The Cubs: Rebuild or Reload?

It’s that time of year. Teams at this time of year have the option to rebuild or reload. For some teams it’s never rebuild, it’s reload. Examples include the Red Sox and the Yankees, teams that will have an endless budget. But then, there are average teams like the Cubs that will have to rebuild, even if the fans don’t like it.

For the Cubs, it is such a difficult decision. On one hand, there is common sense. That tells you that fans won’t like it if they rebuild, especially if the Cubs got rid of Bryant, or Rizzo, or Baez. But on the other hand, there is also common sense and a cold truth. The Cubs will not win a World Series with this team. The sooner that they realize this, the happier they will be.

It’s December 15, 2016. The Cubs are debating what to do, although “debate” isn’t exactly the right word. The are more or less deciding the Cubs’ future in a couple of minutes. It seemed obvious that the Cubs would keep their foot on the gas, although later they found out that they forgot to reload the tank.

The Cubs had reigning NL MVP Kris Bryant, All-Star Anthony Rizzo, Addison Ruessell, and a ton of all-stars. The pitching, all though isn’t was amazing, was decent. It looked like the Cubs would make a deep playoff run, possibly back to back World Series championships. That year the Cubs DID make a playoff run, although it was only to the NLCS where they were blown out.

After a playoff run it is pretty obvious that one should keep their foot on the gas. And they did. It made perfect sense. The 2016 World Series team was pretty much still there, and in 2017 it was still a good year that just ended against a better Dodgers team. In 2018 they were in the lead for the NL Central the whole year, but then the Brewers got hot. Stupid hot. The Brewers overtook the Cubs in the last week of the season, and they actually tied the Division. It came to a one game playoff, where the winner would take the Central. The Brewers won the game 3-1, resulting in the Cubs taking the first wild card spot. In the Wild Card, the Cubs lost 2-1 in 18 INNINGS. That ended the season for the Cubs

Now it’s December 15, 2018. The Cubs’ decision room is in panic. What do they do? Do they reload, or rebuild? They answered reload, and that could have a toll on the future.

In 2019 the Cubs went 84-78, and they finished 6.0 GB in the Wild Card. It was a disaster. They collapsed under pressure at the end of the season.

That brings us to this year. What will the Cubs do? In my opinion, they have to rebuild. They need to trade some stars for prospects, and they need to knock down the structure.

Will this decision be popular? Will the fans like it? No. No, no, no. The fans will hate it, but it is necessary. The Cubs are screwed up, ad if the goal is to win, they are far from it. It won’t look good at the start. It never does. Their record will be about 70-92. We’ve seen it with other teams before, most notably the Cubs themselves. It took 108 years between #2 and #3, will it take 108 years between #3 and #4? My answer is no. The Cubs will make the right decision.

It won’t be pretty, but they can do it. They did in 2016, and they will do it again. It might not be until the 2030’s but that’s better than the 2107.

The Rise From the Dead; The White Sox

“Wait until next year” is the phrase that White Sox fans have been using for the past 10 years. And in 2020, I’m pretty confident that it is next year. This is the year. This is our year. This is our time to shine.

It’s 2008. The White Sox have just been eliminated from the playoffs after “The Blackout Game”, and the Sox are given a choice. Rebuild, or stay as they are. Although the decision seemed right at the time, it has affected the Sox, even 11 years later. They chose to stay as they were. And because of it, the White Sox haven’t made the playoffs since then

Now it’s present day. On paper, this team works out. At 1B, Jose Abreu. At 2B Nick Madrigal, at 3B Yoan Moncada, and at SS Tim Anderson. Abreu hit 123 RBIs last year, and he led the AL, Madrigal is a top prospect, and Moncada is a rising star who hit .315 last year. Tim Anderson, yeah, he won the MLB Batting Crown! In the outfield there’s LF Eloy Jimenez who was a star rookie, there is Leury Garcia who was one the league’s best leadoff men, and then there’s RF, which is a question. The White Sox might get a RF free agent. At C, there’s James McCann and Yasmani Grandal, McCann was an all star last year, and Grandal was a huge free agent signing. One of them probably will play DH. The pitchers are Lucas Giolito who was 11-3 at the break, Reynaldo Lopez who was a standout prospect a few years ago, Ivan Nova who is very experienced, and Dylan Cease who is a top prospect.

Obviously, this team is great on paper. But how will they play on the field? They went 72-89 last year, so what makes me think that they’ll be good this year? Easy. Experience. Experience is everything in the MLB, and the more the better. I think that with the addition of Grandal, things will come together.

The real question mark is pitching. Although Giolito went 11-3 at the breal, he finished 14-9. How would one know if his 2020 year will be like 2019 part 1 or 2? And then Lopez, he was horrible last year! Nova hasn’t had a winning record in years, and Cease got blown up in his MLB Debut.

This can either go two ways: it all comes together, or it all falls apart. I think that it will come together, and I will try to explain to you why.

Even though the pitching is a question mark, the hitting is amazing! It’s the best it has been in years, with a ferocious attack led by Tim Anderson and Yoan Moncada. Nik Madrigal is a rising star, Jose Abreu has tons of experience, and Jimenez is a star in the making.

If hitting doesn’t do well, though, as proven by the Cubs, the pitching is left to fend for itself. And that’s not always good.

Prove me wrong. Tell me that either pitching or hitting is more important than the other. This is why the Sox need pitching, and hitting. But here’s the other reason I have confidence. Rick Hahn is a smart man. Trust me, he has figured this out. He will deliver, and this will ultimately cause the Rise From the Dead; The Return of the White Sox.

2020 Power Rankings

These are rankings going into 2020, and for 2020.

1. Yankees

With Aaron Judge, Gleyber Torres, and Giancarlo Stanton, this team could be dangerous.

2. Braves

Ronald Acuna and Ozzie Albies, and then add Freddie Freeman. Look for all three to breakout.

3. Astros

The scandal will hit hard, but Jose Altuve was good before the cheating too.

4. Twins

Even though they play in a weak division, their pitching is unmatched in the AL Central.

5. Dodgers

They have so much talent, but a change in manager is never easy. Cody Bellinger will have a big year.

6. Nationals

The defending champs have Max Scherzer, Victors Robles, and Adam Eaton. What more do you need?

7. Athletics

Playing in the AL isn’t easy. A 97 win season isn’t easy either, and then look at the A’s budget.

8. White Sox

You’d think bias, but Eloy Jimenez, Yoan Moncada, and Lucas Giolito. And then add in the prospects.

9. Cardinals

Another weak division, but Jack Flaherty is a real-life god. Oh yeah, the batting is great too.

10. Rays

Rays ball, the new way to win it all. Just, well, look at the last article.

11. Red Sox

You can’t spell Red Sox without money, so look for a big offseason from Boston plus Mookie Betts.

12. Brewers

They always get hot at the end, and they were hot without Christian Yelich. What about with him?

13. Indians

Most of the players are falling stars, so 2020 will be one last decent year for the Tribe.

14. Mets

They got hot at the end, so it gets you thinking. Add some free agents, and this team could contend.

15. Phillies

Oh, they places they’ll go when they trade Harper. Worked for the Nationals, just a different method.

16. Cubs

They’re on the decline, all of the previous stars are either gone, washed up, or irrelevant.

17. Diamondbacks

If Ketel Marte steps it up, and the Diamondbacks get some pitching, we are looking at a sleeper.

18. Rangers

It’s a hard knock life for teams in the AL. But don’t take a win for granted, they are a threat.

19. Reds

Joey Votto is a legend, a hall of famer, and he is also on the decline. The team will fall with him.

