White Sox

MLB Draft Tracker: White Sox stockpile farm system on Day 3

MLB Draft Tracker: White Sox stockpile farm system on Day 3

The White Sox went with a heavy dose of productive college players on the first two days of the 2017 MLB Draft.

Sam Abbot, a first baseman out of Curtis High School, is the only preps player the White Sox have selected during the first 10 rounds of the draft.

With final day of the draft underway, CSNChicago.com is tracking all the players the White Sox add to their farm system Wednesday afternoon:

Round 11: Will Kincanon (RHP), Indiana State

The Chicagoland native went 5-5 with a 5.24 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP with 93 strikeouts in 14 starts with the Sycamores this season.

Round 12: Justin Yurchak (3B), SUNY-Binghampton

After transferring from Wake Forest, Yurchak had a slash line  of .320/.474/.442 with a 41/12 K/BB ratio in 2017.

Round 13: Tate Blackman (2B), Ole Miss

In his junior season at Ole Miss, Blackman had nine homers and 30 RBI. He also added nine stolen bases.

Round 14: Alex Destino (OF), South Carolina

Destino belted 26 homers with 135 RBI during his three years with the Gamecocks.

Round 15: Tyler Frost (CF), Gonzaga

Frost had a .284/.372/.442 slash line with nine homers and 39 RBI in 2017.

Round 16: Logan Taylor (CF), Louisville

Taylor becomes the third player the White Sox have selected out of Louisville in the 2017 MLB Draft.

Round 17: Blake Battenfield (RHP), Oklahoma State

The 6-foot-3 right-hander made 22 appearances for the Cowboys in 2017 and had a 5-4 record with a 4.91 ERA.

Round 18: Hunter Kiel (RHP), LSU

No relation to former Notre Dame quarterback Gunner Kiel or D2: The Mighty Ducks star Gunnar Stahl.

Round 19: Anthony Herron (RHP), Missouri State

Before transferring to Missouri State, Herron had a 15-4 record with a 2.41 ERA and 219 strikeouts at Jefferson College.

Round 20: David Cronin (2B), UIC

The Sandburg High School graduate batted .313 and had six home runs and 32 RBI for the Flames.

Round 21: John Parke (LHP), South Carolna

The 6-foot-3 left-hander had an 8.53 ERA in 14 appearances with the Gamecocks this season.

Round 22: Joseph Benitez (LHP), South Carolina Aiken

Benitez was named PBC Pitcher of the Year and was a first-team all-league selection in 2017.

Round 23: Mikey Duarte (SS), UC Irvine

Duarte had a .320/.395/.448 slash line with a 19/19 K/BB ratio in 2017.

Round 24: Vince Arobio (RHP), Pacific

In 24 appearances, Arobio had a 3.86 ERA with 44 strikeouts.

Round 25: Jose Garcia (OF), Texas Rio Grande Valley

Garcia led the Vaqueros with seven homers and was third on the club with 33 RBI.

Round 26: Michael Staudinger (OF), Azusa Pacific

Staudinger batted .359 with 11 home runs and 38 RBI.

Round 27: JJ Muno (SS), UC Santa Barbara

Muno had 31 stolen bases in his three years with the Gauchos.

Round 28: Laz Rivera (IF), Tampa

After transferring from Chipola College, Rivera had four home runs and 32 RBI in his first season with the Spartans.

Round 29: Joe Mockbee (LHP), Michigan State

The Ohio native made 28 appearances out of the Spartans bullpen had a 5.15 ERA in 2017.

Round 30: Ryan Erickson (LHP), Iowa

Erickson started 12 games for the Hawkeyes in 2017 and had a 3.00 ERA in 75 innings.

Round 31: Parker Rigler (LHP), Kansas State

Parker made Wildcats history this season when he tossed the program's first no-hitter since 1991 in a 14-0 victory over Eastern Illinois in March.

Round 32: Greg Minier (LHP), Washington

Minier had a 3.53 ERA with 41 strikouts out of the Huskies bullpen

Round 33: Kevin George (LHP) Menlo College

Can't confirm, but there's a chance he could be a distant relative of Curious George.

Round 34: Michael McCormick (RHP), Eastern Illinois

McCormick had a 1-6 record with a 7.45 ERA in 12 starts last season.

Round 35: Riley Crean (RHP), Bloomington High School

Riley Crean is the son of former Indiana basketball head coach Tom Crean.

Round 36: Alex Widmer (RHP), Norwayne High School

The right-handed pitcher is committed to play baseball at Malone University. 

Round 37: Ted Andrews (RHP), Tulane

Andrews had a 6.06 ERA in 15 appearances for the Green Wave in 2017.

Round 38: Dylan Horvitz (C), New Trier

Horvitz helped the Trevians to a 4th place finish in Illinois.

Round 39: Chance King (RHP), IMG Academy

Chance King is the son of television personality Larry King (from his eighth marriage).

Round 40: Angelo Smith (LHP), Richards

Smith was on the pitching staff at Richards High School in the Chicagoland area.

