Daniel Palka

Daniel Palka's surprise rookie season by the numbers


Daniel Palka's surprise rookie season by the numbers

“Palkamania” was an unexpected surprise in 2018 for White Sox fans; he became a fan favorite overnight. Picked up off waivers from the Twins in November 2017, Palka made his way to the big league roster in April when Avisaíl García suffered an injury. He was here to stay. Let’s explore his solid rookie campaign by the numbers.

By the way, if you haven’t already, please check out the latest edition of the White Sox Talk podcast where Our Chuck goes one-on-one with Palka.

1 to nothing was the score on August 10 vs. the Indians. Palka hit a walkoff solo home run to break a scoreless tie. The first time that ever happened in White Sox history. It was the second ever White Sox walkoff homer to break a scoreless tie. Don Buford hit a grand slam Sept. 14, 1967, but Palka was the first to do it with a solo homer.

2 home runs by Palka vs. lefties were the only two home runs in 2018 by a White Sox lefty off lefty pitchers.

3 triples for Palka in his rookie season. All three came in his first 20 games. He was the first White Sox player with three triples within his first 20 career MLB games since… Frank Thomas (!?!). Palka, however, had three home runs through those 20 games. The Big Hurt didn’t hit his first homer until career game No. 25.

4 pinch hit home runs. A White Sox single-season record, as well as an American League rookie record.

6 home runs in the ninth inning for Palka. It tied Justin Smoak, Jason Kipnis and Giancarlo Stanton for the most in the majors in 2018. It also tied Paul Konerko (2005) and Harold Baines (1986) for most ninth inning home runs in a season in White Sox history.

8 home runs in September led the team – twice as many as anyone else. He also led the White Sox that month with 14 RBIs and even tied for the team lead with 10 walks.

9 batted balls of 115+ MPH exit velocity; fourth in MLB behind Giancarlo Stanton (34), Aaron Judge (11) and Joey Gallo (10). His best was 118.4 MPH on a June 5 double. (thanks to baseballsavant.com)

27 home runs, tied for the most by a rookie in 2018. He tied with Miguel Andújar, who played in 25 more games and had 157 more plate appearances. The 27 home runs were also the most ever by a left-handed White Sox rookie, surpassing Pete Ward’s mark off 22 in 1963.

48 players hit at least 25 home runs in 2018. Daniel Palka is the only one of the 48 to have 100 MPH or better exit velocity on all of his home runs. His minimum exit velocity on a home run was 101.7; his high was 115.2. (again, thanks to baseballsavant.com)

Did you notice the hidden SoxMath here? If not, go ahead and add all the boldface numbers.


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Eloy Jimenez and other prospects sent to minors as White Sox make latest round of spring roster cuts

Eloy Jimenez and other prospects sent to minors as White Sox make latest round of spring roster cuts

Despite returning from his injury layoff with a bang, Eloy Jimenez will not be starting the 2018 season in the major leagues.

As expected, he'll be heading to Double-A Birmingham, and that's where the White Sox sent their top prospect Wednesday as they made their latest round of spring roster cuts.

Jimenez finished last season at Birmingham, playing a handful of games there after being promoted from Class A. He slashed .353/.397/.559 with three homers and five doubles in 18 games with the Barons.

Out for a couple weeks, Jimenez returned to the White Sox spring lineup over the weekend, starting things with a pinch-hit homer against the Cubs, the team that shipped him to the South Side in last summer's Jose Quintana trade. Jimenez followed with another homer and a triple in Sunday's game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Monday, he picked up another hit and finished his four-game Cactus League season at 4-for-7 with two homers, a triple, three RBIs, three runs scored and two walks.

Joining the No. 4 prospect in baseball in being optioned to Birmingham was pitcher Ian Clarkin, the No. 17 prospect in the White Sox system. Outfielders Micker Adolfo and Luis Basabe, the White Sox Nos. 11 and 14 prospects, were optioned to Class A Winston-Salem. Pitcher Dylan Cease and catcher Zack Collins, the team's Nos. 5 and 9 prospects, were assigned to minor league camp. Outfielder Daniel Palka and infielder Jose Rondon were optioned to Triple-A Charlotte. These moves have the White Sox at 45 players in big league camp out in Glendale.

White Sox add prospect with intriguing power potential


White Sox add prospect with intriguing power potential

The White Sox already boast one of the most loaded farm systems in all of baseball, and on Saturday they added another interesting prospect to their stable. 

The South Siders claimed outfielder/first baseman Daniel Palka off waivers from the Minnesota Twins. Palka was placed on waivers earlier this week after the Twins had to trim their 40-man roster.

Palka, who was a third-round pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks out of Georgia Tech in 2013, was the Twins' Hitting Prospect of the Year in 2016 after slashing .254/.327/.521 with 34 home runs and 90 RBI.

The left-handed hitting Palka slashed .274/.330/.431 with 12 home runs and 44 RBI in 90 games between the Gulf Coast League and Triple-A Rochester in 2017. 

Palka, 26, has a career minor-league slash line of .269/.343/.496 with 106 home runs and 354 RBI in 538 games.

Considered a bat-first prospect, Palka possesses raw plus power. Check out his scouting report from MLB Pipeline.

Here are some highlights showing why scouts are intrigued by Palka's power potential.

A two time MiLB.com All-Star, Palka was ranked by MLB Pipeline as the Twins' No. 22 prospect before he was claimed off waivers by the White Sox.

The White Sox 40-man roster now stands at 35 after Saturday's move.