White Sox protect 2 players from Rule 5 Draft

November 16th, 2022

CHICAGO -- Infielders and were added to the White Sox 40-man roster Tuesday when the team selected their contracts from Triple-A Charlotte.

Neither move was a surprise, with Ramos ranked No. 5 and Rodriguez sitting at No. 7 among the White Sox Top 30 prospects, according to MLB Pipeline. Both players could have been exposed to the Rule 5 Draft on Dec. 7 at the Winter Meetings in San Diego if they were not protected by 40-man roster status.

Rodriguez, 21, slashed .280/.340/.430 with 21 doubles, six triples, 11 home runs, 68 RBIs, 75 runs scored and 40 stolen bases in 104 games with Double-A Birmingham in 2022. He ranked among Southern League leaders in steals (second), triples (tied for second), hits (third), batting average (fourth), RBIs (tied for fifth), runs scored (sixth) and total bases (seventh, 189). Rodriguez went 22-for-69 with four doubles, nine homers and 17 RBIs over 17 games in August before suffering a season-ending left hand fracture.

Originally signed as an international free agent on Feb. 13, 2018, Rodriguez played 43 games at second base and 53 games at shortstop for the Barons. White Sox assistant general manager/player development Chris Getz spoke of Rodriguez’s talent and development during an interview in mid-August, mentioning that a nagging injury during Spring Training contributed to a slower start for Rodriguez in ’22.

“He was having a bit of an uphill battle. But [it's impressive] for him to dig himself out of a statistical hole like he has, and [he's] certainly made adjustments in his swing,” Getz said. “He's calmed his base and he's gotten much more direct to the ball.

“He's got such fire in him. He loves to play. He's a fearless baseball player and we've been playing him at both shortstop and second base. But offensively he's really come alive, and it's been nice to see.”

In four Minor League seasons with the White Sox, Rodriguez has a slash line of .291/.334/.449 with 68 doubles, 17 triples, 36 homers, 173 RBIs, 213 runs scored and 93 stolen bases.

Ramos, 20, featured a combined slash line of .266/.338/.455 with 19 doubles, one triple, 22 home runs, 86 RBIs and 72 runs scored over 120 games last season between High-A Winston-Salem and Birmingham.

Ramos ranked among White Sox organizational leaders in RBIs (third), home runs (fifth), hits (sixth), total bases (sixth, 210), runs scored (eighth), slugging percentage (eighth) and extra-base hits (tied for ninth). Ramos hit .406 during a 15-game hitting streak running from April 10-30, with six doubles, three homers and 15 RBIs. The international free agent from Cuba originally signed on July 2, 2018, and played primarily at third base but saw action at second with the Barons.

Tuesday’s moves increase the White Sox 40-man roster to 38. Outfielder Luis Mieses (No. 21) and infielder Yolbert Sanchez (No. 26) also were among the team’s Top 30 prospects and are Rule 5 eligible but were not added to the White Sox 40-man.