Carlos Rodon's first win in 10 months showed he could still be the ace of the future for White Sox

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USA TODAY

Carlos Rodon's first win in 10 months showed he could still be the ace of the future for White Sox

As encouraging as the reports are on many of the White Sox’s minor-league pitching prospects, Carlos Rodon’s effort against the Athletics on Sunday at Guaranteed Rate Field could prove just as significant to the rebuild on the South Side.

Looking much like the ace the Sox envisioned prior to Rodon’s rough 2017 season that ended with shoulder surgery, the left-hander put together his most successful effort of ’18 during a 10-3 drubbing of the Athletics before a sun-drenched crowd of 21,908.

Making his fourth start of the season, Rodon matched a career-high by going eight innings. He yielded two runs on seven hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Rodon earned his first win of the season to help the Sox salvage a split of the four-game series.

“I felt good today—a lot of strikes,” Rodon said. “It was good to go eight and just be ahead of guys.”

Helping matters for Rodon was an offensive explosion by the Sox, led by Yoan Moncada’s career-high six RBIs. After falling behind 2-0, the Sox plated five runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings as Moncada cleared the bases with a double off the base of the wall in the fifth and launched his 10th home run of the season to drive in three more an inning later.

“Today was a great day,” Moncada said via a team interpreter. “I just went out to play the game the way that I play. Just to have fun. It was a very good game for me.”

Daniel Palka and Yolmer Sanchez also homered as the Sox won for just the second time in their last 11 games.

Rodon was the happy recipient of the run support to win his first game since Aug. 21, 2017, against the Twins. On Sunday, he threw 99 pitches, 69 for strikes and was consistently in the mid-90s with his fastball.

“I’m looking to do that every time out,” Rodon said. “Just show up and establish the strike zone with the fastball and be aggressive.”

The 25-year-old’s second-inning strikeout of Khris Davis was the 400th of Rodon’s career. It is a career that is continuing after a surgery that was a setback, but one that did not derail Rodon’s confidence that he would again pitch effectively.

“There are up-and-down days when you go through shoulder surgery or any surgery for any player,” Rodon said. “You've just got to work through it and try to make your way back. I'm here now and it’s looking up and I’m trying to get better.”

So is it reasonable to view Rodon as the future ace after all?

“You certainly can’t discount that,” manager Rick Renteria said. “He has to go out there and continue to get his feet underneath him and get through the rest of the season healthy and climbing.”

In other Sox pitching news, Renteria said starter Dylan Covey, who was removed in the fifth inning of Saturday’s game due to a hip flexor injury, “felt better” Sunday and the team will continue to monitor the right-hander’s progress.

Meanwhile, veteran Miguel Gonzalez made a rehab start for Triple-A Charlotte as he continues to recover from inflammation in his right rotator cuff. Gonzalez went three innings and allowed one hit with a walk and a strikeout. Outfielder Eloy Jimenez belted his first homer for the Knights in the game.

Joakim Soria knows he is turning into a valuable trade asset for White Sox

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USA TODAY

Joakim Soria knows he is turning into a valuable trade asset for White Sox

No one knows better than Joakim Soria that the more successful he is as the White Sox’s closer, there is an increased likelihood that the veteran right-hander will be headed out of town at some point.

Soria has not only solidified the back end of the bullpen, the 34-year-old has emerged as perhaps the Sox’s most valuable trade asset to a contending team in need of relief help.

Over this last 14 appearances, Soria has not allowed an earned run and has converted all seven save chances with five hits allowed, two walks and 15 strikeouts.

“My body feels good and my arm feels good,” Soria said before the Sox defeated the Athletics 10-3 on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field. “I come to the ballpark expecting to pitch and … I try to be out there and help this team win.”

While the Sox haven’t done a whole lot of winning of late—Sunday’s win was just their second in their last 11 games—when they are victorious it’s accompanied by a Soria save. With the Sox’s rebuild in full swing, Soria understands that general manager Rick Hahn won’t hesitate to flip him in a trade.

“Players say they don’t think about it but you have to think about it,” said Soria, who was acquired from the Royals on Jan. 4 in a three-team trade also involving the Dodgers. “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.”

Soria has 215 career saves, including 162 in seven seasons with the Royals, but hadn’t been a full-time closer since notching a combined 24 saves with the Tigers and Pirates. With the Sox, Soria won the closing job over fellow veteran Nate Jones in spring training and has been nearly unhittable in recent weeks.

Over his last 13 2/3 innings pitched, Soria has held opponents to a .109 batting average and sports a 2.89 ERA for the season. He has issued five walks in 28 innings and is averaging 10.29 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.

The two-time All-Star has settled in nicely in a Sox clubhouse featuring a mix of veterans and promising talents. Soria has to balance that with the knowledge he might not be around as the season progresses.

“It’s something I can’t control,” Soria said. “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 (a trade) hasn’t happened yet. You have to keep focused and be ready for today’s game.”