20. Giants

It’s never easy replacing a legend, but the Giants can do it. Madison Bumgarner will step it up.

21. Angels

Mike Trout is in the prime of his career, but can the Angels actually support him?

22. Padres

The Manny Machado hiring was questionable. But will Fernando Tatis be enough to support him?

23. Mariners

Daniel Voglebach can hit for power, and Yusei Kikuchi could be good. They overachieved last year.

24. Rockies

This team has the star power, it just needs to start to translate into wins.

25. Pirates

Josh Bell can hit for power and a little average, but he cannot carry. There is no pitching here to see.

26. Blue Jays

It’s tough in the AL East, but Vladdy Jr. definitely helps. There is no SP with a winning record.

27. Royals

They’re in full rebuild mode. Adalberto Mondesi is freakish athletically, and will be a future star.

28. Orioles

The only good that I can think of his Jonathan Villar. That says something about the team.

29. Marlins

Garret Cooper is rising, but aside from that, there is nothing to see and no fans to see it.

30. Tigers

They have 2 players over a .250 AVG, and no SP with a winning record. They are just awful.

2019/2020 MLB Power Rankings

These power rankings are based off of half 2019, half 2020. Full 2020 power rankings will come out tomorrow, and complete team previews within the next week.

1. Yankees

2. Nationals

3. Dodgers

4. Astros

5. Twins

6. Braves

7. Cardinals

8. Athletics

9. Red Sox

10. Rays

11. Mets

12. Indians

13. Brewers

14. Diamondbacks

15. Cubs

16. Phillies

17. Rangers

18. Giants

19. Reds

20. White Sox

21. Rockies

22. Pirates

23. Padres

24. Angels

25. Blue Jays

26. Mariners

27. Royals

28. Marlins

29. Orioles

30. Tigers

Moneyball 2.0: The Amazing Rays

We all remember Moneyball, and we all especially remember Billy Bene. What if I told you that it happened again?

The Rays were coming into 2019 with a $68.98 million payroll, which was good for 26th in the MLB. Now, how could this be moneyball if the Rays aren’t last in the MLB in payroll? Well, this is how. In 2018 they were 28th in the MLB, and in 2017 28th also.

How can this be Moneyball then? Well, Moneyball isn’t entirely descriptive of this team. This team uses lowly paid players, and they use them with a strategy. The most famous strategy is called The Opener. The opener is when a reliever starts out the game, goes 1 or 2 innings, and then the starter comes in for 6 or 7 innings. This is genius because the best hitters will be at the start of the lineup, and if you can knock out most of those hitters with someone who that is their specialty, the starter won’t have to go through those hitters. This leads to the starter being able to go longer, and ultimately, better. The only downside is that this method takes up more stamina, so it’s good for a key game.

Another strategy that the Rays are trying out is the two-way player, and they are trying it in the minors. This strategy is where the Rays are training hitters to be pitchers, or pitchers to hit.

The Rays hit a team .254 batting average, and they also hit 216 home runs. Austin Meadows hit .291 with 33 home runs and a .364 OBP. Avisail Garcia hit .282 with 20 home runs, 72 RBIs, and a .332 OBP. Ji-Man Choi hit .261 with a .363 OBP. The Rays were very good at getting on base, as they had a .325 OBP. Charlie Morton was 16-6 with a 3.05 ERA, and Yonny Chirinos went 9-5 with a 3.85 ERA. One year removed from a Cy Young winning season, Blake Snell went 6-8 with a 4.29 ERA. Tyler Glasnow went 6-1 with a 1.78 ERA, an amazing year.

Kevin Cash is a daredevil. He will do what no other coach has the guts to do. In the tough AL East, he has orchestrated a risky style of game. He is a wizard. But he has no other options. In the AL East, there are teams such as the Yankees and the Red Sox, teams that will always have a huge payroll. They just throw money at players, and that is how they build their teams. The Rays cannot keep up. They do not have the budget to throw money at players. In 2015, he was replacing Joe Madden, and he finished 80-82, not too bad. In 2016, he finished a disastrous 68-94. In 2017 he went 80-82 again, and then his mindset changed. Something had to be done. He invented the opener, and the Rays finished 90-72. In 2019, he finished 96-66, good enough for a Wild Card, and then the Rays advanced to the ALDS.

The Rays should earn your respect after a 90 win season, even if most teams won’t. Just remember, they’re the Amazing Rays.

MLB: Bring Justice

Those darn Astros

To every Astros player out there, I give you one message. Don’t deny it. And to every Astros fan, accept that your team cheated, and move out of that denial stage.

Imagine this: You realize that your fellow employees are stealing money from the company, and they offer you a bribe to keep quiet. The average human being when given that scenario, will just say ‘I would turn them in.’ But really, how many would?

From 2017-2019, a total of 85 batters batted for the Houston Astros, not counting duplicates. (I think that a new year means new beliefs, so that’s why. I gave them a chance to reform.) That means that as long as this scandal has been going on, in 3 different years, 85 people, not all different, kept quiet. This leads me to believe that there was some sort of reward for cheating, which brings me to another point.

What kind of an organization pays or rewards their players for cheating? Baseball has never seen anything like this. Sure, one can bring up the Black Sox scandal, but that was 100 YEARS AGO! This is as corrupt as anything since that time. It leads one to believe that there have been other scandals like this one, as it has been proven to work well. Let’s just look at some stats to find out why.

In 2016 the Astros finished 84-78, which was good for a mediocre year. That year, their team batting average (non-pitcher totals) was .247, which is not very good. In 2017, the NEXT YEAR, the Astros finished 101-61, and they won the World Series. Obviously, that’s an unreal jump. Let’s look at the reasons why. First of all, the Astros finished with a .283 batting average, a 36 point jump. Yeah, sure, one can point out that Alex Bregman arrived in the MLB, but he occupied a 3B position that saw a 24 point jump. While that is an amazing jump, out of 21 REAL hitters, a 24 point jump won’t make much of a difference. Oh yeah, and Alex Bregman was 7th on the team in WAR (3.8), and that won’t make much of a difference.

Obviously something changed. Maybe, uh, it was just the Astros’ time to shine! Yeah right. Besides Bregman and Carlos Beltran, the roster pretty much stayed the same. But we all know what changed. A nice way to put it would be ‘A change of philosophy.’ Another, maybe not as nice, way to put it is ‘Those @#$%ing cheaters.’ I’ll take the not so happy medium. Even that would go a little something like ‘Those filthy cheaters.’ (See what I did there, just replaced the swear word.)

In 2018, something must have changed. The team average dropped down to .256, but they still finished 103-59. In this year, the pitching carried the team when the bats couldn’t. The Astros had a wicked rotation of Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, Gerrit Cole, Charlie Morton, and Lance McCullers Jr.

It’s hard to say what this change is due to. Carlos Correa dropped to a .239 average. But can that explain a whole team’s decline? No. No it can’t. So why were they that worse hitting? Well, I have a theory. When they banged on a trash can in 2017, teams must have noticed. That’s not something that goes on in a regular MLB ballpark. The White Sox noticed it, and when they did, they mixed up their signs. The Nationals also discovered it.

In 2019, the team average was back to .275, and the Astros lost in 7 in the World Series. Correa was back on track, and Jose Aktuve was as good as ever. Alex Bregman hit 41 home runs, Michael Brantley hit .311, and everything was back on track. Or, was it?

On November 12, 2019, a man by the name of Mike Fiers reported an incident, which happened to involve the Astros. THIS SCANDAL. Fiers had warned his A’s teamates that the Astros stole signs, so the A’s were the most prepared team in the MLB. And then it all came out.

