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Grading the White Sox: Mark Payton

It’s OK to have one RBI

Minnesota Twins v Chicago White Sox
Mark Payton had a breathtaking season in Triple-A, topping 100 RBIs and finishing second in the organization with 25 home runs.
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

At midseason, the SSS staff graded the 46-46 White Sox, from the head of the class Dylan Cease down to Dallas Keuchel. We invented a WARsss metric that could very well be just a cute way to trot out our special site grades — but really for all you know could be the product of years of research in a stats lab.

Our expanded report card will take us through everyone who saw time in uniform for the White Sox, plus some front-office types. Most of our writers will take on a couple of players, with final grades and short writeups, running through the end of November. Enjoy!

Mark Payton
Midseason: n/a
Final: 0.6 WARsss

Mark Payton, who as you and I and very well know is an outfielder, has been in professional baseball since 2014. He’s moved up and down in the Yankees organization, before spending a brief time in the Oakland minors, as well as with Cincinnati and the Mets.

In 2020 and 2021, Payton collected 40 at-bats for the Reds, with seven hits, including a double. Moving to the White Sox organization, which as an Orland Park native is in theory his favorite organization, he put up an extraordinary season in Triple Charlotte, slashing 369/.539/.908. This earned him a call-up to the majors, where on the White Sox he had 21 ABs over eight games, collecting three hits.

The numbers aren’t going to blow you away. He did have a nice highlight, collecting his first and heretofore only career RBI, in an already meaningless game in Minnesota.

According to, the exit velocity on that RBI single was 98.8 mph, not bad. It went 180 feet, not a bomb, but a solid single between first and second. I didn’t remember it, and you might not have, either. But he does, and he always will.

Payton likes it here in the White Sox organization. He has already signed back on with Charlotte for 2023. Now, I don’t know if Mark Payton will make the leap and become a steady, consistent major league ballplayer. At this point in a career, it is unlikely. It’s happened — people have spent more time in the minors before landing a spot and being a contributor. But it might not. The opposite has happened far, far more times. That’s baseball.

But, you know, is that so bad? One RBI is not a lot for a career, but it is not nothing. It’s one more — it is infinite more, relative to possibility — than I have, and I’m guessing the same is true for most of you reading this.

Mark Payton played for the White Sox in 2022, and had some hits, and stretched on the outfield grass, and played catch with other professional baseball players, and took a few pitches and stepped out of the box and looked at the coach for signals. That’s awesome. The 2022 season sucked, but no matter what, guys get to play baseball. So can it really be that bad?

2022 White Sox Grades

Mark Payton, OF, 0.6
Carlos Pérez, C, 0.399
Lucas Giolito, RHSP, 0.392
Adam Engel, OF, 0.237
Vince Velasquez, RHP, -0.4
Reese McGuire, C, -1.1
Kyle Crick, RHRP, -1.65
Joe Kelly, RHRP, -1.75
Daryl Boston, 1B Coach, -2.0
Anderson Severino, LHRP, -2.2
Jerry Reinsdorf, OWN, -2.321
Jake Diekman, LHRP, -2.366
Rick Hahn, GM, -2.401
Bennett Sousa, LHRP, -2.425
Frank Menechino, BAT COACH, -2.469
Yasmani Grandal, C/DH, -2.549
Leury García, UTIL, -2.7
Adam Haseley, OF, -3.146
Joe McEwing, 3B Coach, -3.167
Ryan Burr, RHRP, -3.4
Tony La Russa, MGR, -3.5
Dallas Keuchel, LHSP, -3.9


Mark Payton was an amazing story in 2022, even if we got to see just a little bit of him. How’d we do?

This poll is closed

  • 27%
    Too harsh, dude had 25 homers this year!
    (12 votes)
  • 18%
    Too easy, if Payton was that good Luis Robert wouldn’t have spent 60 days in traction but still on the active dugout bench.
    (8 votes)
  • 54%
    This seems about right.
    (24 votes)
44 votes total Vote Now