The 2021 White Sox team has reached CVS receipt levels on the injured list. The White Sox front office is also not always known for opening the checkbook and bringing in talent. It is more of a recycling program, bringing old players back or dipping into their farm teams. What do the 2021 White Sox do next? Likely check out who is ready down on the farm.
Rick Hahn made the trip to Pittsburgh to see the White Sox take on the Pirates earlier this week. I for one can attest to the beauty of PNC park. The views of the Allegheny River, the Roberto Clemente Bridge and Pittsburgh skyline in the background are top notch, and the food in and around the ballpark deserve more recognition. Perhaps that is why Hahn made the trip. Or was he there for a certain player that the White Sox could really use right now as injuries continue to pile up?
Fresh off the news of Adam Eaton and Adam Engel returning to the IL, the White Sox continue to push through June with interesting lineups and plenty of transactions with their farm teams. While players like Michael Kopech, Jace Fry, Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert will likely return sometime in August, this doesn’t fill the many holes the White Sox struggle with now.
Brian Goodwin signed a Minor League contract with the White Sox on May 4 and was activated to the active roster on June 10. Goodwin has been a good pickup, filling holes in the outfield and providing pretty good at-bats. But Goodwin is not the only solution. Like Danny Mendick, Goodwin can’t be an everyday solution for the White Sox.
As I mentioned earlier, Rick Hahn was in Pittsburgh taking in the games, but nothing has surfaced at this time about Adam Frazier. That takes us down to the farm. Who can Rick Hahn save money on while still trying to be a contender for postseason baseball?
2021 White Sox: Farm Check
Down On the Farm: Jake Burger
Jake Burger has had quite the season after missing three full seasons and quickly jumping from Low-A to Triple-A. After being considered one of the top prospects for the 2017 Major League Baseball draft, the White Sox acquired Burger in the first round of the draft. He was the 11th overall pick. Clearly thriving in Charlotte, Burger is slashing at .295/.338/.582. Burger generally plays third, but the Charlotte Knights have strategically moved him in both center field and second base showing how dynamic Burger can be in any spot.
Down On the Farm: Micker Adolfo
Micker Adolfo made his way to the White Sox in 2014 via the Low-A Kannapolis Intimidators (now Cannon Ballers). Now 24, Adolfo has spent his season in Birmingham, Alabama with the Double-A Barons. Adolfo has provided the Barons with 11 runs this season and 28 RBIs. Adolfo’s slash line is also remarkable for the 2021 season at .242/.338/.582. He also tends to come in clutch when the Barons are tied with opponents.
Down On the Farm: Gavin Sheets
Gavin Sheets is another Charlotte success story. Sheets was drafted in 2017 and headed to Kannapolis before working his way through the farm system. In his most recent game with the Knights, he went 2-for-5 with two runs and an RBI. The Knights held the Sounds 13-6. His slash line sits at .291/.352/.480.
Down On the Farm: Tim Beckham
Tim Beckham has made his way around the league. Beckham was drafted first overall in the 2008 draft and made his MLB debut in 2013 with the Tampa Bay Rays. After receiving a non-tender from the Seattle Mariners in 2019, and going unsigned for the 2020 season, on October 29, 2020, Beckham signed a minor league contract with the White Sox. Since starting in Charlotte, Beckham’s been one to watch again with a slash line of .260/.308/.550.
Down On the Farm: Blake Rutherford
On July 18, 2017, the New York Yankees traded Blake Rutherford, Tyler Clippard, Ian Clarkin, and Tito Polo to the Chicago White Sox for David Robertson, Todd Frazier, and Tommy Kahnle. Rutherford then joined the Kannapolis Intimidators. Rutherford, like the others, has worked his way through the White Sox Farm system and has played for Charlotte throughout the 2021 season. There is always room for improvement, but .236/.291/.364 for the 24 year old.
Down On the Farm: Yoelqui Céspedes
Yoelqui Céspedes has had a difficult journey getting into the states, but he’s here now and he’s ready to play. On December 22, 2020, Céspedes agreed to a $2 million contract with the White Sox. The White Sox announced the signing on January 15, 2021. He is yet another star from the Cuban Pipeline the White Sox seem to have built. On June 19, he was assigned to the high-A Winston Salem Dash. His season has been short, but Céspedes’ is holding steady at /154/.421/.154.
2021 White Sox: What Comes Next?
While the inner-workings of Rick Hahn’s brain are unknown, it is obvious that he has plenty of young talent waiting for the opportunity. The White Sox certainly need a bat to replace Nick Madrigal, Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert, and that might need to come sooner than later. If Adam Frazier is a no-go and the White Sox aren’t willing to pay or trade, perhaps it’s Burger time. At this point, I would even be fine with Adolfo. It’s almost July, and that window of contention waits for no one.
Follow me on Twitter at @chrystal_ok for more of my content. Don’t forget to check out our baseball podcast, Cheap Seat Chatter! We’ll see ya there!
Come join the discussion made by the fans at the Overtime Heroics forums! A place for all sports fans!
Main image credit: Embed from Getty Images