Previewing the 2017 Kannapolis Intimidators

Alec Hansen, courtesy of

Hey guys, welcome to another round of the SAL team preview series.  I’m excited to get these going again.  Today I’ll be talking about the Kannapolis Intimidators as I continue alphabetically around the league.  The Intimidators are the Chicago White Sox, single-A, full season affiliate.

Previously I’ve covered the:

Asheville Tourists (Rockies)-

Augusta Greenjackets (Giants)-

Charleston Riverdogs (Yankees)-

Columbia Fireflies (Mets)-

Delmarva Shorebirds (Orioles)-

Greensboro Grasshoppers (Marlins)-

Greenville Drive (Red Sox)-

Hagerstown Suns (Nationals)-

Hickory Crawdads (Rangers)-

For those not familiar with the SAL team preview series, I scour the lower levels of each organization and speculate on who might be coming to the Sally in 2017 and whenever possible I try to include  scouting report.  It’s a lengthy process but I enjoy it and I learn a ton.

For the purpose of this piece I studied the 2016 Kannapolis Intimidators, Great Falls Voyagers and AZL White Sox.

A big shoutout to Matt from Future Sox (on Twitter @FutureSox)

He was  big help in assembling this piece, he’s a good guy and he knows the White Sox system as well as anybody.

At “Notes From The Sally” it’s all about live look scouting.  Once I see the Intimidators you can expect write ups on many of the players listed below.  I set a goal to see every team in the Sally twice in the 1st half (April 7th – June 18th).  I expect to see Kannapolis in the 2nd week of the season when they come west for 7 games and again in late May in Hickory.  I’ll get more into this later.


Lets meet the notables


Alec Hansen, courtesy of

RHP) Alec Hansen- Age 22, listed 6’7″ 235 lbs, bats and throws right.  Hansen was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2016 draft out of the Univ of Oklahoma.  Hansen started 2 games with the Intimidators last Summer post draft.  He seems like a candidate to open in Winston-Salem (A+) but Matt thinks he’ll be back which is good enough for me.  I’m looking forward to seeing him.

Eric Longenhagen of Fangraphs recently listed his top 27 White Sox prospects, here’s a snippet from what he wrote of Hansen:

“Hansen’s fastball will climb into the upper 90s and back down into the 92-94 range later in starts. He has some drop and drive to his delivery but still generates downhill plane because of his height. Chicago worked to break his hands earlier and prevent arm drag. His slider, a late-breaking 85-88 mph dart, projects to plus. When I saw Hansen’s first pro appearance, he was working more frequently with his curveball, currently average, with moderate depth and bite. It should at least be an effective change of pace and will help Hansen negotiate opposing lineups multiple times, but some scouts think it will be his best secondary.”

“Hansen’s changeup is way behind right now because he very rarely got himself into changeup counts in college. He shows some nascent feel for it, but it’s clearly below average, and its development is heavily dependent on Hansen’s future ability to throw strikes.”

“The volatile nature of Hansen’s health, stuff and performance makes him incredibly risky for a college draftee, but the upside here is obviously huge. He could be a No. 2 starter if everything comes together, and the chances of that occurring are much better now than they were in April.”

For much more on Hansen and many other White Sox prospects click here:



Bernard Flores, courtesy of

LHP) Bernardo Flores- Age 21, listed 6’3″ 170 lbs, bats and throws left.  Flores was drafted in the 7th round of the 2016 draft out of the Univ of Southern California.

Future Sox put together a detailed scouting report here:



Micker Adolfo, courtesy of

RF) Micker Adolfo- Age 20, listed 6’3″ 200 lbs, bats and throws right.  Adolfo was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2013.  He’s toolsy with big time raw power but the approach is raw.  Still young though.  Worth noting that Matt thinks Adolfo will start in Winston-Salem.



Corey Zangari, courtesy of

1B) Corey Zangari- Age 19, listed 6’4″ 240 lbs, bats and throws right.  Zangari was drafted in the 6th round of the 2015 draft out of High School in Midwest City, OK (Oklahoma City metro).

