Meet Mark Payton, the newest White Sox outfielder

Newest White Sox outfielder, Mark Payton (Laura Wolff / Charlotte Knights)

Why is the call-up of Mark Payton, a 30-year-old outfielder with 44 major-league PAs, creating so much excitement in Charlotte?

Because he is adored by his teammates, coaches, and pretty much everyone who spends any time at all with him.  

Consider this:  Well after midnight last night, when I first tweeted out the unconfirmed rumor of the call-up, one of his teammates — who had never DMed me before — got in touch to say “Don’t get our hopes too high,” followed by four sets of prayer hands and concluded with, “we’d all be thrilled so fingers crossed tonight!”

Payton is popular because he puts his heart and soul into everything he does on the field.  He combines this all-out hustle with constant support and encouragement for his teammates and a great baseball IQ.

His 2022 season speaks for itself.  From his leadoff position, the lefty leads all regulars in hits (118), home runs (20), doubles (25), RBIs (77), average (.289), slugging (.522) and OPS (.887).  Looking under the hood a bit, he has an ISO of .233, a walk rate of .097 and a K rate of .146.  He’s also the fastest guy on the team and plays a stellar centerfield. 

Mark Payton’s Bio

Payton attended St. Rita High School on Chicago’s southwest side, which also counts former White Sox pitcher and radio broadcaster, Ed Farmer, as its alumni. After an incredible prep career that saw St. Rita retire his number last October, Payton attended the University of Texas, where he played in 234 games over four seasons, hitting .318/.425/.444.

The New York Yankees drafted Payton in the 7th round of the 2014 MLB Draft.  Three years later, he reached Triple-A and posted two solid seasons, but not enough to retain a coveted spot on the Yankees’ 40-man roster.  He was picked up on waivers by the Reds and played on their Triple-A affiliate from 2018-2021 before being traded to the Mets, where he spent the second half of the 2021 season.  Payton elected free agency last winter and signed with the White Sox.

Along the way, he had a couple of brief call-ups with the Reds, with a double, seven singles, and four walks in 44 plate appearances.

What To Expect

The best-case scenario is that Payton takes over the lead-off spot and provides a spark to the White Sox offense while at the same time giving the outfield defense a nice upgrade.

I imagine the odds are against it, or the White Sox would have had him in Chicago a month or two ago.  Just don’t ask any of his Charlotte Knights teammates or coaches to bet against him.

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Sometimes good guys win.


Yeah, I’ll be rooting for him. Here’s hoping Miguel gets him into a lineup this weekend…


So why is Leury in left if Payton is up? Is Tony still making the lineup from Arizona?


After one of the games, he said he was in contact with Tony. I’d change my phone number.

Trooper Galactus

Fuck that, just block his number.


Hope he gets a lot of PT, would’ve happened earlier but we don’t know how to use the Ten Day IL. Feels like we are the only team that scratches injured players for five plus days at a time without putting them on the IL. The handling of Roberts wrist is absurd.


What’s up with Kelly starting instead of Davis? Will he be an opener for Davis? If so, is this the first time the Sox have employed a true opener?


ReyLo opened one and only pitched 2 I think. That counts right?


My definition would be a relief pitcher starts and then gives way to a starter who plans to go 5, as opposed to a succession of relievers going 1 or 2, a bullpen game.

So depending on who followed Lopez, that could well have been an opener.

Joliet Orange Sox

On June 10, López started and went two innings followed by Davis Martin pitching 5 innings. That fits the criteria to be a Reylópener!

Last edited 1 year ago by Joliet Orange Sox

Finally a kernel of corn in this turd of a season.

Best of luck, Mark!


Nice promotion. If he performs at even replacement level, he’ll join Tanner Banks as a poster-boy for the never give up/keep chasing the dream mind-set.


Robert is on paternity?


No wonder he’s had so many groin/hamstring strains

Right Size Wrong Shape

Perhaps it led to his sore wrist.


Among the unheralded guys, am still intrigued by Neslony who has turned it on recently

Trooper Galactus

He also hasn’t drawn a walk since July.

Maybe he’s just not getting the calls.

Trooper Galactus

Always nice to see a kid from my original hometown make good!