W-S Dash alum promoted to majors


Outfielder Jason Coats, who was a Year-End All-Star in the Carolina League in 2014, has earned his first promotion to the Major Leagues, the Chicago White Sox announced Saturday. Coats becomes the 343rd Winston-Salem alumnus to climb to the Majors, while he is the 35th to accomplish the feat during the Dash era (2009-present).

Coats finished in the top six in the Carolina League’s three Triple Crown categories during his 115 games with Winston-Salem in 2014. The Dallas, Texas, native was sixth in average (.291), tied for fourth in home runs (15) and fourth in RBI (72). Coats jumped to Double-A Birmingham on August 11 of that season.

After playing just 31 games at the Double-A level late in 2014 and early in 2015, Coats joined Triple-A Charlotte and hit .270 with 17 homers and 81 RBI. He has continued this success with the Knights here in 2016. Coats’ .335 average paces all qualified International League hitters.

A former star at Texas Christian University, Coats tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) on his Senior Day in 2012, causing him to drop to the 29th round of the MLB Draft. As a sophomore, Coats was a critical cog to TCU’s first run to the College World Series in program history.

Coats is the fourth Winston-Salem alumnus to don a big league uniform for the first time in 2016. The White Sox promoted right-hander Michael Ynoa and catcher Kevan Smith, though neither appeared in a game before returning to the Minor Leagues. Righty J.B. Wendelken, whom the White Sox traded this offseason as part of the Brett Lawrie deal, joined Oakland’s bullpen in early May. Wendelken was only the second former Dash star to make his Major League debut with someone other than the White Sox.

The Dash opened a four-game series with the Wilmington Blue Rocks (Kansas City Royals) on Saturday at BB&T Ballpark. For tickets, call the Dash at (336) 714-2287 or visit the team’s website at wsdash.com.

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