White Sox favorites for 'Cuban Ohtani' (source)

May 27th, 2021

The White Sox are the favorite to land Oscar Colás, who was known in some international circles as “the Cuban Ohtani,” when the next international signing period begins on Jan. 15, 2022, according to a source. The deal is expected to be for $2.7 million.

The club has not confirmed an agreement.

The 22-year-old, who ranks No. 2 on the 2020-2021 Top 30 International Prospects list, can play all three outfield positions but will likely end up as a corner outfielder because of his strong arm.

The 6-foot-1, 209-pound Colás has pitched in the past and his repertoire features a 95 mph fastball, but his days on the mound appear to be over. According to sources, he no longer wants to pitch and it’s very unlikely the White Sox will use him in that role.

What Colás can do is hit. In 2019, the left-handed batter hit .302/.350/.516 with 11 home runs in the Minors for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in Japan and .278 with one home run in seven games for the organization’s Nippon Professional Baseball club. He did not pitch for either team.

In three years with Cuba’s Serie Nacional, he hit .305 and slugged .487 with nine homers. He pitched for Holguin in 2018-19, allowing one run in 3 1/3 innings, all in relief.

What’s more, Colás slashed .289/.389/.533 in 54 at-bats in 2019, his third and final season for Santiago in Cuba’s Serie Nacional.

Colás is currently training in the Dominican Republic and is expected to play winter ball for the Estrellas Orientales under manager and former Major League player Fernando Tatis Sr. Fernando Tatis Jr. was originally signed by the White Sox in 2015, and his younger brother Elijah Tatis signed with the club in 2019.

According to the Kyodo News last summer, there had been some contention regarding Colás’ contract in Japan, which grants the Hawks five option years. Colás’ representatives claimed the contract is invalid, given his age when the agreement was reached and the way it was negotiated between the Hawks and Cuban baseball officials.

The Hawks eventually granted him free agency last December. He was declared a free agent by Major League Baseball later in the month.