Chicago White Sox

White Sox name Eloy Jimenez, Michael Kopech minor leaguers of month

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White Sox name Eloy Jimenez, Michael Kopech minor leaguers of month

As the White Sox minor-league affiliates wrap up their respective seasons, a couple of top prospects were honored on Tuesday.

The White Sox named Eloy Jimenez and Michael Kopech their minor league player and pitcher of the month for August and September.

Jimenez, who is currently MLB.com's No. 7 overall prospect, had a batting average of .345 with seven home runs, 19 RBI and 21 runs scored in 30 games between Double-A Birmingham and Single-A Winston Salem.

Jimenez, who was acquired by the White Sox in a five-player deal with the Cubs for Jose Quintana on July 13, was also named to the 2017 Carolina League mid and postseason All-Star teams.

Jimenez finished the 2017 season with a .312/.379/.568 slash line and had 19 home runs and 65 RBI in 89 games.

Kopech, who is MLB.com's No. 12 prospect, went 2-1 with a 1.55 ERA and 38 strikeouts across five starts between Triple-A Charlotte and Birmingham in August and September.

Kopech was recently named the Southern league Most Outstanding pitcher and was also selected to the Southern League mid and postseason All-Star Teams. Kopech compiled a 9-8 record with a 2.88 ERA and 172 strikeouts in 25 starts this season.

The White Sox will welcome both Jimenez and Kopech to Guaranteed Rate Field this week.

White Sox draft guru Nick Hostetler willing to sacrifice position for player development

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White Sox draft guru Nick Hostetler willing to sacrifice position for player development

HOUSTON — As much as he longs to pick first next June, Nick Hostetler has learned to cope in the name of player development.

The White Sox amateur scouting director sees a deep draft class full of high school and college players awaiting. He’d love if the White Sox didn’t have to sweat out other teams’ decisions in what will be another critical moment in the team’s accumulation process.

But Hostetler said Tuesday he’s learned not to let his own feelings get in the way of what’s best for the franchise. Even if the White Sox end up picking third or fourth next June, Hostetler appreciates that the worse draft position is the result of a hot streak by any number of young players.

“It’s really exciting to see some of these young kids have success,” Hostetler said. “I really do like seeing Tim Anderson hit .400 and Lucas Giolito doing what he’s doing. All of these things are so great for the ultimate plan, which is us winning at the big-league level. I don’t ever want to get so selfish where I’m worrying about one pick or whether we’re three or whether we’re four or whatever it is and to use that than to take away from the greater good.”

There’s no question one pick can make all the difference. Colorado has received good production out of the third overall selection of the 2013 draft, Jon Gray, who has thus far given them 7.1 f-Wins Above Replacement in his brief career. But that pales in comparison to the 21.0 WAR produced by second pick Kris Bryant.

Entering Tuesday, the White Sox boasted the third-worst record in the majors. But their lead over the flailing Detroit Tigers, who are fourth, has slipped down to 1 1/2 games.

While a 100-loss season still appears to be in play for the White Sox, it seems far-fetched they would catch Philadelphia or San Francisco to finish with a top-two selection next June.

No matter where the White Sox pick, Hostetler is excited about the prospects of the class, which has a nice blend of hitters and pitchers from high school and college. Hostetler said earlier this month it’s the best class he can remember since 2010.

Still, Hostetler jokes that he’s conflicted when it comes to September scoreboard watching.

“It’s hard not to sit there and look but I’ve done a really good job,” Hostetler said with a laugh. “I’m proud of myself for this. I’ve kind of removed myself from this point. I root for our guys to succeed and to win, but at the same time knowing ultimately come June and three or four years after we’ll really know if picking third or fourth actually mattered.”

White Sox Talk Podcast: Bill Melton tells all about his life in baseball

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AP

White Sox Talk Podcast: Bill Melton tells all about his life in baseball

Bill Melton's baseball career is the stuff of legend — some for what happened on the field, but also for what happened off of it.

On the latest White Sox Talk Podcast, the former White Sox slugger speaks with Chuck Garfien about winning the 1971 home run crown on the final day of the regular season after partying on Rush Street into the wee hours the night before. Melton also describes his huge public battle with then White Sox play-by-play announcer Harry Caray, partying at Hugh Hefner's Playboy Club, hanging out with Frank Sinatra, fighting with former Angels manager Dick Williams.

Melton tells these stories and many more about the wild days of playing major league baseball in the 1970s. Plus, you'll hear a lost interview from 1971 when Brent Musburger interviewed Melton right after he became the home run king.

Listen to the latest episode below: