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White Sox Farm Report: Arizona Fall League Recap

by Joe Binder

With the 2021 Arizona Fall League season officially in the books, it’s time to recap the White Sox prospects’ performances.

In case you didn’t closely follow the AFL, let’s start with the basics. The Sox had seven participating players who were members of the Glendale Desert Dogs – a team made up of prospects from the White Sox, Astros, Angels, Dodgers, and Cardinals organizations. Though the group had a chance to play in the AFL’s championship game, the Suprise Saguaros defeated the Desert Dogs 5-3 in the final game of the season to claim the second-best record. This left Glendale with a 17-13 record, enough to finish with the third-best record in not only the league but also their own division.

As for the seven White Sox participants, let’s just say they didn’t collectively raise many eyebrows. Some performances can be labeled disappointments, others can be considered impressive. To get the full scope, let’s run through each player and their numbers from the 30-game schedule.


Position Players

Note: The number next to each name denotes the player’s ranking within the White Sox organization as given by MLB Pipeline.

Yoelqui Cespedes (No. 2)

Stats: 13-for-72 (.181/.244/.222), 3 2B, 1 RBI, 8 R, 2 BB, 22 K, 2 SB

This is one of those performances that fell on the disappointing end of the spectrum, especially in the notoriously hitter-friendly league. Cespedes’ over-aggressive approach led to a big strikeout rate and overall lack of production. While these stats don’t bode well for those who were hoping to see him in the majors in 2022, the outfielder will look to build off his first full minor league season and likely continue his development with at least Birmingham and Charlotte next year.

Jose Rodriguez (No. 9)

Stats: 14-62 (.226/.273/.323), 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 13 RBI, 5 R, 4 BB, 10 K, 2 SB

After splitting time between three different minor affiliates, Jose Rodriguez capped off his impressive 2021 season by playing in 16 games for the Desert Dogs. While his fall numbers fell short of those put up during the regular season, they don’t signal anything negative for the infielder. Considering he kept his strikeout percentage at a reasonable clip, he’ll take his high stock into 2022 as one of the most intriguing prospects in the entire organization.

Yolbert Sanchez (No. 15)

Stats: 14-35 (.400/.533/.514), 1 2B, 1 HR, 8 RBI, 4 R, 10 BB, 2 K, 1 SB

Despite getting about half the at-bats as his fellow teammates, Sanchez made the most of them. He was even named the Arizona Fall League’s “Hitter of the Week at one point thanks to his hot hand. While Sanchez’s fall sample size is small, it’s a solid ending to a strong minor league season nonetheless, making him another intriguing infielder to watch throughout the 2022 season.


Pitchers

Johan Dominguez

Stats: 1-2 (6 G, 5 GS), 12 IP, 24 H, 15 R, 14 ER, 3 HR, 7 BB, 14 K, 10.50 ERA, 2.58 WHIP

Dominguez finished off his 2021 campaign with an AFL stint to forget. Opponents had a whopping .429 average against him and it shows.

Caleb Freeman

Stats: 0-1 (11 G), 10.2 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 HR, 6 BB, 11 K, 1.69 ERA, 1.41 WHIP

The right-handed pitcher put up the best numbers out of the four arms by far, even getting a nod to the Arizona Fall-Stars roster as a replacement. This strong showing in the hitter-friendly league comes after his longest minor league, where he saw his regular-season innings pitched nearly double from 2019.

McKinley Moore

Stats: 0-0 (10 G), 10.2 IP, 11 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 HR, 5 BB, 9 K, 4.22 ERA, 1.50 WHIP

Like the other two guys above him, McKinley Moore owned a higher than preferred walk-rate. Aside from that, he had a decent showing all things considered.

J.B. Olson

Stats: 1-1 (10 G), 13.0 IP, 15 H, 10 R, 9 ER, 4 HR, 2 HB, 2 BB, 12 K, 6.23 ERA, 1.31 WHIP

J.B. Olson kept his strike rate high and it’s evident in the dozen punchouts he managed to record. It also might have hurt him a bit as opponents capitalized on mistakes within the zone.


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Featured Photo: MLB Pipeline/Twitter

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