White Sox Renew International Focus
Paddy makes his mark early with Chicago
CHICAGO—The results might not be known for at least four years, but the White Sox wasted little time in showing their commitment to Latin America—specifically in the Dominican Republic.
In six weeks after the July 2 international signing period opened, the White Sox agreed to terms with four high-profile players: third baseman Luis Castillo, shortstop Johan Cruz, outfielder Hanlet Otano and righthander Victor Done.
This reflects the renewed interest the White Sox have shown since they hired Marco Paddy as special assistant to the general manager for international operations last winter.
"Obviously, we have a lot of ground to make up," Paddy said from Parral, Mexico, where he was watching Cuba play Hong Kong in the first round of the inaugural 15-and-under World Championship. "But the support from (general manager) Kenny Williams, (assistant GM) Rick Hahn and the front office is there. We're going at full-bore speed."
The aggressiveness shows the White Sox are dedicated to repairing the damage done five years ago in a bonus-skimming scandal involving former executive David Wilder.
The Sox addressed several areas with the signing of the four Dominican players.
"We knew we had to put in the work to know the kids as players and as persons as well as their families," Paddy said. "And we hope the results are there down the road."
The 6-foot-2, 205-pound Castillo has a chance to stay at third base and has displayed impressive power. Cruz has displayed impressive range and will develop into a consistent contact hitter. He made a favorable impression on team vice president Buddy Bell during Bell's visit to the Dominican.
Otano draws comparisons to Moises Alou for his blend of power, bat speed and a strong arm. Otano's parents also serve in the Dominican Navy. In addition to possessing a 91 mph fastball, the 6-foot-3 Done can throw a big breaking ball for strikes consistently.
• The Sox promoted outfielder Trayce Thompson from high Class A Winston-Salem to Double-A Birmingham for the final three weeks of the minor league season. Thompson, 21, had 22 home runs and 88 RBIs for Winston-Salem.
• Infielder Tyler Kuhn was sold to the Diamondbacks. Kuhn, 25, batted .273/.309/.384 at Triple-A Charlotte this season.