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Basabe blasts 102.3-mph pitch for World Team

White Sox prospect hits 2-run homer 404 feet at Futures Game
MLB.com

WASHINGTON -- Power in, power out.

And White Sox prospect Luis Alexander Basabe showed he has a power arm to boot.

WASHINGTON -- Power in, power out.

And White Sox prospect Luis Alexander Basabe showed he has a power arm to boot.

Box score

:: 2018 Futures Game coverage ::

Basabe was the early star of Sunday's SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Nationals Park, turning on a 102.3-mph fastball from Reds top pitching prospect Hunter Greene for a tiebreaking, two-run home run in the third inning of the World team's 10-6 loss to the U.S. The homer left Basabe's bat at 104.8 mph, according to Statcast™, and traveled a projected 404 feet.

"I saw a guy hit a 102-mph fastball like it was nothing," said World manager David Ortiz. "That's fun to watch."

Had it been a Major League game, and not an exhibition pitting top prospects from the U.S. against another team comprised of players from the rest of the world, Greene's fastball would have been the firmest MLB pitch turned around for a home run since Rafael Devers took Aroldis Chapman deep last season on a 102.8-mph heater.

According to Statcast™, there has been only one other Major League homer off a pitch in excess of 102.3 mph since 2008: A Kurt Suzuki smash off a 102.6 mph Chapman fastball in 2016.

"I was nervous, but I exhaled and got it all out," Basabe said. "They told me the pitch was 102 [mph], but I just put the bat on the ball. I'm not surprised. I know I can hit it, but you have to do everything perfect."

Basabe knew he was going to see heat from Greene, the hard-throwing right-hander who is No. 18 on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 prospects list. Fourteen of Greene's 27 pitches topped 100 mph.

"I just think, 'Be early and get the barrel on the ball,'" Basabe said.

"Tip my cap to that guy. He's a great ballplayer," Greene said. "That was pretty impressive."

The home run gave the World a 3-1 lead, two innings after Basabe showed he can throw hard himself. He scooped up Nathaniel Lowe's RBI single in the first inning and fired a 90.1 mph throw, per Statcast™, to second base to deny Lowe a double. Basabe's assist ended the inning.

A 21-year-old from Venezuela currently playing at Double-A Birmingham, Basabe came to the White Sox from the Red Sox as part of the blockbuster trade that sent Chris Sale to Boston. Other prospects in the deal, most notably Chicago second baseman Yoan Moncada, got higher billing, but that's just fine to Basabe.

"I like it," he said, "because they don't think too much of me, and then when I go to do my thing, they're going to be surprised."

Asked what he wants White Sox fans to know about him, Basabe smiled widely and said, "That I'm a good baseball player, and I like to be on the camera. That's all."

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.

Chicago White Sox, Luis Alexander Basabe

Cease flourishing at Double-A Birmingham

Right-hander among four prospects enjoying success in Minors
MLB.com

CHICAGO -- White Sox pitching prospect Dylan Cease earned a promotion to Double-A Birmingham a few weeks ago, and so far, he has impressed in three starts.

The team's No. 4 prospect per MLBPipeline, has allowed six earned runs in 16 2/3 innings, good for a 3.24 ERA. Five of those came in his first start, but since then, he's given up one run on seven hits in 12 combined innings, including a July 1 outing during which he went seven frames.

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CHICAGO -- White Sox pitching prospect Dylan Cease earned a promotion to Double-A Birmingham a few weeks ago, and so far, he has impressed in three starts.

The team's No. 4 prospect per MLBPipeline, has allowed six earned runs in 16 2/3 innings, good for a 3.24 ERA. Five of those came in his first start, but since then, he's given up one run on seven hits in 12 combined innings, including a July 1 outing during which he went seven frames.

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So far with Birmingham, Cease has also struck out 23 batters against seven walks and owns a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3.29, which is slightly higher than what he had in 13 starts for Class A Advanced Winston-Salem (2.93). Cease finished his tenure there with a 9-2 record, a 2.89 ERA and a .583 OPS against.

Cease also earned a spot in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on Sunday, and he will likely pitch an inning or two.

Here is a rundown of other notable White Sox prospect performances:

Sheets, 1B, Winston-Salem
Gavin Sheets has largely been overshadowed at Winston-Salem, thanks to the likes of higher-profile prospects taking the spotlight.

But the White Sox second-round pick in 2017 and No. 11 prospect has still put together a solid season. The 22-year-old lefty owns a .286/.369/.410 slash line in 73 games this year, adding four home runs and 18 doubles to his ledger.

Throughout much of June and into July, Sheets owned a 15-game hitting streak, hitting .400 over that span with a .981 OPS. It also included six consecutive multihit performances toward the end.

Adams, RHP, Triple-A Charlotte
After struggling in much of his time at Birmingham, Spencer Adams impressed enough in three starts following Memorial Day that he earned a promotion to Charlotte. Since arriving, he's been solid.

Adams, the White Sox No. 14 prospect, has gone at least six innings in his first five Triple-A starts, and he owns a 2.97 ERA in 33 1/3 innings. Dating back to his time in Double-A, Adams has completed six innings in 11 of his 12 starts.

Adams' most recent start on July 7 may have been one of his best of the year. The 22-year-old went seven scoreless innings and gave up just four hits while walking two and striking out four.

