Seeing double, twice: Colas swats a pair of homers again

July 28th, 2022

It took Oscar Colas half of his first Minor League season to prove he was too good for the High-A South Atlantic League. Just over a week in, the Double-A Southern League might not be much of a challenge either.

The second-ranked White Sox prospect left the yard twice for the second time in three games as part of a four-hit effort in the Birmingham Barons’ 8-3 win over the Tennessee Smokies on Wednesday.

Facing No. 7 Cubs prospect Jordan Wicks in the third inning, Colas wasn’t fazed by the left-on-left matchup. The outfielder was caught off balance by a two-strike curveball but used his 60-grade strength to flick it on a line over the wall in right field. Southpaws proved to be of little difficulty for Colas with Winston-Salem before his promotion -- in 38 such plate appearances, he hit .400 with a 1.018 OPS against them.

But all 10 of his home runs entering the night had come against right-handers, and back in that familiar matchup facing Kyle Johnson with a runner on in the fifth inning, Colas did it again. His second of the game doubled Birmingham’s lead, which it held for the rest of the night.

After homering no more than three times in each of the first three months of the season, Colas has gone deep five times in a span of four games. In eight total games with the Barons, the 23-year-old has hit .455 (15-for-33) with seven extra-base hits and 11 RBIs.

It all adds up to what has been nothing short of a superb debut season. Colas is tied for ninth among all full season Minor Leaguers with a .329 batting average and his .919 OPS trails all but one in the White Sox system.

Despite this being his introduction to baseball in the U.S., it isn’t a shock to see a player of Colas’ age and prior professional experience already reaching the upper Minors. After stints in his native Cuba and Japan, Chicago inked him to a $2.7 million bonus with the intention of ushering him up the ranks quickly. Colas’ stellar season was only briefly interrupted by a well-deserved trip to Los Angeles for the Futures Game, where he stood out not for his bat -- though he did single -- but his also impressive glove, robbing Darren Baker with a diving catch in center field.

Though Double-A is a more age-appropriate level, Colas doesn’t appear to be content with where he stands, and perhaps he won’t be until he features in a lineup on the Southside with, among others, compatriots Luis Robert and Yoán Moncada.