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South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 46: Jefferson Mendoza

Yes, it’s back-to-back Mendozas on our list, and Jefferson is bringing more heat to the system.

Jefferson Mendoza is not a bad position, as a strong catching prospect in a system bereft of catching prospects.
Sean Williams/South Side Sox

Jefferson Mendoza

220 pounds
Age: 20
2020 SSHP Top Prospect: 87
2021 SSS Top Prospect: 87
SSS rank among all catchers in the system: 2

As a catcher from Venezuela, Jefferson Mendoza signed with the White Sox on International Signing Day on July 2, 2017. International scouting director Marco Paddy said of Mendoza at the time, “Jefferson is a plus defensive catcher with an excellent frame for the position. His abilities to handle a pitching staff and call a game should help him develop quickly.”

Mendoza struggled through his first season with the DSL White Sox in 2018, as he slashed just .207/.289/.289 in 121 at-bats by hitting seven doubles, one homer and 15 RBIs, with one stolen base, 12 walks (8.9%) and 26 strikeouts (19.3%).

With a year under his belt, Mendoza picked up his offensive game in 2019 in his return to the DSL. In 33 games encompassing 95 at-bats, he slashed .305/.391/.484 with eight doubles, three homers, 21 RBIs, one stolen base, 10 walks (9.1%) and 28 strikeouts (25.5%). But unlike 2018 where he curtailed the running game by thwarting 46.2% of stolen base attempts, Mendoza was only successful doing so 16.3% of the time in 2019. On the plus side, after 12 passed balls in 2018, he allowed nary a one in 2019.

After an idle 2020 due to the pandemic, Mendoza struggled a bit this year in his first taste of ball Stateside, with a .216/.319/.392 slash line and homers spanning 119 plate appearances. When looking more closely at his results, he got off to a respectable start in June and July with a .278/.400/.500 line; however, during the dog days of August and September, the line fell to .188/.267/.344. With a WRC of 89, Mendoza will need to hone his offensive skills in order to succeed at the next level.

It’s possible that, as a backstop, Mendoza may have played through some nagging injuries that curtailed his offensive contributions. For the year, he had a respectable 9.2% walk rate while fanning 27.7% of the time. He stymied potential base stealers at a 21.4% clip, which isn’t bad considering that pitchers at lower levels are generally more focused on throwing strikes than keeping runners at bay.

As one of the top catching prospects in the system, Mendoza likely will begin next season at Kannapolis.

2022 South Side Sox Top 100 White Sox Prospects

46. Jefferson Mendoza, C
47. Harvin Mendoza, 1B
48. Gil Luna Jr. LHRP
49. John Parke, LHSP
50. Victor Quezada, 3B
51. Haylen Green, LHRP
52. Sammy Peralta, LHRP
53. Yoelvin Silven, RHRP
54. Taylor Broadway, RHRP
55. Noah Owen, RHRP
56. Luis Curbelo, 3B
57. Bryce Bush, RF
58. James Beard, CF
59. Xavier Fernández, C
60. Wilber Sánchez, SS
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