South Side Hit Pen Top Prospect No. 87: Jefferson Mendoza

It’s true: DSL images can be hard to come by.

Jefferson Mendoza
170 pounds
Age: 19
SSHP rank among all catchers in the system: 5 

Another catcher from Venezuela, Jefferson Mendoza signed with the White Sox on International Signing Day on July 2, 2017. International Scouting Director Marco Paddy said of Mendoza at the time, “Jefferson is a plus defensive catcher with an excellent frame for the position. His abilities to handle a pitching staff and call a game should help him develop quickly.”

Mendoza struggled through his first season with the DSL White Sox in 2018 as he slashed just .207/.289/.289 in 121 at-bats by hitting seven doubles, one homer, 15 RBIs, one stolen base, 12 walks (8.9%) and 26 strikeouts (19.3%).

With a year under his belt, Mendoza picked up his offensive game this year in his return to the DSL. In 33 games encompassing 95 at-bats, he slashed .305/.391/.484 with eight doubles, three homers, 21 RBIs, one stolen base, 10 walks (9.1%) and 28 strikeouts (25.5%). Unlike in 2018 where he curtailed the running game by thwarting 46.2% of stolen base attempts, Mendoza was only successful doing so 16.3% of the time in 2019. On the plus side, after 12 passed balls in 2018, he allowed nary a one in 2019.

Mendoza should begin the 2020 season in the AZL White Sox, but with so many catchers there, it’ll be interesting to see where he will play.

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Despite my entire family being Cub fans, I grew up listening to Harry Caray and Jimmy Piersall on the radio as I listened to the entire season of the South Side Hit Men of '77. While it's true I have a myriad of other interests (American history, classic literature, classic rock, classic country, blues, jazz, gardening, family,etc.--not all in that order), few things aside from family surpass my interest in all things baseball--especially the White Sox.

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