Ruiz, RHP, Birmingham
Jose Ruiz started his professional baseball career with the Padres, but the White Sox claimed him off waivers last December. So far, Ruiz has impressed out of Birmingham's bullpen.

Promoted to Double-A in early May, the 23-year-old Ruiz has pitched to a 2.33 ERA in 18 relief outings, earning seven saves along the way. He's given up just 15 hits and walked only eight in 27 innings, good for a WHIP of 0.85.

Ruiz, the White Sox No. 29 prospect, has also struck out an impressive 35 batters. His strikeout-to-walk ratio of 4.38 with Birmingham is almost identical to the mark he posted in 10 games (13 1/3 innings) for Winston-Salem (4.40).

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

Chicago White Sox, Dylan Cease, Jose Ruiz

Adolfo to get Tommy John; Garcia heads to DL

MLB.com

CHICAGO -- White Sox general manager Rick Hahn had more to talk about than an Avisail Garcia hamstring update when addressing the organization's injury situation during a pregame media session prior to Tuesday's series opener against the Cardinals.

Micker Adolfo, the No. 10 White Sox prospect per MLB Pipeline, suffered a setback during his throwing program with Class A Advanced Winston-Salem. The designated hitter/outfielder was examined by doctors in Chicago on Monday and will undergo Tommy John surgery in the upcoming weeks.

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CHICAGO -- White Sox general manager Rick Hahn had more to talk about than an Avisail Garcia hamstring update when addressing the organization's injury situation during a pregame media session prior to Tuesday's series opener against the Cardinals.

Micker Adolfo, the No. 10 White Sox prospect per MLB Pipeline, suffered a setback during his throwing program with Class A Advanced Winston-Salem. The designated hitter/outfielder was examined by doctors in Chicago on Monday and will undergo Tommy John surgery in the upcoming weeks.

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Adolfo, 21, sprained his ulnar collateral ligament and suffered a strained flexor tendon during Spring Training. But instead of undergoing immediate surgery, Adolfo served as the DH for the Dash and hit .283 with 11 home runs and 50 RBIs this season. It was determined at the time of the original injury that Adolfo could do no further damage by hitting, although Adolfo and the team knew surgery would be likely eventually.

"We're hopeful to have him back in the vicinity of 8-10 months, which would have him hopefully with an affiliate by May 1 of next year," Hahn said. "Obviously not great news for Micker, but going back to Spring Training, initially we were concerned he was going to end up missing the entire year, and at least this way Micker was able to get over 300 plate appearances at Winston-Salem.

"He had a very solid year from a development standpoint, and will be back in time -- assuming everything goes smoothly -- with a chance for essentially a full season in 2019. It should not set him behind too far developmentally, but obviously not great news for the kid personally."

Garcia was placed on the 10-day disabled list (retroactive to July 9) with a strained right hamstring after he left Sunday's game against the Astros. It's the same hamstring that put Garcia on the DL from April 24-June 22 earlier this season, but Hahn pointed out this injury is in a different area of the hamstring and more mild in nature.

"Our doctors and training staff are optimistic that we could have him back as soon as the start of the second half," Hahn said. "Obviously we'll see how it unfolds here over the next few days, but it appears to be more mild than the last time."

Video: CWS@HOU: Avisail Garcia exits with hamstring injury

Outfielder Ryan LaMarre was added to the active roster in place of Garcia, after LaMarre, 29, was claimed off waivers Monday from the Twins. He batted .263 with five doubles, eight RBIs and seven runs scored in 43 games over four stints with Minnesota this season before being designated for assignment on July 2. LaMarre, who bats right-handed and throws lefty, will wear uniform No. 25.

Pitching coach Don Cooper was also out of action for the start of the series against the Cardinals after having off-day surgery on his right hand. Unfortunately for the White Sox, it has been an injury-filled season as they continue to rebuild.

"At the same time, we know a couple things. If you have a great number of prospects, a great number of young players that people are interested in, the odds of some of them, or multiple of them, getting hurt are higher," Hahn said. "Just the nature of the business. I think it reinforces some of the tenants or mantra you've heard us repeat from the start of this entire rebuild going back the last 18 months.

"We need to build depth, we need to build enough redundancy within our own system, so when things like this happen, we have alternatives. We don't want any player to get hurt, but we want to put ourselves in a position to have enough premium talent on hand that we can fill whatever voids are created by these setbacks."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox, Micker Adolfo, Avisail Garcia

Cease, Basabe to play in Futures Game

MLB.com

HOUSTON -- Right-handed pitcher Dylan Cease and outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe have been selected to participate in the 2018 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, which will be played at 3 p.m. CT on Sunday, July 15, at Nationals Park in Washington, DC.

Cease, the No. 4 White Sox prospect, per MLB Pipeline, will be play for the U.S. team. Basabe, the No. 13 White Sox prospect, will suit up for the World Team.

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HOUSTON -- Right-handed pitcher Dylan Cease and outfielder Luis Alexander Basabe have been selected to participate in the 2018 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, which will be played at 3 p.m. CT on Sunday, July 15, at Nationals Park in Washington, DC.

Cease, the No. 4 White Sox prospect, per MLB Pipeline, will be play for the U.S. team. Basabe, the No. 13 White Sox prospect, will suit up for the World Team.

View Full Game Coverage

"To have those two guys join it, it's awesome for them, awesome for the organization," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "We're excited for their opportunity to show the world who they are and what they're about, and I hope they have some success, allow themselves to shine and have some fun."

