White Sox

Pitching in front of friends and family gives Santiago a boost

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Pitching in front of friends and family gives Santiago a boost

NEW YORK -- Hector Santiago had a big smile on his face on Friday afternoon as he recalled his Yankee Stadium debut from the night before. He admits its likely not going to leave any time soon.

The White Sox rookie hails from nearby Newark, N.J. and enjoyed the fact he pitched in front of family and friends Thursday night. Even though he gave up a run on a Mark Teixeira homer, Santiago, who struck out two batters, earned the victory because of Dayan Viciedos heroics.

He said the level of his adrenaline rush is as high as some of his previous major league milestones.

That was probably the highest Ive been either since I got called up last year for my major league debut or my save in Texas, Santiago said. I havent had that kind of energy or stuff behind me for a while now. Ill probably have it for the next couple of weeks just knowing what its like to have it again and that adrenaline and that feeling of your friends and everybody behind you pushing you and cheering for you. That felt great.

So what was the highlight of pitching in the esteemed Bronx venue?

Striking out Robinson Cano, of course. Santiago, who actually grew up more of a New York Mets fans, said he is very close with members of Canos family.

Me and his cousins were best friends, Santiago said. I grew up with his family. He was raised in Newark for a little while. I have known him for the past seven years. It was big. I talked to him before the game and we wished each other good luck. It was great. Now I have something to talk about and I can throw it in my friends face, I got your cousin out.

Podcast: Dylan Cease raves about the White Sox farm system

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AP

Podcast: Dylan Cease raves about the White Sox farm system

Coming to you from Washington DC, we speak with Dylan Cease who competed in the MLB Futures Game along with his Birmingham Barons teammate Luis Basabe. 

Cease talks about the White Sox loaded farm system, what players have impressed him the most, where he gets his composure on the mound and more. 

Check out the entire podcast here:

Fernando Tatis Jr. is the prospect who got away: White Sox fans, read this at your own risk

Fernando Tatis Jr. is the prospect who got away: White Sox fans, read this at your own risk

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Fernando Tatis, Jr. is one of the brightest future stars in the game. MLB Pipeline ranks him as the No. 3 prospect in all of baseball, one spot behind Eloy Jimenez.

He’s a five-tool shortstop slashing .289/.359/.509 at Double-A San Antonio with 15 home runs, 42 RBIs and 15 stolen bases in 85 games. He’s bilingual, charismatic, the kind of guy who could be a face of a franchise.

And two years ago, he was property of the White Sox.

That was until they traded Tatis, who was only 17 at the time, to the Padres for James Shields. Tatis had yet to play a single game in the White Sox farm system, so it was tough to predict his future. However, speaking with Tatis before he competed in the MLB Futures Game on Sunday, the trade was definitely a shock to him.

“I was surprised. It was weird. For a kid that young to get traded, I had never heard of it. When they told me that, I couldn’t believe it. I was like, ‘What’s going on?’” Tatis said in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago.

No front office is going to bat 1.000, and when it comes to Tatis, this is a trade the White Sox would love to have back.

But first, more perspective.

In June of 2016, six months before the White Sox started their rebuild, they were 29-26, a game and a half out of first place. With Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and a healthy Carlos Rodon anchoring their rotation, they felt that with the addition of Shields, they could compete for the division.

Unfortunately, perception didn’t meet reality. Shields struggled on the mound with the White Sox in 2016 and 2017. His numbers have improved considerably, and he could return the White Sox another prospect if he’s dealt before the trade deadline. However, it’s unlikely they’ll receive a player with the potential that Tatis has right now.

“(The trade) was about getting a good starter so they could get to the playoffs. I understood. I know this game is a business,” Tatis said.

Before the trade occurred, Tatis looked into his future and saw a day when he’d be the White Sox starting shortstop.

“Yeah, that was my goal when (White Sox director of international scouting) Marco Paddy signed me,” Tatis said. “We talked about it when I started and that was the goal.”

His goal now is to make it to the major leagues with the Padres.

“I’m pretty close. I want to keep working. When they decide to call me up, I’ll be ready.”

As for his former team, he’s impressed with the talent the White Sox have assembled.

“They’re building something special. They have really good prospects. I wish the best for them.”

You can’t help but wonder what the rebuild would look like if Tatis was along for the ride. He’s the one who got away.