2022 White Sox Affiliate Preview: Dominican Summer League (Rookie)

The Chicago White Sox’s affiliate in the Dominican Summer League begins play on Monday June 6 at home against the San Francisco Giants Orange squad. The rookie level club in the DSL is made up of mostly teenagers hailing from the Dominican Republic and Venezuela. The players in this league are extremely raw and undeveloped which isn’t surprising due to the majority of them being of high school age without the same level of experience or resources.

Statistics should be taken with a grain of salt but meaningful indicators can be found often. Age, loud tools and positional value are some examples that generally make a player stand out in the league.

The Dominican Summer League was founded back in 1985 and is currently the only Latin America based rookie league entirely run by Major League Baseball. Teams in the DSL are owned and operated by Major League franchises. Each team plays a 72-game schedule that typically ends in late August prior to the playoffs. 48 teams will compete in the league with multiple organizations choosing to field two teams.

The White Sox’s affiliate plays at the club’s complex in Boca Chica and they play in the Boca Chica Baseball Baseball City Division of the Dominican Summer League. The 2022 club is comprised of 16 pitchers, 5 catchers, 5 infielders and 8 outfielders. Out of 34 players on the roster, 19 are members of the most recent international class.

The academy supervisor in the Dominican is former White Sox’s farmhand Louis Silverio and the field coordinator is Julio Bruno. Former manager Guillermo Reyes is now the assistant field coordinator. Angel Rosario will manage the club this year and serve as the catching coordinator. Leo Hernández (pitching coach) and José Brito (assistant pitching coach) will handle the pitching staff. Gerardo Olivares will be the hitting coach while Angel González will be the assistant. Sergio Marte and Jonathan Hasban will serve in the capacity of athletic trainer and performance coach respectively.

Opening day ages of the players are listed in parentheses along with pitcher handedness

Outfielders

Marco Paddy and his crew signed five outfielders including Oscar Colás who is playing in Winston-Salem to start his career. The others will debut in the Dominican Summer league. The biggest attractions are 17-year-old Dominican Erick Hernández and 20-year-old Cuban Loidel Chapellí Jr.

Hernández was seen as a top 50 player in the international class and his signing was a positive deviation for the White Sox. He’s the #22 prospect in the system according to Baseball America and the left-handed hitter projects to an outfield corner. The 5-11 170 pounder signed for $1 million and Ben Badler noted in his international review of the class that the teenager could ultimately possess 20 home run power annually. He possesses a simple approach and swing with a fluid lefty stroke. Hernández makes lots of contact but has added strength since signing early this year.

Chapellí is a 5-8 Cuban 187 pound Cuban outfielder that recently signed with the organization for $500,000. He hits from the left side and will play the outfield but the White Sox may try him at second base as well. I profiled him for FutureSox back in May and he should provide contact skills, plus run times and defensive range. Cuban baseball historian Phil Selig also joined the FutureSox podcast to share more information on the club’s most recent signing out of Cuba.

Leandro Alsinois and Arnold Prado signed as members of the latest international class. Alsinois is a 5-10 175 pound center fielder from the Dominican Republic. He’s known for speed and defense in the amateur circuit and hits and throws right handed. Prado is a 6-3 195 pounder from Venezuela.

Fernando Vargas signed last July and played with the Twins team in the DSL in 2021. The 6-2 185 pounder posted a .611 OPS over the course of 35 games. The 19-year-old hails from Venezuela. Godwin Bennett signed out of Nicaragua last year and played in 33 games with the DSL White Sox. The 6-2 170 pound 19-year-old posted an .848 OPS while clubbing four homers in only 85 at-bats.

Panamanian Carlos Jimenez and Dominican Randel Mondesi will return for 2022 as well and they round out the group of outfielders for the club. Jimenez is a 6-4 220 pound right fielder that hits and throws lefty. He posted a .643 OPS with two homers in 102 at-bats last year. Mondesi struggled in 25 games in 2021 but the 6-3 190 pounder does possess big league bloodlines.

Infielders

Ryan Burrowes, Ryan Castillo and Guillermo Rodriguez all signed as members as the latest international class and will make their professional debuts in the Dominican Summer League. Burrowes signed for $70,000 out of Panama and Badler called him an “interesting sleeper” in his most recent international review. The 6-2 170 pounder has been described as an athletic, high energy shortstop that should stay at the position. He possesses average speed, good actions and an above average throwing arm. The infielder has some physical upside and provides present gap power as well.

Rodriguez has been lauded for his defensive ability at shortstop and the 17-year-old signed for $400,000 out of Venezuela. The 5-9 160 pounder possesses a strong, compact build and he’s an above average runner with a short right handed swing. Castillo is a 6-1 170 pound third baseman out of the Dominican Republic who hits from the left side.

Dominican infielders Arxy Hernandez and Edwin Peralta are returning for the 2022 season. Hernandez is a 6-2 170 pounder that posted a .607 OPS last season. Peralta has struggled offensively over the course of two seasons in the DSL but the 6-3 175 pounder will get another shot on an infield corner.

