Results tagged ‘ Erik Johnson ’

Capra talks Hawkins, Danish, Johnson

I had the chance to talk with White Sox director of player development Nick Capra, who made a stopover in Chicago today. Here are his takes on a few prospects.

Courtney Hawkins struggled through his first season in the Carolina League last year, hitting just .178 with 160 strikeouts over 383 at-bats, albeit with 19 homers, 16 doubles and 62 RBIs.

The White Sox top pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft clearly has adjusted during his second season with Class A Winston-Salem. The left fielder is hitting .268 with seven homers and 30 RBIs.

On Hawkins solid ’14 start at Winston-Salem

“It’s just the experience of being around the league again and Courtney starting to learn himself a little bit more. He’s more patient. He’s not swinging the bat before the ball is out of the pitcher’s hand. He’s recognizing pitches. He’s just having a lot more quality at-bats.”

On Hawkins never doubting himself after last year’s struggles

“The kid has never failed before and I think he still has the mindset that he hasn’t failed but he’s been humbled a little bit by the fact that his numbers in certain areas weren’t very good last year. But I think he’s dedicating himself to make things better. To listen more, to learn more. He’s more mature than he was last year at this time.

“He’s still a work in progress. I’ll tell you what the kid has improved, he’s in left field now. He’s made some really nice plays in left field. He looks like an above average defender in the outfield. He’s doing many more things better this year.”


Tyler Danish, who doesn’t turn 20 until Sept. 12, has a 3-0 record with a 0.64 ERA over six starts for Class A Kannapolis. The right-hander has fanned 22 over 32 innings pitched and has limited the opposition to a .205 average. He was the White Sox second round pick in the 2013 First-Year Player Draft and worked last year for Bristol and Kannapolis.

On Danish’s impressive 2014 start at Kannapolis

“What you see out of Tyler is what you get. He’s still learning. He’s still getting better. He’s got a lot of movement in the zone. He’s going to be a guy that we will have to challenge a little bit more. When that time comes, I’m sure he’ll be ready for it.”

On Danish getting promoted to a higher level this year

“That’s a possibility, yeah.”

On Danish’s composure

“You don’t see too many young kids like that even coming out of high school. I hate to use the analogy of (Mark) Buehrle, Buehrle had such a great mentality but this kid is pretty close to the same mentality. He doesn’t let things faze him. There are not a lot of highs and lows. He’s always that even keel player. I wish we had a bunch of them like that.”

Erik Johnson has made two starts for Triple-A Charlotte since being optioned to the Minors following a rough five-start stretch with the White Sox.

On Johnson trying to regain his form with Charlotte

“I saw his start yesterday and he looks good. Again, it’s just about pounding the strike zone with your pitches. Pound the strike zone with strikes with all your pitches. He’s getting a chance to go down and work on it now. Continue to get him better.”

On trying to figure out Johnson’s velocity drop

“We continue to talk about it. I don’t know if anyone ever really has that answer. We can speculate on what’s going on. Mechanically he doesn’t look much different than he has in the past. I don’t know if he’s feeling for pitches at times. I don’t know. I don’t have that answer.’

“He looked better yesterday. Velocity isn’t where it was last year. Hopefully it comes.


More to come from Capra over the next few days on




Game 2: White Sox fit to be tied

There are no shootouts in Major League Baseball to break a tie, and often times in Spring Training, there are no extra innings to do the same. So, the second of back-to-back games between the Dodgers and White Sox at Camelback Ranch Sunday ended in a 2-2 deadlock. Here’s a look.

HOME RUN: Let’s go with the man who actually hit the home run, Adam Dunn. The slugger said coming into Spring Training that he was going to be more aggressive early in the count, in an attempt to cut down strikeouts and raise his average, and there was Dunn driving out a 1-0 pitch from Peter Moylan to left for a two-run homer in the fourth inning Sunday.

“You know, it’s nice to get those,” said White Sox manager Robin Ventura of Dunn’s blast. “If it lingers on too much, not having good at-bats, you are starting off battling from the negative. It’s nice for everybody to kind of get on the board and have a good at-bat. It feels nice to end your day that way too.”

Dunn’s job won’t change from driving in runs, and he won’t suddenly become a .280 hitter and watch his home run total drop to 15. But he’s taking the time at Spring Training to work on subtle improvements.

“There’s one little mechanical thing I wanted to work on, and I didn’t know how long it was going to take me this spring. I knew we had an extended spring,” Dunn said. “But actually I’m able to carry it over from the cage to the game so far. That’s a positive.”

TRIPLE: On his 35th birthday, Dewayne Wise tripled to right with two outs in the third off of Hyun-Jin Ryu.

DOUBLE: Little things continue to mean a lot to the White Sox under the Robin Ventura regime. In the third, Hanley Ramirez delivered a run-scoring single off of Erik Johnson to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead but Dunn cut off the throw home by center fielder Blake Tekotte and threw back to first, behind Ramirez, where second baseman Gordon Beckham was covering to tag out Ramirez, end the inning and cut short any continued rally.

In the second, backup catcher Hector Gimenez fired a perfect strike to Beckham to catch Andre Eithier stealing by quite a margin.

SINGLE: Alex Rios tripled before Dunn’s opposite field homer, giving Rios three extra-base hits in two games.

STOLEN BASE: When I asked Tyler Flowers for pitchers who had looked good during side bullpen sessions, he mentioned both Daniel Moskos and David Purcey. The two southpaws threw one hitless inning apiece.

CALLED THIRD: It was a solid debut for Johnson, who took advantage of an opportunity the White Sox are giving to their up-and-coming Minor League starters during this first week of Cactus League action. Johnson struck out two and gave up one run on four hits over three innings.

“I’m thankful for the opportunity,” Johnson said. “I just wanted to go out there and pound the strike zone and attack hitters and keep the ball down, let my defense play behind me.”

The native of Los Altos, Calif. also seemed to get a charge out of facing the Dodgers.

“Growing up in the Bay Area and watching the Giants growing up, I saw the Dodgers a lot,” Johnson said. “It felt good to go out at these guys and attack them. It was just another great opportunity today.”

JUST A BIT OUTSIDE: After a leadoff single by Steven Tolleson in the ninth, he was caught stealing with Trayce Thompson at the plate and pulling back on a bunt.