White Sox sign Cuban prospect Oscar Colas


Photo: colas_oscar / Instagram

This weekend, the White Sox will add some much-needed talent to their depleted farming system when they announce the signing of 23-year-old Cuban defector Oscar Colas. Colas, formerly known as the “Cuban Ohtani”, will join the Sox organization exclusively in an outfield function.

This “news” is one of the worst-kept developments in the industry since Cubans were granted free representation by the MLB in December 2020 after a short season in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball. The deal is said to be worth $ 2.7 million from the White Sox’s international signing pool.

Delayed arrival

Colas’ desire to sign with an MLB organization dates back to early 2020 when he formally requested the release from his contract with NPB’s Fukuoka Softbank Hawks. However, the club did not want to grant a release from his contract until December 2020.

Given the late timing and the changed international signature period due to the pandemic, Colas was not allowed to sign in the previous international period. Once it was determined that his signing would not be allowed by the MLB until next Saturday, the White Sox instantly became favorites to recruit the former two-way player and continue their rich pipeline of Cuban talent that spanned well over 70 This point goes back years.

It’s unclear whether Colas will begin his tenure with the White Sox in the U.S. Ball Association or the team’s Dominican Summer League club. This situation is similar to that of Luis Robert after his signing in May 2017, which is a direct result of US tax laws. Should Colas spend 2022 on DSL, it would delay a possible arrival at the corner of 35th / Shields. Scouts believe it will take him a few seasons in the minor league before he’s ready to help the White Sox during their competitive window.

What are the Sox getting?

The club gets the number 5 international junior player, a player whose carrying tool plus raw strength is from the left side of the plate. Distinguished as a corner outfielder, Colas, should he achieve his advantage, could possibly shed some light on a long-standing need for the Sox. But again, don’t expect its arrival before 2024 or 2025.

Colas was previously a two-way player in Cuban series Nacional and Japanese NPB and will focus solely on field work after joining the White Sox organization. Cola’s last major game action came when he played in the Japan Western League, a minor league for the NPB. While at Fukuoka’s Farm Club, he slashed .302 / .350 / .516 with 11 homers in 66 games. However, it had a K-rate of 22.3%. The question becomes, has he had time to change his swing since his last major game action over two years ago?

Since being promoted to free agent status by the MLB, Colas has not been afraid to update his progress on social media platforms, especially his Instagram account. Current photos show a clearly trimmed player who looks like a powerful corner outfielder.

His physical maturity at this point doesn’t leave much in the projection room so it will only be about his production once he gets to the states and how well he adjusts to pitchers in Affiliate Ball.

Talent injection

Last August, MLB.com ranked the White Sox as the worst farming system in the league. This is mainly due to prospective promotions and unwillingness to be resourceful with their designs and international pools during the rebuilding (I had to bring that in). But adding Colas and Erick Hernandez during international season will produce some much-needed talent. This is important as the Sox will need to revitalize their system if they want a large window of conflict.

Colas will be the big name entering the system and following in the footsteps of previously signed Cubans Yoelqui Cespedes and Norge Vera. However, he is possibly the most famous. How quickly Colas is able to establish itself in the States and get used to the attached ball will be fascinating to watch for years to come. But fans shouldn’t include this guy in their predictions for the 2023 lineup, which makes the need to target the right field once the suspension ends.

Colas represents one high-trend player and another potential Cuban star who will add to the franchise’s rich history of talent from the island. However, its development will take some patience. Not seeing any game action worth mentioning in two years will be a major hurdle for the 23-year-old. It is certainly exciting to add a player with the raw skills that Oscar Colas possesses to a thin system, but visions that he will have an impact on a team looking to win a World Series in the near future are just not realistic.

The charade finally comes to an end this weekend and Oscar Colas officially becomes a member of the White Sox organization. It’s an exciting development happening at a specific time when little is happening in the baseball landscape.

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