On The Farm: Sox Draft Picks Have Big Day At Bristol

On The Farm: Sox Draft Picks Have Big Day At Bristol

Monday, Aug. 16, 2010
Posted: 10 p.m.
By Kevin Czerwinski
CSNChicago.com

WHITE SOXBristol Rookie
While some teams were sweating out whether their draft picks would sign by the time Mondays deadline passed, the White Sox got to watch as some of their draft picks continued to impress. Consider 12th-rounder Drew Lee from Morehead State. The infielder had another big game for Bristol, which upended Kingsport, 7-2.

Lee was 3-for-5 with a pair of homers and three RBIs. The two round-trippers doubled his output for the entire season while the three RBIs gave him 33.

Jordan Keegan, a 24th-rounder from the Junior College of Southern Nevada, also had three hits, including a solo homer while Mike Schwartz, a 17th-rounder from the University of Tampa, had three hits, too, extending his hitting streak to six games.

It all made a winner of Spencer Arroyo 6-2, who allowed a run on five hits over six innings.

Kannapolis A
Savannah swept a doubleheader from the Intimidators, taking the opener 1-0 before coasting to a 9-3 victory in the nightcap.

The Sand Gnats took the opener on the strength of a John Church one-hitter. He allowed only a first-inning single to Brady Shoemaker. The only other runner to reach base was Jose Vargas, who walked in the fifth. Justin Collup pitched a two-hitter for Kannapolis, going the distance but allowing a run on Nick Santomauros RBI double in the fourth.

Zach Piccola allowed seven runs over two innings in the second game to suffer the loss. Nick Ciolli had a pair of hits and an RBI.

In other action, Winston-Salem scored a pair of ninth-innings runs but still came up short against Salem, dropping a 4-3 decision at BB&T Ballpark. The Dash managed only four hits. Terry Doyle took the loss after giving up three runs on six hits over six innings.
CUBS Peoria A
A trio of pitchers put on a brilliant show Monday evening as Peoria completed a sweep of Kane County with a 4-0 victory at Elfstrom Stadium.

Su-Min Jung started and allowed three hits over three innings before Jeff Antigua scattered three hits over five innings to earn his fourth win of the season and first since June 8. He struck out a season-high seven and didnt walk a batter. Ronny Morla pitched the ninth, preserving the shutout and moving the Chiefs to within three games of a playoff spot in the Midwest League.

Jae-Hoon Ha followed up the cycle he produced on Sunday with a three-hit game on Monday. Luis Flores had a double and drove in two.

In other action, Tampa downed Daytona, 5-3, to up its lead to two games in the Florida State Leagues North Division. DJ LeMahieu had three hits. Alberto Cabrera took the loss. Chattanooga scored seven fourth-inning runs and ran by Tennessee, 8-2. Brandon Guyer returned to the lineup after missing several days with an eye infection and went 3-for-4, scoring twice. He extended his hitting streak to 17 games during which he is batting .477 31-for-65.

Kevin Czerwinski can be reached at ktczerwinski@gmail.com.

Morning Update: Bulls fall to Blazers; Could Chris Sale be on the move?

Morning Update: Bulls fall to Blazers; Could Chris Sale be on the move?

Five Things to Watch: Bulls in Detroit for fourth game in five nights on CSN

Five Things to Watch: Blackhawks host Coyotes tonight on CSN+

Despite Chris Sale rumors, White Sox say they have contingencies in place for a rebuild

Kenley Jansen? Wade Davis? Cubs keeping an open mind for the ninth inning

Slow start to fourth dooms Bulls in loss to Blazers

Back from scary concussion, Leonard Floyd playing like franchise pass rusher Bears craved

Scott Darling takes the reins for Blackhawks in Corey Crawford’s absence

White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf knows 'it will be very hard to trade' Chris Sale

Cubs: The next steps for Kyle Schwarber

Rajon Rondo used foul language with Bulls assistant coaches following loss to Mavs

Bears DL Akiem Hicks making the most of a chance the Saints never gave him

Bears DL Akiem Hicks making the most of a chance the Saints never gave him

Living well is indeed the best revenge, and sometimes nothing feels sweeter than proving doubters wrong. Akiem Hicks is savoring that exact feeling.

When the New Orleans Saints made Hicks their third-round pick in the 2013 draft, they typecast their big (6-5, 318 pounds) young defensive lineman as a one-trick pony.

“There were people in New Orleans that said, ‘You can’t rush the passer,’” Hicks recalled after the Bears’ win Sunday over the San Francisco 49ers. “They told me from my rookie year, ‘You’re going to be a run-stopper.’”

This despite Hicks collecting 6.5 sacks and 3 pass breakups as a senior at Regina in Canada. The Saints forced Hicks into the slot they’d decided he fit – nose tackle – then eventually grew disenchanted with him and traded him to New England last year – where he collect 3 sacks in spot duty.

Interestingly, Bears GM Ryan Pace was part of the Saints’ personnel operation. Whether Pace agreed with coaches’ handling of Hicks then isn’t known, but when Pace had the chance to bring Hicks to Chicago for a role different than the one the Saints forced Hicks into, Pace made it happen.

Pace likely saw those New England sacks as a foreshadowing or a sign that the New Orleans staff had miscast Hicks. The Bears defensive end now is under consideration for NFC defensive player of the week after his 10-tackle performance against San Francisco. Signing with the Bears last March 13 as a free agent was the career break Hicks has craved. For him it was a career lifeline.

“They have given me the ability to go rush the passer,” Hicks said. “So I love this organization – [GM] Ryan Pace, coach Fox, Vic [Fangio, defensive coordinator] – for just giving a guy the capability to put it out there and do what you feel like you can do.”

[MORE BEARS: Back from scary concussion, Leonard Floyd playing like franchise pass rusher Bears craved]

Hicks has been showing what he can do, to quarterbacks. For him the best part of win over the 49ers was the two third-quarter sacks of 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

Those sacks gave the massive lineman, who the Saints said couldn’t rush the passer, 6 sacks for the season – more than any member of the Saints defense this season. It has been a classic instance of putting a player in position to maximize his skills, not jam someone into a bad fit.

“Akiem has been in a couple of different types of packages before with New Orleans and New England,” said coach John Fox. The Patriots switched from a long-time 3-4 scheme to a 4-3 but “we’re more of a New England-type style. But we’re playing him more at end; he played mostly a nose tackle [in New Orleans]. He’s fit really well for us as far as his physical stature.

"But he does have pass rush ability. It shows a little about his athleticism. So he’s got a combination of both.”

That “combination” has been allowed to flourish at a new level, and the Bears’ plan for Hicks was the foundation of why he wanted to sign in Chicago as a free agent. The Bears do not play their defensive linemen in a clear one-gap, get-upfield-fast scheme tailored to speed players. Nor do they play a classic two-gap, linemen-control-blockers scheme typically built on three massive space-eaters on the defensive line.

They play what one player has called a “gap and a half” system, which requires being stout as well as nimble.

One Hicks rush on Kaepernick featured a deft spin move out of a block, not the norm for 336-pound linemen. He got one sack with a quick slide out of a double-team.

“I’m not freelancing,” Hicks said. “But I’m rushing ‘fast.’ There’s a portion of the defense where you have the [run] responsibility and don’t have the freedom or liberty [to rush]. It’s a great system for me and I love what they’ve let me do.”