Lenyn Sosa reportedly skipping Charlotte to join White Sox

With Danny Mendick freshly injured, Tim Anderson fresh off the injured list and Leury García trying to stiff-arm an IL stint of his own, the White Sox face a pressing need for infield depth for their four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles this weekend.

According to sources close to the prospect and confirmed by FutureSox, Lenyn Sosa will be that infield depth.

Sosa opened the season outside of White Sox top-10 prospect lists, but if the minor-league season ended today, it’d be hard to keep him out of the top three. He’s hitting .331/.384/.549 over 62 games at Birmingham in his age-22 season, and it hasn’t completely come out of nowhere.

Sosa signed for $325,000 out of Venezuela in 2016 (he’ll be the first traditional Marco Paddy signing to appear in the majors when he makes his debut), and he has performed respectably at every level despite being years younger than the competition. In the feature I wrote about Sosa in May, I noted that his numbers have been weighed down by that age-for-level adjustment period, as he had to spend multiple months producing to cover up ragged Aprils. Sosa faced that twice over in 2021, opening a season with his Winston-Salem debut, then closing it out with his first taste of Birmingham.

VERY PERTINENT: Lenyn Sosa is breaking out in Birmingham while reining it in

Now 22 in ’22, Sosa has looked completely at ease in the Southern League. It’s not just that Sosa’s OPS has hovered well above .900 for more than half the season to date, but it’s how he’s doing it. Even though Regions Field isn’t a haven for hitters, he’s already set a career high in homers with 14 thanks to a stronger base, and it’s accompanied by walk and strikeout rates that are superior to anything he’s ever carried at any level.

YearAgeLvlBA/OBP/SLGBB%K%
201919A.252/.292/.3715.019.0
202121A+/AA.271/.300/.4013.422.2
202222AA.331/.384/.5497.313.8

That improved plate discipline separates Sosa from Romy Gonzalez, who had last year’s meteoric rise with the Barons. Gonzalez hit .267/.355/.502 over 78 games with Birmingham before a brief stop in Charlotte en route to Chicago, but he struck out twice as often as Sosa (28.2 percent), which made his struggles in his big-league debut predictable.

Sosa may have his own problems adjusting to major-league pitching, but that improved contact rate at Double-A gives him a much better starting position, and that’s why Sosa is a valid choice to leap-frog over more prominent infield prospects.

González has been beset by various ailments this season, and it’s going to be a fight to avoid a lost year. Yolbert Sánchez has performed well at Birmingham and Charlotte this season, setting himself up for a Chicago debut at some point in 2022, but since his game relies on contact and quality defense at second base, his best-case scenario is basically what Josh Harrison is already doing.

Sosa offers the potential for a different kind of impact, and because he had been overshadowed by other middle-infield prospects, he’s logged plenty of experience away from his natural position of shortstop. Sharing a roster with Sánchez and José Rodríguez over the last two seasons meant that he had to play plenty second and third. Between the three positions, Sosa has committed just four errors over 57 games in 2022. He’s not an exceptional defender, but he makes the plays he gets to.

Sosa’s time in Chicago could be short-lived, especially if Danny Mendick’s knee bruise is only a bruise, Harrison solidifies his recent gains and Yoán Moncada returns from his hamstring injury as quickly as the White Sox publicly hope. No harm done. The Sox would send Sosa down to Charlotte for his first experience at Triple-A, and maybe the brief looks against MLB pitching make that last minor-league step a little easier.

There’s also a scenario in which Moncada and Tim Anderson struggle to stay on the field, Harrison’s medium contact stops getting results, and Jake Burger‘s progress stalls. In that event, the Sox would need anybody who stands a chance of providing purposeful contact at the MLB level while standing in the infield. It’s better to spend the meantime preparing for that scenario, and despite his relatively brief run of being a prospect of note, Sosa is the best guy for that opportunity until he shows otherwise.

Take a second to support Sox Machine on Patreon
Default image
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

Articles: 3396
Subscribe
Notify of
74 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
MrStealYoBase

Necessary caveat that I’m just a guy who likes to watch baseball. But what stands out to me watching Sosa is just how quiet his swing is compared to most young hitters. Hopefully that means he can adjust well to major league stuff without too much trouble.

dwjm3

I am excited for him to make his debut.

Greg Nix

Do we think Tony is going to play him? I’m prepared to see a frustrating amount of Leury.

Right Size Wrong Shape

I was for this move when it was being rumored a few weeks ago. But as Greg alluded to, he needs to be starting 5 times a week across the infield, otherwise there’s no point to this move. Anderson should be resting a couple times a week, Burger only needs to play against lefties, and Harrison can sit sometimes, too.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Do you think that gives him the best chance of being successful? I guess if the point is to get his feet wet and then send him right back down, but if you are really evaluating if he’s an answer in one of the other scenarios you mention in the last paragraph, I think he should be playing almost everyday in the time he’s here.

