Chicago White Sox deep dive: Rookie League second baseman


“Deep Dive” focuses on the depth of every position in the Chicago White Sox organization.

Welcome to another year of Deep Dive, where we take a look at the past, present and future of every position within the White Sox organization. Each position is divided into five parts:

  1. Depth in Rookie Levels (Dominica to Arizona)
  2. Depth in A-ball (Kannapolis and Winston-Salem)
  3. Depth in upper levels (Birmingham and Charlotte)
  4. Under the radar-type of detail on a White Sox player
  5. Free agent options

With the loss of Nick Madrigal in the Craig Kimbrel trade and the possibility that César Hernández’s option will not go through, the White Sox can either choose internally or select free agent / trade options. Aside from Yolbert Sánchez and Bryan Ramos (who will be profiled during third base’s deep dive), the internal closet is relatively bare.

Below are the players who primarily played second base for the ACL and DSL teams in 2021.

The ages below are as of April 1, 2022.

ACL White Sox

Antoine Espinoza
165 pounds
Age: 20 years
Sticks / throw: R / R
Other positions played: 3B, SS

Espinoza signed with the White Sox on International Signing Day last year. While his numbers weren’t great this year, they were actually better than the next two guys on this list, who have much higher pedigrees.

In 55 games totaling 190 batting appearances for Team DSL in 2019, Espinoza has reduced by .263 / .347 / .332 with six doubles, two triples, one homerun, 32 RBIs, seven stolen goals, 20 walks. (9.0%) and 25 strikeouts (11.2%). He spent 46% of his time on second goal, while having a decent time on third (33.6%) and short (20.4%).

After the Covid-19 virus devastated the 2020 season, Espinoza joined the ACL Sox this year and provided the best offensive production of any rookie second baseman – of course, that doesn’t say much. Splitting his time mostly between second and third, Espinoza reduced to .243 / .296 / .271 with three doubles, five RBIs, eight walks (7.0%) and 27 strikeouts covering 107 at the stick for a 57 wRC + (23.5%). To its credit, it came back strong in September by slashing 0.320 / 0.393 / 360 to provide a glimmer of improvement. Defensively, he looks natural at second base, but struggled in the hot corner in a small sample.

Expect Espinoza to start the 2022 season with Kannapolis, but don’t be surprised if asked to repeat the ACL instead.

Elie Tatis
155 pounds
Age: 20 years
Sticks / throw: R / R
Other positions played: SS

Probably the biggest name on this list, Elijah is the son of former major league Fernando Tatís and brother of former Sox farmer Fernando Jr. According to’s Jesse Sanchez, “Tatís has a strong and precise arm. and impressed the scouts with the way the ball jumps out of his bat, as well as his ability to line up fast balls. With that kind of ability, the White Sox were happy to sign Elijah with a $ 500,000 bonus on the day of the international signing of 2019.

Tatís struggled with his first professional ball taste in 2019 with the DSL Sox, as he reduced to just 0.187 / .300 / .213 in 75 at-bat with two doubles, five stolen goals and a 58 wRC + despite almost as much walking (13) while crossing out (16). With 2020 being canceled due to Covid-19, Tatís was expected to bounce back with another full year of physical development. However, his struggles have only worsened for the ACL team this year, as he slashed a paltry 0.106 / 0.164 / 0.133 in 113 at-bat with three doubles, six RBIs, eight goals. on balls (6.6%), 58 strikeouts (47.5%) and an incredibly low 17 wRC +. Defensively, he showed much better range in the second than in the short distance, and was also more confident (0.973 percent on the court vs. 0.857).

So far Tatís has reduced a disappointing .138 / .164 / .133 in two rookie campaigns. Is it just because he’s not that good, or has the dev team let him down so far? It is still a little early to give a definitive answer to this question. He was almost younger than the league average this year, so despite his baseball bloodlines, Tatís seems destined to repeat the ACL until he can tighten his discipline at the plate and hit with more authority ( just five more hits, all doubles, in his career nowadays).

DSL White Sox

Caesar Jimenez
160 pounds
Age: 21 years old
Sticks / throw: R / R
Other positions played: SS, 3B

Cesar (the player formerly known as Enoy) Jiménez signed with the White Sox in October 2018 with great fanfare as he is the brother of Sox outfielder Eloy. Cesar, who is obviously much shorter than his big brother, spent the vast majority of his time defensively that year (91.8%) on second base and did a respectable job there. However, concerns have grown over his typing skills. In his first professional year with the DSL Sox, the Dominican Republic native reduced just 0.208 / .282 / .247 in 29 games with three doubles, six RBIs, four stolen goals, eight walks, 15 strikeouts and 57 wRC +.

Although not a great year 2021, Jiménez performed much better when he returned to the DSL squad after the canceled 2020 season. This year, in 94 batting appearances, Jiménez has reduced to .255 / .339 / .319 with three doubles, a homerun, 10 RBIs, 12 walks, 27 strikeouts, eight steals and 93 wRC +. He posted above-average reach at second base, third base and shortstop, so his niche could be that of a utility infielder until he uses a stronger bat. . At more than two years older than the league average, Jiménez’s time with the Dominican League is over. He will probably debut next year in the ACL.

Javier Mora
170 pounds
Age: 19
Sticks / throw: R / R
Other positions played: SS

Not much was known about Mora, a native of Venezuela, when he signed a minor league contract with the Sox on January 24, 2020. Of course, he couldn’t play his first professional game until 2021, in due to Covid-19. Rust was evident in his 2021 results for the DSL Sox, as Mora reduced to just .152 / .292 / .192 in 99 at-bat with four doubles, four RBIs, three stolen goals, 18 goals out. balls (15.0%), 27 strikeouts (22.5%) and 56 wRC +. He handled every ball in his direction defensively, although his range was below average in both second and short. Mora was middle-aged in the league, but it looks like a return to the Dominican is in order until he can step up his attacking game.

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