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22 White Sox minor leaguers become free agents

by Joe Binder

A number of players within the White Sox organization could be playing for new teams in 2023.

According to MiLB-Transactions (@tombaseball29) on Twitter, a total of 22 minor leaguers have elected free agency. These moves became official on November 10, and include the following players:

  • Angel Acevedo (RHP)
  • Felix Paulino (RHP)
  • Emilio Vargas (RHP)
  • Alejandro Mateo (RHP)
  • Jhan Marinez (RHP)
  • Tyler Johnson (RHP)
  • Dan Winkler (RHP)
  • Mike Wright Jr. (RHP)
  • Scott Blewett (RHP)
  • Garrett Davila (LHP)
  • Luis Amaya (LHP)
  • Luis Moncada (LHP)
  • Skylar Arias (LHP)
  • Kyle Kubat (LHP)
  • Anderson Severino (LHP)
  • Zach Muckenhirn (LHP)
  • Nick Ciuffo (C)
  • Xavier Fernandez (C)
  • Harvin Mendoza (1B)
  • Zach Remillard (3B)
  • Blake Rutherford (OF)
  • Micker Adolfo (OF)

Out of this group, perhaps the most recognizable is outfielder Micker Adolfo. Things have not gone according to plan for the now 26-year-old since he joined the White Sox during the 2013 international signing period. As a 16-year-old out of the Dominican Republic, he was praised by scouts for his massive raw power and cannon arm that made him destined to be an impact corner outfielder. Once ranked second to Eloy Jimenez in MLB.com’s international prospect rankings, Adolfo has taken a drastically different path and stalled in the minor leagues due to injuries and consistency issues.

During the 2021 season, Adolfo looked like he may have turned the corner as he slugged 15 home runs and posted a .843 OPS and 128 wRC+ in 57 games at Double-A Birmingham, enough to earn himself a mid-season promotion. While with Triple-A Charlotte, he continued his impressive campaign with 10 home runs, .814 OPS, and 112 wRC+ in 44 games. Though signs began pointing towards a healthy Adolfo showing off his potential, he just couldn’t find a way to sustain those numbers in 2022. His slash line fell to .231/.287/.417 and included just 15 home runs, 37 RBI, 83 wRC+, and .704 OPS in 96 games with the Knights.

Almost as disappointing in his White Sox tenure was outfielder Blake Rutherford. He was originally dealt by the Yankees during the 2017 trade deadline deal that sent Todd Frazier, David Robertson, and Tommy Kahnle back to New York. By the end of that season, Rutherford was ranked as MLB Pipeline’s No. 37 overall prospect and followed it up by putting together his best campaign with High-A Winston-Salem in 2018. Like Adolfo, Rutherford couldn’t find the regular success everyone had hoped for despite being considered one of the corner outfielders of the future.

Over the past two seasons, Rutherford has shown off his durability as he’s appeared in at least 115 games for Triple-A Charlotte. In 2022, the 25-year-old trended ever so slightly in the right direction by hitting .271/.311/.428 with 13 home runs, 58 RBI, 93 wRC+, and .739 OPS. Still, these numbers were nowhere near his early career stats that provided the organization with hope for a possible addition at 35th and Shields.

Though both of these players and the others mentioned above may have reached the end of their time in the organization, we will be watching closely to see which other teams will provide them with another opportunity.

Be sure to follow along @SoxOn35th for continued coverage!

Featured Photo: Laura Wolff Photography/Charlotte Knights

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And the payroll dump begins…..

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