Charlotte Knights fans undoubtedly realize that starting pitcher Michael Kopech and outfielder Eloy Jimenez likely are headed to the major leagues soon, but the Knights also might have two future Chicago White Sox closers on the roster.
Ian Hamilton has made a quick climb in the White Sox organization, moving from Class A Kannapolis a year ago to the AAA Knights this summer. And now he has been joined by another outstanding reliever in Caleb Frare.
The White Sox obtained Frare last week in a trade, after the 25-year-old lefty had been virtually unhittable this season with AA Trenton. He had a 0.62 earned run average in 31 appearances with Trenton.
Mark Feinsand of MLB.com tweeted before the trade, “Last month, a scout was telling people in Trenton that Frare was the best relief arm he’d seen in upper levels of NYY (New York Yankees) system.”
He has made three appearances with the Knights, with a 0-0 record and a 2.25 ERA.
Hamilton started the season with AA Birmingham and was promoted in June to Charlotte. With the Knights, he has been very effective, compiling a 1-1 record and a 2.08 ERA with five saves.
The White Sox traded away closer Joaquin Soria last week to Milwaukee, so there’s room on the Chicago roster for the two Knights closers.
Here’s how Charlotte fared during the past week:
Tuesday: The Knights dropped a 4-3 decision to Norfolk, but Kopech had an outstanding outing. He went seven innings, allowing only four hits and two runs, and striking out eight.
Wednesday, Thursday: Rain washed out the Knights’ remaining games with Norfolk. They’ve been rescheduled for later in August, when Charlotte travels to the Tidewater.
Friday: Jimenez and Jake Elmore each had three hits, but Charlotte fell 6-4 to Durham. Jimenez, named the Chicago White Sox Minor League Hitter of the Month in July, raised his average to .387, and Elmore upped his average to .302.
Saturday: Matt Skole had two hits, but Charlotte fell 3-2 to Durham. The game drew the 18th sellout crowd of the season for the Knights.
Sunday: Kopech pitched seven innings and picked up his fifth win as Charlotte beat Durham 4-2. Kopech gave up eight hits but only two runs, and he struck out nine.
The week ahead: The Knights are off Monday, then hit the road for games Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in Syracuse, followed by a series Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Rochester.
Steve Lyttle on Twitter: @slyttle