Romy Gonzalez: White Sox 2021 Minor League Player Of The Year
When shortstop Romy Gonzalez joined the White Sox from Triple-A Charlotte on Sept. 1, he was widely unknown to the big league staff.
“I've never seen him,” Chicago manager Tony La Russa said.
White Sox catcher Zack Collins, who was a college teammate at the University of Miami in 2016, knew all about Gonzalez.
“I played against him in high school, too,” Collins said. “It’s pretty amazing what he’s done this year. Really cool to see him get to the big leagues and make his dream come true.”
Starting the year at Double-A Birmingham after missing 2020 to the pandemic, Gonzalez hit .267/.355/.502 with 20 home runs in 78 games before being promoted to Charlotte on Aug. 20.
In nine games at Triple-A, Gonzalez hit .344 with hit three homers and was off to Chicago.
The 25-year-old Gonzalez didn't know for sure he would start at Double-A, let alone be called up to Chicago.
“Not that I didn't think it was a possibility, because I really spent this past 2020 working extremely hard,” he said.
Not only did the 6-foot-2, 215-pound Gonzalez show impressive power at Birmingham, he played second base, shortstop and third base.
"Ever since the 2019 instructional league where we put him at shortstop, it seemed to kind of unleash this offensive player,” White Sox farm director Chris Getz said.
“He was always a guy who we thought had hitting ability, but there was something about being in the middle of the diamond that I think really helped him gain some confidence.”
Gonzalez was an outfielder when drafted in the 18th round in 2018. Now, his defensive versatility is another plus.
"I'm extremely comfortable everywhere,” the 25-year-old Gonzalez said. “I love playing defense. It's pretty cool to bounce around and play different positions, change of scenery.”
— After batting .264 and hitting 13 home runs in 107 games at Double-A Birmingham, catcher Carlos Perez was promoted to Triple-A Charlotte.
— Veteran reliever Carl Edwards Jr. signed a minor league contract with Chicago on Sept. 1 and was assigned to Triple-A Charlotte.