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South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 61: Kohl Simas

From undrafted free agent to most solid bullpen arm in Low-A — not a bad year!

Kohl Simas wasn’t deterred by a poor college season in 2021, signing with the White Sox and establishing himself as a bullpen arm to be reckoned with.
Tiffany Wintz/South Side Sox

Kohl Simas

Right-Handed Starting Pitcher
190 pounds
Age: 22
SSS rank among all right-handed relief pitchers in the system: 9

Like many players in the Sox organization, Kohl Simas hails from a baseball family.

For starters, his father Bill pitched six seasons (1995-2000) for the White Sox, saving 18 games in 1998. (Bill currently serves as the pitching coach for the Triple-A Oklahoma City Dodgers.) And Kohl’s younger brother, Karson, hit .310 last year as a shortstop for the ACL Red Sox.

Also like several players in the organization, Simas took a circuitous college route, as he pitched for three separate schools. As a freshman starting pitcher for Fresno City CC, Simas produced a 2.20 ERA and 1.14 WHIP in 61 1⁄3 innings as he induced 32 hits (.152 OBA) and 38 walks (18.1%) while striking out 73 (34.8%). He transferred to the University of San Diego for the abbreviated 2020 sophomore season, where he produced a 2.45 ERA and 1.55 WHIP in 11 innings for the Torreros by surrendering eight hits (.200 OBA) and nine walks (17.6%) while striking out 15 (29.4%). Finally, as a redshirt sophomore for San Diego State University in 2021, Simas suffered through a difficult 15-game stretch, producing a 9.00 ERA and 2.50 WHIP. In his 16 innings for the Aztecs, he relinquished 24 hits (.329 OBA) and 16 walks (17.4%) while fanning 25 (27.2%).

Simas could’ve continued college ball, as he had plenty of leverage due to his sophomore status. However, when the opportunity came along to sign as an undrafted free agent with his dad’s old team, he couldn’t resist. In Simas’ first taste of pro ball with the ACL Sox, he ceded three hits, one walk, one earned run and struck out two in his three innings. On August 9 he was promoted to Kannapolis and was arguably the best bullpen arm on the team. In 10 games for the Cannon Ballers totaling 18 innings, Simas produced a 1.50 ERA and 0.72 WHIP by allowing just nine hits (.148 OBA) and four walks (6.1%) while striking out 23 (34.8%).

Turning 22 in late December, Simas was nearly a year younger than his Single-A competition. With the exception of his stint with San Diego State, he’s always done a great job producing strikeouts and limiting his OBA despite high walk totals. In his 10 games with ACL and Kannapolis, however, Simas limited his walks without hindering his ability to stifle bats. Neither Single-A lefties nor righties could figure out his stuff, as they hit just .179 and .121 against him. It’s not clear if Simas’ improved results were caused by an increase in focus, or if there was a tweak in his delivery that aided his transition to the professional ranks.

According to a preview to the Mountain West Conference last year, Simas was cited as offering a high-spin, 92-96 mph fastball that jumps on hitters. His best secondary offering is a sharp curveball that was projected to be his staff’s best.

While a return to Kannapolis in 2022 would certainly be possible, it seems likelier that Simas begins next season pitching for Winston-Salem.

2022 South Side Sox Top 100 White Sox Prospects

61. Kohl Simas, RHRP
62. Johan Dominguez, RHSP
63. Jagger Rusconi, 2B
64. Ronaldo Guzman, LHSP
65. Laz Rivera, 3B
66. Adam Hackenberg, C
67. Will Kincanon, RHRP
68. Lane Ramsey, RHRP
69. Tommy Sommer, LHSP
70. Randel Mondesi, RF
71. Shawn Goosenberg, 2B
72. Zack Muckenhirn, LHRP
73. Cameron Butler, CF
74. Godwin Bennett, RF
75. Logan Glass, CF
76. Dario Borrero, 1B
77. Craig Dedelow, RF
78. Carlos Hinestroza, RHRP
79. Gunnar Troutwine, C
80. Kade Mechals, RHSP
81: Caberea Weaver, CF
82. Layant Tapia, SS
83. Homer Cruz, RHRP
84. Kaleb Roper, RHSP
85. Jerry Burke, RHSP
86. Emerson Talavera, RHRP
87. Isaiah Carranza, RHSP
88. Davis Martin, RHSP
89. Tyler Osik, 1B
90. Samil Polanco, 3B
91. Manuel Veloz, RHRP
92. Pauly Milto, RHRP
93. Fraser Ellard, LHRP
94. Colby Smelley, C
95. Manuel Guariman, C
96. Everhett Hazelwood, RHRP
97. Garrett Schoenle, LHRP
98. Kyle Kubat, LHRP
99. Anderson Comas, RF
100. Jake Elliott, RHRP