After being drafted, the 20-year-old Rowand jumped to Class A Hickory, where he hit. 342 with five homers and 32 RBIs in 61 games. The small sample size was enough for Chicago to promote Rowand to Class A Advanced Winston-Salem for the following season, where the outfielder got his first full year as a pro under his belt. Rowand responded accordingly, leading the Warthogs in doubles (37), homers (24) and RBIs (88), posting a .279 batting average in 133 games.
Given his impressive stats, it was little surprise when Rowand opened the 2000 season at Double-A, where he continued to churn out solid power numbers. In 139 games, Rowand slugged 20 homers and drove in 98 runs for Birmingham. … By spring 2001, the future National League All-Star looked primed to break through to the big leagues. After a solid Spring Training with the White Sox, Rowand was one of baseball’s top prospects in Triple-A Charlotte, lighting up International League pitching to the tune of a .526 slugging percentage. The 23-year-old hit 16 homers and drove in 48 runs in 62 games before the big leagues came calling. …
November 2, 2009
Path to the Pros: Aaron Rowand
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