After a lost season created by a nasty hit-by-pitch incident during spring training, Rymer Liriano will have a chance to resuscitate his career with another organization.
The White Sox claimed the outfielder off waivers from the Brewers on Friday. This will be Liriano’s third MLB organization after the 25-year-old spent most of his career with the Padres, who signed him as an international free agent from the Dominican Republic.
Liriano has not played since the 2015 season. His Brewers career never materialized past spring training, when the once-highly regarded prospect took a pitch to the face and suffered multiple facial fractures. He needed extensive rehab and could not return in time to contribute for the Brewers, who designated him for assignment.
The 6-foot, 230-pound outfielder entered both the 2012 and 2013 seasons as a top-100 prospect, so the White Sox are taking a flier here. Liriano struggles to make contact often, having strung together six minor league seasons of 100-plus strikeouts (he’s only played eight minor league campaigns) but as recently as 2015 showed decent pop and a solid on-base percentage. Liriano hit .292/.383/.460 with the El Paso Chihuahuas — the Pads’ Triple-A team — last year, stealing 18 bases as well.
He earned the top-100 distinction after a dominant power/speed slate in 2011 for the Padres’ A-ball team, stealing 66 bases, roping 31 doubles, nine triples and 12 home runs. He hit .319/.383/.499 that year.
Liriano will likely start 2016 in the minors again after having missed so much time, but the ChiSox are clearly hoping some semblance of his formerly elite combination of extra-base and base-stealing ability returns.