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Colas, Sosa charging toward the South Side

International success stories headline Chicago's All-Stars list
Oscar Colas bashed 23 homers across three levels in his first Minor League season. (Danny Parker/AP Images)
December 14, 2022

Each offseason, goes position by position across each organization and honors the players -- regardless of age or prospect status -- who had the best seasons in each farm system. Next up in our 2022 Organization All-Stars series are the Chicago White Sox.

Each offseason, goes position by position across each organization and honors the players -- regardless of age or prospect status -- who had the best seasons in each farm system. Next up in our 2022 Organization All-Stars series are the Chicago White Sox.

2022 Organization Summary

Triple-A Charlotte: 58-92
Double-A Birmingham: 61-77
High-A Winston-Salem: 58-74
Single-A Kannapolis: 58-74
ACL White Sox: 26-28
DSL White Sox: 32-26
Overall record: 293-371 (.441 winning percentage, 28th among MLB organizations)

White Sox Organization All-Stars

Catcher: Carlos Pérez

Pérez’s bat finally seemed to catch up to his glove in his eighth season in the White Sox system as the 26-year-old hit more homers in 2022 -- 21 -- than he did during his first seven years in the Minors combined. He also continued to be an incredibly stingy at-bat, striking out just 40 times in 465 plate appearances. Pérez earned his first call to the big leagues at the end of the year, picking up four hits in 18 at-bats. Defensively, the club’s No. 28 prospect played exclusively behind the plate and caught 28 attempted base stealers.

First baseman: Wilfred Veras

The White Sox were not shy about promoting players this season, and Veras was no exception as he jumped from Kannapolis to Birmingham in his first full season. The 20-year-old was one of only four Chicago prospects with at least 20 homers and 20 doubles, and his .462 slugging percentage was sixth in the system among players with at least 300 plate appearances.

Ranked as the team's No. 24 prospect, Veras showed a lot of swing and miss with 132 total strikeouts and a 27.4 percent whiff rate, but good things happened when he put the ball in play, as evidenced by his .331 BABIP. The organization continued to give him looks at third base and even tested him in left field, but his defensive future is likely at first.

Second baseman: Yolbert Sanchez

The 25-year-old has used a contact-first approach to hit the ground running in the Minors since signing out of Cuba in 2019. Sanchez opened the season with a return to the Southern League and earned a promotion to Charlotte after just 14 games. Across both levels, he compiled a .287/.346/.344 slash line and collected 121 singles, which tied Rangers prospect Jonathan Ornelas for most in the Minors.

“Yolbert has very good bat-to-ball skills. [He] really knows how to center a baseball and put together a professional at-bat,” said White Sox director of player development Chris Getz. “Just a player that understands who he is and what it takes to put together a quality at-bat.”

Sanchez was limited to 21 extra-base hits this season, three of which left the yard. All three homers came at Triple-A, where he posted a .280 batting average. Sanchez mostly played at second base this year but got in 40 games at shortstop and saw time at the hot corner.

Third baseman: Bryan Ramos

Described by Getz as “one of the more exciting players in our Minor League system,” Ramos showed a lot of plate discipline at Winston-Salem and Birmingham, reducing his strikeout rate by nearly five percent from last season. The 20-year-old native of Cuba still found the barrel at an impressive rate, clubbing 22 homers and maintaining a .455 slugging percentage.

“He's got some power. He's got the ability to drive the baseball to all fields,” Getz said. “Just understanding what pitchers are trying to do to him is something that he really took to this year and really showed from a consistency standpoint.”

Ramos, the club’s fifth-ranked prospect, was bumped to Double-A in late August and added to the White Sox 40-man roster in November. He's worked through some nagging shoulder injuries, but his arm strength has improved to the point where the club was comfortable keeping him at the hot corner for most of the year.

Shortstop: Lenyn Sosa

Sosa embodies two truths about the White Sox player development plan this season. First is the club’s success on the international market. The other: Chicago’s fearlessness in challenging players at the highest levels. Sosa, who signed with the White Sox out of Venezuela in 2016, earned his first promotion to the big leagues directly from Double-A in June, and after a four-game stint on the South Side, he was sent to Charlotte before earning another stretch with the big-league club in August.

“Lenyn really committed to making some swing adjustments,” Getz said, describing work that Sosa did last offseason with Birmingham hitting coach Charlie Romero at the White Sox Dominican academy in January. “[They] really worked on getting him loaded on his back side, in his back hip, and just allowed his barrel to drop into the zone. And his lower half to really take the hands out of the swing, which allowed him to simplify some things and really drive the baseball from pole to pole.”

