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South Side Sit-Down: Mario Camilletti

SSS caught up with Kannapolis’ on-base machine

Mario Camilletti signs a baseball for a young fan. “[Mario is a] Man of the people” - Tanner McDougal.
| Kannapolis Cannon Ballers - Instagram

The White Sox 2022 draft class brought a bevy of top-tier college talent into the organization, with 19 of the South Siders’ 20 selections going to college standouts. Top prospects Noah Schultz (No. 2), Eric Adler (No. 28), Jonathan Cannon (No. 11), Peyton Pallete (No. 12), and Tyler Schweitzer (No. 27) were all taken in the first 10 rounds of the draft, a distinction they share with eighth-round pick Mario Camilletti.

Camilletti built his resume with the Central Michigan Chippewas on excellent bat-to-ball skills, sneaky gap-to-gap pop, and elite plate vision. In his two years sporting the Chippewa maroon and gold, Camilletti slashed a gaudy .353/.500/.509 with a 1.009 OPS, 35 doubles, 10 homers, 12 stolen bases, and 115 walks to 68 strikeouts in 122 games.

That elite plate vision and mature approach have paid off in Camilletti’s transition to professional ball with a successful inaugural season for the White Sox’s Low-A affiliate, the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers. He currently leads the Cannon Ballers and Carolina league in walks (79) and OBP (.427). He also checks in the top five in hits, runs, and doubles so far this season.

On the heels of an overwhelmingly successful debut in professional baseball, South Side Sox’s Salina Rae Silver sat down with the hot-hitting prospect to discuss what makes his game unique.


SRS: Mario, thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions for South Side Sox. First off, could you describe your “game” for our readers who may not be familiar with the White Sox farm system and recent draft classes?

MC: Offensively, my goal is to be the toughest out I can be and to get on base as much as possible so my teammates can drive me in. Defensively, my game is to make the routine plays and be the best defender I can be.

SRS: We had you ranked as the #50 prospect in the White Sox farm system in our pre-season rankings. All you’ve done since then is rake in Kannapolis. Are rankings & draft positions something that you pay attention to as a prospect?

MC: No, not at all. The prospect list is obviously great to be on, but I don’t look too far into that stuff. I just try to be the best ball player I can be and let everything else handle itself and fall into place from there.

SRS: 2020 in Central Michigan, your alma mater, you had a walk rate that was DOUBLE your strikeout rate and a videogame-like .502 OBP. Plate discipline is one of the hardest skills to learn in sports. How do you have it down to a science?

MC: Plate discipline is tough, and at the end of the day, it’s all about approach. When I was at Central Michigan, we consistently practiced approach, and I think that’s when my game took a turn for the better. Baseball is such a mentality game, so approach is everything.

SRS: You have 53 RBI in 92 games with Kannapolis. Does that approach change at all when you have runners on base?

MC: No, my approach always stays the same, no matter what. I just try to be a tough out.

SRS: It’s been said that you don’t sell out for power. Two homers in Kannapolis seem to reinforce that, BUT you also lead the team by a wide margin with 20 doubles. Do you think evaluators are sleeping on your gap-to-gap extra-base hit potential?

MC: I think gap-to-gap power is definitely there, but I’m just trying to be the best hitter and teammate I can and let the rest work itself out. The long ball will come; I’m just trying to stick to my approach, get on base, and score some runs.

SRS: How do you feel about batting primarily in the leadoff spot in the order? You lead Kannapolis in runs by a wide margin, too!

MC: I led off in college as well, so I’m used to it by now. I like leading off, and I think, as the leadoff hitter, it’s important to be patient, which is the kind of hitter I am.

SRS: In college, you displayed pretty good baserunning prowess. Yet, you haven’t swiped any bags in Kannapolis this year. Why is that?

MC: I just haven’t had the opportunity to do so yet.

SRS: Defensively, you play all over the infield. What’s your favorite position to play and why?

MC: Second base. I’ve been playing there for a while now. I also like third, which can be challenging, maybe because I don’t play there as often, but I enjoy a challenge.

SRS: Who was your favorite team growing up?

MC: The Detroit Tigers. I was born and raised right outside of Detroit.

SRS: Are there any current or former baseball players you particularly enjoy watching? Doesn’t have to be a South Sider!

MC: I love watching Bobby Witt Jr. The way he plays is so hard, and he makes everything look easy. He’s a very talented guy and fun to watch.

SRS: Too true! Thank you for taking the time to speak with me, Mario. Keep up the awesome work!

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