As both the Arizona Complex League and the Dominican Summer League begin action for the 2023 season, we take a look at some prospects in the White Sox farm system who are early in their careers but are already leaving strong impressions on scouts through their on-field performance.
Dominican Summer League
The Dominican Summer League roster is comprised of international signings from the past couple of years. While the team’s scouting department has seen these players showcase their talent at the amateur level, more often than not the team won’t learn exactly what kind of players they are until they begin playing professional baseball. The Dominican Sumer League provides many of these players their first opportunity for just that.
The most recognizable name on this roster for White Sox fans is Juan Uribe Jr., the son of former White Sox infielder Juan Uribe. The Sox inked him for a $200,000 signing bonus in the 2023 international signing period, and while he has primarily played shortstop to date, scouts expect him to shift over to second base. He is a right-handed hitter who according to scouts has shown solid pitch recognition.
At the top of the most recent international signing class, Luis Reyes looks to make his debut on the mound for the DSL White Sox in 2023. Signing for a $700,000 signing bonus (tied for the most for the White Sox 2023 class), Reyes ranked 41st in MLB Pipeline’s international prospects top 50 list and was the top-rated pitcher from the Dominican Republic. The 17-year-old has a projectable 6’3 190 lb frame and possesses a plus fastball that already tops out at 96. He has also been praised for his poise and makeup.
The other player who the Sox signed for a $700,000 signing bonus, Abraham Nunez Jr., signed as an outfielder out of the Dominican Republic. He has been noted to possess plenty of raw power and bat speed, along with enough athleticism to make the White Sox comfortable trying him out in center field.
An exciting one to keep an eye on, Angelo Hernandez signed as a catcher out of Venezuela for $500,000. His defense is seen as his most advanced trait at this point in his development, as he has shown an above-average arm along with solid receiving skills and good movement behind the plate. He has plenty of raw power in his bat, however, to develop into a prospect who can make an impact both at and behind the plate.
Two more names to look out for on the DSL White Sox this season are D’Angelo Tejada and Rafael Alvarez, who both signed for $350,000. Alvarez, who signed out of Cuba, played shortstop and left field, but the White Sox will be asking him to shift over to third base this season. He has raw power, a good arm, and walked more than he struck out on Cuba’s U-15 national team. Tejada signed as a shortstop out of the Dominican Republic. His loudest tool to date is his plus-plus speed, which gives him plenty of range defensively and makes him dangerous on the basepaths.
Arizona Complex League
The Arizona Complex League will add fresh faces once players from the July MLB draft are signed, but for now, the majority of the team is players who have been promoted from the DSL and holdovers from last year’s team. A few of the White Sox’ most prominent recent international signings will be making their stateside debuts on this roster during the 2023 season.
The two biggest names on this roster are Ryan Burrowes and Erick Hernandez. Burrowes, who signed for $75,000 in the 2022 international signing period, is already being viewed as one of the biggest steals of the entire class. Primarily sticking at shortstop last year, Burrowes held a 120 wRC+ and showcased impressive abilities at the plate in his debut season and proved that he has plenty of athleticism and arm strength to stick at the position long term. He possesses a power/speed combo that could see him develop into a 20/20 type of player long-term, and his plate discipline and pitch recognition are advanced well beyond his years. A strong stateside debut could see him skyrocket in both team and national rankings.
Erick Hernandez was the biggest name on the DSL roster heading into the 2022 season, as he signed for a $1,000,000 signing bonus and was ranked 28th in MLB Pipelines international prospect rankings. After a scorching hot start to his career, he eventually hit a wall and finished the season with only an 81 wRC+ and a .624 OPS. Nagging injuries could be the cause of his rough finish to the season, and he looks to bounce back as he is completely healthy entering the 2023 season. His hit tool drew comparisons to Juan Soto prior to making his debut, and while that was a bit ambitious, he has plenty of talent at the plate to cement himself in the White Sox’ future plans with a strong 2023 season.
Arnold Prado doesn’t get talked about as much as Burrowes and Hernandez, but he had an extremely impressive professional debut season and has earned his chance to further showcase his abilities in his stateside debut in 2023. Prado finished his 2022 campaign with a .345 batting average, a .917 OPS, and a 155 wRC+, showcasing some truly impressive abilities at the plate. He also featured a mature approach at the plate, drawing walks in 15.2% of his plate appearances. While he could stand to tap into his raw power more consistently, there is no doubt his 6’3 200 lb frame has the ability to hit the ball over the fences. Prado is my choice as the most underrated prospect in the White Sox farm system, and he has an opportunity to get his name out there more this coming season.
Two holdovers from last year’s ACL roster to watch are Dario Borrero and Manuel Guariman. A 6’5 200+ lb hitter who has spent time both at first base and in the outfield, Borrero has hit well at the plate but has yet to tap into the plus raw power that has made him an intriguing prospect. He hit .313 at the plate in his stateside debut season last year and only struck out in 16.6% of his at-bats, so some adjustments could allow him to drive the ball in the air more this season and make a name for himself.
Guariman struggled a bit at the plate in 2022, leading the Sox to elect to have him repeat at the Arizona Complex League. His strikeout rate more than doubled from his time in the DSL, and he failed to show any extra-base hit ability. He was relatively highly touted when the Sox signed him in 2021 for a $475,000 signing bonus, so he has the talent to get back on track in the 2023 season.
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