The truth, the truth, and nothing but the truth. It’s a saying that’s often used, but in the case of the Astros scandal and Mike Fiers, it fits perfectly. Fiers came out with all of the details, and it went a little something like this: somebody sees the pitch by the catcher, they relay that message to the dugout, somebody in the dugout bangs a trash can, and then the hitter knows the pitch.

The thing is, one can’t do much about this. If you were the commissioner, what would you do? What can you do? First off, although the common response will be to erase the 2017 World Series, it’s just not possible. Fans of the Astros would argue that only the struggling players used the cheating method, but even that is out of the realm of possibility. Wouldn’t Mike Fiers mention that? The punishment cannot be light either. It cannot just be to be on probation. It cannot be just losing draft picks. No, it has to send a statement to all MLB cheaters that the MLB will not lay down lightly to scandal! We did this 100 years ago, we will do this now!

Although those past words may comfort the MLB, it WON’T comfort the players who lost their careers to this scandal. This sounds so weird at first like, Ben, how would a player lose their CAREER from some stolen signs. Well, this is how: a) Some players are just up replacing an injured player, and they only stick around for as long as that player is injured. Well if they do SO POORLY in their MLB debut, what will happen when the injured player returns? They will be referred to as “that player who got ROCKED by the Astros” and they’ll be just another player. b) Let’s say that a highly touted prospect comes up for their MLB debut, and fans are super excited to see this kid play! Now that kid gets rocked for 6 runs in the first inning. How will that change a fan’s standpoint? And, how will that change a team’s standpoint? c) In Mike Fiers’s own words:

“I just want the game to be cleaned up a little bit because there are guys who are losing their jobs because they’re going in there not knowing,” Fiers said in the story. “Young guys getting hit around in the first couple of innings starting a game, and then they get sent down. It’s [B.S.] on that end. It’s ruining jobs for younger guys. The guys who know are more prepared. But most people don’t. That’s why I told my team. We had a lot of young guys with Detroit [in 2018] trying to make a name and establish themselves. I wanted to help them out and say, ‘Hey, this stuff really does go on. Just be prepared.'”

The MLB should by all means make an example of the Astros. Is this league a league where teams can cheat, win a World Series, and just come away with losing a couple of draft picks? Is that how baseball is?

In 1919 the White Sox threw a World Series. Everyone knew it. And what happened? 8 players got banned from baseball, and they didn’t make the playoffs until 1959. But that was then and this is now. We can’t allow the Astros to have THAT BAD of a punishment, although it should be bad.

The MLB is helpless. They cannot do much. But what I do recommend, is, oh, wait. There is nothing, nothing that can be done to make this as right as possible. On a scale of 1-10 where 1 is losing draft picks and 10 is the death penalty, this should be a 6. The Black Sox would have been a 9. What is 6?

In my opinion, number 6 is a combination of all sorts of things. This scandal is either the best of the worst, or the worst of the best. You cannnot punish it lightly, but not too hard either. It is an endless loop, where the best outcome is to just hope, pray that this will never happen again.

The ideal punishment is: losing every draft pick for the next 2 years, heavy probation, and a scan of the involvement of coaches, and banning those coaches appropriately.

What is done is done. No one can change it. And this is what baseball has turned into. A loop of, oh I’m cheating, and then, oh I caught you. But I still have faith. Baseball will be bigger, baseball will be stronger, and baseball, in the end, will prevail.

An important lesson, actually two important lessons. One on karma. ‘You can only strench the rubber band a certain distance until it snaps and hits you. And another on life in general. ‘All plots will be discovered, as they’re not plots unless they are discovered.’

One more thing, baseball is stronger. And we will move on.

Complete Scouting Report, The White Sox in 2020

This is a pamphlet complete with predictions, rosters, depth charts, scouting reports, and much more!

The White Sox Rebuild

It is Decmeber 6, 2016. You are in the Red Sox’s management/ conference room, and you receive a phone call from the Chicago White Sox. They propose a trade, Chris Sale for Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, plus two others. Dave Dombrowski says one word, yes, and the whole room starts cheering. Chris Sale is a member of the Red Sox, and now the White Sox’s rebuild has officially started.

It hasn’t been pretty. In 2017 the White Sox finished 67-95, with Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia being keys to success. Pitching was a disaster, as no pitcher got above 7 wins. Leading the pack were Miguel Gonzalez (7-10) and Derek Holland (7-14). This was predicted by most though, and it was set to be along rebuild. They needed their prospects to come up faster, especially pitchers. Again in 2018, pitching was a disaster, as no starting pitcher finished with a winning record. Lucas Giolito led the team in wins at 10-13, but he had a 6.13 ERA, and he led the league in walks and earned runs. Reynaldo Lopez finished 7-10 with a 3.91 ERA. As for hitting, Jose Abreu had a pretty average year with a slashline of .325/.473/.798. Yoan Moncada really stunk as he struck out 217 times. Avisail Garcia dropped off, hitting .236. Fans were losing hope as they had finished 62-100 in 2018, and some started hating Rick Hahn and company. But an offseason that could’ve changed that, didn’t. Manny Machado and Bryce Harper were the big free agents, and both had expressed interest in coming to Chicago. Machado was the real target though, and all signs pointed to him landing in Chi-town, but he didn’t. This was bad news for Rick Hahn, as the hate just got stronger. The White Sox would need a strong rebound for 2019, and that’s what they got. The roster remained mostly unchanged, but a few players would really step it up. They were Tim Anderson who won the AL Batting Crown, another was Yoan Moncada who hit .315 with only 154 K’s, down 63 K’s from 2018. Another was Eloy Jimenez, who hit 31 bombs while hitting .267. But it was Lucas Giolito who was most surprising. He finished 14-9, a far cry from 2018. He had a 3.14 ERA, and to top it off he had 47 walks, down from 90 in 2018. Like I said, huge improvement. But what now? Do they wait? Or do they try to sign a free agent to help them? Keep reading to find out.

Chicago White Sox

Stadium: Gaurenteed Rate

Established: 1900 Field

World Series Titles: 1906, 1917, 2005

Central Division Titles: 2000, 2005, 2008

Retired Numbers: 2, 3, 4, 9, 11, 14, 16, 19, 35,

56, 72

American League Titles: 1900, 1901, 1906, 1917, 1919, 1959, 2005

Owner: Jerry Reinsdorf

General Manager: Rick Hahn

President of Baseball Operations: Kenny Williams

Manager: Rick Renteria

Depth Chart:

P-

1. Lucas Giolito

2. Reynaldo Lopez

3. Ivan Nova

4. Michael Kopech

5. Dylan Cease

RP-

C Alex Colome

RP Jace Fry

RP Aaron Bummer

RP Evan Marshall

SU Kelvin Herrera

C-

James McCann

Zack Collins

1B-

Jose Abreu

2B-

Yolmer Snachez

3B-

Yoan Moncada

SS-

Tim Anderson

LF-

Eloy Jimenez

CF-

Adam Engel

RF-

Leury Garcia

Player By Player Previews:

Jose Abreu

Position: 1B

Height/Weight: 6-3, 255

Date of Birth: January 29, 1987

Bats: Right Throws: Right

Born: Cuba

Resúme:

Jose Abreu is one of the most established players in the whole White Sox organization. He is a 3x All Star, a 2x Silver Slugger, and he won the AL Rookie of the Year in 2014. In that 2014 year, he hit .317 with 36 home runs, and he led the league in slugging with .581. In 2015 he landed on Earth hitting .290 with 30 home runs plus 101 RBIs. In 2016 he hit .293 with 100 RBIs and 25 HR, as he kept declining. 2017 was the year that the White Sox unloaded and cleaned house, but Abrey stayed, as he hit .304 with 33 long bombs and 102 RBIs with a slashline of .354/.552/.906. Abreu was a star, and he was grabbing most of the league’s attention. But in 2018, everything changed. He hit .265 with only 78 RBIs and 22 home runs, a horrible year by his standards. But the White Sox had an amazingly horrible year, so he was a star on that team. He was still the locker room leader, and in 2019, he picked up his game. He hit .284 with an American League leading 123 RBIs with 33 home runs. He was better in the RBI department than the likes of Aaron Judge, Mike Trout, and other stars in the AL.

