White Sox prospects off to a rousing start

White Sox prospects off to a rousing start

CHICAGO -- It was a pretty good 24-hour-period for the White Sox as an organization Thursday.

The big league team cruised past Detroit, 11-2, with 26-year-old Matt Davidson homering, tripling, driving in three and scoring three. Later in the evening, the future took over in the present at the Minor League level.

Yoan Moncada, the No. 2 prospect in all of baseball, according to MLBPipeline.com, had three hits in Triple-A Charlotte's season-opening 9-8 win over Norfolk. Reynaldo Lopez, the team's No. 4 prospect and 44th overall, fanned five in three innings during his Opening Day start for the Knights. Zack Burdi, checking in at No. 7 on the White Sox prospect list, fanned three over 1 2/3 innings of scoreless relief for Charlotte, while catcher Zack Collins, the No. 6 White Sox prospect, had three hits and a walk for Class A Advanced Winston-Salem. Collins also threw out Kyle Tucker trying to steal a base.

White Sox send three to Triple-A

Players such as Moncada and Lopez, who both had big league experience in '16, seemed happy with their White Sox debut.

"I hit the ball with authority throughout the whole field," said Moncada, through interpreter Billy Russo. "My legs were loose and ready to run, I took every opportunity to make an impression and to help my team. I was anxious to start the season. I was excited before the game started. It was a very exciting experience with the fans and my teammates."

Lopez told Russo that his pitches all were working over the first two innings. But by the third inning, the right-hander couldn't feel his hand because of the cold and started to have some complications.

"Overall, I felt good," Lopez said. "It was a great experience to pitch the Opening Day, but pitching in that weather was really challenging."

This list didn't even include two hits from Micker Adolfo for Class A Kannapolis, or two hits from Jameson Fisher in that same lineup. Adolofo is one of the organization's top international signees, moving into his fourth Minor League season at the ripe old age of 20, while Fisher is part of the team's solid '16 Draft class.

For the past five years or so, the White Sox have been able to watch their Minor League affiliates live from the ballpark thanks to a camera setup. They might have even greater interest in the prospects they have performing this season.

"We keep track of all that stuff. There are a lot of things that we keep our eye on," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "Obviously, we try to make sure we're focused on what we're doing here, but yes, we keep an eye on what's going on down there.

"How guys are pitching, how guys are taking their at-bats, how they're defending. And then beyond that, the reports that we get that are connected to those numbers, to see if they correlate."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com 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.