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Season Review: 2014 DSL White Sox

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First affiliate to end season

Dominican Summer League

The short list of players who reached the majors with the White Sox after playing for their affiliate in the Dominican Summer League got another member when Carlos Sanchez arrived. The other members are Andre Rienzo, Eduardo Escobar and Miguel Gonzalez, while Fautino de los Santos also reached the majors with the Athletics.

While the DSL White Sox have only been playing since 2006 - and we always must keep in mind the tawdry recent history of White Sox in Latin America - that short and rather nondescript list provides some context to a simple but important fact: most of the players in the DSL will not even make it stateside. Very few will ever reach even the high minors, let alone MLB.  The level of play is probably lower overall than what you'd see from many travelling high school squads.

First, we need to set some baselines. The DSL is a short-season league and is the lowest level of competition in affiliated baseball. The average hitter's triple slash line is .245/.339/.331.  Almost no home runs are hit. The average pitcher walks 10.3% of the batters he faces while striking out just 19.0%. Other signs of lack of skill, such as HBPs (0.9/g) and WPs (1.54/g), are plentiful and young starters rarely throw more than a handful of innings. The average player is just 18.6 years old.

Further background on the league and the White Sox prospects can be found here. Since there is no video from the DSL, this is unfortunately but necessarily a statistical review only.

Position Players

OF Roger Ramos, in his third season with the club, once again led the offense - though he showed little improvement from last season, with only a slight uptick in power. The 19-year-old's line: .256/.367/.398 in 159 plate appearances, including a 28.9% strikeout rate. Ramos received a not very sizeable bonus of $85K and his performance so far certainly suggests that the righty didn't deserve any more. I'd say he's not long for the organization.

OF Hanleth Otano, in his second season, showed some improvement from last year. The 18-year-old's line: .220/.279/.341 in 233 PA. The righty's 33% strikeout rate, however, didn't show much improvement. He got the largest bonus the White Sox handed out in 2012 - $550K - so he's got a ways to go before he's living up to that bonus.

3B Maiker Feliz had a typically bad debut season. The 17-year-old's line: .198/.315/.231 in 251 PA. On the positive side, the righty's 21.1% strikeout rate and 12.7% walk rate are encouraging for the 10th youngest player in the league. He got the second-highest bonus in 2013 - $450K.

SS Jose Reyes had a less-typical debut season, being just kinda bad, though over a much smaller sample size. The switch-hitter's line: .257/.297/.300 in 77 PA. The 17-year-old's 21.8% strikeout rate and, to a much lesser extent, 5.8% walk rate are encouraging. He got $100K in 2013.

Getting into the blind, unreliable, stat-and-age line scouting, there were a couple players who didn't get "big" signing bonuses who stood out.

C Carlos Perez, who will turn 18 in a couple weeks, had a fine offensive performance in his debut season: .305/.356/.326 in 104 PA. An even smaller than usual sample size obviously makes a batting average driven stat line more suspect but his .326 BABIP doesn't suggest much out of the ordinarily in league where defensive range isn't scintillating. Matching 6.7% strikeout and walk rates suggest that he knows how to make contact. And he's a catcher, after all.

INF Ramon Beltre also had a fine debut season: .259/.360/.314 in a team-leading 287 PA. The righty also stole 22 of 30 bases, again leading the team. He had a 11.5% strikeout rate and 12.9% walk rate. Good for a middle infielder.

Pitchers

The headliner was RHP Nelson Acosta, who was the sixth-youngest player in the league. For a just-turned 17-year-old, he had a solid line: 14 G, 12 GS, 46 IP, 25 H, 28 BB, 36 K, 7 HBP, 7 WP. Achieving an almost-league average 18.7% strikeout rate was a good accomplishment, though his 14.5% walk rate obviously could use some work. Can't ask much more of a guy signed for $50K.

More blind stat scouting:

LHP Kevin Escorcia is kind of old at 19 years-old. However, he is left-handed and he did start 12 games, so maybe the White Sox think he's something. His stat line would support that: 13 G, 12 GS, 56.1 IP, 44 H, 12 BB, 73 K, 2 HBP, 3 WP. His 33% strikeout rate against a 5.4% walk rate certainly is eye-popping and he showed significant improvement in all areas from his debut season.

LHP Josbel Coroba is significantly younger at 17 but he's also left-handed and put up some good numbers in his debut season: 19 G, 2 GS, 36.2 IP, 23 H, 23 BB, 42 K, 2 HBP, 3 WP. He had a not-quite-as-eye-popping-but-still-really-good 26.5% strikeout rate, though his 15.4% walk rate leaves something to be desired.

* Note that players are reviewed with the affiliate at which they completed their season.