The Chicago White Sox had hoped that Oscar Colas would be ready to take over in right field in the near future. That future may be now.
According to manager Pedro Grifol on 670 The Score, Colas is “going to be given every opportunity” to earn the White Sox starting job in right field. He is still going to have competition for the position, but would likely have to fall flat on his face in spring training in order to lose his place in the lineup.
Chicago White Sox putting faith in Oscar Colas for 2023
One can understand why the White Sox are showing this much faith in Colas. He is their second best prospect according to MLB.com, a power hitting outfield with a strong arm who had once been a two way prospect during his time in Japan. Those days are in the past now, but Colas still has the offensive profile to intrigue.
He showed that potential last season in the minors. Colas produced a .314/.371/.524 batting line in his 526 plate appearances across three levels, hitting 23 homers and 24 doubles. There are some reasons for concern, as he drew 38 walks with 120 strikeouts, numbers that trended in the wrong direction as he moved up the White Sox system.
That was especially the case in his brief time at Triple-A. Colas had 12 hits, including two doubles, in his 33 plate appearances, but also drew just two walks while striking out 12 times. As he has just seven games of experience at the level, it would make sense if the White Sox gave him more time in the minors.
It is also a luxury that the White Sox may not be able to afford. They need another run producer in the lineup after Jose Abreu signed with the Astros. Colas should be able to be that player, but it is fair to wonder if he is ready for that role. The White Sox will find out in spring training.
The Chicago White Sox are giving Oscar Colas every chance they can to earn the right field spot. It is a gamble, but it may be one they have to take.