White Sox assistant general manager/player development, Chris Getz, came up with the name "Project Birmingham" to characterize the move of numerous prospects over to Double-A Birmingham.
The idea is to create a collective development between the top young prospects in the farm system. Prospects from Single-A Kannapolis and High-A Winston Salem will join forces in Double-A. All the prospects from Double-A will stay put, including Oscar Colás. First-round draft pick Colson Montgomery is part of the large group heading out to Birmingham.
“We’re really proud of some of the accomplishments we’ve made on the player development side and the strides that our players have made in the last couple of months,” Getz said to MLB.com. “And now to kind of bring that to life in Double-A for the last month is something that’s motivating for our staff, our organization, certainly I hope for our players that will be part of this.
“Not only are we able to compete on a nightly basis, certainly the personalized instruction, but also treat it almost as an advanced instructional league. So, these guys are set up for their offseasons and work toward next year.”
It's custom for some prospects to move up a class before the next season. Getting adjusted to the climate which some prospects likely will be in next season is imperative to their development. Montgomery mentioned to The Athletic the toll his body has taken already this season in High-A.
Montgomery, Bryan Ramos, Luis Mieses, Duke Ellis, Wes Kath, DJ Gladney, Wilfred Veras, Kohl Simas, Adam Hackenberg, Tyler Osik, Jared Kelley, Norge Vera and Andrew Dalquist are some of the names Getz mentioned that will be moving up. Colás, Jose Rodriguez, Moises Castillo and Sean Burke will remain in Double-A.
Despite the likely success to come from combining classes, Getz and the White Sox staff are focused on development and learning, not winning.
“It’s not about performance,” Getz said. “It’s about getting the individual instruction and the added motivation about being part of this to then fully enhance them for their careers.”