The Chicago White Sox have made their first marquee prospect promotion of the 2022 season, calling up Lenyn Sosa to the major leagues following his blistering start to the season in Double-A Birmingham.
In 62 games with the Barons, Sosa was hitting a whopping .331 with a .933 OPS, hitting 14 home runs and 48 RBIs. Sosa will bring an above-average glove to Chicago with his red-hot bat, although whether he sees any playing time before Yoán Moncada’s injury heals remains to be seen.
In the past year or so, the biggest thing in the way of the White Sox building a true championship roster was their lack of a sufficient farm system to satisfy trade costs. However, as the Sosa promotion shows, the White Sox may be more apt to reap the impact that their prospects can make on the major league team rather than overpay in a trade.
Sosa’s promotion was not undeserved, although somewhat unexpected. The White Sox haven’t usually been this aggressive in promoting their top prospects (with the exception of Andrew Vaughn and Nick Madrigal, who came into the system with college experience). Could the White Sox continue to reach into their farm system for major league reinforcements?
Here are three names the White Sox should consider giving the call to the major leagues before the season ends.
Johan Dominguez has only made two starts in Triple-A Charlotte thus far, but the 26-year-old righty has already shown that his stuff deserves an audition in the major leagues.
Dominguez allowed just two runs in 7 2⁄3 innings, striking out 13. In his only start at Double-A this season, Dominguez struck out seven in five shutout innings.
As an older prospect, there is no question as to Dominguez’s major league readiness. Davis Martin has shown the ability to transition from Charlotte to Chicago seamlessly in a long-relief/spot starter spot, and the White Sox could certainly utilize Dominguez in a similar role.
Chicago’s pitching depth is fine right now, but if any of their five starters go down with an injury, the White Sox will need another long man out of the pen. Although Dominguez likely needs some additional innings under his belt in order to be ramped up for a major league workload, I’d be willing to bet the White Sox will give Dominguez a shot, at least as a doubleheader starter or in a spot start.
Hunter Schryver has spent a good deal of time knocking on the doorstep on the major leagues since the White Sox acquired him from Tampa Bay in 2017, however this year could finally be the year where the southpaw makes his long-awaited big league debut.
Schryver, who is now 27, is a situational left-handed reliever. In 16 appearances spanning 17 innings this season, Schryver is 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA and 1.06 WHIP, striking out 19 batters.
The White Sox have been hard-pressed for left-handed pitching out of their bullpen this season. Garrett Crochet’s injury didn’t help its depth, forcing the team to overuse both Tanner Banks and Bennett Sousa throughout the season.
Schryver could, and probably should, make his major league debut fairly soon. The White Sox bullpen — although it has been generally good — could always use more depth, and the White Sox are likely shortening the leashes for Banks and Sousa, both of whom are now struggling after solid starts to the season.
The White Sox have been absolutely decimated by injuries this season. Although the outfield will soon be at full strength once Eloy Jiménez is back in the mix, the White Sox should always be prepared to make a call to the next man up.
In the case of the outfield, that next man up should be Yoelqui Céspedes. One of the few highly-rated recruits in the White Sox system, Céspedes is in the midst of a solid season in Double-A, totaling a .769 OPS, .270 average, nine home runs and 28 runs driven in.
Céspedes — much like his older brother, Yoenis — is a power-hitting outfielder with a pure cannon for an arm. At the age of 24, Céspedes will likely debut either late this season or early next season with the White Sox. If another injury goes down in the outfield, it should be this season.
A major weakness for the White Sox has been the arm strength of their corner outfielders. Bringing Céspedes along to make a start or two a week down the stretch, as well as to be a late-inning pinch hitter and defensive replacement, would be a great move for the White Sox. Céspedes likely won’t learn much in Triple-A, and with the White Sox outfield filled out for the foreseeable future, the White Sox could at the very least look to build trade value for Céspedes with a late-season major league audition.