Catchers

There are five Venezuelan catchers on the roster including three that just signed with the organization. Ricardo Aguilar posted a .459 OPS last year but the 6-0 180 pounder is known for his game calling and defensive skills. Roberth Gutierrez is 20-years-old and the 6-0 170 pound backstop has played in 80 contests so far with the White Sox in the DSL.

Signing catchers out of Venezuela is common for clubs and the White Sox landed three in their current class. 17-year-old Ronny Hernandez is 6-1 200 while 18-year-old Juan Oviedo checks in at 5-10 and 150 pounds. Rounding out the trio is 17-year-old Edwin Ramos who happens to be the largest at 6-2 and 195 pounds.

Pitchers

The pitching staff is pretty young overall and full of unknowns which is to be expected. Seven of the hurlers were just recently as members of the White Sox 20 player international class for this year. There are some repeats on this list however and a couple names stand out above the rest initially.

18-year-old Venezuelan right hander Adrian Gil was a noteworthy signing last year as he trained with former White Sox pitcher Freddy Garcia as an amateur. The 5-11 195 pounder posted a 4.91 ERA in a tiny sample of 3.2 innings and missed most of the season with an undisclosed injury. Gil signed for $250,000 and was known for advanced pitchability with a low 90’s fastball. He also shows shape on his curveball and is already able to change speeds.

Marcelo Valladares is an interesting name to watch going forward. He signed in last year’s class but hasn’t made his debut due to signing so late in the process. The 17-year-old Venezuelan shows some solid “projection indicators” according to Ben Badler. The 6-4 187 pound righty possesses a lanky frame, good arm action and room to improve a fastball that has already touched 93 mph. With his frame, he should get into the high 90’s with his heater eventually. The righty generates downhill angle from a high three quarters slot with a repeatable delivery that should help him throw strikes consistently.

Francisco Benitez and Gabriel Rodriguez are both right handers that are returning to the DSL for another season. Benitez is a 6-2 187 pound Dominican that posted a 6.08 ERA in 26.2 innings last year. Rodriguez is a 5-11 172 pound Venezuelan who posted a 4.19 ERA last season. The 19-year-old struck out 44 batters in 43 innings.

Oriel Castro, Jorge Ferrer and Daniel Gonzalez are a trio of southpaws that will spend another season in the DSL as well. Castro is a 21-year-old Panamanian that posted a 5.45 ERA last year. The 6-0 175 pounder amassed 53 strikeouts with 28 walks in 38 innings. Ferrer is a 6-3 180 pounder from the Dominican that posted a 4.15 ERA with 42 strikeouts and 24 walks in 30 innings. Gonzalez is a 6-3 160 pounder that posted a 4.71 ERA in 36.1 innings.

The rest of the pitching staff will consist of all newcomers to the system and professional baseball in general. Frankeli Arias is a 6-0 170 pound 19-year-old southpaw from the Dominican Republic. Another lefty is 6-0 168 pound 17-year-old Venezuelan Jeremy Gonzalez.

Ricardo Brizuela is 18-years-old and the right hander stands 6-3 and 198 pounds. Ricardo Gomez is a 6-3 160 pound 17-year-old that was signed out of Venezuela. Juan Jimenez, Jesus Mendez and Jose Rodriguez also signed out of Venezuela. Jimenez is a 6-2 194 pound 19-year-old. Mendez is only 17-years-old and the 6-3 200 pound Rodriguez is 21-years-old.

Jose Mendoza and Ronny Robles both hail from the Dominican Republic. Mendoza is a 6-2 175 pound right hander. He’s 18-years-old. The 20-year-old Robles is 6-2 180 pounds and also throws right handed.

Overview

The Dominican Summer League team will be young and inexperienced overall but the offense should be pretty solid and interesting to follow. Loidel Chapellí Jr. shouldn’t have much trouble with this level of competition and Erick Hernández should easily transition as one of the top 30 prospects in the system. Godwin Bennett out of Nicaragua could be a standout performer as well. Guillermo Rodriguez received a significant bonus with defense as his carrying tool so monitoring his offensive progress will be a focus.

The pitching staff will likely determine how successful this club ultimately ends up being record wise. Adrian Gil and Marcelo Villadares are the most intriguing arms in this group but loud tools and strikeout rates could be meaningful benchmarks as we move along further into the summer.

There are lots of unknowns in this group but the White Sox’s top 30 prospect lists are littered similar players. Jose Rodriguez is playing shortstop every day for the Birmingham Barons and he signed for $50,000 out of the Dominican Republic. Lenyn Sosa is breaking out for the Barons as well and he signed for just $325,000 out of Venezuela.

Bryan Ramos is slugging for the Winston Salem Dash in High-A and he inked a deal for $300,000 out of Cuba. Luis Mieses is starting to figure things out for the Dash as well and he signed out of the Dominican for $428,000 back in the day. One of the best pitchers in the system signed for $250,000 as Cristian Mena is performing for the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers in Low-A.

Many of these players will matriculate stateside over the coming years and it all starts for them in the Dominican Summer League in most cases.

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James Fox
James Fox
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tommytwonines

If your bat speed is too fast for the DSL do they promote you to WI-FI?

Olssox

It just means you’re getting too much fiber in your diet.