospect has played 15 games this season and has a hit in 11 of them. Seven of those have been multi-hit games, including two three-hit games and a 4-for-5 effort on April 19. He hasn't hit a home run -- 15 of his 22 hits are singles, and the other seven are doubles.
Seby Zavala, C, Birmingham
Most of the White Sox catching hype surrounds No. 9 prospect Zack Collins, and for good reason: Chicago selected him 10th overall in the 2016 First-Year Player Draft. But Collins has struggled thus far in Birmingham, hitting to a .146 average. Collins does own a .364 on-base percentage thanks to 16 walks.
Zavala, the White Sox No. 21 prospect, has been red-hot this week. The 12th-round draft pick in 2015 has hit four home runs in his last five games dating back to Saturday, pulling him into a tie for the Southern League lead. The 24-year-old also owns an impressive .328/.425/.690 slash line, good for fourth in the league in slugging and third in OPS at 1.114.
Kade McClure, RHP, Class A Kannapolis
McClure, the White Sox sixth-round pick in 2017, has gotten off to a solid start at Kannapolis. Having spent last year in affiliated ball pitching only in relief, McClure was moved to the starting rotation this season and owns a 2.48 ERA in five starts.
His best outing came last Saturday against Red Sox affiliate Greenville, throwing seven shutout innings while striking out nine and walking just one. McClure, 22, followed up that effort Thursday, needing 85 pitches to navigate 4 2/3 innings where he allowed two runs on five hits and four walks. He didn't record a strikeout Thursday, but still has 29 strikeouts in 29 innings, compared to 11 walks.
Max Gelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in Chicago.