Cease was named minor-league Pitcher of the Year by MLB Pipeline, Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Cease, 22, went 12-2 with a 2.40 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 124 innings between High-A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham. The right-hander ranked fourth among minor-league starters in wins, fourth in strikeout rate (32.5%), sixth in batting average allowed (.189) and 12th in strikeouts (160). ''We could not be more pleased with his development,'' general manager Rick Hahn said. ''Not only did Dylan take the ball every fifth day and answer the bell every time when we wanted him to start, but he dominated and seemingly got a little bit stronger as the season went on.'' Hahn alluded to Cease's dominant nine-start run to close out his season at Birmingham, when he went 3-0 with a 0.94 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 13.4 K/9.
Cease threw a career high 124 innings between High-A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham -- his previous career mark was 93.1 innings -- this season, so the White Sox will remain cautious. The 22-year-old finished with a 2.40 ERA, 1.06 WHIP and 160:50 K:BB between the two levels.
Cease allowed one run on two hits and five walks while striking out six over 5.2 innings for Double-A Birmingham on Friday.
Cease ran a scoreless streak to 24 innings before permitting a second-inning run. The 22-year-old right-hander has produced better results at Double-A than he did in his previous stop at High-A Winston-Salem, although command remains a weakness. He's up to a career-high 118 innings and is on schedule to reach Triple-A next season. If Cease avoids injury, he should be part of the White Sox's rotation in 2020.
Cease threw six scoreless innings for Double-A Birmingham on Saturday, striking out nine while allowing one hit and no walks.
Cease has been rolling for the Barons. He hasn't allowed a run in 23 consecutive frames and is 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA over his last six starts.
Cease retired the first 20 batters faced before allowing a hit in the seventh inning for Double-A Birmingham on Wednesday. He allowed the one hit and a walk while striking out 12 over seven innings.
Cease has handled his promotion to Double-A with aplomb, posting a 2.83 ERA while limiting opponents to a .188 batting average over his first five starts at the advanced level.
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