Oscar Colas of the Chicago White Sox smiles prior to a game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on September 04, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
By Julian Guilarte
World Baseball Network
Chicago White Sox outfielder Cuban Oscar Colas, 24, will play with the Toros del Este this winter in the Dominican Republic. The news was reported by Francy Romero of Beisbolfr.com.
Colas will join 14 Cuban players on the Toros del Este. Outfielder JP Martinez, and left-handed pitchers Darien Nunez, and Raul Valdes are some of the more notable Cubans that he will be joining with the Toros del Este.
The Toros del Este were formed in 1983 and has won the LIDOM championship three times, in 1995, 2011 and 2020.
Oscar Colas signed with the Chicago White Sox as an international free agent on January 25, 2022, for a $2.7 million signing bonus and was the fifth-ranked international prospect on MLB Pipeline in 2022. He was also the White Sox’s second-ranked prospect going into the 2022 season.
Colas was hyped as the “Cuban Ohtani” and threw a fastball clocked as high as 95 miles per hour, but he shifted his focus to hitting with the White Sox. White Sox executive Marco Paddy talked about Colas wanting to stick to hitting on the day of his signing.
“He wants to be a position player and he feels that he’s got a better chance to be successful as a position player, and we feel like his development as a pitcher would take much longer than a position player,” Paddy told the Chicago Tribune, adding that he felt that Colas could get to the big leagues quickly with his power and strong fielding ability at all three outfield positions.
Colas played in the Cuban National Series for three years, with his last appearance being in 2016-17. He played in 23 games for Santiago de Cuba, and in 95 at-bats, he had four home runs, 10 RBI, and an OPS of .863. After the Cuban National Series, he went overseas to play in Japan.
He played in the developmental Japan Western League from 2018-19, hitting 12 home runs and had 64 RBI in two seasons with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks in 398 at-bats. In 2019 he got called up by the Hawks to make his NBP debut on August 18 and hit a home run in his first plate appearance. He only played seven games with them.
Colas became an MLB international free agent when he defected from Cuba on December 23, 2020. Due to his lack of professional experience at 22 years old, he was only allowed to sign a minor league contract in the offseason after 2020. The White Sox were interested, but didn’t have enough international bonus money to sign him after signing Yoneis Cespedes’s brother Yoelki, who is also an outfielder, and pitcher Norge Vera that same offseason.
Both parties had to wait until next offseason to come to a deal. Colas added to the White Sox presence of Cuban players such as Yasmani Grandal, Yoan Moncada, Luis Robert, and Jose Abreu.
Colas started his 2022 season with the White Sox High-A affiliate at Winston-Salem, where in 59 games he had seven home runs, 42 RBI, and an OPS of .845. Colas was selected to represent the White Sox and the American League in the MLB All-Star Futures Game.
He was promoted to their Double-A affiliate, the Birmingham Barons, on July 12.
In 51 games with the Barons, he had 14 home runs, 33 RBI, and an OPS of .928, and was to Triple-A Charlotte on September 20, where he had two home runs and four RBI in seven games.
James Fagan of the Athletic spoke with Colas about his hitting approach during Spring Training on March 10, 2023.
“You can see in spring training, I’ve been more selective with pitches I’m swinging at and I can recognize better those breaking balls that are going out of the zone”, Colas said through an interpreter.
Colas expanded on this and expressed how important it was for him to stick to his plan and not swing at breaking pitches from the hip down.
Colas broke camp with the White Sox this season but got sent back down to Triple-A on May 2, 2023. Colas was recalled by the White Sox on July 4. He got sent down to Triple-A again on September 11. He’s played 75 games with the White Sox this season and has five home runs, 19 RBI, and four stolen bases in 245 at-bats.