It was last year when Michael Kopech struck out Yoan Moncada during this same competition in a battle between two of the White Sox top young players competing on that day for different teams.

Cease is 9-2 with a 3.13 ERA and 96 strikeouts in 83 1/3 innings over 15 starts between Class A Advanced Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham.

Basabe is slashing .251/.351/.452 with 12 doubles, seven triples, nine home runs and 34 RBIs in 72 games with the Dash and Barons. Cease came from the Cubs as part of the Jose Quintana trade, while Basabe was part of the four-player return from Boston for Chris Sale.

Garcia can strengthen the core

Avisail Garcia doesn't pay attention to trade rumors involving his name. He doesn't hear anything from friends or family on the matter either.

"No, they don't talk about it," Garcia said. "They know I don't pay attention to that and I don't like people talking to me about that. Only rumors.

"I've been through the same thing every year. It's not something new. I don't pay attention to all of that. I control what I can control. Working hard, doing my best during the game, and whatever happens, happens. It's business. One day you are here, the next day you never know. So let's see what happens."

Since returning to action from the disabled list on June 22, Garcia leads the Majors with the highest hard-hit rate per Statcast™. Garcia's percentage checks in at 63.4 for balls hit with an exit velocity of 95+ mph, leading Nick Markakis (60.5), Manny Machado (60) and Hunter Renfroe (60).

Garcia has erased a slow start with a .339 average, 1.123 OPS, six home runs and nine RBIs upon getting healthy, and focusing again on not expanding his strike zone, which worked so well during his 2017 All-Star campaign. He could become a trade candidate for contenders, but at 27, even with only one more year of control after this one, he could be part of the team's rebuilding core.

"For sure. I'm only 27," Garcia said. "I'm old because I've been here [six] years. I feel part of it. So, let's see what happens. I came here trying to work hard and do my best and be an example for all these guys."

Anderson out of action

Shortstop Tim Anderson was sidelined Friday after being hit by a Chris Devenski pitch in the left forearm during the eighth inning of Thursday's 4-3 loss. Anderson was available to pinch-run and thought he would be back Saturday.

"It's a little sore," Anderson said before Friday's game. "Swollen a little bit, but I feel a lot better than yesterday."

"Usually there is concern because there is residual effect of the blow, but he feels he can go out and do what we need him to," Renteria said. "We're just taking a precautionary note. If I need to use him I will converse with him, but he's doing well."

Third to first

• The White Sox sent outfielder Nicky Delmonico on a rehab assignment to Birmingham on Friday. Delmonico has been on the disabled list since May 19 with a fractured third metacarpal on his right hand. He sustained the injury after being hit by a Matt Moore pitch on May 18 vs. Texas.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox, Luis Alexander Basabe, Dylan Cease

No. 4 pick Madrigal signs with White Sox

Middle infielder joins organization coming off NCAA title run
MLB.com

HOUSTON -- Regardless of how great your summer has been, Nick Madrigal's almost certainly has been better.

The talented middle infielder was drafted No. 4 overall by the White Sox in the 2018 MLB Draft and followed that up by helping Oregon State top Arkansas in the College World Series finals. On Thursday, his signing was announced by the White Sox for a slot value $6,411,400 bonus, and he began his professional career Thursday night with the organization's Arizona Rookie League team.

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HOUSTON -- Regardless of how great your summer has been, Nick Madrigal's almost certainly has been better.

The talented middle infielder was drafted No. 4 overall by the White Sox in the 2018 MLB Draft and followed that up by helping Oregon State top Arkansas in the College World Series finals. On Thursday, his signing was announced by the White Sox for a slot value $6,411,400 bonus, and he began his professional career Thursday night with the organization's Arizona Rookie League team.

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"Ever since the Draft, I tried to stay focused with our college season and let that play out first," Madrigal told reporters during a conference call. "I was excited just to put the White Sox logo on, get in uniform.

"I really don't need a whole lot of break. I've been playing all season long. I told them I only needed a couple of days to swing a wood bat, get used to it. I'm ready to go and just excited to move forward."

Madrigal, 21, batted .367/.428/.511 with eight doubles, six triples, three home runs, 34 RBIs, 41 runs scored and 15 stolen bases in 42 games as a junior in 2018 for the Beavers. The 5-foot-7, 165-pound second baseman, who bats right-handed, will play a couple of games at shortstop in Arizona before moving to Class A Kannapolis.

White Sox prospects rankings

As for a future position for Madrigal -- on a team featuring Tim Anderson at shortstop and Yoan Moncada at second base -- he is open to anything.

"It really doesn't matter to me, and I really do mean that. I've played shortstop my whole life and I feel comfortable with it," Madrigal said. "Most of my college career I played second base. I feel like second is pretty easy to play, I feel comfortable there, too.

"At the end of the day, it's whatever the Chicago White Sox need me to do. I feel comfortable for both. I'll be ready for wherever they put me when the time comes."

The White Sox have agreed to terms with 34 of their 40 selections from the 2018 Draft, including all of their top 30 picks. They announced Thursday the signing of right-handed pitchers Davis Martin (14th round) from Texas Tech and Jason Morgan (35th round) from North Carolina, and third baseman Bryce Bush (35th round) from De La Salle Collegiate High School in Warren, Mich.

