The Knight Fever blog has “Phegley Fever” this week — and for good reason.
On Wednesday, March 19, catcher Josh Phegley was one of three White Sox players optioned to the Charlotte Knights. The other two players were RHP Andre Rienzo, who tossed a seven-inning no-hitter with the Knights last season, and LHP Eric Surkamp, who has spent parts of five seasons in the San Francisco Giants system. I’ll have more about each of these players in upcoming blogs.
As for Phegley, he had a breakout 2013 campaign with the Knights before making his Major League debut on July 5 with the White Sox. Phegley, 26, was hitting .315 with 15 home runs and 41 RBIs for the Knights at the time of his promotion. He was selected to the International League All-Star Team, but due to the promotion, he didn’t get a chance to play. His All-Star selection was just one of the numerous achievements he has accomplished while with Charlotte.
In 2012, Phegley racked up a Minor League Baseball Rawlings Gold Glove Award and he also won the Charlotte Knights inaugural Community Award. A year later, Phegley was named to the All Knights Stadium Team. He was presented with a plaque before the game on Opening Day.
Since being drafted by the White Sox in the 2009 draft, Phegley has put together a solid Minor League career. The Indiana native has spent five seasons in the minors — compiling a .263 batting average with 44 home runs and 204 RBIs. His 15 home runs with the Knights (through just 61 games) is a season-high for him. His previous season-high was nine.
Defensively, Phegley has just 21 errors over his five seasons in the minors. He’s thrown out 114 runners over that span and has a caught stealing percentage of 46%.
There’s no telling how long Phegley will be with the Knights this season. If he gets off to the kind of start he got off to in 2013 — he shouldn’t be in Charlotte too long.
Currently, former Knights catcher Tyler Flowers is the starting catcher for the White Sox, but Phegley is next in line. For now, Phegley is in Charlotte to play every day, but if Flowers struggles in Chicago, the Indiana University product would once again get the call.
Knights fans coming out to BB&T Ballpark this season will get a chance to see Josh Phegley behind the plate on a regular basis. He will certainly make the Knights a much stronger team both offensively and defensively. An exciting season in Uptown Charlotte just got more exciting with the addition of Josh Phegley. See you on April 11th.