Sosa had four hits in 35 Major League at-bats but was excellent across the two highest levels of the Minors. The fourth-ranked White Sox prospect batted .315/.369/.511 with 23 homers, 22 doubles and 79 RBIs while leading the organization with 152 hits. Defensively, he saw time at shortstop, third and second base.

Outfield: Oscar Colas

This time last year, Colas wasn’t even signed to play affiliated ball, but by the end of this season, the 24-year-old Cuban was on the doorstep of the Major Leagues. The club’s No. 2 prospect inked a $2.7 million deal in January and bashed his way through three levels before finishing in the International League. Colas, who represented the White Sox in the Futures Game, spent most of the season with Winston-Salem under the tutelage of manager Lorenzo Bundy, one of the more experienced coaches in the system. Getz said that Bundy and Colas formulated a routine that helped Colas stay on track in his first season stateside.

Across all three levels, MLB Pipeline’s No. 95 overall prospect produced a .314/.371/.524 slash line with 23 homers, 24 doubles, four triples and 81 runs scored.

“A lot of [the routine] was him understanding his preparation,” Getz said, describing the challenge in figuring out the best way to advance a prospect who’s a little older and more experienced than the typical first-year player. “Once we felt like we established that, I knew that there was going to be absolutely no harm to the game production. It was only going to get better, and it did. And now we feel like we're in a better position for future success.”

Colas played mostly in center field but also saw some time in right, showing off his 65-grade arm with four outfield assists.

Mark Payton

The 31-year-old veteran had one of the best offensive seasons in the White Sox system and earned a quick stint in the Majors. Payton led the organization with 95 RBIs, and his .539 slugging percentage led all Chicago Minor Leaguers with at least 400 plate appearances. Payton also finished second in the system with 25 homers, five triples, 31 doubles and 85 runs scored. The 2014 seventh-rounder seems to have found a home with the White Sox, his fifth organization since 2018. He was left off the big league roster after the season but signed another Minor League deal with the club in November.

Luis Mieses

The 22-year-old had his best season since signing with the White Sox in the same international class as Luis Robert in 2016. Mieses advanced from Winston-Salem to Birmingham and produced a .284/.325/.447 slash line with an organization-leading 39 doubles. He matched his 2021 home run total (15) but saw a dip in his slugging percentage as his ground ball rate increased. The lefty-swinging Mieses struggled in limited opportunities against southpaws, batting .192 with a .549 OPS in 109 plate appearances. Defensively, the club’s No. 21 prospect has a plus arm and saw time at both corner outfield spots as well as 12 games at first base.

Right-handed starting pitcher: Cristian Mena

Mena is proof that the White Sox found more than just bats on the international market. The 19-year-old signed for $250,000 out of the Dominican Republic in 2019 and pitched at three levels in his first full season this year. Mena compiled a 2-6 record and 3.80 ERA in 24 starts, striking out 126 batters in 104 ⅓ innings.

“We always liked the attributes of the fastball. He's always had the ability to spin a curveball. And his velocity began to climb,” Getz said. “His ability to spin the baseball allows him to be successful at this lower level, fairly quickly. He's working out a slider that has a chance to be a put away pitch for him and he continues to work on his changeup.”

Mena made 16 starts in which he surrendered two runs or fewer, including eight scoreless outings. His three starts in the Southern League didn’t come with excellent results, but Getz mentioned that Mena’s elevation to Double-A had the same motivations as the promotions of Veras, Ramos and Mieses.

“Getting all of our top young prospects together at one place. And the focus was not production, necessarily on the field and statistics,” Getz said. “It was more the work that we put in and challenging them with perhaps some scenarios in which they haven't dealt with yet.”

Left-handed starting pitcher: Tommy Sommer

Sommer, the only player on this list who was drafted by the White Sox, finished with the lowest ERA (2.71) in the system among prospects to complete at least 30 innings. The 24-year-old also ranked third in the organization with 129 strikeouts across 24 outings between Kannapolis and Winston-Salem. Sommer held opposing batters to a .206 average, lowest among Chicago Minor Leaguers to finish at least 60 innings.

Reliever: Vince Vannelle

An undrafted free agent out of the University of Arizona, Vannelle worked 35 appearances across three levels and with most of his outings coming with Winston-Salem, where he sported a 1.82 ERA in 19 ⅔ innings. Overall, Vannelle finished with a 2.98 ERA and 51 punchouts in 42 ⅓ frames. The 24-year-old right-hander reached Birmingham in July before finishing the season on the injured list.

Gerard Gilberto is a reporter for