2018 Draft Tracker: Every White Sox pick

Both Morgan and Bush could end up as major Draft values in regard to their high talent level. But Thursday's focus fell upon Madrigal, a player with the potential to become a starting second baseman or shortstop at the end of the White Sox rebuild.

"Normally, our goal is to assimilate players as quickly as possible into our system, but in this case, we are very happy for Nick and the Beavers that any delay was because of winning a national championship," White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said in the statement to announce the Madrigal signing. "Nick is a talented young player in many aspects of the game, and we look forward to adding his skills, drive and leadership to our organization as he joins a developing core of talented young prospects."

"I'm going to go out there and just play as hard as I can and play my game," Madrigal said. "As far as the plan of moving up, that's in their hands. I'm going to do everything I can to be ready for when they need me. When they move me up or anything like that, it's kind of out of my control at this point. I just want to go out there and play my game."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox

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

White Sox add pop to system with int'l deals

MLB.com

The White Sox are adding some pop to their farm system through the international market.

According to industry sources, the club has agreed to $300,000 deals with power-hitting third baseman Bryan Ramos and shortstop Harold Diaz of Cuba along with hard-hitting catcher Luis Pineda of Venezuela.

The White Sox are adding some pop to their farm system through the international market.

According to industry sources, the club has agreed to $300,000 deals with power-hitting third baseman Bryan Ramos and shortstop Harold Diaz of Cuba along with hard-hitting catcher Luis Pineda of Venezuela.

:: 2018 International Signing Period ::

Add agreements with Alberto Lemay Bernal, another first baseman with power from Cuba, for $250,000 and Anthony Espinoza, a slick fielding shortstop from Venezuela for $200,000 and it's quite a haul for the White Sox.

The club has not confirmed the deals.

According to the rules established by the Collective Bargaining Agreement, clubs that received a Competitive Balance Pick in Round B of the MLB Draft received a pool of $6,025,400, while clubs that received a Competitive Balance Pick in Round A of the Draft received $5,504,500. All other clubs, including the White Sox, received $4,983,500.

The White Sox -- like the A's, Astros, Braves, Cardinals, Nationals, Padres, and Reds -- are in the maximum penalty and cannot sign any individual player for more than $300,000 during this period, but they do still have access to all of their pool money.

The White Sox can trade as much of their international pool money as they would like but can only acquire 75 percent of a team's initial pool amount. Additionally, signing bonuses of $10,000 or less do not count toward the club's bonus pool, and foreign professional players who are at least 25 and have played in a foreign league for at least six seasons are exempt.

Jesse Sanchez, who has been writing for MLB.com since 2001, is a national reporter based in Phoenix. Follow him on Twitter @JesseSanchezMLB and Facebook.

Chicago White Sox

Eloy inching closer to MLB with Triple-A play

MLB.com

CHICAGO -- The White Sox promoted several prospects last week, and Eloy Jimenez has already adjusted to Triple-A pitching since his promotion to Charlotte on June 21.

It's still early, as Jimenez has only played nine games for the Knights, but the organization's No. 1 prospect (and No. 3 overall) per MLBPipeline already has two home runs and a .789 OPS. He's 8-for-32 overall with Charlotte, and he has also drawn four walks and been hit by a pitch, good for a .351 on-base percentage.

CHICAGO -- The White Sox promoted several prospects last week, and Eloy Jimenez has already adjusted to Triple-A pitching since his promotion to Charlotte on June 21.

It's still early, as Jimenez has only played nine games for the Knights, but the organization's No. 1 prospect (and No. 3 overall) per MLBPipeline already has two home runs and a .789 OPS. He's 8-for-32 overall with Charlotte, and he has also drawn four walks and been hit by a pitch, good for a .351 on-base percentage.

The two home runs are Jimenez's only extra-base hits thus far at Triple-A, but he's already had two multihit games and has only struck out five times. Jimenez finished his run with Double-A Birmingham this season with a .317/.368/.556 line, 10 home runs, 15 doubles and multiple double-digit hit streaks.

Video: Eloy Jimenez on working hard, preparing for Majors

Director of player development Chris Getz said last week that if Jimenez continues to hit and "forces our hand," then the White Sox will consider promoting him to Chicago before the end of the season.

The White Sox promoted 15 other prospects last week throughout their system. Here is a breakdown of other notable performances among that group:

Luis Gonzalez, OF, Class A Advanced Winston-Salem
Relatively speaking, Gonzalez is finding even more success with his new team than Jimenez since their promotions.

Gonzalez, the White Sox No. 18 prospect, is on a tear through six games, going 10-for-27 with five doubles and seven runs scored. He's amounted a .370/.433/.556 slash line, though he hasn't hit a home run yet after clubbing eight in 55 games for Class A Kannapolis.

A third-round Draft pick in 2017 out of the University of New Mexico, Gonzalez has already surpassed his professional at-bat total from last season. He's compiled a .307/.366/.498 line between Kannapolis and Winston-Salem this year.

Ian Hamilton, RHP, Triple-A Charlotte
Promoted from Birmingham last week, Hamilton has already seen success at the Triple-A level.

The White Sox No. 19 prospect, who has worked exclusively as a reliever during his Minor League career, has made three appearances so far for the Knights, racking up two saves in the process. In 3 1/3 innings, Hamilton has allowed only one hit and one walk while striking out six while posting a WHIP of 0.60.

Hamilton, an 11th-round Draft pick in 2016, largely closed in Double-A as well, pitching to a 1.78 ERA in 25 1/3 innings and tallying 12 saves. He struck out 34 batters against 12 walks, and he hasn't given up a home run in 2018.

