Payton also spent the 2022 campaign with the Sox. He appeared in eight big league contests, spending the remainder of the year at Triple-A Charlotte. The University of Texas product had a strong year with the Knights, hitting .293/.369/.539 with 25 home runs over 119 games. While Payton initially re-signed with the Sox for the 2023 season, he was granted his release to pursue a contract with the Seibu Lions in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball in December.
The left-handed hitter struggled in his crack at Japanese ball. Payton hit only .215/.266/.327 with five longballs in 225 trips to the plate. He spent some time in the minors and was not retained for 2024. That set the stage for a return to the White Sox.
Payton has 40 games of major league experience split between 2020-22. He’s a .296/.370/.515 hitter over six seasons at the Triple-A level. Payton can handle all three outfield positions but is probably best suited for left field. He’s likely to open next year, his age-32 campaign, back in Charlotte.