(670 The Score) The White Sox have paved the way for 24-year-old Oscar Colas to be their everyday right fielder in 2023, and they’re confident that he’s going to be a difference-maker.
“He got an important taste of Triple-A last year,” White Sox assistant general manager/player development Chris Getz said. “He has played well in all areas of the game. He has really good power, a strong arm. He just loves to compete. He plays passionately. He has a chance to be a real major league impact player. There is a real aggressiveness as to how he plays the game. He has the ability to make adjustments at the plate just because how talented his hands are. We really feel he has a chance to help our major league club.”
A native of Cuba, Colas is the second-ranked prospect in the White Sox’s farm system. He hit .314 with 23 homers, 79 RBIs and an .895 OPS in 117 games split between three levels in the minor leagues in 2022. He hit .306 with a .928 OPS in 51 games at Double-A Birmingham, and he impressed in a brief stint at Triple-A Charlotte, posting a .387 average and 1.069 OPS in seven games there.
At every turn, Colas “got better each time he got challenged,” Getz said. He’ll be counted on to provide power and consistency from the left side of the plate, an area the White Sox struggled in during a disappointing 2022 season.
"Oscar can impact a game in a lot of ways, in a positive way,” said new Triple-A Charlotte manager Justin Jirschele, who managed Colas at Double-A in 2022. "He can carry a team both offensively and defensively. He is a guy who brings a ton of energy to the park with him each day. He is a competitor and wants to win. Oscar comes prepared every day with a commitment for winning. His teammates love him and the energy he brings.
“You see the Latin American players gravitate toward Oscar. He was kind of the ‘El Caballo’ of the team down there. You watch him with the other guys, and he always has their attention and is getting them laughing. I didn't understand what he said in Spanish sometimes, but those guys were rolling on the ground laughing. He is a really funny guy with a great personality. What I see is him being a great leader in that aspect with some of those younger Latin American players. It’s due not only to the physical tools he has but the makeup that shows through and the real character that he has.”
Jirschele also detailed the areas in which Colas has been focused on improving.
“He was working on his defense and baserunning a lot,” Jirschele said. “He played a lot of center field until he got to Birmingham, where he played more right field. He just needed to sharpen up his routes in the outfield and separate his offense from his defense. When his bat isn't impactful, he has the ability to change a game with his defense and throwing. He did that numerous times for us throwing runners out at the plate. He took a step forward knowing he can change a game on multiple levels.”
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.
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