Blake Battenfield, RHP, Class A Advanced Winston-Salem
Battenfield, the White Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Month for May, doesn't have the name recognition of Michael Kopech or Dane Dunning, but Battenfield is still finding success at a higher level.

The 23-year-old right-hander made his first start for the Dash on Monday, throwing eight innings of two-run ball while striking out seven. Battenfield's start matched his longest of the season -- he also went eight on May 10, whiffing 10 and giving up only three hits.

Drafted in the 17th round last year, Battenfield pitched to a 2.00 ERA in 13 starts (67 2/3 innings) with Class A Kannapolis before his promotion.

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

Chicago White Sox, Eloy Jimenez

Newly promoted Robert adjusts to life in Minors

Heralded prospect envisions playing with fellow Cubans Abreu, Moncada
MLB.com

CHICAGO -- One year ago, Luis Robert was the marquee international addition, playing for the White Sox Dominican team with a $26 million signing bonus behind him.

Now, the 20-year-old outfielder is another Minor Leaguer and part of the White Sox system. OK, not just another Minor Leaguer: He's the No. 3 White Sox prospect and No. 26 overall per MLB Pipeline, adjusting to life after his recent promotion from Class A Kannapolis to Class A Advanced Winston-Salem.

CHICAGO -- One year ago, Luis Robert was the marquee international addition, playing for the White Sox Dominican team with a $26 million signing bonus behind him.

Now, the 20-year-old outfielder is another Minor Leaguer and part of the White Sox system. OK, not just another Minor Leaguer: He's the No. 3 White Sox prospect and No. 26 overall per MLB Pipeline, adjusting to life after his recent promotion from Class A Kannapolis to Class A Advanced Winston-Salem.

"Off the field, the schedule is different," Robert told MLB.com through interpreter Billy Russo during a recent phone interview, comparing life in the Minors to last year's Dominican playing experience. "You have to know about the busses, what time you have to be at the ballpark, what time you need to be in every specific place, according to the team schedule.

Jimenez among 16 to receive Minors promotion

"On the field, the pitchers think more. And I think that in every class, in every league, it's different and it's going to be harder because pitchers are better, and they are smarter, too."

Robert has a .286 average and .724 OPS, with five RBIs and five stolen bases overall this season. After an impressive showing at big league camp during Spring Training, Robert suffered a sprained ligament in his left thumb on March 9 and was out of official action until a debut with Kannapolis on June 5.

Some soreness continues to bother Robert, normal muscle soreness in the initial playing process after having his hand immobilized for an extended stretch. But there's no concern on the part of Robert or the White Sox.

"Just a little bit in my swing because of the soreness, some balls that I can usually hit harder and put in the air," said Robert of being hampered at all. "But because of the soreness in my wrist, I'm lowering my hands more than I used to and that's generating more ground balls and line drives. I'm working through it, and physically I'm feeling good."

Dealing with postgame spreads involving pizza and burgers has been an adjustment for the healthy-eating Robert. That diet issue won't be as much of a problem for Robert once he reaches the Majors.

That's an achievement falling probably two years away. It's one Robert still thinks about, especially the potential of winning a World Series title with fellow Cuban countryman Jose Abreu and Yoan Moncada.

Video: OAK@CWS: Abreu grounds an RBI single through the hole

"Every Cuban ballplayer dreams of the idea of playing in the big leagues with fellow countrymen," Robert said. "In my case, if I have the opportunity to play with Abreu and Moncada, with all the experience they have, it would be a dream come true. We play the game with joy and respect the game, and we share that heritage. It's going to be very special if that happens.

"You think about the moment you are going to be able to make your debut in the Majors and to wear a Major League uniform, as every player does. In the meantime, my focus is just to get ready, keep learning, do my job in the Minors and continue with the development process.

"It's an honor to be among those players that the team considers as part of the future," Robert said. "It's going to be a future where we are going to win championships. It's a motivation to something that really connects with me. I'm just glad to be part of this organization."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox, Jose Abreu, Yoan Moncada

Dunning has elbow soreness; Covey improving

Renteria says Sox prospect has moderate strain
MLB.com

CHICAGO -- Dane Dunning, the White Sox No. 6 prospect per MLB Pipeline, departed with right elbow soreness from his start for Double-A Birmingham Saturday, according to the team.

Dunning left with two outs in the fourth inning after allowing one earned run with four strikeouts and four walks.

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CHICAGO -- Dane Dunning, the White Sox No. 6 prospect per MLB Pipeline, departed with right elbow soreness from his start for Double-A Birmingham Saturday, according to the team.

Dunning left with two outs in the fourth inning after allowing one earned run with four strikeouts and four walks.

View Full Game Coverage

"Everybody considered it a very moderate strain," said White Sox manager Rick Renteria of Dunning. "Nobody is at this point too concerned."

The 23-year-old has a combined 2.71 ERA over 15 starts for Class A Advanced Winston-Salem (four starts) and Birmingham (11) this season, recording 100 strikeouts and 26 walks in 86 1/3 innings. Dunning will continue to be evaluated and undergo a MRI in the next few days.

"They still have to re-evaluate more," Renteria said. "We won't know more until they get further evaluation and at that point everybody will know where he's at. Right now he still has to be re-evaluated."

