Last season The Chicago White Sox were 67-95 finishing three games ahead of the Detroit Tigers for last place in the American League Central. This year it is looking like it should be more of the same. It is well known that the White Sox have started a rebuild. While they may not be very good this year or next, they have made a lot of trades. Through those trades, they have accumulated a good amount of top-notch prospects. Many of the pieces they got are young, raw, and extremely talented. There is no question General Manager Rick Hahn has done a good job parlaying the veteran talent he had into multiple high-end prospects.
2018 Chicago White Sox
The White Sox moved most of their top talent over the past year and a half. Chris Sale, Adam Eaton, Jose Quintana, David Robertson, and Todd Frazier have all been traded since the end of the 2016 season. The teams that acquired these players, the Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and Washington Nationals, were all willing to pay with top prospects to try and get the final piece for a World Series run. The players the White Sox got back are ready to start to make contributions at the major league level. So let’s see what the White Sox have in store for 2018.
There are some returning members of the squad from last year. Avisail Garcia, Jose Abreu, and Tim Anderson should return to their starting spots. The rest of the position players will be filled by young players. Yoan Moncada was acquired in the trade for Chris Sale. The kid has done nothing but hit in the minors. His first season in the majors was not awe inspiring but he showed promise. He has only had 251 plate appearances in the majors but is a switch-hitting infielder who has all the tools to be a great player. With a full season in the majors manning second base at the age of 22 he could easily reach the 20-20 potential that many scouts envision.
Eloy Jimenez is a prospect the White Sox acquired as part of the Quintana deal from the Cubs. This is another guy who can mash. At three stops in the minors last year Jimenez slashed .312/.379/.568 with 19 home runs and 65 RBI. He won’t be 22 years old until November but is poised to take the next step. With the lack of talent in the outfield, the White Sox may be ready to see what he can do with the big club sooner rather than later.
Another switch-hitter the Sox have is Nick Delmonico. He manned center field for a while last year and proved he deserves a shot. Delmonico slashed .262/.373/.482 in his short stint with the big club. He also showed he could handle center field. He will battle for the starting spot and should win it with the lack of talent the Sox have in the outfield. Delmonico will be 26 in July and the White Sox should put his skills to use for a whole season.
The Pitching Staff
The Chicago White Sox opening day starter could be Lucas Giolito. That says a lot. While they have some good arms, the Sox are just not ready. Giolito has thrown 66.2 major innings in his career. He was acquired from the Nationals along with Reynaldo Lopez for Adam Eaton. Giolito was touted as a top of the rotation starter and while he did have some success last year, the drop in velocity of over 1.5 mph was concerning. Lopez also figures to be in the rotation. He pitched a grand total of 91.2 major innings in his career.
Michael Kopech is another stud they picked up in the Sale deal. He is raw and probably a couple years away from making his mark but he throws 100 mph and the promise is there. There will be some growing pains for this staff. Carlos Rodon, who is supposed to be the ace, is not due back until June following shoulder surgery. The uninspiring James Shields and Miguel Gonzalez round out the White Sox rotation.
The bullpen is also a work in progress. The Sox have veterans like Joakim Soria, Danny Farquhar, Luis Avilan, and Nate Jones. This should make for an interesting choice of closers. Soria has closed before and Farquhar briefly closed for Seattle in 2013. Jones probably has the best stuff out of these choices but we may see a wild card arm in the race. Thyago Vieira is a kid they love and will probably make the team. He will be eased into high leverage situations but he has nasty stuff and could possibly be a closer at the major league level.
On With The Rebuild and What’s Next
The Chicago White Sox will not contend this year. They are just starting to rebuild their team. The White Sox have yet to see their prized prospects play at the major league level for a full season. They acquired very high-level minor leaguers in their deals over the past year and a half. It will be another two years though before we see the full development of guys like Moncada, Jimenez, Giolito, Lopez, and Kopech. The time is coming for the Sox. It just won’t be until 2020.
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