White Sox

Daily White Sox prospects update: Eloy Jimenez ends multi-hit game streak, but extends hit streak to 14 games

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NBC SPORTS CHICAGO

Daily White Sox prospects update: Eloy Jimenez ends multi-hit game streak, but extends hit streak to 14 games

Here's your daily update on what the White Sox highly touted prospects are doing in the minor leagues.

Double-A Birmingham

For once, runs were a scarcity for the Barons, who only mustered four hits in a 6-2 loss. One came off the bat of Eloy Jimenez, who extended his hitting streak to 14 games, though his multi-hit game streak stopped at nine. Jordan Guerrero allowed just two runs in six innings.

Class A Winston-Salem

Blake Rutherford homered, drove in two runs and scored two runs. Micker Adolfo had two hits including a double and drove in one run. Gavin Sheets also picked up a hit in a 9-3 loss.

Triple-A Charlotte

Thyago Vieira pitched a scoreless inning and struck out two in a 7-1 loss.

Class A Kannapolis

Evan Skoug tripled in a 2-0 win.

MLB'ers think Lucas Giolito was one of the comeback-iest players in baseball this year

MLB'ers think Lucas Giolito was one of the comeback-iest players in baseball this year

It isn't "the" AL Comeback Player of the Year Award, but it is "an" AL Comeback Player of the Year Award.

The MLB Players Association announced Monday that White Sox hurler Lucas Giolito is a finalist for its "Players Choice" AL Comeback Player of the Year Award, voted on by the game's players. He was joined by outfielders Hunter Pence of the Texas Rangers and Jorge Soler of the Kansas City Royals. On the NL side, the three finalists were Atlanta Braves third baseman Josh Donaldson, Cincinnati Reds pitcher Sonny Gray and Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu.

The whole "voted on by your peers" element is pretty cool, as certainly they know how different the 2019 version of Giolito was from the one they saw a year earlier. James McCann, who played against Giolito as a Detroit Tiger in 2018 and then caught him as the White Sox backstop in 2019, constantly talked about how transformed Giolito was from one year to the next.

A totally different pitcher.

That's precisely what Giolito seemed like to us non-player types, too, after he went from the worst statistics of any qualified pitcher in 2018 to an All Star and the ace of the South Side staff in 2019.

Giolito gave up more earned runs than any pitcher in the game in 2018, also leading the AL in walks during a season he finished with a 6.13 ERA. Then he went to work in the offseason, making mechanical changes and overhauling his mental approach to the game. It resulted in the kind of breakout season the prognosticators foresaw when they ranked him the No. 1 pitching prospect in baseball once upon a time.

In 2019, Giolito posted a 3.41 ERA, went to the All-Star Game, struck out a whopping 228 batters — that particular feat accomplished by only two other pitchers in White Sox history — and will likely place somewhere in the AL Cy Young vote.

His season was highlighted by a pair of complete-game shutouts against two of the best teams in baseball, the Houston Astros and Minnesota Twins. Both shutouts came against 100-win teams on their own turf.

Presumably some Astros and Twins threw a few votes Giolito's way.

Giolito's status when it comes to "the" AL Comeback Player of the Year Award will be revealed next month, after the World Series is over. But for now, this is a pretty cool feather in the cap for him, another example of how far he's come.

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Nick Madrigal won a minor league Gold Glove, backing up the defensive hype

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LAURA WOLFF/CHARLOTTE KNIGHTS

Nick Madrigal won a minor league Gold Glove, backing up the defensive hype

Whatever questions you might have about how Nick Madrigal will fare at the major league level, he's proving that the hype surrounding certain parts of his game was entirely warranted.

After striking out just 16 times all season, showing off his trademark outrageous contact skills, Madrigal's defense got some attention Monday, when he was awarded a minor league glove for his work at second base.

The White Sox wasted no time hyping Madrigal's defensive skills after drafting him, with then amateur scouting director Nick Hostetler talking on draft night about Madrigal as a Gold Glove caliber infielder.

Well, a year and a half later, Madrigal's got the Gold Glove to back it up.

As for the particulars, Madrigal had a .992 fielding percentage in his 108 games at three different minor league levels. He made just four errors on the season and was a part of 95 double-play turns.

Coincidentally, the White Sox might end up with Gold Glove second basemen at both the minor and major league level, if Yolmer Sanchez and his fantastic defensive season should receive the same honor Madrigal just did.

Madrigal's nearing ascent to the major league level could end up being part of the reason Sanchez, who's projected to receive a 2020 salary north of $6 million through the arbitration process, might be non-tendered by the team.

We'll see how that all plays out, but Madrigal is expected to be the White Sox starting second baseman for much of the 2020 season, general manager Rick Hahn said during his end-of-season press conference last month. White Sox fans might have to wait a little longer than they do for Luis Robert, the top-ranked prospect in the organization expected to make his big league debut before the end of April, but Madrigal, who the team took with the No. 4 pick in the 2018 draft, shouldn't be too far behind.

And when he gets here, not only can fans expect the offensive skills that produced a .311 batting average and a .377 on-base percentage this season, but also the defensive skills that just won him a Gold Glove.

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