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White Sox Deep Dive: Single-A Shortstops

This list is headed by two versatile young shortstops with something to prove in 2022.

Shawn Goosenberg’s solid first pro season saw him almost immediately move up to Kannapolis.
Tiffany Wintz/South Side Sox

“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:

  1. Depth in the rookie levels (Dominican through Arizona)
  2. Depth in A-ball (Kannapolis and Winston-Salem)
  3. Depth in the higher levels (Birmingham and Charlotte)
  4. Under the Radar-type detail on a White Sox player
  5. Free agent options

It didn’t seem all that long ago when very few shortstops manned the list of top draft prospects. This has now changed due to recent drafts and international signing classes. Four shortstops now are listed in MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 White Sox prospect list — and this doesn’t even include Yolbert Sánchez, who was detailed in the second base Deep Dive. There is no Winston-Salem shortstop on this list, as both Lenyn Sosa and José Rodríguez were promoted late this season to Birmingham.

Thus, without further ado, below is the list of farmhands who primarily played at shortstop who finished at Kannapolis.

Ages below are as of April 1, 2022

Kannapolis Cannon Ballers

Shawn Goosenberg
195 pounds
Age: 22
Bats/Throws: L/R
Other positions played: 2B

Despite stellar performances overseas and at Calabasas High, Goosenberg’s slight, 6´1´´, 180-pound frame and modest statistics made for a quiet college recruiting process. When his coaches got in contact with the staff at Northwestern, Goosenberg jumped at the chance to attend a top academic school and play baseball in the Big Ten. By the second month of the 2019 season, Goosenberg was a regular in the Cats lineup. He finished the year with a .288 batting average and was selected to the All-Big Ten Freshman Team and All-Big Ten Third Team, even as NU finished 23-27 overall and ninth in the Big Ten.

Goosenberg continued his upward trajectory in the beginning of his sophomore season, translating offseason work in the weight room into tangible offensive improvements. Then, COVID-19 cut the season after just 13 games. What impressive results they were, however, as Goosenberg slashed .444/.500/.704 with a homer in 27 at-bats before Covid-19 struck. Despite the pandemic, he worked on his game over the summer, continuing his training regimen and competing for the Kalamazoo Mac Daddies in the Northwoods League in Kalamazoo, Mich.

Prior to this year, Goosenberg clubbed just one career homer in 230 combined plate appearances for the Huskies. That all changed this year, however, as he swatted 14 homers in 169 plate appearances as a junior. For the year, he also mashed 12 doubles and stole 10 bases while producing an impressive .362/.426/.717 slash line. As a result of his efforts, he was selected in the 19th round of this year’s MLB Draft by the White Sox.

After slashing a robust .273/.385/.545 in an abbreviated six-game stint with the ACL squad, he struggled with Kannapolis as he slashed .213/.351/.338 and 98 wRC+ in 29 games. Combined with both teams, he slashed .225/.358/.382 with eight doubles, two homers, four stolen bases, 15 walks (12.2%) and 39 strikeouts (31.7%).

Goosenberg, who turns 22 in December, will likely begin the 2022 season with Winston-Salem, as it seems likely that Colson Montgomery and Wes Kath will handle starting gigs on the left side of next year’s Kannapolis infield, while the next guy on this list, Wilber Sánchez, may begin next year as the Cannon Ballers’ second baseman.

Note: Due to an oversight, Goosenberg was not listed in the second base Deep Dive — he actually played more games this year in the minors at second than he did at short.

Wilber Sánchez
160 pounds
Age: 20
Bats/Throws: R/R
Other positions played: 2B
2020 SSS Top Prospect Ranking: 98
2021 SSS Top Prospect Ranking: 88

Sánchez, a native of Venezuela, received a signing bonus from the White Sox in February 2019 with little fanfare. With that said, despite the fact that he was the lesser-known Sánchez on the DSL squad, he still found a way to make a name for himself. In 52 games totaling 177 at-bats, Sánchez slashed .288/.391/.395 with 13 doubles, three triples, 25 RBIs, 13 stolen bases, 28 walks (13.5%) and 33 strikeouts (15.9%). Interestingly, he fared far better versus righties (.304/.416/.415) than he did southpaws (.238/.304/.333). Sánchez was about seven months younger than his competition, so there’s nothing fluky about his stats.

In 2021 after the pandemic cancellation of 2020 Sánchez, despite being nearly a year younger than his competition, acquitted himself quite well in the ACL, hitting a respectable .269/.313/.385 in 53 games with three doubles, two homers, six stolen bases, five walks (6.0%), 23 strikeouts (27.7%) and 84 wRC+. However, after receiving a late-season promotion to Kannapolis, he struggled with the Cannon Ballers in 19 games by slashing just .200/.254/.339 with two doubles, four homers, seven walks (5.6%) and 55 strikeouts (43.7%) for a wRC+ of 60. While the strikeouts weren’t obviously what Sánchez would like, he should get a pass, as he was more than two years younger than his competition.

Turning 20 in February, it’s expected that Sánchez will return to Kannapolis with the hopes of recognizing pitches better. With his size, he may be better suited in the utility infield role long term. With that said, it’s still too early to pigeonhole him to that fate. Due in part to his age, Sánchez’s sure fielding (he committed just three errors all year) and baserunning prowess (he was successful in 17-of-18 stolen base attempts in 2021), should merit his inclusion into several Top 30 prospect lists in the months to come.