White Sox

White Sox offense explodes in dominant win over Mariners

White Sox offense explodes in dominant win over Mariners

SEATTLE -- Who needs Luis Robert?

Hours after the White Sox reportedly added another potential building block for the rebuild with a massive deal, Avisail Garcia continued his not-so-fast, I’m-still-here campaign.

Garcia matched a club record with four extra-base hits, including two home runs, and drove in a career-high six runs as the White Sox pounded the Seattle Mariners 16-1 in front of 33,801 at Safeco Field. Matt Davidson and Willy Garcia also homered for the White Sox, who have never scored more runs in Seattle. Willy Garcia’s homer was the first of his career and it all came in support of Mike Pelfrey, who earned the victory with six sharp innings.

“Pretty impressive,” manager Rick Renteria said. “He’s been having really good at-bats. He’s driving the ball. That’s a pretty good poke to center, right-center field, whatever it was. Just in general opened up the game a little for us in the first inning with the homer and everybody kind of tacked on. That’s kind of been Avi all year long, it’s pretty consistent. He’s had very few lulls and let’s hope it continues for him.”

The White Sox would love if Saturday’s events repeated again and again like in the movie ‘Groundhog Day.’

An intense, month-long competition for the services of Robert, a 19-year-old Cuban outfielder with all the tools, ended with multiple reports that he selected the White Sox over the St. Louis Cardinals. Robert gives the White Sox another huge piece for their just-begun rebuild effort and looks like he could be ranked as high as the third overall prospect in the farm system.

The good times continued to roll in the first inning against Yovani Gallardo.

Yolmer Sanchez drew a leadoff walk and Melky Cabrera reached on an error. Jose Abreu doubled in a run and Avisail Garcia continued his onslaught against American League pitching with a three-run homer to left to make it 4-0.

[MORE: How Jose Abreu, Rick Renteria played pivotal roles in White Sox presentation for Luis Robert]

But Avisail Garcia wasn’t done yet, not even close. He crushed another home run to dead center off Gallardo in the third inning to put the White Sox up by five.

The White Sox led by eight runs -- Willy Garcia had a sac fly and Cabrera singled in two -- the next time Avisail Garcia stepped in. He ripped a hard liner over shortstop and into the gap for a two-run double and a 10-0 lead. Avisail Garcia doubled once more in the seventh inning ahead of a two-run single by Todd Frazier. He finished 4-for-5 and became the first White Sox hitter since Jermaine Dye on Aug. 2, 2007 with four extra base hits.

“I mean, I feel good, seeing the ball good,” Avisail Garcia said. “When you focus a lot of good thing happen so. It’s a long season. Keep working hard and play hard every day.

“Every year you want to get better and every year you want to improve. That’s how we play. You have to play that way every year. That’s the game you love. So you want to do good and do good things for your team.”

Avisail Garcia has flourished in what could potentially be his last chance with the White Sox. Despite showing flashes of potential, he’d never been able to sustain the last two seasons in spite of high expectations. Avisail Garcia credits an improved focus at the plate as one of the keys to his success as he has finally begun to tap into the star potential that he was labeled with since his days as a prospect with the Detroit Tigers.

He’s hitting .357/.400/.610 in 165 plate appearances.

Pelfrey took advantage of his teammate’s big day and worked quickly to get the White Sox offense back in the dugout. Pelfrey limited the Mariners to a run and four hits in six innings and struck out three.

A veteran of the AL Central, Pelfrey is familiar with Avisail Garcia’s game. He knew the potential within and thinks there might be even more to tap into.

“You see the talent,” Pelfrey said. “But until you get the chance to play with somebody, you see it day in, day out. It's always a little bit different. He's got all the talent in the world and is obviously putting it together and having a pretty good start. As big as he is and as strong as he is, there might be a couple more multi-HR games.”

Davidson also tied Avisail Garcia and Abreu for the team lead with eight homers when he blasted a two-run shot in the seventh. Willy Garcia reached the second deck in left for his first round-tripper, a 401-foot blast. He finished with three RBIs.

Every White Sox player had a hit.

 

Prospects highlight White Sox spring training invitees

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USA TODAY

Prospects highlight White Sox spring training invitees

Pitchers and catchers report in just over three weeks and the White Sox announced the list of spring training invitees on Monday.

The White Sox signed six players to minor-league contracts to get them to camp, but, as has been the case for the past year-plus with the White Sox, all eyes will be on the prospects.

Pitchers Michael Kopech, Alec Hansen, Dane Dunning and Dylan Cease and position players Luis Robert, Zack Collins and 2017 first-round pick Jake Burger are among the top prospects the White Sox invited to spring training. The team’s top prospect, Eloy Jimenez, is already on the 40-man roster so he was already set to be included. Jimenez, Kopech, Hansen, Robert and Dunning were just included on Baseball America's top 100 prospects.

Kopech and Collins were in spring training last year and Jimenez was in spring training with the Cubs in 2017 so it’s not an entirely new experience for them, but White Sox fans will be able to get a more extended and accessible look at Jimenez for the first time. Robert will likely have extra attention on him due to this being his first professional baseball in the U.S. Robert played in the Dominican Summer League after signing with the White Sox last summer.

The other non-roster invitees are pitchers Chris Beck, Tyler Danish, Jordan Stephens, Connor Walsh, Brian Clark and Jordan Guerrero and position players Alfredo Gonzalez, Seby Zavala and Jacob May.

The players signed on minor-league contracts are Rob Scahill, Chris Volstad, Michael Ynoa, T.J. House, Patrick Leonard and Matt Skole. Volstad and Ynoa both pitched with the White Sox in 2017, but have since been removed from the 40-man roster. Scahill is a Chicagoland product who graduated from Willowbrook High School and pitched at Bradley in college.

Meet the Prospects: Jameson Fisher

Meet the Prospects: Jameson Fisher

The White Sox rebuild is in full swing. While it might still be a year or two before the big league team is expected to start competing for championships, the minor leagues are stocked with highly touted talent fans will be eagerly following in 2018. With that in mind, it's time to Meet the Prospects and get to know the future of the South Side.

Jameson Fisher

Fisher, the 24-year-old outfielder, was a fourth-round pick of the White Sox in the 2016 draft.

A Louisiana native, Fisher slashed .342/.436/.487 in 50 rookie-ball games after being drafted in 2016.

Last year, Fisher split time between Class A Kannapolis and Class A Winston-Salem, playing 124 combined games. On the season, he slashed .245/.342/.402 with 30 doubles, 10 home runs, six triples and 68 RBIs to go along with 58 walks and 114 strikeouts.

As of their most recent rankings, MLB Pipeline had Fisher rated as the No. 25 prospect in the White Sox organization.

Get to know Fisher in the video above.