After a spectacular 2018 season in the Minor Leagues, Chicago White Sox prospect Blake Battenfield talks about last season, and his goals for the upcoming season.
When you think of the Chicago White Sox, you typically think of the elite, premier prospects.
However, while those names are certainly deserving of their acknowledgement, it is the pure depth of the White Sox system that makes the future so bright on the South Side.
For instance, the two White Sox affiliates that made the playoffs in their respective leagues last season where the High-A Winston-Salem Dash, and the Single-A Kannapolis Intimidators.
While the higher levels, Birmingham (Double-A) and Charlotte (Triple-A) got most of the mainstream attention, it was the aforementioned lower levels that put up the biggest numbers, and had the biggest success last season.
A big part of that sleeper success amongst Single-A teams was the play of non-top 30 prospects. Names such as Joel Booker, Laz Rivera, John Parke and Blake Battenfield were all major contributors to Kannapolis’ successful first-half of the season.
Battenfield perhaps had the best half of the four, registering a 2.00 ERA in nine starts, striking out 46 and allowing just 50 hits in 53.1 innings. Battenfield was the White Sox Minor League Pitcher of the Month in May.
I was lucky enough to be able to talk with Battenfield on the phone earlier this week, and we got to discuss last season, the upcoming season, and much more in-between.
Q: How’s the offseason going? What are you doing to prepare yourself for the 2019 Season?
A: Going well, there’s a lot of minor league guys, we work out together, throw together, some guys from the White Sox, so we’ve been throwing and working together.
Q: Let’s backtrack a bit and talk about last season. You had an incredible first half of the season in Kannapolis. What do you attribute to your first half success?
A: Mostly just being able to repeat my delivery, and then the support that was around me, I had a lot of good catchers catching a lot of my games, just a bunch of guys that were around me, highly competitive guys behind me making a lot of good plays making it easier for me to perform. I was able be comfortable, and go relax and compete at the highest level.