Covey improving
Dylan Covey, who was removed in the fifth inning of Saturday's 7-6 loss to the A's with what has been described as right hip flexor soreness, termed Sunday a very good day when speaking after the White Sox 10-3 victory.

Covey has Monday off but expects to throw on Tuesday prior to the series opener with the Twins.

Reynaldo Lopez, James Shields and Lucas Giolito will start the next three games for the White Sox against the Twins. Covey would be scheduled to go Friday in Texas, but the team could bring back Carlos Rodon on regular rest with Monday's off-day and give Covey an extra day.

Video: OAK@CWS: Covey K's Lowrie to strand a runner at 2nd

Soria becoming trade candidate
In the month of June, Joakim Soria has gone 7-for-7 in save opportunities and has fanned 12 with one walk over 9 2/3 innings. He made his 11th straight scoreless appearance, covering 10 2/3 innings overall, in Game 2 of Friday's doubleheader and has allowed just one unearned run over his last 14 appearances.

Opponents are 5-for-46 with two walks and 15 strikeouts against Soria during that span. Soria also has a 1.84 ERA and .220 opponents' batting average over 15 appearances on the road this season.

Video: CLE@CWS: Soria coaxes double play to notch the save

All of these numbers make the 34-year-old veteran with 215 career saves a prime trade candidate for the rebuilding White Sox.

It's a fact definitely crossing Soria's mind.

"Players say they don't think about it, but you have to think about it," Soria said. "When you have a family with three kids and a wife you have to be prepared for everything. But it's not like I come to the field thinking about that. It's just God's plan, and whatever happens it's a business and you prepare.

"That's something I can't control. Obviously, I have a really good relationship with these guys and the chemistry with this team is very good. I can't think outside of the box because it hasn't happened yet. You have to keep focused and be ready for today's game."

Third to first
• Right-hander Miguel Gonzalez, out since April 22 with right rotator cuff inflammation, threw three scoreless innings in his first injury rehab start for Triple-A Charlotte on Sunday. Gonzalez struck out one, walked one and allowed one hit among his 37 pitches and 26 strikes against Toledo. Eloy Jimenez, the White Sox top prospect per MLB Pipeline, also hit his first homer since being promoted to Charlotte on Thursday.

Tim Anderson, with 13 home runs and 15 stolen bases, is one of seven players in the Majors this season with at least 10 home runs and 10 stolen bases.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox, Dylan Covey, Dane Dunning

Jimenez among 16 to receive Minors promotion

White Sox remain high on Kopech despite recent speed bump
MLB.com

CHICAGO -- White Sox director of player development Chris Getz admitted some of the 16 players who received Minor League promotions Thursday were close to Major League ready during a conference call to discuss the moves.

Outfielder Eloy Jimenez ranks as one of those players as he moves from Double-A Birmingham to Triple-A Charlotte, although Getz had a brief Jim Mora reaction when asked if Jimenez would need just a few games at Charlotte before being summoned to the White Sox.

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CHICAGO -- White Sox director of player development Chris Getz admitted some of the 16 players who received Minor League promotions Thursday were close to Major League ready during a conference call to discuss the moves.

Outfielder Eloy Jimenez ranks as one of those players as he moves from Double-A Birmingham to Triple-A Charlotte, although Getz had a brief Jim Mora reaction when asked if Jimenez would need just a few games at Charlotte before being summoned to the White Sox.

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"He's never played at Triple-A. Now, do I have full confidence that he's going to go up there and hit? Sure. I absolutely do," Getz said. "If he continues to do so and forces our hand, we're certainly going to have that conversation about him coming to Chicago. Let's just get him in the lineup tonight and see what he can do."

For the record, the White Sox No. 1 prospect per MLB Pipeline was hitting third and playing right field for Charlotte in his International League debut. As a member of the Barons, the Southern League All-Star hit .317 with 10 home runs, 15 doubles, 42 RBIs and a .925 OPS.

Getz listed off accomplishments for Jimenez to date, ranging from hammering fastballs to maturity beyond his 21 years to controlling the zone, driving the ball and making good decisions in the box. Sounds big league ready, right?

Well, there are reasons why this development plan required Jimenez to stop at Charlotte.

"Double-A, historically, is a fastball-heavy league -- certainly the Southern League," Getz said. "You'll get a lot of high starting prospects at that level that are still kind of learning to command their fastball, meaning they're using their fastball often.

"Obviously, he's responded well to that. Now at Charlotte, you're going to run into guys that have a little more experience. Some may have pitched in the big leagues, some might have been labeled those 4-A types. But what comes with that is more offspeed pitches, pitching backwards, being able to locate a little bit more.

"It will be interesting to see how he does respond with guys attacking him a little bit differently," Getz added. "We as an organization believe he's going to be able to accomplish pretty much the same type of things he's been accomplishing at Charlotte."

Catcher Seby Zavala, who moved from Birmingham to Charlotte, received plaudits from Getz for the way he handles a pitching staff. But when asked for a surprise among this list, Getz turned to Dylan Cease, the right-handed starter jumping from Class A Advanced Winston-Salem to Birmingham.

"Heading into the season, his first full year with us, the focus was: every fifth day, a full season's worth of innings," said Getz of Cease. "He's more or less forced our hand. He's really come on; he's pitching with four pitches, four-plus pitches. He's commanding the ball, very mature kid. And he's certainly ready for the next challenge at Double-A."

