White Sox

White Sox minor league report

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White Sox minor league report

The White Sox looked to beef up their minor league system earlier this week in the draft. Lets take a look at how some of the already existing young talent did in this weeks minor league update.

Triple-A catcher Josh Phegley has had a season of peaks and valleys. His cyclical-type success leaves scouts with the question of whether or not Phegley has the capacity to put forth a consistent effort. Last week he did everything in his power to level out his play and disprove some of the naysayers. Phegley went 9-for-20 (.450) with five RBI and a .966 OPS. Hopefully, Phegley can build upon his recent performances and find some type of sustainable success.

Another notable Charlotte Knight last week was Jhan Marinez, who appeared twice in a relief role. Marinez pitched one inning in each outing and allowed no runs on one hit.

Birmingham flame thrower Simon Castro had one start last week. His successful pitch location and above average fastball proved to be too much for the Mobile BayBears. Castro went eight innings allowing three runs on five hits. Two of the runs came unearned due to one throwing and one fielding error by Castros supporting cast. Castro has been producing some quality starts lately and sits at 5-5 on the season. If he can keep hitting his spots, I wouldnt be surprised to see Castro in Charlotte at the Triple-A level sometime soon.

Our weekly analysis of White Sox prospect Jared Mitchell has been all over the map this season. It seems as if Mitchell has alternated between weeks of brilliance and questionable play as of late. Coming off of a stellar week two weeks ago, we assumed Mitchell would once again dip below the .300 mark but the trend has finally been broken. Mitchell went 9-for-29 (.310) last week with two doubles, two triples and four runs scored. Mitchell did deliver at the plate this week, but he still seems to be struggling with his over-anxious plate approach. He fanned 12 times over the course of seven games upping his season total to 72. This boosts his strikeout percentage to 35.1. If Mitchell wants to realize his dreams of becoming a major league ball player this glaring weakness must be addressed and changed.

Winston-Salem center fielder and highly touted prospect Trayce Thompson had an up-and-down week at the plate. Thompson was 4-for-24 (.167) but delivered two homeruns and seven RBI. He also scored five runs for the Dash. Despite his struggles swinging the bat, Thompson is finding his way aboard (five walks) and delivering when his team needs it the most. Most of Thompson's struggles are coming while facing left-handed pitching. He is batting .162 on the season versus southpaws which is one of the main reasons his batting average sits at an undesirable .212.

Dash ace Jake Petricka had another stellar outing this week. He had one start in which he went seven innings allowing no runs on only three hits. Petricka also fanned six and only surrendered one walk. Petricka's latest gem moves his record to an even 4-4 on the season.

Four Kannapolis Intimidators were named to the 2012 South Atlantic League All-Star Team last week, most notably Rangel Ravelo. Ravelo went 9-for-26 on the week with two doubles and his second round-tripper of the year. He also scored three runs and drove in four runs. Representing the Intimidators in the All-Star game along with Ravelo are right fielder Mark Haddow, catcher Kevan Smith, and pitcher Blair Walters.

After last season's personal tragedy, Tim Anderson ready to unleash real self

After last season's personal tragedy, Tim Anderson ready to unleash real self

GLENDALE, AZ --  There’s a different Tim Anderson at White Sox spring training this year.

You can see it on his face  You can hear it in his voice.

“I’m busting out of the shell. I’m talking more,” he said as he sat down for an interview with NBC Sports Chicago (in the video above).

It’s not the new Tim Anderson. It turns out, it’s the real one that’s been there all along.

“This is me. It’s always been me. I never knew how to express myself. I feel like I’m being a lot more open,” Anderson explained. “That’s what I want to give to fans. Let them know the real me. You’re cheering for me. Why not know me? I’m being open and kind of let fans into my life.”

The White Sox shortstop has learned a lot about life in the past year. It all started in May when the White Sox were in Baltimore to play the Orioles. Anderson received a phone call at 4 a.m. It was news from back home.

It was the worst phone call of his life.

His best friend Branden Moss had been murdered in the parking lot of a Tuscaloosa, Ala., bar after helping the victim of a fight.  

The two were like brothers. Anderson is the godfather to Moss’s young daughter. Moss was the godfather to Anderson’s 2-year-old daughter.

“It was heartbreaking,” Anderson said.

While Anderson grieved, playing baseball seemed like it would be a perfect escape for his pain. Only it wasn’t. Far from it.  Baseball might have made things even worse.

In fast-paced sports like football and hockey, players don’t have much time to think. It’s react, react, react. Whatever might be happening off the field feels like a million miles away.

Not in baseball.

The game moves at a much slower speed. There’s plenty of time for your mind to wander. Thoughts kept going back to Anderson’s lost friend, taken from him in an instant.

At 23, he didn’t have the tools to deal with the emotional pain and excel at baseball at the same time.

“The year was rough. I wasn’t having fun in between the lines. I was making the game harder than it was. I was thinking too much. I was feeling sorry for myself and the list can go on. When my friend died it definitely took a lot out of me. I had a dark moment,” Anderson said. “Some days I didn’t feel comfortable coming to the ballpark because I knew it was going to be a bad day.”

Making matters worse, there were many nights when Anderson didn’t sleep. Not a wink. Still, he dragged himself to the ballpark and somehow tried to play.

The results weren’t pretty. On June 22, Anderson already had 16 errors at shortstop, most in the majors. At the plate, he was hitting .256/.284/.374 with six home runs and 19 RBIs.

He knew he was better than that. He also knew something else: He needed help.

In July, Anderson started meeting with a therapist who was able to unlock the pent up thoughts and emotions that he was burying inside him.

The therapist would write down everything that Anderson was feeling on paper and then read it back to him.

“Just going in and talking and pouring everything out of you. It lets you hear what you’ve been going through,“ Anderson said. “When she did it, it was a lot. I took what she read to me, balled it up and threw it away. I got lighter. It was a brightening. Those counseling sessions definitely helped me.”

Soon, Anderson was back to being himself both on and off the field.

In the month of August, he had 8 doubles, 5 home runs and 16 RBI.

“Woof. I was hot,” he said after hearing those stats. “That’s Tim. That’s more Tim that we need to see.”

In September, he batted .327 with 3 home runs and 9 stolen bases.

“We need a lot of that this year. That’s the way I want to go. That’s the way I want to go about it. Get back to what got me here.”

There was still an issue with his plate discipline. He had 32 strikeouts and only 1 walk in September.

“We play a tough sport as it is. They’re going to come,” Anderson said about the walks. “I mean, when I walk more, what are you going to tell me? ‘Start swinging more?’ It’s one of those things. It’s a give and take. We’ll see what happens.”

In 2017, Anderson received a crash course in adversity. What did he learn from all that pain and misery?

“Tough times happen, but they don’t last forever.”

Now that he’s survived the personal storm from last season, he wants “another shot at it. I feel like last year went left. This is new season.”

So, what does he envision for himself in 2018?

“Having fun, smiling a lot, picking up my teammates, hugging on the coaches and players. A lot of love, more so than stats,” Anderson said. “I’m fired up. I’m excited. I feel like I’m ready to lead this pack. We got a great group of guys. We’ve got a chance to do something special.”

White Sox Talk Podcast: Michael Kopech tells all about his past, present and future

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: Michael Kopech tells all about his past, present and future

The White Sox top pitching prospect sits down with Chuck Garfien for a revealing interview at spring training. Kopech says he almost quit the game after he got into a fight with a Red Sox minor league teammate in 2016. He goes in-depth about his desire to be great, why meditating makes him a better pitcher, his failed PED test in 2015, comparisons to Justin Verlander, possibly becoming the future ace of the White Sox and much more.