What’s Next?

Abreu is a reliable star for a team that is turning the corner, and he has stuck with the Sox for the whole time. In 2020, he should keep his spot at first base, and he should also keep his spot as the team leader, mentoring the likes of Yoan Moncada and Tim Anderson. Although not a great fielder, he is an amazing batter, and he should make the all star team, as the Sox conti nue the journey to the playoffs.

Yolmer Sanchez

Position: 2B

Height/Weight: 5-11, 185

Date of Birth: June 29, 1992

Bats: Switch Throws: Right

Born: Venezuela

Resúme:

Sanchez made his debut in 2014, and at the end of the year he had a .250 batting average with 5 RBIs and a .569 OPS. In 2015 he had a horrible year hitting a .224 batting average with 31 RBIs. He had a .595 OPS with only 5 HRs. His career was looking like a disaster, and 2016 only made it worse. He hit .208 with a .593 OPS and 4 HRs with 21 RBIs. He only played in 53 games, and he needed a serious rebound for 2017. In the offseason he changed his name to Yolmer from Carlos, and it magically changed. He hit .267 with 59 RBIs and 12 HRs. He had a career best .732 OPS, and he played in 141 games. In 2018, he hit .242, and he led the AL in triples with 10. In 2019 he hit .252 with 43 RBIs and 2 HRs.

What’s Next?

Sanchez has never hit for power, and he has always been a below average player. He is great a great fielder though, and he is the team fuuny person. He has a great personality, and he might have a breakout year, although unlikely. Sanchez can play anywhere in the infield, and he is a valuable presence for the team. He will have the same type of year in 2020 as 2017.

Yoan Moncada

Position: 3B

Height/Weight: 6-2, 205

Date of Birth: May 27, 1995

Bats: Switch Throws: Right

Born: Cuba

Resúme:

He was the star player in the Chris Sale trade, and in 2017 he hit .231 with 8 HRs. It wasn’t too good of a year, but it was his first, so there was no concern. In 2018 though, he had the worst year of his career. He hit .235 with 17 HR and a league leading 217 strike outs. It was a horrible year, he was being called a bust, and he was even doubting himself. It was also a horrible year fielding with 21 errors, and a .963 fielding percentage. In 2019, he turned a corner. He switched to the 3B, and everything clicked. He hit .315 with 25 HRs, 79 RBIs, a .915 OPS, and only 154 strike outs. The bust talk stopped, and he regained his confidence.

What’s Next?

Yoan Moncada is a very talented ball player, and one that the Sox need to keep. He is now an average fielder after switching to 3B, but fielding was never his specialty. In 2016, he was the number 1 prospect in baseball, and everyone had him as a future all star. How he changed is up for you to decide. Maybe his mentor, Jose Abreu, showed him a new way to swing. Or maybe he gained some confidence in himself. Part of the reason that he was so highly rated was ability to hit for power and average. In 2017 and 2018, he hit for neither. In 2020 he should pick up where he left off having a better year than 2019.

Tim Anderson

Position: SS

Height/Weight: 6-1, 185

Date of Birth: June 23, 1993

Bats: Right Throws: Right

Born: America

Resúme:

In 2016, Tim Anderson got that call. He was called up from the minor leagues, and he went on to have a fine year in 2016, hitting .283 with 9 HRs and 30 RBIs. He was projected to have a good year in 2017, but he hit .257 with 17 HRs and 56 RBIs. To add on he had a .679 OPS. In 2018, he played in 153 games, and he had the worst year of his career hitting .240 while hitting 20 HRs and 64 RBIs. To top it off, he wouldn’t walk. He only walked 30 times, but that was up from THIRTEEN in 2017. Fans hated it. He hated it. But worst of all, he wasn’t going to get a chance to play in 2019. That’s because of Manny Machado. He was projected to go to the Sox, and Machado, a 3B, would’ve had to play SS due to Yoan Moncada switching from 2B to 3B. He would’ve replaced Anderson. But he didn’t, and Tim Anderson got a second chance. He took full advantage of that, as he got an MLB leading .335 batting average. To top it off, he got a .865 OPS. Getting walked is still a problem as he only walked 15 times.

What’s Next?

Tim Anderson showed that he could be an all star, and he proved all of his doubters wrong. He is very talented, but he does has one pressing problem. That would be getting walked. He struggles with that, as he has only 71 walks in his 4 year career. That’s 521 games. His getting on base skills aren’t that same without walking, and he needs to step it up. Anderson is a pretty average fielder, and if he improves that, he can take his game to the next level. For 2020, he will take a step back average wise, maybe hitting .310 or something, but he will improve power wise.

James McCann

Position: C

Height/Weight: 6-3, 225

Date of Birth: June 13, 1990

Bats: Right Throws: Right

Born: America

Resúme:

James McCann started out his career in 2014 with the Tigers where he played in 9 games. He had 12 plate appearances, and he hit .250. In 2015 he played 114 and he hit a solid .264 with 7 HRs and 41 RBIs. He had a .683 OPS, and he only walked 16 times. In 2016 he hit a horrible .221 with 12 HRs and 48 RBIs. He got a .629 OPS. 2017 was his rebound year, sort of. He hit .253 with a .318/.415/.733 slashline. 2018 would be his last year with the Tigers, and he only hit .220 with 8 HRs and 39 RBIs. In 2019 he signed with the White Sox, and he instantly picked it up. He hit .273 with a .789 OPS. He smashed 18 long balls and he had a career high in RBIs with 60. He was an all star in the best year of his career, 2019.

What’s Next?

He has just found his stride, but it can’t stay. As much as I want him to keep doing well, I think that he will drop off from last year. He is a talented fielder, and that will always stay. His main job will be teaching Zack Collins how to catch better than he already does. He doesn’t hit for average or power, and this will be a problem. He will have a pretty average year for his standards, .247 BA with 16 HRs and 40 RBIs.

Eloy Jimenez

Position: LF

Height/Weight: 6-4, 205

Date of Birth: November 27, 1996

Bats: Right Throws: Right

Born: Dominican Republic

Resúme:

Eloy Jimenez made his pro debut in 2014 with the Cubs, when he was only 17. He played 42 games, and hit 3 long bombs, 27 RBIs and he got a .227 average. The next year he made the jump to lower a ball and there he picked it up. He hit .284 with 7 home runs, 33 RBIs, and a .746 OPS. In 2016, he moved up to high a where he played the whole season. He hit .329 with 14 home runs and 81 RBIs. This was the turning point in Jimenez’s career. In 2017, he was playing for the Cubs’s AA team when he got called into the clubhouse. There his manager told him that he had been traded to the Chicago White Sox. He finished that year with a .312 average, 19 home runs, 65 RBIs, and a .947 OPS. The next year he started out in AA, but he moved up to AAA in the middle of the season. He tore it up, routinely terrorizing opposing pitchers. He had a .337 average, 22 home runs, and a whopping .961 OPS. He knew that he was going to be called up in 2019, and he did not have too bad of a year. He hit .267 with 31 home runs and 79 RBIs. Not too shabby for a rookie.

