Previewing the 2016 Kannapolis Intimidators

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Micker Adolfo, courtesy of chicitysports.com

Continuing with the 2016 SAL team previews here’s the Kannapolis Intimidators.

The Intimidators are a White Sox franchise and in putting this preview together I scoured the rosters of the Great Falls Voyagers and AZL White Sox. The official rosters won’t be available until early April so this is me speculating.

Notes from the Sally is a scouting site and you can expect to see reports on most of these guys once I see the them and looking at my preliminary schedule I’m expecting to see Kannapolis on 5/21 and 8/16 and I’d like to get at least one more look. as I’m upping my goal this year to see each team at least 3 times.

 

The Notables:

RF-CF) Micker Adolfo

courtesy of southsidesox.com

Micker Adolfo, Age 19, listed 6’3″ 200 lbs, bats and throws right.  Adolfo was a high profile signee out of the Dominican Republic. Receiving $1.6 million in 2013.  By all accounts he’s a strong young man, with big time raw power and arm strength so right field seems like a natural fit.  I’m looking forward to seeing him.  He could start in Kannapolis or be held back in extended and start the year in Great Falls, but if they go that route we still may seem him in the 2nd half.

 

1B) Corey Zangari

courtesy of chicagonow.com

Corey Zangari, age 18, listed 6’4″ 240 lbs, bats and throws right. Zangari was the White Sox 6th round pick in the 2015 draft out of high school in Midwest City, OK (Oklahoma City area).  According to mlb.com:

“Better known as a catcher, Zangari created a stir among scouts when he took the mound at a 2014 Area Code Games tryout and flashed a 97-mph fastball and a curveball with depth. He entered this year with the chance to go early in the Draft as a pitcher, but his mechanics were a mess and his performance disappointing during the spring. The White Sox opted to draft him for the power in his bat rather than his arm, signing him for an above-slot $510,000 in the sixth round.”

Zangari has plus raw power it will be interesting to see how the hit tool develops but if he stalls in the high minors he may have a fall back option as a back end reliever.

 

SS-3B) Johan Cruz

courtesy of thenews-messenger.com

Johan Cruz, age 20, listed 6’2″ 170 lbs bats and throws right.  Cruz signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2012 for $450,000.  An excellent glove Cruz saw time at third base in rookie ball but projects to be an above average defensive shortstop.  He handles the bat well and has some pop.  Another player I’m looking forward to seeing this year.

 

RHP) Jordan Stephens

courtesy of chicagonow.com

Jordan Stephens, age 23, listed 6′ 180 lbs, bats and throws right. Stephens was drafted by the White Sox in the 5th round of the 2015 draft out of Rice University.  He was projected to go higher in the draft but missed all of 2014 and some of 2015 due to Tommy John surgery. According to MLB.com he has a plus fastball and curve and mixes in an average slider and developing change.  I think there’s a good chance he skips Kannapolis but I’m including him anyway just in case.

 

RHP) Yosmer Solorzano

courtesy of chicagonow.com

Yosmer Solorzano, age 19, listed 6’2″ 181 lbs, bats and throws right.

I didn’t know much about Solorzano but I read about him today at Future Sox.  He reportedly signed out of the Dominican Republic for $100,000 in 2014 and he came straight to the AZL to start 2015. Solorzano features a high 80’s to low 90’s heavy fastball, no mention of the secondaries but an interesting report none the less and well worth the read. http://www.chicagonow.com/future-sox/yosmer-solorzano/

 

Around the Diamond

C) Two interesting mid round draft picks 8th rounder Casey Schroeder and 12th rounder Seby Zavala.  Zavala showed some significant pop in Arizona post draft.  I think there’s a good chance we see one and perhaps both of these guys.  Others in the mix at catcher are Joxelier Garcia and Zach Fish.  We might also see a return from Daniel Gonzalez who also saw time at 1st base.

Jhoandro Alfaro is the wild card here he’s a very good receiver with a strong arm but at just 18 he may be ticketed for Great Falls.

 

Middle Infield

In addition to Johan Cruz at shortstop, 26th round pick Grant Massey could see time, Victor Velasquez has seen time at 2B, SS and 3rd as has 22nd round pick Danny Mendick.

The wild card at short is Amado Nunez who shows enough glove to stick at short and excellent bat speed.  I think the Sox will likely keep Cruz and Nunez at different levels so they can both start at short but if Cruz gets promoted we could see Nunez in the 2nd half.

There’s no obvious choice at 2nd base there looks to be some combination of 18th round pick Dante Flores, Velasquez and Mendick as mentioned above, Jake Jarvis who also saw time at 3rd base and 28th round pick Bradley Strong.

 

Corner Infield

In addition to Zangari at 1st base we could see a return from Cody Daily who also saw time at 3rd, and as mentioned above Daniel Gonzales could be back and get some starts at 1st base.  As for newcomers Sikes Orvis might see time.

I’m looking forward to seeing Maiker Feliz at 3rd base but he’s likely a long shot for this year.  He blew up the DSL this as a 17 tear old in 2015 and got a cup of coffee state side but he’s probably looking at a return to the AZL or Great Falls.

More likely candidates for the 3rd base job include Victor Velasquez, Jake Jarvis, Cody Daily and another wild card Felix Mercedes.

 

Outfield

After Adolfo who I think is the everyday right fielder the picture is a little more cloudy in the outfield as there are several names who could see time including:  Antonio Rodriguez who’s seen time at all 3 OF spots, 21st rd pick Landon Lassiter who played left after signing, 19th rounder Frank Califamo who split his time between LF and CF, 10th rd pick Jackson Glines who played mostly center is 24 and might skip.

And from the AZL side we might see 14th rounder Tyler Sullivan and 29th rounder Jake Fincher both of these guys played all 3 outfield spots.  The wild card is a high ceiling but raw youngster who’s likely staying in rookie ball: Hanleth Otano.

 

Starting Pitching

In addition to Jordan Stephens and  Yosmer Solorzano, Blake Hickman could make an appearance in the 2nd half though 2017 is much more likely.  He’s a potential bargain in the 7th round for the White Sox.  But they’ll have to wait to see what they’ve got with Hickman as he’s recovering from Tommy John surgery.  Others we’ll likely see: Matt Ball, Evin Einhardt, Tanner Banks and Brandon Magallones.  And from the AZL side Christopher Comito and Brandon Quinero.

 

Relief Pitcher is not normally a category I focus on with these previews but there is one name I’m looking forward to seeing and that’s Danny Dopico, 11th round pick out of Florida International.  He features a mid to upper 90’s fastball and a very good breaking ball.  Good chance he skips Kannapolis though.

I enjoyed my look at the White Sox system, there’s more talent in here than most people realize.

Up next is a look at the Lakewood Blueclaws

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