FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 11th, 2017

CSN TO DEBUT TWO, HALF-HOUR SPECIALS CHRONICLING THE RISING STARS IN THE CHICAGO WHITE SOX ORGANIZATION

“White Sox Cornerstones: Charlotte”

AND

“White Sox Cornerstones: Birmingham & Winston-Salem”

Premiere – Monday, May 22 at 7:00 PM & 7:30 PM CT — Exclusively on CSN

CSN live stream available on CSNChicago.com/WatchLive  or via the NBC Sports app

Chicago, IL (May 11, 2017) – CSN Chicago (CSN), the home for the most games and the most comprehensive coverage of the Chicago White Sox, has announced it will be debuting a pair of brand new, behind-the-scenes, CSN Original Productions that will provide an up-close and personal look at numerous rising stars in the White Sox organization – including Yoan Moncada (ranked #1 overall in MLB’s 2017 Top “100 Prospects”), Lucas Giolito (ranked #8), Michael Kopech (ranked #13), Reynaldo Lopez (ranked #39), Carson Fulmer (ranked #63), Zack Collins (ranked #73), along with Nicky Delmonico, and Downers Grove native Zack Burdi among many others – with the back-to-back airings of White Sox Cornerstones: Charlotte and White Sox Cornerstones: Birmingham & Winston-Salem presented by Ozinga on Monday, May 22 at 7:00 PM & 7:30 PM CT respectively.  NOTE: CSN live stream also available on CSNChicago.com/WatchLive or via the NBC Sports app to authenticated CSN Chicago subscribers.

Produced & written by CSN Senior Producer of Original Content Ryan McGuffey and edited by CSN Executive Producer of Original Content Sarah Lauch, White Sox Cornerstones takes an in-depth look at the highly-touted prospects in the White Sox farm system at Class AAA Charlotte, Class AA Birmingham, and Class A Winston-Salem with exclusive, candid interviews with players, managers, front office execs, along with a unique study of day-to-day life for these prospects, whose goals are micro-focused on their development and making their dreams come true by being called up as a member of the Chicago White Sox.

“It is our passion to create content that appeals to the fans of all our teams,” said Kevin Cross, Sr. Director of News & Original Content for CSN Chicago. “If you follow the White Sox and you care about any aspect of this rising organization, we want our viewers to continue to know we share that same passion with them. Cornerstones is a prime example of that philosophy.”

In the breaking down the two half-hour specials, White Sox Cornerstones: Charlotte (debuting at 7:00 PM on May 22) will lead it off providing viewers with an in-depth look at the White Sox top prospects at AAA Charlotte.  Led by future MLB superstar Yoan Moncada, the Knights feature several prospects from one of baseball’s best minor league systems.  Moncada, acquired in a December trade for pitcher Chris Sale, has been the talk of the International League.  He ranks at or near the top of nearly every statistical category and Cornerstones details why he’s ready to call Chicago home and why he is a key factor in the team’s promising future.  The Cuban native discusses his development in the six months since becoming a member of the White Sox, as well as his relationship with friend and current White Sox slugger Jose Abreu.

The Charlotte Knights also feature one of the more promising starting rotations in the minors with Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Carson Fulmer.  Fulmer, the White Sox #1 pick in 2015, joins Zack Burdi (a 2016 1st round pick) in a ‘walk to work’ with CSN, discussing their thought process leading up to a game, being a part of the rebuild and how members of the team are as competitive off the field as they are on it.

Featured interviews include…

Yoan Moncada (#1 prospect in organization)
Lucas Giolito (#2 prospect in organization)
Reynaldo Lopez (#4 prospect in organization)
Carson Fulmer (#5 prospect in organization)
Zack Burdi (#7 prospect in organization)
Nicky Delmonico (3rd baseman – Knights)
Rick Hahn (Chicago White Sox Sr. VP/GM)
Mark Grudzielanek (Knights Manager)
Steve McCatty (Knights Pitching Coach)
Mike Pacheco (Radio voice of the Knights)

Then, at 7:30 PM on May 22, White Sox Cornerstones: Birmingham & Winston-Salem will provide viewers with a deep look at the top prospects at Class AA Birmingham and Class A Winston-Salem in the White Sox organization.