What’s Next?

Jimenez has all of the talent in the world, he just needs to use it. He mostly hit for average in the minors, but in the majors he blasted 31 home runs. This could be a trend, everybody thinks he has one tool, and he uses another. It can only go up from 2019, and he will definitely improve on his on his 2019 marks. Look for a batting average in the .280’s, home runs in the 35+ range, and an .850 OPS.

Adam Engel

Position: CF

Height/Weight: 6-2, 210

Date of Birth: Decmeber 9, 1991

Bats: Right Throws: Right

Born: America

Resúme:

Adam Engel was called up to the big league when he was 25, in 2017. He played 97 games there where he was horrible, batting .166 with 6 homers and 21 RBIs. He had a .517 OPS that year, and the Sox were considering sending him back down to triple a. They didn’t, and in 2018 he became the full time starter. His fielding was as good as ever, but batting was a problem, as he hit .235 with a .614 OPS plus only 6 home runs. His fielding percentage was .981, and he was really developing as a fielder. In 2019, there was a problem. Eloy Jimenez was coming up from the minors, and he was set to play left field, moving Leury Garcia to CF, and Charlie Tilson was back from injury. The outfield would’ve looked somewhat like this: RF: Charlie Tilson, LF: Eloy Jimenez, and CF: Leury Garcia. But then Charlie Tilson got hurt again, leaving Engel to play 89 games, and he had the best year of his career. He hit .242 with a .687 OPS and 6 home runs. His fielding percentage was .982, and that category will always be strong for Engel.

What’s Next?

Although he might not be a future hall of famer, he will continue to improve. He makes routine circus catches in CF, and that will not change. The problem is Luis Robert. He is a star in the making, and one would be silly to think that Engel will win the job against Robert. Engel might step into a few fielding situations, and this is where he will have a time to shine. His stats might look like: 30 games, .250 average and 3 home runs.

Luis Robert

Position: CF

Height/Weight: 6-3, 185

Date of Birth: August 3, 1997

Bats: Right Throws: Right

Born: Cuba

Resúme:

Robert has never seen major league action. He was signed by the White Sox in 2017, and in 2017 his stat line was .310 average, 1.027 OPS, and 3 home runs. In 2018 he played for 3 teams, rookie ball, low a, and high a. The combined stats were as follows: .269 BA, .694 OPS, 0 home runs, and 17 RBIs. Horrible year, but in 2019 he picked things up. In 2019 he played for 3 teams, high a, AA, and AAA. 2019 was his best year as a player. He had a combined average of .328, 32 home runs, 92 RBIs, and a 1.001 OPS.

What’s Next?

Robert is very talented and he will always hit for average. He has been recently developed power, and he has shown that he can hit for power. While fielding isn’t his specialty, he’s still decent at it. 2020 will be his rookie year, and look for big numbers. He showed in the minors that he has a bad habit of terrorizing opposing pitchers, and he will do just that in the majors. He will have a .280 average with 25 home runs.

Leury Garcia

Position: UT (OF, 2B, SS)

Height/Weight: 5-8, 180

Date of Birth: March 18, 1991

Bats: Switch Throws: Right

Born: Dominican Republic

Resúme:

Leury Garcia has been around the league for awhile, and before 2019, he never played for 90 games in a season. 2017 was his first year with 50+ games, so we’ll start there. He hit .270 with a .739 OPS and 9 home runs. He was part of an all Garcia outfield for the White Sox in one games, Avisail Garcia, Leury Garcia, and Willy Garcia. Wacky, right? In 2018, Garcia played in 82 games, and he hit .271 with 4 home runs, and 32 RBIs. It wasn’t too good of a year, but it wasn’t too bad of a year. In 2019, he was set to be the leadoff hitter, and he took full advantage. He hit .279 with 8 home runs and 40 RBIs, the best year of his career.

What’s Next?

While Garcia isn’t the long term solution, he should work for the time being. He is very fast, and he has a knack for getting singles. When the 3rd baseman always has to push in, that creates blooper singles, and a lot of his hits are created that way. His defensive play is on point, and he is skilled defensively. In 2020 he will have a good season, maybe a .285 average with 10 home runs and 50 RBIs.

Ryan Cordell

Position: RF

Height/Weight: 6-4, 195

Date of Birth: March 31, 1992

Bats: Right Throws: Right

Born: America

Resúme:

Ryan Cordell came to Chicago in 2018, and he had a brief stint in Chicago where he played 19 games, and he hit .108 with 1 home run and 4 RBIs. He had a .341 OPS andhe had 3 runs scored. In 2019 he played in the bigs for 97 games, and in the minors for 14. In the minors he hit .275 and he had 1 home run with 6 RBIs. In the majors he hit .221 with 7 home runs and 24 RBIs. He had a .645 OPS, and it was an all around better year than 2018. In the fielding department his fielding percentage was .981 with 3 errors, but fielding isn’t his strength.

What’s Next?

Cordell isn’t a special talent, and he isn’t a long term solution either. He maybe can fill in as a pinch hitter every once and awhile, but in the long run he might end up bouncing between the majors and the minors. In 2020 he might have 50 or so games, with some pretty mediocre stats, but you never know. He could prove all of us doubters wrong.

Lucas Giolito

Position: P

Height/Weight: 6-6, 245

Date of Birth: July 14, 1994

Bats: Right Throws: Right

Born: America

Resúme:

Lucas Giolito was the big piece of the Adam Eaton trade, and in his first year he appeared in 7 games, and he got a 3-3 record with a 2.38 ERA. He had 34 strikeouts, and 14 walks. In 2018 though, the trouble really started. Although he had the best record on the team at 10-13, he had the worst ERA and the most walks on the team, at 6.13 and 90. In fact he led the MLB in two categories, walks and earned runs. He had 90 walks and 118 earned runs. It was looking like bust for him, and then in 2019 he was just unbeatable in the first half of the season. At the break he was 11-3 and tied for the AL lead in wins. He cooled off a bit in the second half of the season, but his stats were still 14-9 with a 3.41 ERA. His walks were down to 57, and his earned runs to 67. He made the All Star team in 2019, and his turnaround was just amazing.

What’s Next?

Lucas Giolito isn’t known for his velocity after having Tommy John surgery when he was in high school. His problem in 2018 was walks, and in the offseason he really worked on control. In 2019 control was one of his strengths, so it shows that practice makes improvements. He could paint the corners, and he could get really good spin on the ball. In 2020 look for the first half of the year for him, throughout the year.

Reynaldo Lopez

Position: P

Height/Weight: 6-1, 200

Date of Birth: January 4, 1994

Bats: Right Throws: Right

Born: Dominican Republic

Resúme:

Reynaldo Lopez was acquired in the Adam Eaton trade, and in his first year in 2017 with the White Sox he was 3-3 with a 4.72 ERA. He appeared in 8 games that year, and he had 47.2 IP. In 2018 he didn’t have too good of a year as he had a 3.91 ERA with a 7-10 record. He whiffed 151 people, and he walked 75. In 2019 expectations were high, but he struck out. He led the league in earned runs, and he had a 5.38 ERA. Although he got a 10-15 record, he didn’t deserve even a 7-15 record.

What’s Next?

2019 was a disappointing year, and he is being called a bust. While I am not going to hop onto that wagon, at least not yet, I still have my doubts. He clearly shows flashes of talent, and greatness, but unless he puts it all together, he will end up being just another MLB player. He could just be a late bloomer, but odds are he’s a bust. In 2020 he will have an average year, putting himself as the number 4 starter. He will just have to pull out a Lucas Giolito, and hope the fans don’t get too wild with him, but remember he could still be great.

