South Atlantic League
What: Four-game series
When: Monday through Thursday (7:05 each night)
Where: Whitaker Bank Ballpark
Tickets: Call (859) 422-7867
Major League affiliates: Houston Astros (Legends), Chicago White Sox
Probable pitchers (Legends listed first): Monday, RH Ruben Alaniz (5-9, 4.80) vs. RH Dexter Carter (3-5, 6.51); Tuesday, LH Luis Cruz (3-2, 4.27) vs. RH Phil Negus (2-0, 2.52); Wednesday, RH Carlos Quevedo (6-4, 4.05) vs. RH Matt Heidenreich (9-6, 4.25); Thursday, RH Tanner Bushue (6-2, 3.49) vs. LH Spencer Arroyo (7-7, 3.70).
Intimidator to watch: All-star CF Trayce Thompson (6-foot-3, 195 pounds, from Ladera Ranch, Calif.) leads Kannapolis in homers (17), runs (72) and walks (48) — as well as strikeouts (126) through Saturday’s games. Batting .232, he also has 62 RBI, 25 doubles, a pair of triples and five stolen bases. Selected by the White Sox in the second round of the 2009 draft, out of Santa Margarita High School (Calif.), and signed for $625,000, Thompson is the son of former No. 2 overall NBA draft pick Mychal Thompson. Trayce played 32 games in his pro-debut year – 25 with Bristol of the Appalachian League and seven with the Great Falls Voyagers of the Pioneer League, combining for a .198 average, 10 RBI and 10 runs. With Kannapolis last year, Thompson batted .229 with eight homers, 31 RBI and 28 runs over 58 games (a pitch shattered his right thumb in late May, knocking him out for three months). Coming into this season, Baseball America rated him the No. 9 prospect in the White Sox system. This season, the right-handed batter and thrower has been at his best when face lefties and playing at home. He is batting .315 vs. left-handers, .206 against righties; .254 at home, .209 on the road.
Legend to watch: 2B Delino DeShields Jr. (5-9, 203, from Ocala, Fla.) has raised his average from .192 on June 24 to .235 through Saturday. He took an 11-game hitting streak into Sunday’s game and had hits in 14 of his last 15 games. For July, DeShields is 31-for-93 (.333) with two doubles, 14 RBI, 13 runs, nine walks and 10 stolen bases. Overall, to go with his .235 average, DeShields has six homers, 41 RBI, 50 runs and 25 stolen bases. No. 2 in Baseball America’s pre-season rankings of Houston prospects, he was selected by Houston in the first round (eighth overall) of the 2010 draft and signed for an Astros draft-record $2.125 million out of Woodward Academy (Fla.). His father, Delino Sr., also was a first-round pick (12th overall in 1987) and stole 463 bases over 13 seasons in the big leagues. Delino Jr. debuted last season with two games in the Gulf Coast League and 16 with the Greeneville Astros of the Appalachian League, combining to hit .289 with eight RBI, 11 runs, six doubles, a triple and five stolen bases in six attempts. Baseball America also rates him as Houston’s fastest runner, best athlete and best pure hitter in the 2010 class. He also was recruited for football by Georgia and Ole Miss.
Radio: WLXG AM-1300