“Deep Dive” focuses on the depth of each position in the Chicago White Sox organization.
Welcome to another year of Deep Dive, where we analyze the past, present and future for each position in the White Sox organization. Each position is broken into five parts:
- Depth in the rookie levels (Dominican through Arizona)
- Depth in A-ball (Kannapolis and Winston-Salem)
- Depth in the higher levels (Birmingham and Charlotte)
- Under the Radar-type detail on a White Sox player
- Free agent options
For position players, third base is arguably the strongest in the system, with the possible exception of shortstop. With three players ranked in the organization’s Top 10 per MLB Pipeline, and another in the Top 30, the hot corner is definitely well-covered. Below are those players who finished the year in either Arizona or the Dominican Leagues and primarily played third base.
Ages below are as of April 1, 2022
ACL White Sox
Other positions played: RF
Kath ranked 34th on MLB.com’s draft board. Perfect Game had him at No. 21 overall and second among third basemen. He has, according to Perfect Game, a “loose left-handed stroke with present barrel skills.” Kath also “still shows room to project more power as he continues to fill out his large, lean build with the ability to continue to impact the ball at a high rate.” Defensively, the only concern for Kath is that he “tends to need to set and throw to be accurate.” This is why all major projections had him moving from shortstop to third.
The scouting grades for Kath are 55 Hit, 50 Power, 45 Run, 60 Arm, 50 Field, and 50 Overall. MLB Pipeline’s scouting report said, “He showed the ability to impact the baseball repeatedly at a number of events against very good competition. There have been times in the past where he’s been more of a defensive hitter, but he attacked the ball more this summer and there’s size and strength to hope for more power if he can continue to be aggressive at the plate.”
Kath hit well throughout the showcase circuit during the previous summer and was Gatorade’s Arizona Player of the Year as a senior. He led Desert Mountain High to the 5-A state title and crushed a long homer at the Angels’ spring training park in the championship game. Kath destroyed Arizona high school pitching in 2021 , batting .486 with 11 home runs, 29 RBIs, 34 runs, and a greater than .620 OBP.
With concerns that Colson Montgomery would get selected before they were able to make their first-round selection, Kath was often seen as Plan B for the White Sox. Fortunately, they were able to select Montgomery. Then, with Kath falling to the late second round (perhaps because of his strong commitment to Arizona State University), the Sox selected him in the second round and signed him to an over-slot, $1.8 million bonus.
Playing for the ACL Sox was a difficult adjustment for Kath, as he slashed just .212/.287/.337 in 28 games with two triples, three homers, 15 RBIs, eight walks (7.0%), 42 strikeouts (36.5%) and 66 wRC+. When contact was made, he hit grounders at a staggering 54.2% rate. Considering he was playing against competition 1.8 years older on average, however, Kath’s struggles were not at all surprising. Kath is currently ranked as Chicago’s fourth-best prospect per MLB Pipeline, and is expected to begin next year with Kannapolis.
Other positions played: 1B, 2B
Peralta, a lanky third baseman from the Dominican Republic, received a signing bonus from the White Sox in February 2018. As a 17-year-old for the DSL squad, he scuffled with a .193/.322/.234 slash line in 52 games with three doubles, one homer, 18 RBIs, five stolen bases, 21 walks (12.0%) and 41 strikeouts (23.4%).
With a year of experience under his belt, Peralta enjoyed a much more successful 2019 campaign. That year in 54 games with the DSL Sox, he slashed .241/.372/.306 with nine doubles, one triple, 16 RBIs, 10 stolen bases, 34 walks (16.4%) and 46 strikeouts (22.2%).
Due to the pandemic, Peralta didn’t play in 2020. The rustiness was evident in 2021, as he suffered through his most difficult year to date. In 27 games spanning 82 at-bats, he slashed just .146/.202/.232 with nine doubles, one triple, 16 RBIs, five walks (5.6%), 33 strikeouts (37.1%) and a wRC+ of just 15. To his credit, he committed just three errors so Peralta didn’t let his offensive struggles carry over to his glove. Expect him to repeat the ACL in 2022, with a chance for late-season promotion with on-field success.
DSL White Sox
Other positions played: 1B
On February 26 of this year, the White Sox signed Dominican infielder Victor Quezada to a bonus close to $500,000. Chicago’s international scouting director, Marco Paddy, later said of Quezada: “Big-time power, very impressive to find in a young guy. And we’ve known him for quite some years, too. We’ve known him since he was 14 years old, and the one thing that attracted us to Quezada was that he had easy power, big power, plus arm. He’s an average runner with a plus arm and he fits very well at third base.”
As a 17-year-old, almost a year younger than his competition, Quezada didn’t disappoint as he mashed .250/.343/.436 in 49 games with 11 doubles, six triples, six homers, 20 RBIs, 14 stolen bases, 26 walks (14.1%), 52 strikeouts (28.3%) and 120 wRC+. With his triples total and success rate (87.5%) at stealing bases, one would expect him to be a burner. Perhaps, although it’s expected that he’ll slow down as he gets stronger physically. He will need to work on curtailing whiffs, though, in order to take advantage of his raw power potential. Quezada held his own defensively, as he committed just five errors despite playing in ballparks not so well manicured. Don’t be surprised to see him moving up some prospect rankings in the months to come. In the meantime, Quezada should receive a promotion stateside to the ACL to begin the 2022 season.