Iván Nova

Position: P

Height/Weight: 6-5, 250

Date of Birth: January 12, 1987

Bats: Right Throws: Right

Born: Dominican Republic

Resúme:

Ivan Nova came to the league in 2010, when he played with the Yankees. That year he went 1-2 in 10 appearances with a 4.50 ERA. In the very next year with the Yankees he went an amazing 16-4 with a 3.70 ERA and a 1.331 WHIP. In 2012, while he was good he finished with a 12-8 record. He got a 5.02 ERA with 56 walks and 153 strike outs. In 2013 he appeared in 23 games finishing 9-6, but it was his best season ERA wise, as he finished with a 3.10 ERA. While not shown in his record as he was 9-6, he was dominant. He had lofty expectations going into 2014, but he disappointed most because he only played in 4 games, and he still wound up 2-2. His ERA was off the charts, but not in a good way. His ERA was 8.27, and in 2015 he needed a strong rebound. That he did not get as he finished 6-11 with a 5.07 ERA. His WHIP was 1.404, not far off from his 1.331 mark in 2011, when he finished 16-4. In the middle of 2016 he was traded to the Pirates, and his total record for 2016 was 12-8 and he had a combined ERA of 4.17. In 2017 he was a veteran, so he was mentoring a few people, but he couldn’t get his own record above .500 as he wound up 11-14. His ERA was his 3rd best ERA at 4.14, and that right there shows what kind of pitcher he is. In 2018 he was exactly .500 at 9-9, but ERA was still a problem at 4.19. He was set to be a free agent in 2019, and in the offseason he signed with the White Sox. He finished the season with a record of 11-12 with a 4.72 ERA. His WHIP sat at 1.455, which is not very good.

What’s Next?

Ivan Nova likes to control the pace of the game, so he takes a long time to pitch. That doesn’t exactly make him a fan favorite, but it is effective. He has a problem with ERA as his career ERA is 4.32, and he doesn’t pitch to strike out. He is not exactly very talented, but enough with cons. Let’s look at the pros. He will always be around .500 record wise, which is good but bad. He can go a long time, and he can pitch many pitches. He also brings experience to a young team that needs it. In 2020 he will have a 4.50 ERA with a 13-11 record and a 1.350 WHIP.

Dylan Cease

Position: P

Height/Weight: 6-2, 190

Date of Birth: December 28, 1995

Bats: Right Throws: Right

Born: America

Resúme:

Dylan Cease made his pro debut with the Cubs in 2015, when he was 19 years old. In his first year in rookie ball he played in 11 games, and he went 1-2 with a 2.62 ERA. In 2016 he moved up to low A ball and he finished 2-0 while playing in 12 games. That year he had a 2.22 ERA with a 1.164 WHIP. In 2017 mid season he was traded to the White Sox. That year he was a horrible 1-10, but that’s not the whole story. He finished with a 3.28 ERA, and to put that into perspective in Jon Lester’s 2018 year he was 18-6. He had a 3.32 ERA that year. In 2017 his WHIP was 1.264. In 2018 Cease played with AA and he finished 12-2 with a 2.40 ERA and a 1.065 WHIP. It was like the world apologized for the record it gave Cease in 2017. In 2019 he was called up to the MLB and he finished 4-7 with a 5.79, but it was his rookie year.

What’s Next?

Dylan Cease is clearly talented, and if you don’t believe me just look at his stats. He has the potential for a low ERA, and he has a great chance for success. He could at some point switch to reliever, but that is up to Rick Renteria and Cease himself. 2019 was a disappointing year, but it was his rookie year. In 2020 he will recover from that 2019 year, and he will have a 3.50 ERA with a 10-5 record. He will have a strong career.

Dylan Covey

Position: P

Height/Weight: 6-1, 220

Date of Birth: August 14, 1991

Bats: Right Throws: Right

Born: America

Resúme:

Dylan Covey was called up to the MLB in 2017, when he went 0-7 with a 7.71 ERA. Would it surprise you if I said that it could get worse? Well you’re probably thinking ‘No, I’m not surprised.’ but just trust me. In 2018 he had the best year of his career at, wait for it, 5-14! Generally you will cut if you put up those numbers, but he stayed strong on the team. By that time the former Rule 5 draft pick had given up all hope, and for a good reason. In 2019 he had the worst year of his career at 1-8 with a 7.98 ERA. His WHIP was 1.756, which basically means that you aren’t a star, far from it. In 2019 the league average WHIP was 1.334, and 1.756 and 1.334 are very far off in WHIP.

What’s Next?

They say that everyone has a purpose in life, and that all people are created the same. While these are both good values, they don’t cover major league baseball pitching at all. Covey was not created as talented as let’s say Clayton Kershaw, and while Kershaw has a purpose to carve up MLB batters, Covey’s purpose is the exact opposite, let MLB batters carve up him. I wouldn’t be surprised if he is cut, dropped, or sent down to the minors in 2020. He is not part of the team going forward.

Alex Colomé

Position: CP

Height/Weight: 6-1,220

Date of Birth: December 31, 1988

Bats: Right Throws: Right

Born: Dominican Republic

Resúme:

Alex Colome was brought up to the major leagues in 2013 with the Tampa Bay Rays, and he pitched in 3 games that year, all of which he started. He had 16 IP with a 2.25 ERA and 12 SOs. In 2014 he played in 5, starting 3 of those 5. His innings pitched went up to 23.2, and he wound up with a 2.66 ERA. In 2015 he was set to have a big year, and he went 8-5 in 43 games, 13 of those he started. He finished with a 3.94 ERA and he had 88 SOs. In 2016 he switched to closer, and he made an instant impact with a 1.91 ERA. He did go 2-4 that year, but he had 37 saves. 2017 was his best year yet. He finished 2-3, but with an AL leading 47 saves. He pitched in 65 games that year, none of which he started. In 2018 midseason he was traded to the Seattle Mariners, and he finished the year in total with a 7-5 record. He had a 3.04 ERA with 70 games pitched, none of which he started. He was traded in the offseason to the Sox for catcher Omar Narvaez, and in 2019 he stepped right into the closer role. He went 4-5 with 30 saves and 62 games pitched. He finished 54 games, and he had a 2.80 ERA.

What’s Next?

Alex Colome is so talented, and he has showed it in his brief stint with White Sox. He is a team leader, and he is a great role model for the younger players. He has shown dominance in the MLB, and if the Sox are going to keep him, he will expand upon his 2019 stats. But wait, I said IF they keep him. If they trade him they could get some hot prospects. Now would a deal like that be worth it? That’s for you to decide, but if he stays for the 2020 season, his stats will look like: 2.50 ERA and 35 saves.

Aaron Bummer

Position: RP

Height/Weight: 6-3, 200

Date of Birth: September 21, 1993

Bats: Left Throws: Left

Born: America

Resúme:

Aaron Bummer went up to the MLB in 2017, when he went 1-3 with a 4.50 ERA, nothing really to write home about. I guess you could say it was a bummer of a year, no pun intended, but still. His WHIP was 1.273, and he pitched 30 games giving up 11 runs total. In 2018 he finished 0-1 with 37 games played with a 4.26 ERA. His WHIP was 1.579, which isn’t too good, but he still got the job done. Usually after getting lucky in a year, you won’t do too well in the next, but Aaron Bummer doesn’t think so. In 2019 he went 0-0 in 67.2 IP with a 2.13 ERA and a 0.990 WHIP, which IS something to write home about.

