HOOVER, Ala. -
The Chicago White Sox and Birmingham Barons announced Wednesday that left-handed pitcher Aaron Poreda, the team's top minor-league prospect and its 2007 first-round draft pick, has been promoted to AA Birmingham. He takes the place of fellow southpaw Clayton Richard, who was promoted to AAA Charlotte.
Poreda, a 6'6", 240-pounder and the 25th overall pick last June out of the University of San Francisco, spent the first part of this season at A-Advanced Winston-Salem. In 12 starts, he compiled a 5-5 record and posted a 3.31 ERA. In 73.1 innings of work, the fourth-highest total in the Carolina League, he struck out 46 batters and walked 18. Opponents were hitting just .238 off him. He recorded his first career complete game in a seven-inning win over Kinston on May 17.
A native of Walnut Creek, Calif., Poreda entered the 2008 season as the top prospect in the Chicago White Sox system, according to Baseball America. The publication also said that he owns the system's Best Fastball and, last season, proclaimed him Closest to the Majors of all of the team's 2007 draft picks. In his first year of pro ball last summer, he went 4-0 with a 1.17 ERA for Rookie Great Falls, starting eight times in 12 appearances. He fanned 48 batters in 46.1 innings, while walking just 10 men.
Upon joining the Birmingham squad, which begins a five-game series at Carolina Wednesday night, Poreda will likely take Richard's rotation spot. Through the first half of the season, Richard had established himself as one of the dominant pitchers in the Southern League, leading the circuit in innings pitched (83.2), tying for second in wins (6), and placing fourth in ERA (2.47). He recently fired off a stretch of 27.0 scoreless innings and amassed a Birmingham-best 10 quality starts in 13 appearances. He was named the league's Pitcher of the Week on June 2 after going 2-0 with 16 straight scoreless innings the week before, which included his first career complete-game shutout in a three-hit, 6-0 blanking at Mississippi on May 31.
Poreda is expected to make his first Double-A start at Carolina on Saturday, June 14, following fellow White Sox first-rounder Kyle McCulloch, Justin Cassel, and Ryan O'Malley in the Birmingham rotation.
The addition of Poreda to the squad gives the Barons four first-round picks on the current roster: McCulloch (White Sox, 29th overall in 2006), reliever Joe Torres (Angels, 10th overall in 2000), and outfielder Miguel Negron (Blue Jays, 18th overall in 2000). Carolina currently has six first-rounders on its roster, meaning that the two teams will combine for 10 first-round picks in this weekend's series.
For a full Birmingham schedule, roster, daily game notes, and ticket information, please call 205-988-3200, or visit www.barons.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.