Last edited 3 days ago by Right Size Wrong Shape
Right Size Wrong Shape

If you are looking for an infield body for the next week who won’t screw up too bad, I think Sanchez is your guy (and I’m not advocating for Sanchez). If you are looking for someone to come in and make an impact I think Sosa is the best bet, but I think to have a chance at doing that he needs to play a lot. Whatever happens, I’m excited to get a look at him.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Fair enough. I’m just going to hope that he hits 3 home runs tomorrow and never looks back. 🙂

HallofFrank

Yup. This feels less like, “here are the keys, it’s yours,” and more like “let’s take the van for a controlled spin around the parking lot.” I’m bracing myself for a steady stream of complaints about his playing time from Sox fans.

As Cirensica

Yup… We just played Andrew Vaughn at 2B in a lineup that had Harrison and Leury in it. This team needs infielders. Vaughn playing 2B can’t occur again.

Last edited 3 days ago by As Cirensica
chipporter

That was odd, wasn’t it? We had Haseley in the game who came up as a CF, and could have played Leury and and JH in the IF and AV in right.

Was that one of those, 7 level chess, smartest guy in the room maneuvers?

As Cirensica

I think it had to do with unusual circumstances Jim referred above as the body count starting to pile up leaving the White Sox bench really thin. This makes the strategy to leave quasi injured players (i.e. unavailable to play) quite baffling.

Augusto Barojas

100 percent agree, he should play. We’ve all seen enough of the shitshow at 2b for the past year that there is no reason to sit him in favor of guys who aren’t good enough to be starters on any team that is supposed to be contending. I only hope his success is better than Romy last year.

egib52

It would be nice to have a rookie come out of nowhere and hit the ground running for once

phillyd

True. However the gap between MLB and MiLB pitching is so huge right now that my expectations are low. Look at all the top prospects that struggle when first called up.

Augusto Barojas

Except with the Astros. Jeremy Pena not only replaces Correa adequately but outproduces him in his rookie season. He was a third round pick. Unbelievable.

Is it too much to ask for the Sox to get lucky with somebody like that once every 15 years? AA to the majors is probably too big a jump, but I’d rather pin my hopes on him than who we’ve seen playing 2b the past year.

metasox

If you count Luiz Gonzalez, he was a 3rd round pick for the Sox who so far has hit for SF. It does happen

lifelongjd

I feel like the Sox have had some recent success with rookies performing well out of the gate. Specifically position players like Vaughn, Madrigal, Sheets and Burger all have flashed at the MLB level. Not on a level of Peña in Houston, but not failures or bust outs.

The problem is organizationally they don’t commit to their rookies by playing them every day. They continually sign cheap bets like Harrison who block them. Or they make them “earn” playing time. Only this season have we seen them give guys like Burger and Vaughn (and Sheets) a chance to play every day, which is really the only way to see if they’re any good.

Augusto Barojas

Just wow. I’m all for trying something new, this certainly qualifies. I only hope the few hits that Harrison has gotten lately will not be cause for Sosa to sit. He should play, Harrison will go back to slumping eventually. They can still DFA Harrison in spite of his recent improvements as far as I am concerned.

I just hope Sosa actually plays, would be just like this group of assclowns to bring him up and have him sit in favor of guys with no upside or future like the Josh/Leury disaster show.

Foulkelore

They can play both Harrison and Sosa right now at 2B and 3B. Abreu/Burger can play DH/1B, and Vaughn can play the outfield.

soxygen

Watching Abreu hobble around, it isn’t entirely clear that he will be able to play regularly or play in the field…but I agree with your point that there should be opportunities for Sosa to get regular at bats, and even if not there could be some benefits of having him soak it up and meet the guys, get sage advice from Jose, work with Frank Menechino, etc…

chipporter

It wouldn’t be such a bad thing to let Haseley get some OF reps vs righties and see Burger man 3rd while AV takes 1st.

Why do I feel like I’m a lonely man on Haseley Island? Just me and his agent.

Last edited 3 days ago by chipporter
Augusto Barojas

Probably because Haseley hasn’t hit MLB pitching very well in his life. Even if he hits a little bit, he isn’t isn’t likely to be better than Lamb other than defensively and isn’t any kind of solution.

chipporter

People keep saying he hasn’t hit MLB that well, but in the small sample size,
2019 242 PA’s 266/324/396, babip .344. His K% was high, but he was a rookie.
2020 92 PA’s 278/348/342 babip 349, K% dropped 6.3% and BB% went up almost 2%

So, is he really that bad at hitting MLB pitching, or is that just a label?

