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South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 30: Bennett Sousa

At risk of losing him (farewell, No. 34 Blake Rutherford and No. 32 McKinley Moore), here’s our top southpaw out of the pen.

Chicago White Sox v Kansas City Royals
While the White Sox are surprisingly packed with southpaw relievers, Bennett Sousa is at the very top of the list.
Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

Bennett Sousa

Left-Handed Relief Pitcher
210 pounds
Age: 26
2019 SSS Top Prospect Ranking: 58
2020 SSHP Top Prospect Ranking: 36
2021 SSS Top Prospect Ranking: 36
SSS rank among all left-handed relief pitchers in the system: 1

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 Sousa 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 MLB draft, however, the White Sox couldn’t resist selecting him.

In 20 combined games with Great Falls and Kannapolis spanning 35 1⁄3 innings during the 2018 season, 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 following year 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 split 2021 equally between Birmingham and Charlotte, after the one-year pandemic break. He combined with both teams to provide a 3.61 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in 41 relief appearances. In his 47 1⁄3 innings, he relinquished just 37 hits (.209 OBA) and 20 walks (10.0%) while fanning an impressive 71 hitters (35.5%). He continued his mastery against lefties, as they hit a mere .140 against his offerings. Sousa also induced a ground ball rate just less than 42%, which he needs to continue doing with either Charlotte or Chicago.

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.

Added to the 40-man roster last fall over more highly-touted bullpen options like Hunter Schryver, Sousa will be competing against Anderson Severino for a possibly third lefty role out of the White Sox pen. Between the two pitchers, Sousa is definitely the more polished, although Severino does possess the better heater. It will be fun to see how they fare in spring training.

2022 South Side Sox Top 100 White Sox Prospects

30. Bennett Sousa, LHRP
31. Luis Basabe, RF
32. McKinley Moore, RHRP
33. Emilio Vargas, RHSP
34. Blake Rutherford, LF
35. Anderson Severino, LHRP
36. DJ Gladney, 3B
37. Luke Shilling, RHRP
38. Chase Krogman, LF
39. Cristian Mena, RHSP
40. Benyamín Bailey, LF
41. Tyler Johnson, RHRP
42. Andrew Perez, LHRP
43. Tyler Neslony, LF
44. Theo Denlinger, RHRP
45. Hunter Schryver, LHRP
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