Welcome to Part 2 of our Minor League Previews. In this installment, we look at International League South, a division that hosts the Triple-A clubs of four teams.
Parent Club: Chicago White Sox
With a fairly weak minor league system, the Chicago White Sox are probably not really going to able to stock the Charlotte Knights with a lot of top prospects, that said, there are a few that could make games fun to watch in Charlotte, at least until they’re called up to the majors.
There aren’t expected to be any prospecty pitcher types in Charlotte to start the 2014 season with Erik Johnson graduating to the White Sox. Chris Bassitt could end up in Charlotte fairly quickly however, especially if he shows the same type of excellent results that he had finishing the season with eight starts in Double-A Birmingham. With a strong start to the year, Chris Beck could also wind up in Charlotte sooner rather than later. He has very advanced control and showed a better ability to strike batters out when he was promoted to Birmingham last year. That said, Beck is younger than Bassitt and the White Sox won’t be in as much of a hurry to move him up.
The infield for the Knights is going to be filled with prospects featuring 21-year-old Carlos Sanchez at second base and Matt Davidson at third. Shortstop Marcus Semien might make the club out of Spring Training but if he gets sent back to Triple-A Charlotte, the 23 year old is going to help fill out a very strong infield.
I had thought that Davidson might make the team out of Spring Training too but, despite a very strong spring (hitting .308/.341/.564 with four doubles and two home runs), the 23 year old goes back to the minors.
In the outfield, the closes thing to a “prospect” that the Knights will have is 25-year-old Jared Mitchell who had a very poor, injury-shortened season in 2013.