Here’s a 2021 Rookie
417 PA’s 235/309/396 babip 271 his K% is 3.3% lower and BB rate 2.9% higher

That’s Andrew Vaughn

So, for a high draft pick coming from a organization that typically doesn’t develop talent well, it sure seems like everyone is overly quick to write him off from such a small MLB sample size/opportunity.

Plus, he’s coming up from AAA where he seems to have figured something out, since he’s been on a tear for the last 6 weeks.

Last edited 3 days ago by chipporter
jhomeslice

Nobody is going to compare him to Vaughn, I mean come on. .685 career OPS. Think Jake Lamb for a good comparison/upside.

It’s this kind of wishful thinking and settling for long-shot guys like this that they never get anybody who is actually good. If he really had promising upside chances are the Phillies would not have dumped him.

chipporter

I wasn’t trying to say he was the next Vaughn, not even close, just trying to illustrate that, at least on paper, he’s not the terrible MLB hitter that his label seems to carry and most people keep parroting.

But your comment about, “longshot guy”, is sort of making my point. As a #8 pick in the draft, with only one bad organization for reference, isn’t, “longshot guy”, a bit of hyperbole?

The biggest problem with the Jake Lamb comparison, is that he got over 500 PA’s in his first 2 seasons at the MLB level. Haseley has a had total of 376 spread across 4 seasons.

I don’t believe that’s a big enough sample size for comparison. I also wouldn’t be advocating at all, if Haseley hadn’t shown such recent promise at AAA under new tutelage.

You are who the scoreboard says you are, and Haseley’s recent scoreboard says he’s learned to hit and I think that deserves a chance.

Last edited 3 days ago by chipporter
Augusto Barojas

Sheets, Mercedes, and Collins hit a lot better at Charlotte than Haseley. Anyway he has gotten some AB’s and will certainly get more, we’ll see what he does.

Augusto Barojas

He is sure to get some AB’s with their day to day injury circumstances, but yeah, Jake Lamb with a better glove and less power is what I expect.

jhomeslice

And the problem with guys like this is even if he does ok in a small sample size, what do they do with that. Pencil him in as part of their bargain basement RF solution for next year? We see how that works out every year.

They are mired in complete mediocrity as a team, and to improve are going to need better than hoping cast-aways from average teams turn into gold.

chipporter

So, your argument is, we shouldn’t even look at him because he might do well and that would be bad?

Last edited 3 days ago by chipporter
MrStealYoBase

I don’t understand the Jake Lamb slander. If the Sox had a lefty who could immediately give them 130 PA of a .710 OPS that would be an improvement on what we’ve seen all year lol.

Last edited 3 days ago by MrStealYoBase
HallofFrank

You’re the lonely man on Haseley island because Haseley has never done anything above AA that would make someone think he’s a major leaguer. Similarly-aged Jake Burger has done more to convince the world that he’s a major leaguer and he missed like 3 seasons.

No one is saying Haseley *can’t* hit MLB pitching. We’re just saying there’s no reason to think he can. If you think a hot streak in Charlotte is evidence that he can, you haven’t paid close attention to White Sox prospects.

chipporter

I agree and don’t think the translation from Charlotte to WS is valid. What is valid, I believe, is that at AAA he went on a prolonged streak that may indicate there has been significant progress for him at the plate. He got significantly better there, that’s all. When Burger went down, he sucked, got better at AAA, came back. Now they’re talking the same with Gavin. Why not Haseley, and he did it for longer?

HallofFrank

Burger and Gavin are more interesting than Haseley because both have runs of hitting MLB pitching. Haseley never has. He’s been good recently, but even in one of the most hitter-friendly AAA parks in the nation he’s not exactly lighting the world on fire. You say 6 weeks: well, he’s got a .883 OPS since the start of May. Again, good… but it doesn’t exactly scream “major change and he’s a big leaguer now.”

Honestly, what about Haseley is interesting except being left-handed and prospect evaluations from 2017?

soxfan

Sosa can also play short when Anderson isn’t in the lineup, and considering he didn’t come in yesterday when Mendick went down or even when there was a late-game pinch-hitting opportunity with the bases loaded and the bottom of the order coming up, I’m assuming he’s going to be taking off at least a game a week.

chipporter

Yippee, looking forward to seeing a young guy with a high ceiling vs. retread utility men and I’ll just end it there and see what happens.

Last edited 3 days ago by chipporter
As Cirensica

Apparently, Sosa’s agent confirm the call to the big leagues of Lenyn Sosa. Still unofficial though.

Source (in Spanish): https://elemergente.com/2022/06/chicago-llama-al-prospecto-venezolano-lenyn-sosa-a-las-grandes-ligas.html

soxfan

Context helps, but I can actually read that url!

shaggy65

I’m encouraged that the much maligned Sox minors have actually been producing some guys worthy of call-ups.

asinwreck

I like that he’s making his debut against a struggling Orioles team, and imagine that it’s been presented as a short-term injury replacement to reduce the expectations.