Video: Top Prospects: Michael Kopech, RHP, White Sox

Getz maintains high level of confidence in Kopech

Michael Kopech had allowed 14 earned runs in 11 innings -- along with 17 walks against 14 strikeouts -- over his last three starts for Charlotte before getting back on track Wednesday night.

"Last night, I was really happy with what he was able to do," said Getz of Kopech, who allowed two earned runs over five innings Wednesday, with six strikeouts and four walks. "He did have a little bit of a hiccup, getting a little erratic. He was getting a little quick in his delivery, his lower half wasn't picking up with his upper half. The command of his pitches was not there.

"But last night, he was in the zone, commanding the fastball. His body was under control. He threw some good breaking pitches, a couple of good changeups. He was back to being the competitor we are accustomed to. We are hoping to build off of this outing."

Getz has few doubts about Kopech's future as a major part of the White Sox rotation.

"Listen, he's going to find his way to the big leagues. He's going to be an impact frontline-type starter. I'm very confident in that," Getz said. "Just like a lot of great players, sometimes it's a meandering path. And to say that he's gone off track is not fair, because it's only been a couple of outings. I think he's in a really good spot."

Promoted to Charlotte
OF Eloy Jimenez
RHP Ian Hamilton
C Seby Zavala  

Promoted to Birmingham
RHP Dylan Cease
LHP Bernardo Flores
RHP Matt Foster
RHP Zach Thompson
OF Luis Basabe
OF Joel Booker
OF Alex Call  

Promoted to Winston-Salem
RHP Lincoln Henzman
RHP Blake Battenfield
RHP Tyler Johnson
INF Laz Rivera
OF Luis Gonzalez
OF Luis Robert

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox

Son of White Sox coach excels in pro debut

Chicago Minor Leaguers star in All-Star Games on Tuesday
MLB.com

CLEVELAND -- In Alek Thomas' first game as part of the D-backs' organization on Monday, the 18-year-old outfielder knocked out three singles and drew a walk for Arizona's Rookie-level affiliate.

It was a performance that produced a huge smile from Allen Thomas, Alek's father and the White Sox director of conditioning for the past 15 years. But it certainly didn't surprise him.

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CLEVELAND -- In Alek Thomas' first game as part of the D-backs' organization on Monday, the 18-year-old outfielder knocked out three singles and drew a walk for Arizona's Rookie-level affiliate.

It was a performance that produced a huge smile from Allen Thomas, Alek's father and the White Sox director of conditioning for the past 15 years. But it certainly didn't surprise him.

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"That's been his whole life, I wouldn't expect anything any different," Thomas said. "I don't think he expects anything different. He understands the process. I think the right team got him at the right time.

"But I feel like for me, just let the bird free. Something he's been known to do is fly as far as baseball goes. I'm very very happy. His mom is, too, and everybody in the clubhouse is seeing him actually get to be in a pro uniform. We knew he was going to be that part of it if he just stayed healthy."

The younger Thomas developed into one of the best all-around high school athletes in Illinois while prepping at Mount Carmel High School in Chicago. He committed to play football and baseball at TCU, but his life target became professional baseball.

Video: Draft Report: Alek Thomas, HS outfielder

"We can let the cat out of the bag," said the elder Thomas with a smile. "I don't think college in general was something that Alek ever dreamed about.

"People have to understand where he's coming from there, even though he graduated 20th in his class. He just wanted to be a pro player."

Arizona took Thomas in the second round of the 2018 MLB Draft, setting in motion a raucous family celebration at a restaurant in downtown Chicago where they were gathered on that June 4 night. There also is another White Sox connection for Alek Thomas in the D-backs' system, as former White Sox pitcher J.J. Putz serves as special assistant to Arizona's president and CEO, Orlando Hudson serves as a Minor League Player Development assistant and Chris Cron, Allen Thomas's first manager as a White Sox Minor League player, serves as the D-backs' Minor League hitting coordinator. Allen Thomas is thankful to the entire White Sox organization for letting his son experience big league life at his side at times as he was developing as a player.

"Those are all guys who played around with Alek and kind of took him on their side," Thomas said. "Alek had some really good things that no one in the Draft got what he got, with [White Sox general manager] Rick [Hahn] and [executive vice president] Kenny [Williams] and [owner] Jerry [Reinsdorf] allowing him to be on the field.

"Look, I wasn't a player at that point, so as a strength coach, allowing him to be there, they knew he was fine. Kudos to the White Sox for letting us develop him to where he is today."

White Sox star in the Minors
Sixteen players in the White Sox system, including six from Double-A Birmingham, five from Class A Advanced Winston-Salem and five from Class A Kannapolis, played Tuesday night in Minor League All-Star Games.

Birmingham catcher Zack Collins won the Southern League Home Run Derby. Outfielder Eloy Jimenez (1-for-3), catcher Seby Zavala (1-for-2), Collins (1-for-3) and infielder Danny Mendick (2-for-4) all picked up hits in the game.

Winston-Salem outfielder Joel Booker was named Most Valuable Player of the Carolina League All-Star Game after going 3-for-4 with a leadoff homer and four RBIs. Right-handed pitcher Dylan Cease, who leads the Carolina League in strikeouts, threw one scoreless inning with two strikeouts.

Video: BAL@CWS: 1st round pick Collins on growth in minors

Kannapolis infielder Laz Rivera was 2-for-3 with a double and a stolen base and infielder Tate Blackman hit a solo home run in the South Atlantic League All-Star Game.

