Major League Baseball
MLB 26-and-under power rankings: No. 23 Chicago White Sox
Major League Baseball

MLB 26-and-under power rankings: No. 23 Chicago White Sox

Updated Feb. 27, 2023 3:09 a.m. ET

FOX Sports' 26-and-under power rankings are a new spin on the classic prospect rankings. Yes, prospects are important, but with all the game-changing young talent already in the bigs, farm systems alone can’t tell the whole story. So we’re diving deep into every single MLB club, ranking them all by the players in an organization entering their age-26 season or younger — from the bigs to the farm. Each weekday through March 24, we’ll count down from last to first. 

No. 23 Chicago White Sox
26-and-under total score: 13 (out of 30) 

The White Sox have every reason to think highly of 24-year-old outfielder Oscar Colas. Few top prospects have taken the journey that Colas has, all while excelling every step of the way.

The club's No. 2 prospect is a legitimate threat to crack the White Sox’s Opening Day roster, just one year after being acquired. Before last January, when he signed with Chicago for $2.7 million, Colas bounced back and forth between Cuba and Japan. Colas was a two-way player in both countries, playing in the outfield and pitching, too. Though he spent his first full professional season playing right and center field in the minor leagues, Colas still has the tools and skill set to be a two-way star, a la Shohei Ohtani, in the big leagues. 


Of course, if Colas does make the big-league roster out of spring training, the White Sox will bring him on solely as an outfielder. If Colas still had goals of becoming a two-way player, he would need to be held back in the minors longer so that Chicago could continue developing his arm. It appears, though, the White Sox were especially encouraged with the hitting talent he displayed in their farm in 2022.

Colas jumped from high-A to Double-A to Triple-A last summer, slashing .314/.371/.524 with 23 home runs in 117 games across all three levels. It is incredible to think Colas could make his major-league debut with just 526 plate appearances under his belt.

Once again, the White Sox’s willingness to be aggressive on the international free-agent market is paying off. José Abreu and Luis Robert, two of Chicago’s best recent players, also defected from Cuba. Colas’ high ceiling could put him in the same conversation as them, so long as he translates his minor-league success into big-league results. 

The White Sox, all told, have two prospects on MLB Pipeline’s top-100 list, with shortstop Colson Montgomery and Colas at Nos. 57 and 95, respectively. But Chicago also sports some young and proven players already on its major-league roster, while other talents are expected to be called up or receive increased playing time as soon as this coming season. 

Outfielder Eloy Jiménez enjoyed a 140 OPS+ season last year and now, with Andrew Benintendi manning left field, he will likely get reps in right field before the White Sox give him looks at designated hitter. The 26-year-old Jimenez is projected by ZiPS to record a 128 wRC+ in 2023, keeping up much of the same production we have seen from the outfielder since his 2019 rookie season. 

Andrew Vaughn was one of the few White Sox players who didn’t take a step back last year, and he is expected to be a breakout candidate for 2023. Set to enter his age-25 season, Vaughn will continue to get the opportunity to make first base his home in Chicago following the departure of Abreu, who signed with the Astros in November. Vaughn will look to build off his 17-homer, 111-OPS+ season and join an esteemed list of successful Chicago first basemen. 

The White Sox talent rankings favor major-league ready and prospect position players. But the rankings are not as kind on the pitching side. 

Keep an eye out for right-hander Norge Vera, who registered a 1.88 ERA across eight starts and 24 innings in Single-A last year. He struggled to record those same results after promotions to high-A and Double-A, but his fastball has topped out at 100 mph in the past. If the White Sox can continue developing Vera to maximize his stuff, he could become a middle-of-the-rotation starter for Chicago.

Score breakdown
Big-league position players: 7 (out of 10)  
Big-league pitchers: 2 (out of 10)
Prospect position players: 3 (out of 5)  
Prospect pitchers: 1 (out of 5) 

Deesha Thosar is an MLB writer for FOX Sports. She previously covered the Mets as a beat reporter for the New York Daily News. Follow her on Twitter at @DeeshaThosar.

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