In Birmingham, CSN exclusively ‘rides the bus’ with the Barons after a road win against the Montgomery Biscuits.  The 90-plus minute ride featured extensive interviews with several key members of the Barons, including the organization’s #3 prospect Michael Kopech and #11 prospect Spencer Adams.  Kopech, whose fastball routinely hits 100mph, is the talk of the Southern League and opens up about the trade to Chicago and how his obsession with being the very best factors in to the overall White Sox rebuilding mindset.

In Winston-Salem, CSN travels to Salem, Virginia for a road game against the Salem Red Sox.  Hours before the game, CSN sits down for lunch with 2016 top draft pick/White Sox #6 prospect Zack Collins and teammate, pitcher Tanner Banks.  The lunch showcases Collins in a different light and brings out personality and character in the hopeful future catcher.  Also included is a trip to the Salem ballpark for interviews with players and former White Sox star/current Winston-Salem Dash manager Willie Harris.

Featured interviews include…

Michael Kopech (#3 prospect in organization)
Zack Collins (#6 prospect in organization)
Luis Alexander Basabe (#8 prospect in organization)
Dane Dunning (#10 prospect in organization)
Spencer Adams (#11 prospect in organization)
Willie Harris (former White Sox infielder/current manager Winston-Salem Dash)
Matt Cooper (#28 prospect in organization)
Courtney Hawkins (13th overall pick – 2012 MLB draft)
Eddy Alvarez (Barons second baseman, 2014 Olympic Silver Medalist-Sochi)
Jake Dunning (Barons pitcher, brother of Dane)
Brett Austin (Barons catcher)

Please note the following quotes from the CSN Original Production of White Sox Cornerstones: Charlotte and White Sox Cornerstones: Birmingham & Winston-Salem, presented by Ozinga, debuting respectively on Monday, May 22 at 7:00 & 7:30 PM CT:

YOAN MONCADA on being MLB’s top overall prospect: “For me, it doesn’t really come with any type of pressure. I’m very grateful to be named the number one prospect, but for me, I just have to keep doing everything that I’ve been doing and just keep working hard and trying to get better every day.

“I feel really good being able to be a part of this organization, especially since they’re going out and they’re getting a lot of young talent. I can be part of that talent. I feel really good and I’m excited that, in the future hopefully, when we’re all up there, we can go out and help the team win.”

RICK HAHN on the development of Yoan Moncada: “I’m probably as happy if not more so with the stuff happening between 10pm and 7pm, in other words, the 21 hours a day he’s not playing.  Obviously, the stuff happening on the field between 7 & 10 during the game have been great.  He’s continuing to develop, we’ve seen a lot of positives offensively and defensively and in terms of his approach during the game.  But, so much of what’s going on with a player like that happens off the field.

“In pregame with the drills he’s doing with (Knights manager) Mark Grudzielanek and Vance Law, our roving infield instructor, it happens on the bus rides, it happens in dealing with the media and handling expectations….and I think it’s easy to lose sight of given his name and the fact that he was in Boston, up to the big leagues and got a ton of money to sign, it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that he’s only 22 years old.  When we acquired him, he had fewer than 200 plate appearances at the big league level above double-A under his belt.  There’s still a fair amount of development that has to happen with this kid, not just from a baseball standpoint, but from a physical standpoint and from a maturity standpoint.  We’ve just been thrilled ever since he showed up at camp.”

LUCAS GIOLITO on being at AAA Charlotte in a stable environment vs. being shuttled throughout the minor leagues like he was a year ago in Washington: “Just being able to come to the field every day and have a set goal in mind…kind of like a checklist of things I need to work on to get better and be able to be here, and be comfortable, take the ball every fifth day, and go out and try to win and pitch deep into games…that’s my job description. At the same time, being in one location, working on things to try to make myself a better pitcher so when I do get that opportunity in the big leagues again, I can take advantage of it and stay there…and not have to worry about ‘Am I going down?…Am I moving up?’…just getting rid of that mindset all together and focus on the task at hand.”

