Under the Radar details players in the Chicago White Sox system who may have suffered setbacks, gotten lost in the shuffle, or just haven’t surfaced as significant prospects as of yet. Next up is Anderson Comas, possibly the best of a high-profile international outfield signing class from 2016.
Anderson Comas (OF) AZL White Sox
Comas was one of four outfielders who signed his name to a large signing bonus with the White Sox on July 2, 2016 — joining Josue Guerrero, Luis Mieses and Anthony Coronado. Comas’ signing bonus that year ($450,000) was second only to Guerrero’s $1.1 million. Of the nine players who signed that day with the White Sox, Comas arguably was outshone this year only by shortstop Lenyn Sosa (who spent the year with Great Falls) and fellow AZL White Sox teammate Brayan Herrera (RHSP).
Comas is a native of San Cristobal, Dominican Republic, which has been the home of many notable past and present major leaguers, including Miguel Andujar, Francisco Liriano, Raul Mondesi, Ivan Nova, Jose Rijo and Ervin Santana among others.
Comas turns 19 next February, and enjoyed a respectable rookie campaign last year with the DSL White Sox by hitting .291/.316/.329 with eight walks, 45 strikeouts, and just one stolen base (and no homers) over 237 at-bats. The peripherals weren’t anything to get too excited about, but keep in mind he was just 17 years of age, and a strikeout rate of 18.29% isn’t too bad by today’s standards. Plus, many hitters his age aren’t usually patient enough to coax a high walk rate. Comas did improve significantly, however, after a difficult first month when hit just .216/.272/.257; he hit a combined .325/.339/.362 afterward.
The 2018 season with the AZL White Sox, at 1.4 years younger than league average, saw Comas hit at a .306/.339/.388 clip with one homer, seven walks, 26 strikeouts, and five steals over 160 at-bats. His reduced number of plate appearances didn’t have anything to do with performance — because of the expanded rookie league rosters, there was a plethora of outfielders who all needed playing time. Comas improved his walk rate from 3.25% to 4.19%, his K rate decreased to 15.57%, and K/BB ratio improved from 5.63 to 3.71. Not only was 2018 a more productive season than the year before, Comas’ numbers also saw an improvement during the year as well: .269/.321/.308 in June, .290/.303/.339 in July, and .333/.377/.458 in August. The improvements across the board show that Comas isn’t afraid to make adjustments, which could reap him huge dividends as he gets older.
Comas stands six-foot-four (some sources say six-foot-three) and 185 pounds, so it stands to reason that he’ll gain more weight and muscle as he gets older. He’s got average- to slightly-above-average speed, but should slow down with age (hey, who doesn’t?). However, he’s savvy enough to steal double-digit bases as he develops more confidence.
Comas is ultimately better suited as a corner outfielder, and he’s played far more right field this year because of his plus left arm. At the time he signed, Ben Badler of Baseball America said of Comas:
Comas is built like a young Gregory Polanco with a tall, skinny, long-limbed frame lacking strength at six-foot-four, 180 pounds. Despite being tall and physically underdeveloped, especially in his lower half, Comas has a consistent, repeatable swing that’s calm and easy. It’s a sweet, smooth swing with good plane, enabling him to put the sweet spot to the baseball consistently in games and use the whole field. He shows a sound understanding of the strike zone for his age. Mostly a line drive hitter right now, Comas doesn’t have power but that should come eventually once he fills out.
To me, this profile also reminds me a little of fellow Sox prospect Blake Rutherford.
Comas should begin next year in the hitting-friendly confines of Great Falls. Due to his age and system’s current outfield depth, there’s certainly no need to rush him; as a result, I don’t foresee him playing full season ball with Kannapolis until 2020. Game power is often hard to project for someone so young, as some players never reach those projections.
His floor is as a fourth outfielder who could be an effective pinch hitter/DH, kind of like a far better defensive version of Nicky Delmonico. However, if a light bulb goes off and he learns to tap into his power potential while also improving his plate discipline, it’s not hard to profile him as a poor man’s version of Christian Yelich.