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Minor League Ball Gameday, August 30

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White Sox prospect Nick Parent, son of coach Mark Parent, is suspended for steroid use; minor league vet Brandon Waring hits three homers; White Sox prospect Micah Johnson moves up to Double-A; Mariners prospect Jabari Blash on a tear.

Mark Parent is probably not very happy today
Mark Parent is probably not very happy today
Joy R. Absalon-USA TODAY Sports

Good afternoon prospect watchers. Let's get down to business.

***Chicago White Sox minor leaguer Nick Parent, son of major league bench coach Mark Parent, was suspended for 50 games yesterday for usage of the banned steroid Stanozolol. A 36th round pick this year from Cal State Monterrey Bay, Parent was hitting .114/.244/.114 for Bristol in the Appalachian League.

Two other minor league players, Detroit Tigers shortstop Moises Bello and Phillies pitcher Gustavo Armas, were also suspended for violation of PED policy. Neither has played a professional game to this point.

***In more pleasant White Sox news, the organization promoted infielder Micah Johnson to Double-A Birmingham yesterday and he went 3-for-5 in his first game. He's stolen 83 bases this year, hitting a combined .317/.380/.462 between Low-A Kannapolis, High-A Winston Salem, and his first game for the Barons.

***Mariners prospect Jabari Blash went 0-for-3 with a walk yesterday for Double-A Jackson, but in general he's been on quite a tear since being promoted to the Southern League, hitting .321/.452/.607 in 25 games, with seven homers, 19 walks, and 25 strikeouts in 84 at-bats. Oddly enough, Blash has hit better at this level than he did down at High-A High Desert, where he posted a .258/.358/.505 line, solid enough under normal conditions but not great by High Desert standards. Blash has very good power and some speed to go with it, but problems with contact kept him in the Midwest League for two years. He's improved enough to get noticed, and the strong finish in Double-A is intriguing.

***Speaking of contact problems, Baltimore Orioles farmhand Brandon Waring has been playing in Double-A since 2009, showing impressive power but whiffing so much that he's fallen well down the depth charts from prospect to organization player status. He had one of the best games of his career yesterday, hitting three homers for Double-A Bowie. He's hit 22 bombs this season but with an overall line of .211/.313/.446 with 126 strikeouts in 336 at-bats.

At age 27, Waring's chances to improve beyond what he currently is are very remote. Still, he strikes me as the kind of guy who could make a subtle adjustment some time in the next two years, get really hot, push his way into some major league at-bats with a short-term flourish of success, before turning back into a pumpkin once the pitchers adjust back. I have nothing objective to back that up; it is just a feeling.

***Today's minor league schedule.

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