For Danny Mendick, Versatility Is Key
He was not.
"People throw out the term 'baseball player' and I think that's pretty accurate with him,” said Chriz Getz, the White Sox's director of player development. "He can play shortstop, second base, third base. He's a guy that does all the little things well. He puts together good at-bats, has some power, he runs the bases well.”
Drafted by the White Sox in the 22nd round in 2015 out of the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, Mendick has grinded his way up the minor league ladder. With Birmingham last year, he led the Barons with 20 stolen bases and 62 runs scored and was second on the team with 112 hits, 25 doubles and 57 walks. And not only was Mendick promoted to Triple-A Charlotte this season, he was also invited to major league camp in spring training.
"That's kind of what I hope for, that I get opportunities,” Mendick said. "I'm always thankful when I get them. The opportunity to go to big league camp was awesome. I got to experience a lot of different things. I got to play with the best of the best. I was able to hang with them, and I kind of proved to myself that I can do this. I knew that all along, but getting some solidification was great.”
Mendick not only hit .333/.452/.636 in 23 Cactus League games with Chicago, but he also showed he can play all over the infield.
"I play third, second, short,” he said. "I'll play the outfield if they need me to, I'll catch. I don't want to be stuck in one position. The versatility is going to help me out in the long run.”
The more the White Sox watch Mendick, the more they see a player that is similar to Tyler Saladino, who was with the organization from 2010-17.
"He's a fearless player,” Getz said of Mendick. "You trust him out there. He can also impact a game as well, maybe even when you don't expect it.”
— After being slowed by a strained right forearm last season, righthander Alec Hansen is off to a strong start pitching out of high Class A Winston-Salem's bullpen. The White Sox plan to move Hansen back to the starting rotation at some point.
— Right fielder Daniel Palka was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte after getting off to a 1-for-35 start.