Tilson Comes Home

CHICAGOWhen the White Sox acquired Charlie Tilson from the Cardinals in a July 31 trade, he was understandably pumped up.

Tilson, a 23-year-old center fielder, grew up a White Sox fan in Wilmette, Ill., a northern suburb of Chicago. He attended New Trier High in Winnetka, which also counts general manager Rick Hahn as an alumnus.

“I grew up going to a ton of games,” Tilson said. “I used to watch Scott Podsednik and hang out in the Fundamental Zone. To do that and be here and have this opportunity, I feel so lucky. I feel so fortunate.”

Before the trade, Tilson spent the entire season at Triple-A Memphis. In 100 games, he hit .282/.345/.407 with 16 doubles, eight triples, 53 runs scored and 15 stolen bases.

“Charlie is a lefthanded-hitting outfielder whose speed and defensive ability enable him to do a number of things well to help his team win ballgames,” Hahn said.

Two days after the trade, Tilson started in center field for Chicago in an Aug. 2 game at Detroit, and he singled in his first major league at-bat.

That’s when this happy story took a sad turn. In the fifth inning, Tilson was running down a line drive by Miguel Cabrera when he dropped to the ground with a leg injury. He wound up tearing his left hamstring and had season-ending surgery.

It has been a bizarre season for White Sox prospects making their debuts. In late April, catcher Kevan Smith came up from Triple-A Charlotte and was about an hour away from playing in his first game before being scratched with back spasms, later diagnosed as a sacroiliac joint dysfunction.

In his big league debut in June, outfielder Jason Coats exited after colliding with J.B. Shuck. Coats avoided a concussion but needed five stitches to close a cut in his mouth.

In late June, Matt Davidson debuted and singled in his second at-bat. But the third baseman fractured his right foot rounding first and is expected to miss the rest of 2016.


• Righthander Zach Burdi, who was drafted No. 26 overall in June out of Louisville, could be in the big league bullpen in September.

• Second-round righthander Alec Hansen recorded a 1.75 ERA and strikeout-to-walk ratio of 42-to-6 in 26 innings at Rookie-level Great Falls of the Pioneer League.

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