The White Sox do not like using their entire international signing bonus pool. Therefore, their rosters are top-heavy without much depth. This year is more of the same, with a little difference at the top because Erick Hernández is not as heralded as, say, Norge Vera was last year, or Luis Robert way back when he started in the DSL.
One interesting note on the whole roster though: Nobody was born in the 90s, it is all 2000 or younger.
Hernández was a seven-figure signing, so he is getting big bucks from the White So to play. Baseball America has him rated as the organization’s 22nd-best prospect, though FanGraphs and MLB Pipeline probably will have him in their Top 30s in the next re-ranking. Hernández is a lefty bat, and projected to be in the outfield. I could list his height and weight, but he was born in 2005 — it is going to change in the years to come. From Baseball America: “Scouts highest on Hernández as an amateur felt he was one of the better pure hitters in his class,” so that is high praise for the young man. But it is noted Hernández is not a pure power bat.
Let’s see what else the DSL has.
The other big, or at least bigger, name is Loidel Chapelli Jr. out of Cuba. It may be because he is the most recent signing and that the Sox have a good pipeline from Cuba, but Chapelli did get a $500,000 bonus.
Sources: Cuban OF Loidel Chapelli Jr. (20) signs with the Chicago White Sox, it will be official in the coming days. Bonus deal: $500,000.— Francys Romero (@francysromeroFR) May 11, 2022
Chapellí is the first player of the 12 who left U-23 Cuban team last year in Mexico to agree with an MLB team. pic.twitter.com/o7sEzuDPyC
Being born in 2001 makes you one of roster’s older players, believe it or not. But Chapelli does have some professional experience already.
Chapelli is not one for much power, but his bat-to-ball skills seem pretty fine-tuned, as well as his approach at the plate. He had 78 walks against 76 strikeouts in Cuba. Now, we wait to see if that happens here in the DSL and going forward, as Chapelli hopefully moves up the system quickly.
A few others to note, mostly from Baseball America flagging them.
Guillermo Rodríguez is a shortstop and is noted he “stands out for his defensive ability.” Ryan Burrowes is a shortstop by trade as well, so we will see who ends up getting the most time at that position or note which other positions these two field. Burrowes may end up being a better hitter in the long run if everything works out.
On the pitching side it is Marcelo Valladares. He is 90-93 mph right now on his fastball, but these guys are so young that velocity should improve as the years go on. BA says that Valladares has “a potential starter profile” as well.