Reports: White Sox get jump on July 2 with Norge Carlos Vera
If you haven’t yet seen (or can’t see) my top 9½ White Sox prospects for 2020, I considered my list 9½ strong because my No. 10 prospect did not yet have a name. It was simply a spot left open for a future Cuban signing.
It was a somewhat tongue-in-cheek reflection of my lack of strong feelings for anybody who followed, but more a point that the White Sox seemed poised to follow in Houston’s footsteps. The Astros had just agreed to a deal with outfielder Pedro Leon that would take effect July 2, and ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel said other such deals were coming. The White Sox seemed as poised as any team to be next, and so “Future Cuban” wasn’t just “2020’s first-round pick” because we’d actually have at least one name to work with months ahead of time.
Apparently that name is Norge Carlos Vera.
The report has been reinforced by James Fox of FutureSox and Kiley McDaniel of ESPN. McDaniel added that the White Sox are also connected to the one name with which we were most aware.
Multiple international scouting sources said the White Sox also have interest in Cuban star OF/LHP Oscar Colas, who recently defected. It’s unclear how Vera’s deal will impact the White Sox’s pursuit of Colas. Chicago’s international bonus pool for the 2019-20 signing period was slightly less than $5.4 million.
Norge Carlos Vera is the 19-year-old son of Cuban National Series legend Norge Luis Vera, and FanGraphs saw the younger Vera’s stateside showcase in September.
Vera was listed at 6-foot-2 and 185 pounds during his appearances in the Can-Am League and might be slightly taller, with some saying he’s as tall at 6-foot-4. He’s lean and long-limbed, with broad shoulders and a lanky lower half. It is a plus frame for a teenager, one that oozes physical projection and projects to be able to put on weight as he matures. He has a simple delivery that is fairly slow-paced and while he occasionally alters the rhythm and height of his leg kick, he maintains solid direction throughout.
The FanGraphs report says Vera worked 90-93, although McDaniel’s report says he’s touched 97. He works with a four-pitch arsenal, with a changeup, cutter and slider in that order.
The $1.5 million signing bonus is worth about 50th-pick money, which would be five picks later than the White Sox took Matthew Thompson in the second round of the 2019 draft. It makes some sense to slot Vera into the same neighborhood as Thompson and Andrew Dalquist, so thanks to the White Sox for upholding the integrity of my rankings.
I’m also a fan of the deal because you can rearrange the letters in Norge Carlos Vera to spell Overlarge Acorns, which should be a selling point to you Arrogance Lovers out there.
I’m excited to see the Sox targeting young pitching prospects in the last year, as it had begun to feel like the pipeline contained almost exclusively college arms.
If we can succeed in becoming a consistent go-to team for high end Cuban talents, that will go a long way toward shoring up our weakness in international signings.
College arms are a strength of this draft, so we might see another quick-to-the majors pick at #11 while they draft young guys in later rounds to add depth to the pipeline.
Also of note: it looks like the Twins have backed out of the deal with BOS and LAD. Since I thought Maeda was a perfect addition for them, I’m happy to see Minnesota 1) fail to shore up their rotation, and 2) lose any tangible trade value for one of their best prospects. The icing on the cake is that there now may be bad blood between said prospect and the organization.
As the La Pantera-LuBob nickname controversy last year was heated, allow me to suggest a cooler name for Mr. Vega: The Refrigerator (with apologies to William Perry).
The Sox could have Dan Aykroyd throw out the first pitch when they announce Vega’s signing in July.
He should have Vega’s theme from Street Fighter II as his walk up song.
An unexpected bonus: George Wendt is a Sox fan, so…
Kiley also gave him 40+ – 45. By Fangraphs upcoming draft ratings that is #31 on this summers board.
Good news! Essentially we got a bonus draft pick
On the fence, sold by anagrams – where do I buy a shirsey…
Could do some Kronk memes.
“Squeaky squeakers squeak”
“Overlarge Acorn pitched two perfect games in a row.”
Also I see many aloe vera puns coming.
Top of the IFA class signings have maxed out at about $5M since the new rules went into effect (Puason, Dominguez last year).
So to be top offer to Colas, they’d probably need to trade for another $1M of bonus pool space after this signing.
Not going to complain about young high-upside IFAs though. Beggers can’t be choosers.
I’m glad we have someone who can join us in our anagram game.
We take proper names and rearrange the letters to form a description of that person.