What’s Next?

I can’t say that Bummer is talented, but I can’t say that he’s not. He is a solid pitcher, and it sure was a bummer that he got all no decisions in 2019. In 58 games, no decisions? I don’t know if that’s weird (it is) but he will definitely get a decision in 2020. He will also get a lot of other things, like a 3.00 ERA and a 1.250 WHIP. All I can say is that it sure would be a bummer if my predictions are wrong.

Jace Fry

Position: RP

Height/Weight: 6-1, 190

Date of Birth: July 9, 1993

Bats: Left Throws: Left

Born: America

Resúme:

In 2017 Jace Fry received that talk with AAA manager Mark Grudzielanek that he had been called up to the major leagues. Fry was understandably happy, but after the year he wasn’t happy. This is because he had finished the year at 0-0, with a 10.80 ERA. This man pitched in 6.2 innings, but he still managed to cram 8 earned runs into that year. Nice job. 2018 was better though, and he finished at 2-3 with a 4.38 ERA. What’s funny is that he pitched 51.1 innings, and that’s about 7.5 times the number of innings that he pitched in 2017, and he multiplied his stats like crazy. For example, in 2017 he had 3 strikeouts, and in 2018 he had 70. That’s 23 x the number he had in 2017. In 2019 he took a step backwards with a 3-4 record, but with a 4.75 ERA. He pitched in 68 games and he had 55 IP. His WHIP was 1.582, up from 1.110 he had the year before.

What’s Next?

Jace Fry is just part of the temporary plan for the Sox, and he won’t amount to much. I don’t see him on the 2021 team that I think will go far, and he won’t have a major role on the 2020 team, maybe just eat up some innings. While he has little trade value, I think that the Sox might explore trading him to another team. If he stays, he’ll have a 4.50 ERA at 4-4.

Kelvin Herrera

Position: SU

Height/Weight: 5-10, 200

Date of Birth: December 31, 1989

Bats: Right Throws: Right

Born: Dominican Republic

Resúme:

Kelvin Herrera was called up to the MLB in 2011, and he went 0-1 with a 13.50 ERA in 2 innings. In 2012 he was set to have a bigger year than 2011, and he pitched in 76 games. He pitched in 84.1 innings total, and he got a 4-3 record with a 2.35 ERA. In 2013 he was a rising reliever, and he finished the year 5-7 with a 3.86 ERA. He pitched in 59 games that year and he had 58.1 IP, a step back from 2012. 2014 was the best year of his career. He went 4-3 with a whopping 1.41 ERA. He pitched in 70 games and he had 70 IP. In 2015 he was still with the Royals and he finished 4-3 with a 2.71 ERA. He pitched in 72 games and he pitched 69.2 innings. In 2016 the Royals were coming off of a World Series win, and expectations were high. Herrera finished the year at 2-6 with a 2.75 ERA and he pitched in 72 games. Also that year he had 72 IP with a 0.958 WHIP, which would be the best of his career. In 2017 the Royals had a mediocre year, and so did Herrera. He went 3-3 with a 4.25 ERA in 64 games, which isn’t a great year for a reliever. In the middle of 2018 he was traded to the Nationals, and he finished the year in total at 2-3. That year he had an ERA of 2.44 with a 1.195 WHIP. In the offseason the Sox acquired Herrera in an attempt to boost their bullpen, and boy oh boy it could not have gone more wrong. He had a 6.14 ERA in 57 games, and he went 3-3.

What’s Next?

Kelvin Herrera was supposed to be a big addition to the 2019 team, but he somehow finished at a 6.13 ERA. What happened? If you look at his stats, he was pretty dominant in the years before. My guess is that MLB batters adapted to his pitches, but I really can’t say confidently what happened. Based on what happened in 2019, he will have a bad year in 2020, but I don’t think so. I think that he will go back to a 3.50 ERA and 60 games pitched.

Evan Marshall

Position: RP

Height/Weight: 6-2, 225

Date of Birth: April 18, 1990Bats: Right Throws: Right he went

Born: America

Resúme:

Evan Marshall was brought up to the MLB by the D-Backs in 2014, and he had 57 games pitched that year with 49.1 IP. He had a 2.74 ERA with a 1.358 WHIP and 54 SOs. He would not have another win until 2019. In 2015 he went 0-2 in 13 games. He had a 6.08 ERA, and 2016 wasn’t much better. He had a 8.80 ERA in 2016 and he went 0-1. In 2017 he was with the Mariners, and he went 0-0 with a 9.39 ERA in 7.2 innings. In 2018 he went to the Indians, and he had a 7.71 ERA with a 0-0 record. Those 2015-2018 were a disaster, but he returned to his 2014 glory in 2019. He went 4-2 with a 2.49 ERA in 50.2 IP. He had a 1.303 WHIP, and 41 SOs.

What’s Next?

Evan Marshall can be good, but he can also be hurt. He isn’t too talented, and the best he will ever get is to an average reliever. In 2019 he had an above average year for a reliever, and he could have that same kind of year in 2020. I don’t think that he’ll have a great year in 2020, but there really isn’t too much to say about Marshall.

Minor League/Prospect Previews

White Sox Minor League Info

AAA -Charlotte Knights (75-64)

AA -Birmingham Barons (64-72)

A+ -Winston-Salem Dash (72-61)

A- Kannapolis Intimidators (64-74)

Rookie -Great Falls Voyagers (34-40)

Rookie -AZL White Sox (22-34)

Foreign Rookie -DSL White Sox (37-33)

Top 10 Prospects

1. Luis Robert

2. Michael Kopech

3. Nick Madrigal

4. Andrew Vaughn

5. Dane Dunning

6. Luis Alexander Basabe

7. Steele Walker

8. Blake Rutherford

9. Micker Adolfo

10. Matthew Thompson

Player Previews:

Luis Robert

Position: OF

DOB: August 3, 1997

Report: Luis Robert is such a talented ball player. He skipped through 3 levels in 2018, and then 3 levels in 2019. In 2019 he had a bad bad habit of carving up opposing pitchers. In his 3 combined leagues, he hit .328, including a .453 in high A ball. He was a signing from Cuba, and he signed for $26 million. At first people doubted him. They said that he was too high of a risk, and why are the White Sox going after him. Who doesn’t love proving your doubters wrong? He is ineligible for the Rule 5 draft, and he will no doubt be called up to the major leagues. He is bound to have a great year in his rookie year.

Michael Kopech

Position: SP

DOB: April 30, 1996

Report: Michael Kopech more belongs in the major league section, but he still qualifies as a prospect so I’ll put him here. He was traded to the White Sox in 2016, and the only main concern was his off of the field issues. He has had problems with teammates, anger, and insulting people in the minorities. His claim to fame was his amazing speed, and that could possibly go after he underwent Tommy John surgery. Some sources say that he can still throw 100 MPH after the surgery, but it’s kind of doubtful. In his MLB debut year he went 1-1 with a 5.02 ERA, which is not too good. It was his rookie year though, and nobody was that concerned until he was warming up to pitch one day. He told the team doctors that his arm felt funny, and he got an x-ray. The results were positive, and he was out for the year and the next. I think that he still has a chance to succeed, but it’s a much smaller chance than before.

Nick Madrigal

Position: 2B

DOB: March 5, 1997

Report: Nick Madrigal was the 4th pick of the 2018 MLB draft out of Oregon State, and he has not been a bust yet. He is very short at 5-7, but he can still hit for power. He hits mainly for average, and he has a thing for doubles. In 2018 he quickly climbed the ranks from rookie ball to high A, he covered a lot of ground in just a few months. 2019 was no different as he went from high A to AAA. He is still developing as a ball player, and he should still be called a prospect. In 2019 he should be ready to go to the MLB, but he should only go to the MLB after he has had a short stint in the minors. He should be great in the future, but he will always be doubted because of his height.

