White Sox prospects offer comfortable first impressions in the first spring games

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The fun-filled spring practice means fewer opportunities for prospects and non-roster invitees, but some members of the White Sox who aren’t part of the immediate plans could see the immediate action due to a split-squad season-opening date with the Cubs on Thursday.

The White Sox won both games — 5-2 at Camelback Ranch and 4-3 at Sloan Park in Mesa — and hit a total of five home runs over 13 combined offensive innings. White Sox fans also emerged as winners, at least if they had a full cable package or over-the-counter access to MLB.tv. They could switch back and forth between NBC Sports Chicago and Marquee Sports Network to see their prospects of choice.

That’s exactly what I did, and numerous said White Sox prospects have cooperated. Five of them provided visual examples of progress they’ve made or need to make, and one was just awesome to do anything at all. Let’s start with the guy.

Oscar Colas

Normally, a pitcher like Kyle Hendricks could be a difficult task for a player who hasn’t seen professional set play in two years. A spring training version of Hendricks more concerned with increasing the pitch count than running an entire arsenal could be an ideal bridge for someone who has recently made significant cutbacks in Nippon Professional Baseball.

Colás did what he had to do in his first Plate appearance in the States, driving a Kyle Hendricks two-seamer down deep left center for a sacrificial fly and the game’s first run.

The other at-bats were more difficult assignments — he hit out at 2021 Cubs first-round winner Jordan Wicks in a left-handed left match, then was hit with a backdoor slider by sidewinder Scott Effross in the sixth. It’s very valuable for him just to see the pitches on purpose, regardless of the quality, so a start-of-season effort in A-ball would be understandable.

Yoelqui Cespedes

Céspedes is one of the more controversial prospects in the White Sox system. His last name, signing bonus, and decent first US gigs combine to cause mild excitement among fans who have never seen him play. Those who have watched him closely are concerned that his great swing produces impressive high points, but pitch detection will relegate them to few and far.

After a tough performance in the Arizona Fall League, it’s nice to see him make his mark and hit the most impressive homer of the day in the limited spring promotion he’s about to receive.

Without radar guns, it’s hard to tell if he was falling behind on a 2-1 switch or staying down on a 2-1 sinker, but both are a joy to watch given how difficult it was to make contact with double- A pitchers record in the air.

His flare to center eluded a diving catch attempt for a single in the fourth, and even his strikeout in the sixth inning could have been worse. He fell down 0-2 but extended it to seven pitches, putting down a slider low, fastball high, slider low, and then fouling an off-speed pitch before being outplayed on a fastball midway to him to end. Previous versions of him would have returned to the dugout sooner, so that’s it.

Mickey Adolfo

I’m waiting to see if Major League Baseball will allow teams to run extended rosters in the early weeks of the season — and as they consider bringing the Manfred Man back for extra innings after initial reports said otherwise, there are Reason to believe Many other elements will change shape during the shortened spring.

One would probably assume the 27th and 28th roster spots would go to extra pitchers for guns, but the White Sox could use one on Adolfo to buy themselves a little extra time to sneak him through waivers, unless its spring performance generates enough interest for a change of scenery trade. This is a good way to start both conversations.

Bryan Ramos

Unlike Colás, Ramos had to contend with Hendrick’s more cunning side. He took the first two turns for strikes, but then was only able to hold off on a third long enough to meekly jump to the right.

Ramos took a more comfortable approach with the draw advantage against Wicks, spinning a 1-2 fastball and hoisting it just over the left field wall. That’s the ability to lift the ball to the pull side that I mentioned in his top prospect report.

(That was too the very first baseball record appearance my son sawwhen I brought him down from his nap between innings.)

Ramos played in third place, which is his most natural position, even if he’s not sure of staying there. His inexperience showed in consecutive plays in the fourth inning, when he first broke a routine play for Danny Mendick with a dive that threw the grounder into left field.

Then he was part of a slapstick-like ad in a tall pop-up on the left field line. He didn’t necessarily do anything wrong – it was more because Mendick rolled over the ball – but they collided, which didn’t help Mendick’s attempt at backtracking.

They were not the only victims of the blessed high heavens, as you will soon see.

Yolbert Sanchez

After hitting .400/.533/.514 in the Arizona Fall League, Sánchez is hitting .500/.667/1.000 in three plate appearances in the Cactus League. He was the one who turned the second inning into a scoring threat with an automatic double to Hendricks’ right center gap…

… and he later pulled a tough walk against Wicks.

Finally, he lost his OBP percentage on the third try with a flair down the right field line that should have ended the inning. Here’s the other inlet with the sky high on the other right field line.

If he continues like this, he will make hiring Josh Harrison look like overkill, which a productive farm system regularly does.

Luis Mies

During his final few months at Winston-Salem last year, Mieses showed the makings of a potential outfield hitter. That sounds like damnation with faint praise, but it represents a step up from previous years when he looked like nothing. He’s got one of those aesthetically pleasing left-handed swings…at least versus right-handed nods.

That’s how it went in his very first Cactus League game. He started the rally in the second inning with a broken bat single into Hendriks right field, then came around to score with the Sánchez double and Colás sac fly.

Looking at the left wicks, Mieses didn’t seem comfortable pulling the trigger, swinging through a slide that stayed up and over the plate for shot three.

But then, when he had a chance to see Effross’ long arm action coming his way, he came around with a 0-1 fastball in the inside corner and shared the gap down center right for a three.

His afternoon started and ended on a high note, and it’s nice when they help summarize the condition of a previously anonymous prospect. Mieses wasn’t alone in that on Thursday, and nobody would mind if they made it that easy for us throughout the 2022 season, wherever they play.

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