Collins highlights White Sox headed to Fall League

Collins highlights White Sox headed to Fall League

MINNEAPOLIS -- Zack Collins, the White Sox top pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, highlights the organization's eight players taking part in the Arizona Fall League. Collins will be on the taxi squad, meaning he will be active on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Brad Goldberg, Brian Clark, Matt Cooper and Connor Walsh represent the White Sox hurlers on the Glendale roster, while third baseman Trey Michalczewski, first baseman Danny Hayes and outfielder Courtney Hawkins join Collins.

Hawkins, the team's top pick in the 2012 Draft, has a .208 average with 11 home runs and 55 RBIs for Birmingham this season, to go with 131 strikeouts over 400 at-bats.

"He's still on the younger side," said White Sox general manager Rick Hahn of the 22-year-old Hawkins. "There have been times where he's shown flashes this year of fulfilling some of that promise. The Fall League is just another opportunity for him to face good competition, get more at-bats and hopefully continue to show progress."

Callup decisions await end of Charlotte's season

Another round of September callups will join the White Sox after Triple-A Charlotte's International League playoff situation has been decided. But it remains uncertain whether Zack Burdi, the hard-throwing right-hander who was taken 26th overall by the White Sox in the 2016 MLB Draft, will be part of that group.

Burdi has struck out 48 over 35 innings during Minor League stops with Charlotte, Double-A Birmingham, Class A Advanced Winston-Salem and the Arizona Rookie League squad. He also has thrown 65 innings between the Minors and Louisville, which is a fairly high season total for a reliever.

"We have a pretty good idea of what we're going to do, but we're going to let the Charlotte season end, which hopefully will lead to a postseason berth," Hahn said. "Then we will play it out and firm up the decisions."

Catcher Kevan Smith, who joined the White Sox Thursday from Charlotte, gave Burdi high marks in the short time they've worked together.

"He's a really good guy. Electric stuff. He can throw the ball really hard. He's fun to catch," Smith said. "He's very competitive. That's what I love to see on the mound. When I go out and talk to a guy, I almost get the impression that he's like 'I'm getting an out every single pitch' instead of what are we going to do here.

"I know they are working with him a lot, working on his time to the plate with guys on. But the problem with him is he doesn't let too many guys on. When he would walk a guy, that was an opportunity for him and I to work with slide steps and his mechanics. He's progressing right along. Hopefully he's up here sooner than later. Certainly excited to see what his future has in store for him."

Injury updates

• Second baseman Brett Lawrie is trying to get back healthy through work at Camelback Ranch in Arizona after being halted from an injury rehab assignment with a strained left hamstring. Lawrie has been out of action since July 22, and by the time he's ready to go full speed again, he might have to take part in Instructional League action to get game-speed preparation.

Miguel Gonzalez allowed six earned runs on 11 hits over 4 1/3 innings Thursday during an injury rehab start for Charlotte. The right-hander struck out seven and didn't issue a walk, but could get another shorter start to test a right groin strain before joining the White Sox next week.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.