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2021 South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 36: Bennett Sousa

In line for a major league debut this season, he’s likely the first lefty called up

Chicago White Sox v Kansas City Royals Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Bennett Sousa

Left-Handed Relief Pitcher
185 pounds
Age: 25
SSS rank among all left-handed relief pitchers in the system: 2
2020 SSHP Top Prospect Ranking: 36
2019 SSS Top Prospect Ranking: 58

While Bennett Sousa had a decent four years with the University of Virginia, especially in the strikeout department, his numbers were hampered by his relative lack of control. His senior season was a microcosm of this, as he posted a 5.23 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in 23 games; in 43 innings, he relinquished 36 hits (.220 OBA) and 22 walks (11.2%) while striking out 61 (31.1%). When he was available in the 10th round in the 2018 draft, however, the White Sox couldn’t resist selecting him.

In 20 combined games with Great Falls and Kannapolis in 2018 spanning 35 13 innings, Sousa compiled a nifty 1.27 ERA and 0.88 WHIP by allowing 24 hits (.195 OBA) and just seven walks (5.2%) while fanning 42 hitters (31.3%).

The 2019 season was split among three squads (Kannapolis, Winston-Salem and Birmingham) with the lion’s share of the outings spent with the Intimidators and Dash. Sousa again had a solid campaign, as he combined with all three teams to post a 2.49 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in his 43 games encompassing 65 innings — relinquishing 62 hits (.249 OBA) and just 13 walks (4.9%) while striking out 74 (27.8%).

Sousa’s repertoire includes a 90-94 mph fastball according to Baseball America, in addition to a low-80s slider with promise per Baseball Draft Report. With his control much improved since his college days, Sousa has definitely begun tapping into his potential. Lefties struggled against him in 2019 to the tune of a .205 average, while righties fared much better at .269.

Normally, Sousa would be ticketed for the Barons this year after throwing just two games for Birmingham two years ago. But due to a combination of organizational depth, a lost pandemic season, and apparent fast-tracking (Arizona Fall League in 2019, major league camp in 2021), it’s expected that Sousa will pitch at the alternate site in Schaumburg next month and for Charlotte when the Triple-A season begins.