MICHAEL KOPECH on what drives him and visualizing the phone call of a promotion to join the Chicago White Sox:  “I’m just obsessed. It’s a game and it’s a job, but at the end of the day, it’s what I love to do and I think if I’m not this obsessed with it for just one day, then I need to stop playing. This is the only way I’ve ever been in the game and that’s what kind of keeps me going every time I’m on the field.

“As crazy as it sounds, I feel like I already got the call and I’ll just have to relive the moment, I’ve visualized it so much. At this point, it’s just kind of practice. I’d be extremely excited to get the call, don’t get me wrong, but I’ve thought about it so many times in my head that it already feels like it happened. If I can get to that point and relive that moment exactly the way I imagined it, I feel like I’ll be there for the rest of my career.”

CSN will also re-air White Sox Cornerstones: Charlotte on Fri, May 26 at 3:00 PM – Sat, May 27 at 4:30 PM – Mon, May 29 at 11:00 PM & Wed, May 31 at 11:00 PM…additional airings of White Sox Cornerstones: Birmingham & Winston-Salem will take place on Sat, May 27 at 5:00 PM – Mon, May 29 at 7:00 PM & 11:30 PM & Wed, May 31 at 11:30 PM.

Viewers are also urged to visit CSNChicago.com’s White Sox section: (http://www.csnchicago.com/whitesox), which will include video footage from White Sox Cornerstones and additional “web-exclusive” video excerpts.  In addition, CSNChicago.com will provide White Sox minor leagues commentary write-ups from CSNChicago.com’s White Sox “Insider” Dan Hayes throughout the season.  In addition, the popular “White Sox Talk PODCAST” (presented by Wintrust) with White Sox Pre/Postgame Live host Chuck Garfien and an array of special guests, features in-depth White Sox minor league reports, including the latest news on all the key prospects at AAA Charlotte, each and every week throughout the season. Fans can download all of CSN’s podcasts at CSNChicago.com/podcasts and simply subscribe to them via iTunes, Google Play or Stitcher.  The podcasts can be played on any mobile device, laptop, or desktop computer.

PROGRAMMING NOTE: As previously announced, CSN will continue its schedule of Charlotte Knights (Class AAA) game coverage with the following upcoming contests…

2017 Charlotte Knights (White Sox AAA) telecast schedule on CSN

Sat, May 27     6:00 pm            vs. Buffalo (Blue Jays)                     LIVE
Sun, May 28    6:00 pm            vs. Buffalo (Blue Jays)                     Same day delay – 7:00pm on CSN
Thu, June 15    6:00 pm            vs. Louisville (Reds)                         LIVE
Sat, June 17     6:00 pm            vs. Indianapolis (Pirates)                LIVE on CSN+HD
Sun, June 18    1:00 pm            vs. Indianapolis (Pirates)                Same day delay – 7:00pm on CSN

CSN Chicago, a partnership between the Chicago Blackhawks (NHL), Chicago Bulls (NBA), Chicago Cubs (MLB), Chicago White Sox (MLB) and the NBC Sports Group, features over 275 live pro games in high definition each year.  In addition, CSN delivers extensive pre/post-game coverage for its core pro team partners, as well as the Chicago Bears, along with numerous entertaining local sports discussion/social media-focused programs via In the Loop and SportsTalk Live.  Through the network’s growing digital platform, CSNChicago.com, Chicago sports fans tap into the most comprehensive and dedicated 24/7 online destination for breaking news, up-to-the-minute game previews/recaps, highlights, multimedia video clips, and standout coverage from CSNChicago.com’s team of “Insiders.”  Follow the network on Twitter via @CSNChicago. 

NBC Sports Regional Networks is NBC Sports Group’s portfolio of nine regional networks that delivers more than 2,200 live sporting events and original content to more than 43 million homes. Aligned within Eastern and Western Divisions, the NBC Sports Regional Networks are: CSN New England, CSN Philadelphia, TCN, CSN Mid-Atlantic and SNY; and NBC Sports Bay Area, NBC Sports California, CSN Chicago and CSN Northwest. For additional information, visit comcastsportsnet.com. For more information on NBC Sports Group properties, including press releases, photos, talent and executive bios, headshots and logos, please visit NBCSportsGroupPressBox.com

####