The band of players in the Chicago White Sox’ organization who are playing around the world in Winter Leagues doesn’t feature many top prospects (although their system is fairly thin). Most of the players active in winter ball are minor league veterans although there are a few with major league experience.
26-year-old first baseman Dan Black leads things off for the White Sox as he played 33 games in the Dominican Winter League leading up to December 2. Black had a good old time, building on his strong season in Double-A Birmingham with a .270/.372/.484 line with 11 doubles and five home runs in 122 at bats. With Birmingham, he hit .290/.411/.470, walking almost as many times as he struck out and adding 46 extra-base hits including 17 doubles.
Third baseman Chris Curley, 26, played in the Puerto Rican league up until Thanksgiving, hitting just .170/.224/.208 in 53 at bats. He played for the Sox’ Carolina League affiliate, hitting .280/.350/.471 with 24 home runs.
Joey DeMichele, a 22-year-old infielder drafted in the 3rd round of the 2012 draft, headed down under this winter to play for Sydney in the Australian Baseball League. He’s struggling there, however, hitting .214/.246/.411 in 112 at bats but has shown flashes of power with seven doubles and five home runs. DeMichele played for Winston-Salem in the Carolina League and hit .246/.323/.366 in 615 plate appearances.
Leury Garcia, a versatile utility man who played four positions for Texas and Chicago, has a .260/.338/.339 slash line in the Dominican Winter League this year. He’s hit two doubles, a triple and a pair of home runs in 127 at bats. Garcia totaled 111 plate appearances in the majors this year, about evenly split between the Rangers and White Sox and hit .198/.248/.228 in his rookie season at age 22.
23-year-old catcher Miguel Gonzalez is playing in his native Venezuela, hitting a solid .262/.337/.345 in 84 at bats. Gonzalez played for Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte before making his major league debut, going two for nine.
1B Alex Liddi, who signed a minor league free agent deal with the White Sox this offseason, played 25 games in the Mexican Winter League before calling it quits about a week before he signed his November 18th deal. He hit .239/.273/.391 with five doubles and three home runs in Mexico after splitting 2013 between the Mariners and the Orioles organizations, hitting a combined .245/.299/.421 with 15 home runs.
2013 3rd-round draft pick Jacob May went down to Australia after putting up very solid numbers in full-season Class-A Kannapolis in 2013. Down under, the 21 year old is hitting .267/.325/.388 in 116 at bats with two doubles, three triples, two home runs and 14 stolen bases.
Minor league free agent outfielder Denis Phipps played 15 games in his native Dominican Republic, hitting only .086/.195/.171 in 35 at bats. Phipps, 28, played in 2013 for the Reds’ Triple-A affiliate, hitting .248/.331/.385 in 423 at bats.
21-year-old second baseman Carlos Sanchez appears to have recovered from a poor season in Triple-A in 2013 and is hitting .348/.428/.443 in his home country of Venezuela. He’s got 10 doubles, four triples and a home run in 221 at bats and has walked almost as much as he’s struck out (30 walks, 35 strikeouts).
Toolsy outfielder Trayce Thompson, 22, had a rough year in Double-A Birmingham and gave the Venezuelan Winter League a shot, but went one for 22 over 13 games mostly in October.
25-year-old first baseman Andy Wilkins did much better in Venezuela, hitting .314/.395/.476 in 105 at bats with six doubles, a triple and three home runs. Wilkins has reached Triple-A with the White Sox’ organization, splitting 2013 between Birminghman and Charlotte.
Signed to a minor league contract by the White Sox in November, 30-year-old righty Jairo Asencio has been pitching in the Dominican Republic this offseason, throwing 23 1/3 innings in relief with a 1.54 ERA, 1.11 WHIP with just five walks and 31 strikeouts.
Lefty Frank De Los Santos, 26, pitched only three innings in the Dominican, giving up three runs on eight hits with one walk. He pitched most of 2013 in Charlotte for the White Sox, posting a 5.34 ERA with 14 walks and 21 strikeouts in 32 innings.
6’4″ righty Ryan Kussmaul, 27, has been in Venezuela, pitching for La Guaira with a 3.18 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, three walks and 15 strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. Kussmaul has had a strong 2013 season spent entirely in Double-A Birmingham.
25-year-old Nick McCully made a brief, six appearance foray into the Venezuelan League, allowing 12 runs (11 earned) in just nine innings, walking eight batters and striking out nine. He had a strong season in Double-A Birmingham but his numbers took a big jump when he moved up to Triple-A Charlotte.
Venezuelan righty Nestor Molina, 24, has been augmenting his shortened season by pitching at home, throwing 29 2/3 innings so far with a 2.43 ERA, a 1.08 WHIP, five walks and 20 strikeouts. He had a fairly rough season in Birmingham with a 4.71 ERA, 1.51 WHIP, 11 walks and 29 strikeouts in 36 1/3 innings.
Signed to a minor league contract last year, 32-year-old veteran Tony Pena, Jr. has been excellent in his home country, the Dominican Republic. He’s thrown 24 1/3 innings out of the bullpen with a 2.59 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, five walks (including two intentional ones) and 27 strikeouts. Pena pitched in 33 games for Triple-A Charlotte in 2013 with a 3.87 ERA, 1.49 ERA, 31 walks and 72 strikeouts in 86 innings.
26-year-old righty Omar Poveda got roughed up in nine games in the Venezuelan league, pitching to an 8.64 ERA, 1.92 WHIP, 12 walks and 23 strikeouts in 25 innings for the Aragua Tigers. Signed as a minor league free agent, Poveda pitched fairly well for Triple-A Gwinnett in the Braves’ system in 2013.
6’5″ righty Taylor Thompson, 26, started out his 2013 season with some fantastic results in Birmingham but after getting promoted to Charlotte, got destroyed in 16 Triple-A innings. Pitching up until Thanksgiving in the Venezuelan League, Thompson had a 2.12 ERA, 1.47 WHIP, seven walks and 18 strikeouts in 17 relief innings.
Tags: Chicago White Sox