Joel Booker (Tom Priddy photo)

Former Polk County baseball standout Joel Booker will open the 2021 Minor League Baseball season with the Triple-A Charlotte Knights.

After a 2020 in which the minor leaguues shut down due to the coronavius pandemic, Booker will open 2021 a step away from the major leagues with the Chicago White Sox’ top affiliate.

Booker finished the 2019 season with a .245 batting average in stops at Double-A Birmingham and Charlotte. He had four homers, 36 RBI and 19 steals for the season.

Since joining the White Sox organization in 2016, Booker has hit .275 with 18 career homers, 149 RBI and 109 stolen bases. He was the MVP of the 2018 Carolina League All-Star Game, going 3-for-4 with a homer and four RBI.

The Knights begin the season on Tuesday, hosting Gwinnett. Charlotte’s first 12 games in May are at home before the team is on the road the remainder of the month.