Short, Green Off To Fast Starts For White Sox
CHICAGO—With occasional invitations to move across the complex during spring training, outfielders Brandon Short and Justin Greene handled themselves well during split-squad games. Short even delivered a home run in a game against the Cubs, drawing praise from White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen.
Since Opening Day, it has been Joe McEwing and his hitting coach, Rob Sasser, who have been going home happy because of the hitting of Short and Greene, among others.
Short, a 28th-round pick in the 2008 draft from St. John's River (Fla.) CC, drew early attention with a hitting streak for high Class A Winston-Salem that reached 26 games before being snapped. He was hitting .376/.395/.553 with three homers in 30 games.
He hardly stood out. The club broke to an 20-10 start, hitting a best-in-baseball .317 as a team. Five players ranked in the top 10 in the Carolina League in hitting, with Short second and third baseman Jon Gilmore fourth.
"It's contagious," McEwing told the Winston-Salem Journal. "It really is. You see guys grinding out at-bats, and it just goes right down the lineup. This is a confident group."
Greene, a 24-year-old center fielder who is among the organization's fastest players, epitomizes that confidence. He was a 20th-rounder in the 2008 draft after a collegiate career at Francis Marion (S.C.). He's arguably been the most complete hitter at Winston-Salem. He was batting .347/.452/.632 with four homers and eight stolen bases in 95 at-bats.
Short and Greene are each listed at 6 feet, but that seems generous. They started last season together at low Class A Kannapolis before Greene was given a midseason promotion. Short was there throughout the 82-57 season that ended in the playoffs.
Playing all of last year age 20, Short is on an ideal development track. The only younger players at Winston-Salem are shortstop Eduardo Escobar and righty Nevin Griffith.
• Second baseman Drew Garcia, the 24-year-old grandson of former big league manager Dave Garcia, is Escobar's double-play partner for the second year in a row. He is a gifted fielder and was hitting .336/.387/.549 through 30 games.
• Catcher Miguel Gonzalez was off to a slow start with Kannapolis. The 19-year-old was hitting .181/.218/.289 through 83 at-bats in his first assignment to a full-season league.