The White Sox announced today they have pared their spring roster to 44 sending five players to the minors. Catcher Kevan Smith was optioned to the Class AAA Charlotte Knights, righty Michael Ynoa was optioned to the Class AA Birmingham Barons and three others were assigned to minor league camp, outfielders Adam Engel and Courtney Hawkins, and infielder Andy Parrino.
Knights’ fans know Smith who was in Charlotte last season hitting .260 in 97 games. The former 7th round pick out of the University of Pittsburg in 2011 has played at every level in the Pale Hose organization with a career average of .289 belting 47 homers while driving in 288. This spring the 27-year old was 3-7 (.429) with 3 RBI.
Ynoa is the Sox 26th ranked prospect, according to MLB.com. The 24-year old right-hander was signed by the Athletics as a free agent and was part of the trade that brought Jeff Samardzija to the Windy City on December 9, 2014. RHP Chris Bassitt, C Josh Phegley, 1B Rangel Ravelo and INF Marcus Semien were sent to Oakland.
A native of Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, Ynoa appeared in 28 games for the Winston-Salem Dash (AA) in 2015 posting a winless record against two losses with six saves in his first season with the ChiSox organization.
Engel, 24, is the organization’s 14th ranked prospect and was taken in the 19th round (No. 573) out of the University of Louisville (Kentucky) in 2013. He is considered the fastest baserunner and best defensive outfielder in the Sox system. In 136 games with the Dash (Advanced A) last year the Loveland, Ohio native hitting .251 with 7 HR and 43 RBI, but the stat that jumps off the page is his 65 stolen bases although he did strike out 132 times in 529 at-bats. He will likely start the season with the Birmingham Barons (AA).
Hawkins is a power hitting prospect who is the organization’s 7th best prospect with 55 career round trippers after being taken in the first round (13th overall) of the 2012 draft out of Mary Carroll High School in Corpus Christi, the Texas town he hails from. At 22, he could make the leap to Triple-A Charlotte although he could be slated for more seasoning with the Barons (AA) as he played just 79 games in 2015 after spending two-plus seasons in Winston-Salem. He is considered the best power hitter and possesses the best outfield arm in the system.
Parrino, 30, broke into the majors in 2011 and has played for the Padres and Athletics. He can play short, second and third and was signed as a free agent on December 4, 2015.
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