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Focus On: White Sox international signings

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Which Marco Paddy international signings are on track to enjoy an MLB career like Yolmer’s?

MLB: Cleveland Indians at Chicago White Sox
International Evolution; Yolmer Sánchez signed with Sox more than 10 years ago, out of Venezuela — of course, back then, he was simply “Carlos.”
David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Chicago White Sox were able to sign five international players earlier this week: Cubans Harold Diaz (SS), Albert Lemay Bernal (1B), and Bryan Ramos (3B) along with Venezuelans Anthony Espinoza (SS) and Luis Pineda (C). While none were among the top 30 international prospects available this year — no surprise, given Chicago’s signing bonus restrictions incurred from last year’s Luis Robert signing — they all have significant talent nonetheless.

Diaz ($300,000) and Espinoza ($200,000) are excellent fielders, while Bernal ($250,000), Ramos ($300,000) and Pineda ($300,000) are all power hitters.

Diaz will begin his season shortly for the DSL White Sox squad, while the others will begin playing in the White Sox system in 2019. These five players, in addition to the 34 players signed from the amateur draft in June, constitute a nice haul for the White Sox.

The White Sox still have $3.6 million available to spend on international talent through June 15 of next year, which can be used to sign additional talent (with up to $300,000 bonuses). The White Sox could also decide to trade a portion of their bonus money, as they’ve done recently in trades for Yeyson Yrizarri, Ryan Burr, Thyago Vieira and Ricardo Pinto.

International scouting is an inexact science, to say the least. Most available athletes are just 16 to 18 years of age when signed, so projections are difficult. After all, it can take six or seven years to see what a player that young can accomplish. To a player, such prospects are raw, so it will take significant time for them to reach their initial projections, if ever. Many of these talented players will be leaving their homes for the very first time, forced to adjust to entirely different cultures while also trying to learn English, all in the midst of refining their baseball skills. Throw in the fact that the vast majority of international signings begin their pro careers at the very lowest possible minor league level, thus to be successful, they have to eventually pass through or leapfrog six different squads during their minor league careers just to taste the majors.

It’s a daunting task, which explains why only Yolmer Sánchez (2009) and Jose Abreu (2013) are the only original White Sox international signings currently on the roster.

Aside from Abreu, the most successful international signing since Marco Paddy became Chicago’s international scouting director in 2012 has been a certain NL West shortstop plying his trade with AA San Antonio. (Insert teeth gnash here.)

The following is a list of White Sox international signings who are currently playing minor league ball stateside (this does not include Kannapolis Intimidators pitcher José Nin, who was acquired after the Philadelphia Phillies released him in 2017):

  • Micker Adolfo (OF) — Winston-Salem Dash (2013, from the Dominican Republic) — 21 years old
  • Luis Robert (OF) — Winston-Salem (2017, from Cuba) — 20
  • Luis Martinez (RHSP) — Winston-Salem (2013, from Venezuela) — 23
  • Yelmison Peralta (RHRP) — Winston-Salem (2012, from the Dominican Republic) — 23
  • Yosmer Solorzano (RHSP) — Kannapolis (2014, from Venezuela) — 21
  • Carlos Perez (C) — Kannapolis (2014, from Venezuela) — 21
  • Johan Cruz (3B/SS) — Kannapolis (2012, from the Dominican Republic) — 22
  • Kevin Escorcia (LHRP) — Kannapolis (2012, from Colombia) — 23
  • Luis Ledo (RHRP) — Kannapolis (2012, from the Dominican Republic) — 23
  • Jhoan Quijada (RHRP) — Kannapolis (2012, from Venezuela) — 23
  • Lenyn Sosa (SS/2B/3B) — Great Falls Voyagers (2016, from Venezuela) — 18
  • Franklin Reyes (1B) — Great Falls (2015, from the Dominican Republic) — 19
  • Maiker Feliz (3B) — Great Falls (2013, from the Dominican Republic) — 20
  • Amado Nunez (2B/1B) — Great Falls (2014, from the Dominican Republic) — 20
  • Jhoandro Alfaro (C) — Great Falls (2014, from Colombia) — 20
  • Ramon Beltre (SS/3B/2B) — Great Falls (2013, from the Dominican Republic) — 21
  • Sydney Pimental (SS) — AZL White Sox (2017, from the Dominican Republic) — 17
  • Luis Mieses (OF) — AZL White Sox (2016, from the Dominican Republic) — 18
  • Anderson Comas (OF) — AZL White Sox (2016, from the Dominican Republic) — 18
  • Kleyder Sanchez (C) — AZL White Sox (2016, from Venezuela) — 18
  • Anthony Coronado (OF) — AZL White Sox (2016, from Venezuela) — 18
  • Josue Guerrero (OF) — AZL White Sox (2016, from the Dominican Republic) — 18
  • Harvin Mendoza (1B) — AZL White Sox (2016, from Venezuela) — 19
  • Hector Acosta (LHSP) — AZL White Sox (2016, from the Dominican Republic) — 19
  • Brayant Nova (2B) — AZL White Sox (2015, from the Dominican Republic) — 19
  • Jose Colina (C) — AZL White Sox (2014, from Venezuela) — 20
  • Brayan Herrera (RHSP) — AZL White Sox (2016, from the Dominican Republic) — 20
  • Nelson Acosta (RHRP) — AZL White Sox (2013, from Venezuela) — 20
  • Ramon Pineda (RHRP)—AZL White Sox (2016, from the Dominican Republic) — 20
  • Bryan Lara (LHRP) — AZL White Sox (2016, from Dominican Republic) — 20
  • Edinxon Arias (RHSP) — AZL White Sox (2014, from Venezuela) — 20
  • Camilo Quinteiro (SS) — AZL White Sox (2017, from the Dominican Republic) — 21
  • Felix Mercedes (RHRP) — AZL White Sox (2014, from the Dominican Republic) — 21

International players aren’t just filling out rosters on the affiliates. Many are making a nice impact:

  • Adolfo: .283/.368/.466 with 11 HR and 50 RBI in 290 AB)
  • Robert: .293/.372./.373 with nine RBI and five SB in 75 AB
  • Martinez: 4.12 ERA and 64 K over 71 13 IP
  • Escorcia: 3.80 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, six BB and 31 K over 21 13 IP
  • Sosa: .333/.337/.481 with two HR and 15 RBI in 81 AB
  • Beltre: .290/.333/.468 with two HR, 10 RBI and one SB in 62 AB
  • Herrera: 1.80 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, two BB and 13 K over 20 IP
  • Quinteiro: .333/.514/.373 with four RBI, 17 BB, and five SB in 51 AB
  • Mieses : .292/.297/.486 with one HR, 15 RBI, and two SB in 72 AB
  • Comas: .333/.356/.357 with nine RBI and three SB in 42 AB

It certainly looks like Adolfo and Robert will have the opportunity to make it to the majors within the next couple years. It’ll be interesting to see which of the above players (including July’s signings and the current Dominican roster) will eventually join Sánchez and Abreu in the major league fraternity.