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Where do Oscar Colas and Erick Hernandez fit in the White Sox Prospect Rankings?

by Michael Suareo

A few weeks ago, I released my offseason White Sox prospect rankings. In that article, I discussed international prospects Oscar Colas and Erick Hernandez separately due to their signings being unofficial. Well, now that the international signing period has begun and the Sox have announced the signings, it’s time to see where the two would stack up in my rankings.

Oscar Colas (OF)

Colas is the prized possession of this international signing period. Ranked fifth on MLB.com’s international prospect rankings, he has been one of the most hyped prospects for several years now. He’s also been dubbed by some as the “Cuban Ohtani” due to his experience as both a hitter and a pitcher. While that’s likely not an accurate representation of him as a player, Colas will almost surely move strictly to the outfield upon signing. That should not take away from his potential outlook, however.

The 23-year-old has massive power from the left side of the plate, and an arm that should play well in either corner outfield spot. Colas possesses superstar potential and should immediately be in the conversation as one of the top prospects in the White Sox farm system.

While Colas has a comparable amount of upside to shortstop Colson Montgomery and right-handed pitcher Norge Vera, there are a couple of drawbacks that put him at a disadvantage. The first is his age and the usual questions surrounding when he will first play state-side. According to James Fegan of The Athletic, it appears Colas will be playing state-side, though at a lower minor league level – much lower than a typical 23-year-old would be expected to play at.

While that isn’t necessarily his fault, the two aforementioned prospects are still younger and have already begun their developmental process within the organization. That must be taken into account in this conversation.

Right now, Colson Montgomery holds his status as the number one prospect in this organization. His age, tools, and the fact that he is (for now) sticking at shortstop give him the advantage over everyone else. Vera, who was previously my number two ranked prospect, I think gets bumped down here for Colas. While it is close, Vera was in a similar position this time last year, where he was older coming into the season and unable to make his stateside debut due to reasons out of his control. While Vera has a chance to rise in the rankings this season, there is still some unknown about him as well.

Because Colas is widely considered to be a better prospect out of the two signing periods, he gets a leg up and takes over as my second-ranked White Sox prospect.

Erick Hernandez (OF)

While Hernandez doesn’t have the same hype around him as Colas, he is still a really exciting signing for the White Sox. He may be as advanced of a pure hitter as anyone in this year’s international player pool. The Sox haven’t signed a prospect with his youth and loud tools in quite a while, so it is easy to get drawn into his high ceiling.

The problem with ranking him too high, though, is that there is just so much unknown about him. Because he is only 17, there isn’t as much in-game action to go off, and he won’t make his debut stateside until 2023 at the absolute earliest. While he has everything you could want in this type of signing and he certainly has the ability to be a fast riser, he just misses the cut to be in my top 15 prospects this offseason. Keep his name in the back of your mind, though, as a solid professional debut could shoot him up the rankings by this time next year.

Updated Rankings:

  1. Colson Montgomery (SS)
  2. Oscar Colas (OF)
  3. Norge Vera (RHP)
  4. Yoelqui Cespedes (OF)
  5. Jose Rodriguez (SS)
  6. Wes Kath (3B)
  7. Jake Burger (3B)
  8. Sean Burke (RHP)
  9. Jared Kelley (RHP)
  10. Matthew Thompson (RHP)

Next Five:

  • Micker Adolfo (OF)
  • Andrew Dalquist (RHP)
  • Bryan Ramos (2B/3B)
  • Yolbert Sanchez (2B/SS)
  • Romy Gonzalez (SS)

Honorable Mention:

  • Erick Hernandez (OF)
  • Luis Mieses (OF)
  • Tanner McDougal (RHP)
  • Jimmy Lambert (RHP)
  • Jonathan Stiever (RHP)
  • Cristian Mena (RHP)

For more updates on these prospects and more, be sure to follow us on social media @SoxOn35th!

Featured Photo: MLB Pipeline/Twitter

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