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White Sox add Bryan Ramos and José Rodríguez to 40-man

The South Siders protect two top prospects from the Rule-5 draft

Bryan Ramos is one step closer to MLB — and clearly in the South Siders’ future plans.
Tiffany Wintz/South Side Sox

José Rodríguez and Bryan Ramos were the two players added to the 40-man roster in time to beat the Rule 5 draft protection deadline. It was basically a foregone conclusion they would be added, as they are the seventh- and fifth-rated prospects (respectively) per MLB pipeline.

A couple of other notable prospects were not added, Yolbert Sánchez and Caleb Freeman. Sánchez came off of a poor showing in Triple-A in 2022, while Freeman had an injured year and struggled with command when he came back.

Rodríguez is coming off of a weird year. He started off really bad, with no power, and was not getting on base. The middle of his season saw a spike in batting average, but it was almost purely singles-based. But in his final 25 games — basically a month's worth of plate appearances — Rodríguez put up a 159 wRC+. He found his power stroke, with 10 homers in 25 games, and given the rest of his season, the power came out of nowhere. He is a middle infielder, so he could see some time at second in 2023 — just do not expect it to be right out of the gate in April. He should start the season with Charlotte.

Bryan Ramos had a good year, all year-round, unlike Rodríguez. Ramos played the majority of his games in Winston-Salem, but did end up being involved in Project Birmingham. His power was still there from last season, with 22 homers total. His walks are at a good enough rate, but what dramatically improved were the strikeouts, going from a 21.8% K-rate in Kannapolis in 2021 to 16.4% K-rate for Winston-Salem in ’22. It is critical for a young player to improve plate discipline at the next level, and hey, as a bonus Ramos’ power increased, too. Ramos is even more unlikely to start the year with the White Sox, and he may not make it to the bigs at all in ’23. He is mainly a third baseman, but does spend some time at first — both positions the Sox do not have a need for, at least yet.

Even with the moves, the White Sox have just 38 players on their 40-man roster.