Pitcher Andre Rienzo, outfielder Jared Mitchell, pitcher Jhan Marinez and catcher Josh Phegley were all optioned to the White Sox Triple-A affiliate, the Charlotte Knights.
Although none of these cuts were shocking, each player did show some promise for the White Sox this spring. Of the four players assigned to Triple-A, Mitchell and Phegley impressed me most.
Mitchell, who can play all three outfield positions, had an outstanding spring. With a triple-slash line of .387/.441/.710 in Cactus League play, the 24-year old outfielder showed why he was a first-round draft pick back in 2009. Mitchell brings a lot to the table for the Sox, most notably his speed. In 14 appearances this spring, Mitchell recorded two triples, and was 2-for-2 in stolen base attempts.
The main concern with Mitchell is his strikeout-to-walk ratio. In 1,047 minor-league career at-bats, Mitchell has a 2.63:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. To put that in perspective, that’s higher than Adam Dunn’s MLB career ratio. While he needs to improve on his strikeout totals, Mitchell turned a lot of heads in camp this spring, and I believe he’ll make his much anticipated Major League debut this season.
Drafted 38th overall in 2009, Phegley was a bright spot for the Sox this spring. In 25 at-bats, Phegley recorded a .360/.407/.600 triple-slash line. The 25-year old catcher wasn’t sent to Triple-A as a demotion, but more as an opportunity to develop his game.
With Tyler Flowers moving from backup to starter, there is an opening for the South Siders second catcher. Although Phegley can make a case to be Flowers’ backup in 2013, the Sox would rather let the young catcher play everyday in Charlotte. Look for Phegley to be in the Sox’s backstop mix once again next spring.
41 players remain in the White Sox Major League camp after yesterday’s cuts. With Opening Day just 16 days away, the Sox will continue to trim their roster this week and the next.