"Again it's a half-season accolade, but it's one that shows there's talent down there that's performing up to expectations and getting recognized by others in the league," Hahn said. "It's definitely a nice shot in the arm for these kids who have been busting it out down there."

Third to first
• Major League Baseball has overturned an official scoring call from a White Sox contest at Minnesota on June 5. A Brian Dozier ground ball off of reliever Nate Jones in the eighth inning of Game 1 of a doubleheader, originally ruled a single, has been changed to an error on third baseman Yolmer Sanchez. As a result, all four runs scored off of Jones now are unearned, lowering his postgame ERA from 4.01 to 2.86.

Avisail Garcia, hitting .333 with two home runs, three doubles and seven RBIs over six games of an injury rehab assignment with Triple-A Charlotte, could be back with the White Sox this weekend. The same holds true for infielder/outfielder Leury Garcia, who is 4-for-10 in his three-game injury rehab stint with the Knights.

"At the end of the day, whoever you have, they have to do their job," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "But it will be nice to see Avi and Leroy back and be part of the club, sure."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox

Jimenez among many up for Minors promotion

White Sox will wait until Tuesday's All-Star Games are over to make moves
MLB.com

CLEVELAND -- White Sox general manager Rick Hahn was not ready to talk specific Minor League promotions when talking to the media prior to Monday night's series opener at Progressive Field.

That topic will be deferred until after Tuesday's Southern League, Carolina League and South Atlantic League All-Star Games, where the White Sox have 18 players total involved, with director of player development Chris Getz making matters official Thursday.

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CLEVELAND -- White Sox general manager Rick Hahn was not ready to talk specific Minor League promotions when talking to the media prior to Monday night's series opener at Progressive Field.

That topic will be deferred until after Tuesday's Southern League, Carolina League and South Atlantic League All-Star Games, where the White Sox have 18 players total involved, with director of player development Chris Getz making matters official Thursday.

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"Yes, there will be many," Hahn said.

Expect outfielder Eloy Jimenez's move from Double-A Birmingham to Triple-A Charlotte to be at the top of that long list. The No. 1 White Sox prospect per MLB Pipeline is one of the Barons' six All-Stars, hitting .317, with a .925 OPS, 10 home runs, 15 doubles and 42 RBIs.

At 21, Jimenez is the youngest player on Birmingham's roster. Hahn reiterated a perfectly acceptable development plan for Jimenez would have been to spend the entire '18 season with the Barons, but the right-handed hitter playing both corner outfield spots has accelerated that plan.

"He certainly has had a marvelous first half down there," Hahn said. "We've talked about how the good ones sort of have a way of forcing the plan on you. Based on how he continued where he left off at the end of last season down there and produced at a very high level, he's starting to force that issue."

Jimenez ultimately becomes a candidate for a 2018 White Sox promotion, although Hahn didn't get that deep into his future Monday.

White Sox piecing together roster puzzle
The White Sox have a handful of players moving closer to a return to action after being sidelined by injuries. Elite prospects soon could warrant Major League consideration, while some players on the current roster could be trade candidates.

So it's somewhat of a complex time coming up for Hahn in terms of roster construction.

"It's a little different from last year in that the volume of likely potential trade targets from other clubs is a little less," Hahn said. "Or certainly the expectation there will be dramatic turnover is not nearly as high this year as it was last year.

"We unfortunately fell victim to a little bit more of the injury bug over the course of the first half. Over the coming weeks, we'll start integrating those players back in, and either there will be trades or moves back to the Minors for some of the players currently here."

Delmonico on the mend
Left fielder Nicky Delmonico had the cast removed from his right hand Friday after fracturing the third metacarpal when he was hit by a pitch during a game against Texas on May 18. He threw on Monday and can swing with a fungo, after taking one-hand swings with his left hand over the past month.

"I feel like I needed to work more on my top hand. Kind of swinging the last four weeks with my top hand has been helping," Delmonico said. "I'm looking forward to swinging with two hands.

"Every X-ray has gone good. So it's kind of next X-ray, and then we have a plan and then one more and kind of go from there."

Cleveland marks the first trip Delmonico has taken with the team since the injury.

"Watching your team play on TV and not being there, that was the hardest thing. But I've done everything I can to get back," Delmonico said. "I look forward to swinging and doing everything again. It felt good to throw."

Video: TEX@CWS: Delmonico leaves game with fractured hand

Avi getting close
Triple-A Charlotte's off-day Monday also meant an off-day for outfielder Avisail Garcia in his rehab work from a Grade 2 right hamstring strain. He is scheduled to play nine innings in each of the next two games and then be re-evaluated.

"Physically from an injury standpoint, knock on wood, it all seems to be behind us," Hahn said. "It's about getting baseball timing back and his legs under him. Having not played in a game since April 23 it was going to take a little time. I alluded to seven or 10 games when it started, and that would put us somewhere in the vicinity of the weekend."

Third to first
Jose Abreu returned to first base Monday, after serving as designated hitter Saturday and taking off Sunday.

"I wish I could have given him two or three days," said White Sox manager Rick Renteria of the max-effort Abreu. "But I can't afford to give him two or three days."

• Third baseman Yolmer Sanchez continues to take fly balls in the outfield to be ready in an emergency.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox, Nicky Delmonico, Avisail Garcia, Eloy Jimenez