Andrew Vaughn

Position: 1B

DOB: April 3, 1998

Report: Vaughn is a highly talented first baseman, but there are still many unanswered questions. I’ll get to that later. He was drafted out of California in 2019, and he went through three levels of minor league baseball. He started out in rookie ball, ad then he went to low A, and then to high A. He didn’t particularly impress anyone hitting for average or power, and this might be because he only played in 55 games total. Based on his college stats, it’s safe to say he hits for average and he definitely hits for power. In 2018 at California, he played in 54 games, and he hit 23 home runs. If that trend continued throughout a 162 game MLB season, he would have hit 69 home runs. Of course MLB pitchers areh better than college pitchers, but still, very impressive. The real question for major league success is what will happen to Jose Abreu. (You can find Jose Abreu’s scouting report on page 5) The White Sox are setting up to replace the 33 year old first baseman, but he will stick around for a bit. In 2020 Andrew Vaughn will answer a lot of questions if he plays the full season. While he will not reach the big leagues, he still could go up to AAA.

Dane Dunning

Position: P

DOB: December 20, 1994

Report: Dane Dunning was drafted out of Florida, and he was taken by the Nationals in the 1st round. He was mainly a reliever at Florida, as he only started 20 out of his 66 games. The Nationals wanted to change that, as he started all 16 games he pitched in the minors with them. In the offseason, he was part of a blockbuster trade that brought Adam Eaton to the Nationals, and sent Dunning, Lucas Giolito, and Reynaldo Lopez to the White Sox. Dunning was kept where he left off in low A, and eventually he was brought up to high A. In 2018 he started off in high A, and was brought up to AA midseason. All was well, until he hurt his elbow. He was to return in 6-8 weeks, but it never happened. He avoided Tommy John surgery, and he sat out all of 2019. That brings us to this year. While Dunning will return this year, the question is if he will every be the same. My answer, no, but yes. He will not throw for velocity, but rather spin, and he will recover from this low point in his career.

Luis Alexander Basabe

Position: OF

DOB: August 26, 1996

Report: Acquired during Chris Sale trade…Star in the minor leagues…Very big upside…Hits tons of triples…Solid getting on base skills…Good fielder…Very young..Could have a place in the Sox’s future.

Steele Walker

Position: OF

DOB: July 30, 1996

Report: Drafted out of Oklahoma…Hits for solid average…2018 was a poor season… He hit .284 last year combined in high A and AA…He has 15 career home runs in the minors…GREAT fielder…Fielding percentage was 1.000.

Blake Rutherford

Position: OF

DOB: May 2, 1997

Report: Drafted by the Yankees…Acquired in 2017…Has moved up one level per year…Has hit for average thus far…Does not hit for power…Average fielder…Does not have much of an upside…Will not be part of future Sox.

Micker Adolfo

Position: RF

DOB: September 11, 1996

Report: He has hit for average…Average totals have been .323 throughout his career…Total home runs throughout career is 40…Great at fielding, fielding percentage in CF is 1.000…Signed with Sox at the beginning of his career.

Matthew Thompson

Position: P

DOB: August 11, 2000

Report: Was drafted by Sox in 2nd round of 2019 draft…Was nit started immediately by the Sox…He pitched in a total of 2 games for the Sox…Was drafted out of Oklahoma…Average fielder…Great upside.

Projected Results

Projected Season Records

2020 Season…91-61

2021 Season…95-57

2022 Season…99-53

Projected Standings:

2020:

1. Cleveland Indians 95-57

2. Chicago White Sox 91-61

3. Minnesota Twins 85-77

4. Kansas City Royals 61-101

5. Detroit Tigers 53-109

Projected Minor League Players Brought up to the MLB:

Luis Robert OF

Michael Kopech P

Carson Fulmer P

Zack Collins C

Luis Alexander Basabe OF

Who has a Place in the Future?

This question is asked a ton in the Chicago front office, and I will try my best to answer it. The easy answer is to try to place a depth chart based on prospects, but that is not effective. That’s because a prospect is not guaranteed to be good, so one would have to predict who will be good. That is an almost an impossible task, next to counting every grain of sand on a beach.

When the White Sox set up the rebuild, their cornerstones of the franchise were set to be Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Michael Kopech, and Luis Robert. There are some other players with potential such as Andrew Vaughn and Nick Madrigal, but they have a lesser chance to succeed.

Of the first players that I listed, one has almost busted, one has had Tommy John surgery, and one hasn’t even came up to the MLB. The other two, Yoan Moncada and Lucas Giolito, have both been good, but only after a few years. Moncada was horrible in 2017 and 2018, leading the league in strikeouts, but he has recovered in 2019 as he hit .315. Giolito was awful in 2018 as he led the league in walks, but at the break in 2019 he was 11-3. Reynaldo Lopez has almost become a bust because he has a 5.38 ERA and a 10-15 record. Michael Kopech had Tommy John surgery in 2018 and he missed all of 2019, and Luis Robert was in the minors for 2019. I made it sound really bad when I said that “He has only played in the minors”, but he has tore up the minor leagues.

To the original question: Who has a place in the future? Of the original players I listed, the only one that won’t be a part of their future will be Lopez. If the Sox’s rotation is Giolito, Kopech, Dylan Cease, Dane Dunning, and then a number 5, you will need not count on hitters. They all have unbelievable talent, and they all have the potential to succeed. For the hitters, in my mind there is a big question. Jose Abreu. Will Andrew Vaughn replace him? Eventually yes. But for now no. Andrew Vaughn will not replace Abreu this year, but he is the first baseman of the future. Maybe Abreu will switch to DH, be I don’t see him as a part of the future Sox. If you have Vaughn at first, Nick Madrigal at 2B, Moncada at 3B, Tim Anderson at SS, Zack Collins at C, Luis Robert, Eloy Jimenez, and Luis Alexander Basabe in OF, then the White Sox will be successful.

This is based off of the assumption that things will pan out the right way, but what if they don’t? What if their cornerstones all turn to busts. Exactly what happened after 2008. That is why this is so crucial and the White Sox cannot afford to lose.

They need their prospects to hit their potential, and I’d bet that at least half, maybe three quarters do. Will it be enough? You can play it any way that you want with ¾ of the players be good, and the Sox will be successful. This is why the Sox will be successful. This is why that Rick Hahn will succeed. This is why the White Sox will be good again.

What From Here?

As covered earlier, I think that the Sox will succeed. What should the Sox do while they have the offseason? They have some free agents to pursue (Anthony Rendon), but should they make a move. Would they need a 3B? The real question that they should be asking is if they trust their prospects. If they do, then they only need a RF and DH. If not, well, it’s over. Assuming that Rick Hahn wants to keep his job, he will choose option number 1. I think that he shouldn’t pursue any big names in free agency because nowadays, everyone is requiring a TON of money. Just look at Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. Harper’s former team won it all, and Machado’s former team made the playoffs. Pretty bad for both. The Sox need to stick with their core, and they will only need to pursue a RF and a DH.

Bonus Content

Projected Team MVP:

Batting: Luis Robert

Pitching: Lucas Giolito

Projected Rookie of the Team:

Batting: Luis Robert

Pitching: Michael Kopech

Projected Defender of the Team

Fielding: Yolmer Sanchez

Pitching: Lucas Giolito