How is Oscar Colás progressing this spring? ‘You always have stuff to improve,’ the hot-hitting Chicago White Sox prospect says.
Oscar Colás was itching to bat Saturday against the San Diego Padres.
“He probably asked me three or four times if I could get him an AB,” Chicago White Sox manager Pedro Grifol said Sunday morning. “He knew that if they brought a righty in I was going to pinch-hit (with) him because I communicate that early the days that some of these guys are off.
“As soon as they brought in that righty, I looked back and he already had his stuff on.”
Colás made the most of his plate appearance, blasting a long home run to right field against Drew Carlton in the ninth inning of the Sox’s 6-5 loss at Peoria Stadium. It was the first Cactus League homer of what has been a standout camp for the No. 2 prospect in the Sox organization.
“As soon as I hit it, I knew it was gone,” Colás said through an interpreter Saturday.
He called the moment “special.”
“I was just trying to feel comfortable in the batter’s box, trying to get into my rhythm,” Colás said. “I wasn’t looking for homers before, it just happened this time. But I’m feeling very comfortable in the batter’s box right now.”
It shows. Colás entered Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels at Camelback Ranch hitting .407, second among qualified Cactus League players and fifth in the majors. And he kept it up Sunday, hitting a solo homer to right-center in the first.
While Saturday’s homer went to right, the left-handed-hitting Colás is trying to use the entire field.
“That’s part of all the work I did during the offseason,” he said last week. “Trying to hit the ball to the opposite field. If they throw me inside, I’m going to keep my hands inside of the ball and pull the ball. I’m just going to take advantage of the whole field.”
He had 11 hits entering Sunday’s game, tied for sixth in the majors.
“I love the kid,” Sox second baseman Elvis Andrus recently said. “Such an amazing presence. It’s tough to have a presence when you haven’t even played in the big leagues. He knows how good he is but he doesn’t act like it. He comes every day, works hard, prepares the right way, asks the right questions, and we all know how talented he is.
“As long as he keeps working hard, maintains that mentality where ‘I have to earn it every day, nobody is going to give it to me easy.’ That’s something I want to remind him. When you’re in the big leagues, you’re just another guy. You have to make your name and show them who you are. I think he knows that and he’s well-prepared for that. So far, one of the younger guys who has impressed me the most for sure.”
Colás, 24, is competing for a roster spot and the opening in right field. He’s embracing the entire experience.
“They are giving me the chance to earn a spot in the major-league roster, and that’s what I want,” Colás said. “That’s what I’m here for. I’m working hard to be in the majors this year.”
Grifol described Saturday as “a good day for (Colás) overall.”
“There was a lot of things we did here (in Glendale) in the morning,” Grifol said. “A lot of learning moments. We did some things I think are crucial for his development when it comes to throwing to the right bases and doing the right things in the outfield and the secondary leads. Just the little stuff that we need to continue to focus on with him.”
Colás has appreciated all the feedback.
“It’s a learning process,” he said. “You always have stuff to improve — hitting-wise, defensive-wise, there’s always stuff you have to work on to get better.
“That’s why I’m here. I know I still have plenty of room to learn. Thanks to them, I’m doing that.”