“Phil Goyette” of Prospects 1500 released his top 50 White Sox prospects recently and had this to say of Zangari:

For the rest of the White Sox top 50 click here:


Dane Dunning, courtesy of

RHP) Dane Dunning- Age 22, listed 6’4″ 200 lbs, bats and throws right.  Dunning was drafted by the Washington Nationals 29th overall in the 2016 and was traded to the White Sox in the Adm Eaton trade.  Matt thinks he skips Kannapolis which is perfectly reasonable for a highly thought of college arm. If I thought he was coming here I would list him 1st but wanted to include him here just in case.

John Sickles of Minor League Ball released his top 20 White Sox prospects list back in early January and had this to say of Dunning:

Age 22, first round pick in 2016 from University of Florida by the Nationals, another segment of the Eaton deal; posted 2.02 ERA with 32/7 K/BB in 36 innings between GCL and NY-P; primarily a reliever in college but has arsenal to start including 90-95 sinker, plus slider, and a change-up with average potential; throws strikes; path forward will depend on how quickly the change-up develops but could be a fine workhorse. ETA 2019.”

For the rest of Sickles White Sox top 20 click here:


Jameson Fisher, courtesy of

LF) Jameson Fisher- Age 23, listed 6’2″ 200 lbs, bats left and throws right.  Fisher was drafted in the 4th round of the 2016 out of the Southern Louisiana Univ.  Fisher could be another candidate to skip up to A+.


My friend “Joshua Schwager” and his team from Baseball Ranks (on Twitter @BaseballRanks) do a great job of scouting the minors.  I know they watch a ton of video over there. Recently one of the writers”Andy Sroka” released his top 25 White Sox prospects and had this to say of Fisher:

“It’ll be interesting to see how the career of Jameson Fisher plays out, considering he was one of NCAA Division-I’s very best hitters all while getting on base 56 percent of the time as a senior. Even as a sophomore, Fisher developed this reputation for taking his walks and mashing the ball, finishing the season in the top 20 of all eligible D-I hitters with a .389 batting average. It’s about what happened in between that kept him off draft boards as a true junior in 2015.”

“A torn labrum in his shoulder took away his position – catcher – and stuck him in left field and eventually first base. Right now he doesn’t have a position, but he can still hit a lot, though, he’s never hit for much power and has always seemed to be a little pull-happy, according to scouting reports. It remains to be seen if his prolific eye and contact abilities were a product of his competition in a historically weak Southland Conference. South Side optimists can be excited, however, that he hit .342/.436/.487 in 50 games in the Pioneer League a part of the White Sox’s rookie ball squad.”

“Fisher’s knack for hitting makes it seem like he can cut it in the pros as a useful bat off the bench, at least, but without any real noticeable feel for left field or first base coupled with a below-average arm, his hopes of hitting his way into the lineup every single day are slim.”

For more on the White Sox and many other prospect lists and scouting reports click here:


Around the diamond



Nate Nolan- Age 22, listed 6’1″ 210, bats and throws right.  Nolan was drafted in the 8th round of the 2016 draft out of St Mary’s College of California (Moraga, CA)

“Southside Sox” (SB Nations White Sox affiliate) had a write up for every player taken in day 2 of the draft including Nolan:


Casey Schroeder- Age 23, listed 6’2″ 210 lbs, bats both and throws right.  Schroeder was drafted in the 8th round of the 2015 draft out of Coastal Carolina Univ (Conway, SC).


A tag team of Nate Nolan and Casey Schroeder seems likely but there’s also 13th rounder Michael Hickman in the mix, Age 20, listed 6’1″ 215 lbs, bats left and throws right.  Signed out of Chipola Junior College in Marianna, FL.


“Rob Ozga” of the “Baseball Draft Report” does a terrific job breaking down the draft every year.  One of my go to sites for draft coverage.  He went round by round through the White Sox 2016 draft and had this to say of Hickman:

“Michael Hickman is living proof that sometimes players fall through the cracks here. That’s the downside of this being a one-man show. Hickman went from being ranked 242 out of high school in 2015 to being unranked after a solid junior college season (.345/.442/.610 with 17 BB/38 K in 177 AB) at powerhouse Chipola in 2016. Technically he was only unranked nationally on the final board; he came in 48th on my college catcher list. Buying Hickman is buying his lefthanded power and impressive bat speed while living with some swing-and-miss and rough defensive edges. At this point in the draft, that trade-off is well worth a shot.”