Worst-case scenario, he gets his feet wet and begins the process of adjusting to a new level, as he’s managed that process before. (Well, the worst-case scenario is his hamstring flies off and breaks Jake Burger’s nose.)

Torpedo Jones

“In a bizarre series of events, Lenyn Sosa’s hamstring exploded from his leg, hitting Jake Burger square in the face. Adam Haseley and Luis Robert then collided while attempting to catch the pop-up hamstring, resulting in significant injuries to Haseley and Robert. Just another day with the White Sox.”

As Cirensica

I can’t wait to hearing Rob Zombie’s hit on the White Sox.

Torpedo Jones

Living Dead Outfield?
Never Gonna Shop (for premium FAs)?

funkerdan

More Injured Than Healthy
I am the Astro-Creep a demolition style taking out the White Sox fleet yeah

Augusto Barojas

I hope he’s the best Sosa in Sox history.

Joliet Orange Sox

He’s already locked up being the best Lenyn.

tommytwonines

Good for Sosa.

Off topic, what’s up with Cespedes? On the latest FutureSox podcast they don’t even list him as a top-ten prospect, whereas Colas is considered 2 or 3

mrridgman

Cespedes doesn’t seem to be improving, while Colas is.

chipporter

He’s been better in June, 299/368/493 but still way too many K’s, 22 over 67 AB’s for 33%. He’s also only 2/7 SB’s.

jorgefabregas

He’s almost 25. He’s increased his power at Double-A this year, but his wRC+ is under 100 because he strikes out a lot and doesn’t walk.

He reportedly has made strides defensively, at least.

SocksO’Graham

When I see Hasely I wonder how it is Micker never got a call up.

Torpedo Jones

Injuries and K’s. That’s what held Adolfo back. He’s been generally healthy the last few years, but he still can’t get his K rate below 35% consistently. Have to imagine MLB pitching would prove extremely challenging for him. I found it quite telling that Adolfo was basically up for grabs if any team wanted to keep him on their MLB roster before this season and no one picked him up.

Haseley has gotten his chances for a few reasons. One, he was a 1st round pick who played generally well in the minors and had a modestly successful rookie season in Philly. Two, he offers good defense across the entire OF. Third, never forget the built-in advantage of being a lefty bat. 🙂

a-t

Haseley can 1) play the outfield respectably and 2) doesn’t strike out 40% of the time in AAA

a-t

Points for boldness. I guess Hahn wasn’t kidding when he said Sosa might be up this year… I was thinking an August/Sept cup of coffee, but I can’t complain too much

joewho112

Yikes, torn ACL for Mendick! How long is he out for?

As Cirensica

I am gonna say he is out for the season at least.

joewho112

Also, Eloy has to be activated in the next week or so, right? So they’ll have to DFA someone (or move someone else to the 60-day IL) to activate him

a-t

MLBTR’s source there is just linking to the Sox Twitter account saying Mendick is on the 10-day for now not the 60-day. Presumably he’s on the 10-day until they need to make another move or get a second evaluation/prognosis

jorgefabregas

I would guess with a torn ACL it’s going to be a lot more than 60 days

joewho112

And now they’ve fixed it to 10-day

a-t

Poor Mendick to the 60-day will probably be the move. This team is snakebit

As Cirensica

Just when I started to like Danny Mendick

soxfan

I get that Jimenez going to the 60-day IL is just to free up a 40-man roster spot in the short term, but why couldn’t they have left him on the 10-day IL and put Mendick on the 60-day IL immediately? It’s not like he’s going to recover from a torn ACL in two weeks. Do they have another 40-man roster move in mind? I’m no more worried about Jimenez than I was yesterday, but seems like more paperwork than necessary unless I’m missing something about needing to go through the 10-day IL before being added tot he 60-day IL.

NDSox12

I was confused by that as well. Maybe there is a luxury tax benefit of having the higher salaried player not occupying a 40 man roster spot for a few weeks?

upnorthsox

That’s a whole lot of bad news in the release.

Foulkelore

Boo, Sosa isn’t starting tonight. Also, Robert isn’t either, so whatever was up with his legs that removed him from yesterday’s game is probably still bothering him. Say hello to starting CF, Leury Garcia.

chipporter

Could it be that the staff thought Robert would be best cured with a treatment of bench splinters?

Joliet Orange Sox

The Twins beat the Guardians one to nothing today. I’m not sure which of those teams will be the better team in the long run but for now I think it’s ok that they are back to tied with the Sox 4.0 games back pending the Sox outcome tonight.

74
0
Join the discussion!x
()
x