Chicago White Sox 2024 International Review


For the White Sox 2024 international signings, the biggest bonuses went to position players. Yet the pitching they brought in is just as intriguing, especially from Venezuela, with multiple arrow-up arms. These are reports on nine international prospects to watch this season in the Dominican Summer League. 

Top Of The Class

Nicknamed “The Terminator,” Eduardo Herrera signed with the White Sox for $1.8 million. Herrera, 17, had spent time at shortstop, then attempted to convert to catching, but he moved to third base before signing. A student of the game, Herrera played for Venezuela in the U-18 World Cup Qualifier in 2022 shortly after he turned 15 and hung in well against older competition.

He’s 6-foot-3, 210 pounds, a righthanded hitter with a simple lower half and a loose swing that he uses to drive the ball well from right-center field over to his pull side. It’s not an all-or-nothing approach for him to be able to generate that power, a potential plus tool, though scouts were split on how they saw him fare against live pitching, with a possible power-over-hit profile. Herrera is big and has some risk that he could end up at first base, but he has done an excellent job so far staying on top of his conditioning to carry his weight well and maintain his mobility. He has a plus arm and draws praise for his engaging, on-field leadership.

Names To Know

Judrick Profar, SS, Curacao: Profar comes from a baseball family. He’s the younger brother of Padres outfielder Jurickson Profar and of former Rangers infielder Juremi Profar, who reached Triple-A. Like his brothers, Judrick also played in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pa., with Profar signing for $600,000. He’s 17 and moves his hands and feet well for a player his size. Having grown up around the game and working out with pro players, Profar has a high baseball IQ for his age and a good internal clock. He should get a chance to stay at shortstop, though it is a bigger body type so there’s a chance he might outgrow it and play either second or third base. Profar has shown solid bat-to-ball skills from the right side of the plate with gap power. 

Christian Gonzalez, OF, Venezuela: Gonzalez is a 17-year-old, lefthanded outfielder who signed for $550,000. His best tool is his speed, with plus-plus times both in the 60-yard dash and going home to first. It’s center field range and a contact-oriented bat, playing small ball and spraying line drives around the field without much extra-base impact. He’s 5-foot-11, 185 pounds with the speed to become a high stolen base threat. 

Jesus Premoli, 1B, Venezuela: Premoli spent time catching as an amateur, then moved to third base, but the White Sox signed him for $550,000 and put him at first base. He’s huge for 17 at 6-foot-4, 225 pounds, a frame he will have to work to maintain with his value coming from what he’s able to do at the plate. His lefthanded power is his greatest strength and has a chance to be plus, with a split camp on his pure hitting ability, but scouts highest on him believing he had a low-effort swing. 

Yhoiker Fajardo, RHP, Venezuela: Signed for $400,000, Fajardo has starter traits and has been trending up, developing into one of the top Venezuelan pitchers for 2024. He’s 6-foot-3, 185 pounds at 17, a frame with more upside to add to a lively fastball that has already climbed from his amateur days. Fajardo was pitching in the mid-to-upper 80s when teams were scouting him, touched the low 90s by the end of the year and this spring has been sitting in the low 90s and as high as 95 mph. He’s a good athlete without much effort to his operation, he has good arm action and the ball comes out of his hand cleanly. There should be more velocity in the tank. His repeatable delivery helps him throw strikes with a willingness to pitch inside more than most his age. His low-80s slider has late bite when it’s on to help him miss bats. He shows some feel for a firm changeup as well. 

Orlando Suarez, RHP, Venezuela: When Suarez was working out for clubs, he attracted attention for his size and smooth delivery. Now he has some of the best stuff among 2024 pitchers signed out of Venezuela. The recipient of a $375,000 bonus, Suarez has grown to a strong, powerful 6-foot-4, 215 pounds at 17 with power stuff to match. He has been up to 95 mph with a high-spin fastball and is able to spin a curveball with extremely tight rotation, at times eclipsing 3,000 rpm. His curveball has the potential to rack up a lot of swing-and-miss, with a sinker, splitter, a firm changeup and a slider in his mix as well. Suarez is still learning to corral his power stuff in the zone for more consistent strikes, but he’s not a max-effort thrower, with an easy delivery that should aid the development of his control. 

Jehancarlos Mendez, SS, Dominican Republic: The White Sox sign a lot of international prospects who come from baseball families. Mendez is a cousin of Eduardo Nuñez, a former 11-year big leaguer who played all over the field during his career mostly with the Yankees, Twins and Red Sox. Mendez is one of the youngest players in the class—he turns 17 on Aug. 9—and signed for $260,000. While a lot of young shortstops look good fielding groundballs in a showcase but are not yet efficient defenders in games,

Mendez is a fundamentally sound fielder at shortstop who takes good angles to the ball, has clean hands and a swift transfer to get rid of the ball quickly. He is a below-average runner, though at 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, he has an athletic frame and a clean stride and he is young, so depending on his physical development might get faster as he gets stronger. Scouts highest on Mendez thought he had a simple righthanded swing with solid bat-to-ball skills and a chance to grow into 10-15 home runs. 

Sleeper Watch

One more Venezuelan pitcher with a chance to pop from this class is righthander Alexandre Valdiviezo, who signed for $100,000. He turns 17 on June 4, so he’s toward the younger end of the class, but he has a lot of strength already in his compact 6-foot, 205-pound frame. Valdiviezo could end up with a build along the line of righthander Brusdar Graterol, with a fastball up to 93 mph now and a chance for much bigger numbers to come. He shows feel to spin a hard slider as well that’s ahead of his changeup. Valdiviezo should get the opportunity to develop as a starter but has the look of a potential hard-thrower reliever. 

The other arm to watch for the White Sox in the DSL this season is Venezuelan righthander Marco Barrios. He signed in October last year, so while he’s not technically part of the 2024 class, he will make his pro debut this year. Barrios just turned 18 this month and is 6-foot-3, 195 pounds with a chance to stick as a starter because of his delivery, arm action and ability to throw strikes with a fastball that’s up to 93 and could climb higher, with a slider and changeup rounding his repertoire.

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