For more coverage of the White Sox draft click here:  2016 MLB Draft Reviews – Chicago White Sox


Others who could see time at catcher: Carlos Perez, Joxelier Garcia, Daniel Gonzalez,


Corner Infield

1B) Corey Zangari


3B) Zach Remillard- Age 23, listed 6’1″ 200, bats and throws right.  Remillard was drafted in the 10th round of the 2016 draft out of Coastal Carolina Univ.  He got into 31 games with Kannapolis in 2016 so no guarantee  he’ll be back.


3B) Brady Conlan- Age 23, listed 6’1″ 207 lbs, bats and throws right.  Conlan was drafted in the 24th round of the 2016 draft out of Cal State Dominguez hills (Carson, CA)



1B, 3B) Anthony Villa- Age on opening day 23, listed 6’3″ 220 lbs, bats and throws right.  Villa was drafted in the 19th round of the 2016 draft out of St Mary’s College of California (Moraga, CA).


Zangari should be the starter at 1B, probably Conlan at 3rd and Remillard in Winston-Salem, with Villa spelling the starters.


Other corner Infield candidates: Felix Mercedes (1B-3B),


Middle Infield

SS, 2B) Mitch Roman- Age on opening day 22, listed 6′ 161 lbs, bats and throws right.  Roman was drafted in the 12th round of the 2016 draft out of Wright St Univ (Dayton, OH)


2B, SS) Max Dutto- Age 23, listed 6′ 205 lbs, bats left and throws right.  Dutto was drafted in the 9th round of the 2016 draft out of Menlo College (Atherton, CA)


2B, SS, 3B) Sam Dexter- Age on opening day 23, listed 5’11” 185 lbs, bats and throws right.  Dexter was drafted in the 23rd round out of the Univ of Southern Maine.


I think Dutto will be the starting 2B and Roman will start at SS.  Dexter will be spelling both as well as seeing time at 3B.  SS) Amado Nunez and 2B, SS) Luis Curbelo both sound interesting but seem ticketed toward Great Falls.


Other options in the middle infield: JJ Franco (2B)




CF) Joel Booker- Age 23, listed 6’1″ 190 lbs, bats and throws right.  Booker was drafted in the 22nd round of the 2016 draft out of the Univ of Iowa.


RF, CF) Aaron Schnurbusch- Age 23, listed 6’5″ 235 lbs, bats and throws left.  Schnurbusch was drafted in the 28th round of the  2016 draft out of the Univ of Pittsburgh.


RF) Antonio Rodriguez- Age 21, listed 6’4″ 230 lbs, bats left and throws right.  Rodriguez was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2011.


RF, DH) Micker Adolfo


The outfield looks to be a highlight for the team.  Booker and his electric speed plus Schnurbusch and Rodriguez are intriguing as well.  And Adolfo if he’s back with his premium power potential.   It will be interesting to see if one of Schnurbusch or Rodriguez slides over and gets the bulk of the playing time in left or if Glines or Fincher get significant run.


Other outfield options: Jackson Glines (LF, CF, RF), Jake Fincher (RF, LF), Trevin Sonnier (CF, LF, RF, 2B), Louis Silverio (RF)


Starting Pitching

RHP) Alec Hansen

LHP) Bernardo Flores

RHP) Yosmer Solorzano- Age 20, listed 6’2″ 181 lbs, bats and throws right.  Solorzano was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2014.  He was a player that made last years Kannapolis preview too:

But the White Sox sent him to Great Falls instead. Giving teenage arms another season of rookie ball is never a bad idea.  Still just 20 I’m looking forward to seeing him.

Future Sox has a detailed scouting report:


Other options at SP:  RHP) Christopher Comito could be back and Aron McRee should be up from Great Falls.


This piece came in about about a week later than I anticipated.  My daughter totaled her car last week, she was hit from behind and fortunately wasn’t hurt but I spent quite a bit of time dealing with insurance companies and researching cars.  Fun stuff, I apologize to those who were waiting for this.

I enjoyed my deep dive into the White Sox system, there is some talent headed our way.  Particularly at SP, OF and 1st base and Catcher.

I want to give a quick shout out to Future Sox this is not because Matt helped me.  I do a lot of research for these pieces and when I come across a site like Future Sox (and they’re rare) it makes the whole process easier.  They had something on every player I listed.

Up next is a preview of the Lakewood Blueclaws (Phillies)


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