2019 Chicago White Sox Season Recap
The Chicago White Sox are in year three of their rebuild. The hopes are that this was the season where they took steps towards becoming a playoff contender in 2020. Tim Anderson and Yoan Moncada had breakout seasons. Eloy Jimenez flashed his power potential. Lucas Giolito was so dominant early on that there were talks about him being the Cy Young Award winner. Jose Abreu continued to be productive.
While there were some promising moments in 2019, there were some very negative ones too. Production from the designated hitter and right field was historically bad. The fifth spot in the rotation was not very good. Despite having great defense from Yolmer Sanchez at second base, he was not productive at all at the plate. Needless to say, was that there was some good mixed in with some bad for the Pale Hose this season.
The first half of the season saw a lot of promise in the rebuild for the White Sox. At one point they had a .500 record (34-34 on June 14) and were 42-44 at the All-Star Break suggesting that there was a lot of progression in the rebuild. With James McCann having an outstanding first half there was a lot to like about this team. Moncada had made the switch to third base and played extremely well especially from a defensive standpoint. But he also hit well with a .315/.367/.548 slash line and hit 25 home runs as well as driving in 79 runs. Moncada finally was developing into that star-caliber player he was heralded as.
Tim Anderson broke out and had a monster season, even with an injury. He qualified for the batting title and won it with a .335/.357/.508 slash line with 18 home runs and 56 RBIs including 17 stolen bases. Despite the amount of errors, Anderson showed off his athleticism and was solid at shortstop. Anderson is slowly showing why he could be a star in this league.
Abreu was incredibly productive at the plate winning the RBI Crown with a .284/.330/.503 slash line with 33 home runs and 123 RBIs. Abreu made it clear when he accepted the team’s qualifying that he wanted to stay with the Sox.
Despite some injuries and a few struggles, Jimenez showed why he was traded for. He slashed .267/.315/.513 with 31 home runs and 79 RBIs. While there were talks about whether he would be a contender for American League Rookie of the Year, he showed why he is a cornerstone piece for the rebuild.
Giolito had been looked at as one of the best pitching prospects in the game. However, in 2017 and 2018 he struggled mightily. That being said 2019 was completely different. Giolito went 14-9 with a 3.41 ERA in 176.2 innings pitched with 228 strikeouts to 57 walks. Giolito was dominant, even having an ERA as low as 2.22 as late as June 14. But despite a rough stretch, he showed his potential.
Second Half Struggles
In the second half of the season, things did not go smoothly. The Pale Hose struggled to a 30-45 record despite all the promise from the first half. The White Sox did end the season on a high note. They won seven of their last 10 games but it still was a disappointing second half. That being said it was a step in the right direction for the rebuild as it was something to build upon.
The problem with this season was how historically bad the production was from right field and the designated hitters. Yonder Alonso was expected to be the every day DH, but was downright abysmal and was released in July. AJ Reed and Matt Skole also had a chance, but neither one was able to produce. Specifically, Reed who was outrighted in August after being promoted just a month earlier. Right field was especially bad as Ryan Cordell (who held down the job mostly), Jon Jay, Daniel Palka, and Charlie Tilson all had a shot but were just not producing enough.
The fifth starter situation? With Ross Detwiler, Dylan Covey, Manny Banuelos, Ervin Santana, Odrisamer Despaigne, Hector Santiago, and Carson Fulmer all having to fill in, just even having to name all those players suggests how bad it was. While there were some good starts in there, for the most part, they all struggled. If the White Sox had someone at least competent enough to hold down the role, then they would have won more games.
White Sox Outlook
With the expected promotions of top prospects Luis Robert and Nick Madrigal coming into 2020 and possibly Andrew Vaughn later in the season, there is a lot to like here about the White Sox. The hope is that they can build upon the progress that was made in 2019 to become contenders in 2020. With today’s news of the signing of Yasmani Grandal this definitely shows the Chicago White Sox are ready for the next step. The White Sox are a team to watch out for next season.