Trio Of White Sox Prospects Headline Southern League ASG
If you like power, the Southern League all-star game might just be the place for you. The game, which will be played June 19 at Birmingham’s Regions Field, features some of the league’s biggest boppers, two of which happen to play for the host squad.
The North Division roster is highlighted by top White Sox prospect Eloy Jimenez, who will be hard-pressed to top his performance at last year’s Carolina League all-star game, when one of his blasts in the home run derby smashed the bulbs out of a light tower and called to mind a scene from “The Natural.”
Jimenez’s season was delayed by a tweaked knee, but he’s lived up to his reputation since being activated. With Double-A, the slugger is hitting .318/.363/.590 with 10 home runs and 39 RBIs. He’s reached base in all but six games this year.
He’s joined on the roster by a pair of powerful catchers in Zack Collins and Seby Zavala. The pair is splitting time behind the plate and at designated hitter and has combined for 19 home runs (11 for Zavala and eight for Collins).
Collins has turned it on after a rough first month of the season. Since May 1, Collins, the team’s first-round choice two years ago, has hit .318/.476/.542 with 34 walks and 37 strikeouts. This comes after he produced an OPS of just .758 in April.
The Birmingham trio is joined on the North roster by a pair of talented Rays prospects in Brandon Lowe and Nick Solak. Lowe’s .503 slugging percentage ranks fifth on the circuit and Solak, who came over from the Yankees during the offseason, boasts the league’s fourth-best on-base percentage at .414.
The South Division roster is headlined by Angels righthander Griffin Canning, the team’s second-rounder out of UCLA last year who has already reached Double-A and been a part of two no-hitters. Between high Class A Inland Empire and Mobile, Canning has gone 1-0, 1.21 and whiffed 51 in 44.2 innings.
Canning is joined by Braves righthander Touki Toussaint, the SL’s strikeout leader with 76 in 72.2 innings. The league’s top six strikeout pitchers (Toussaint, Genesis Cabrera, Zack Brown, Taylor Widener, Nick Neidert and Keury Mella) each made the cut.
Not Getting Their Due: 26 Players Who Could Have Been First-Time All-Stars
The list includes 13 former Top 100 Prospects who could have been first-time all-stars in 2020 had there been no pandemic.
Omar Bencomo — RHP, Chattanooga/
Genesis Cabrera — RHP, Montgomery
Trevor Clifton — RHP, Tennessee
Ian Hamilton — RHP, Birmingham
Ryne Harper — RHP, Chattanooga
Thomas Hatch — RHP, Tennessee
Randy LeBlanc — RHP, Chattanooga
Zach Lee — RHP, Montgomery
Dakota Mekkes — RHP, Tennessee
Williams Ramirez — RHP, Chattanooga
Todd Van Steensel — RHP, Chattanooga
Taylor Widener — RHP, Montgomery
Zack Collins — Birmingham
Seby Zavala — Birmingham
Rudy Flores — 1B, Jackson
Kevin Medrano — 2B, Jackson
Danny Mendick — SS, Birmingham
Juniel Querecuto — 3B, Jackso
Nick Solak — INF, Montgomery
Jeffrey Baez — Tennessee
Eloy Jimenez — Birmingham
LaMonte Wade — Chattanooga
Jamie Westbrook — Jackson
Zander Wiel — Chattanooga
Brandon Lowe — Montgomery
Zack Brown — RHP, Biloxi
Griffin Canning — RHP, Mobile
Nate Griep — RHP, Biloxi
Thomas Jankins — RHP, Biloxi
Pablo Lopez — RHP, Jacksonville
Keury Mella — RHP, Pensacola
Nick Neidert — RHP, Jacksonville
Jon Olczak — RHP, Biloxi
Jose Quijada — LHP, Jacksonville
Nick Ramirez — LHP, Biloxi
Touki Toussaint — RHP, Mississippi
Jacob Webb — RHP, Mississippi
Michael Barash — Mobile
Rodrigo Vigil — Jacksonville
Jake Gatewood — 1B, Biloxi
Shed Long — 2B, Pensacola
Taylor Ward — 3B, Mobile
Jake Hager — SS, Biloxi
Tyler Marlette — INF, Mississippi
Aristides Aquino — Pensacola
Zach Gibbons — Mobile
Monte Harrison — Jacksonville
Corey Ray — Biloxi
Troy Stokes — Biloxi
Eric Jagielo — Jacksonville