Chicago White sox


The White Sox have been doormats in the American League for six years, losing a combined 553 games—more than any other A.L. club during that span. But with a cast of quality players, they may soon shed that impression and turn the Central Division into a more competitive battle for the Cleveland Indians and Minnesota Twins.
Manager Rick Renteria will need continued patience as he works out the kinks in Chicago’s talent field, but it will pay off in the near future.
Here are five players to watch in the White Sox’s battle back to respectability.
Team MVP: Jose Abreu

There’s no doubt first baseman Jose Abreu is among the most formidable hitters in the junior circuit, and the White Sox offense will again center around the right-handed slugger. Abreu, who has four 100-RBI seasons in his first five years in the majors, suffered through an injury-plagued 2018 campaign and his numbers fell to career low marks with 22 HR, 78 RBIs and a .265 BA. He is healthy and will return as the top run producer and help mentor a core of young hitters that are strewn throughout the White Sox lineup. In 20 spring training games, Abreu hit four homers with 17 RBIs and a .911 OPS.
Best-Value Pitcher: Reynaldo Lopez
Entering the 2018 season, Reynaldo Lopez would have been a wild guess for baseball prophets to predict he would be the most effective pitcher for the Sox and the ace of the staff heading into the 2019 season. During his first two MLB seasons with the Nationals and White Sox, he combined for an 8-6 record and 4.81 ERA in 19 games and 91.2 innings. Last year, he finished 8-8 with a 3.99 ERA in 188.2 innings and 32 starts, including 19 of quality value.
Despite being roughed up for a 5.74 ERA in four spring starts, Lopez wasn’t concerned. “I don’t pay attention if my ERA is high or low right now,” he said. “Spring training is for you to get ready for the season. I’m improving and excited for the season to start.”
At 25, Lopez won’t become a free agent until 2024, giving him plenty of time to develop into the pitcher Sox management is expecting, which could lead to a contract extension.
Best-Value Position Player: Yoan Moncada
Yoan Moncada earned $555,000 last season in his first full year in the majors and hit a disappointing .235 with 32 doubles, 17 homers, 73 runs, 61 RBIs, and a whopping 217 strikeouts. The switch-hitting third baseman, who was MLB’s top-ranked prospect before the trade that brought him to Chicago, understood his struggles are part of the development package that all young players experience before becoming steady major league performers. He possesses all the tools to be a star and will bounce back with a strong 2019 campaign.
He worked during the offseason on his hitting mechanics and the Sox took notice. “His desire to come down to Arizona as soon as last season was over showed us that he knew, he understood the things that he needs to correct,” said Renteria. His determination to improve showed impressive results during spring training as he hit .353 with a 1.115 OPS and 16 strikeouts in his first 19 games and 62 plate appearances.
Moncada, 24, is another young player who could earn a hefty pay raise and contract extension with a season that will emphasize his importance to the rebuilding phase of the White Sox future.
Best Addition: Eloy Jimenez
The Manny Machado deal that went sour may have been a blessing in disguise since it convinced the White Sox to give a contract extension to a player who has yet to take his first swing at the major league level. Eloy Jimenez’s talent is almost boundless and he has been rated as one of the most talented prospects in MLB. Many baseball connoisseurs believe he will be a front runner for A.L. Rookie of the Year honors.
The powerfully built right-handed outfielder inked a six-year, $43 million contract which could inflate to an eight-year, $75 million deal if club options for 2025 and 2026 are picked up. Once an untouchable commodity in the Cubs organization, Jimenez came over to the southside in the deal that sent pitcher Jose Quintana to Wrigleyville. Many scouts claim Jimenez has accomplished all he can at the minor league level—in five seasons in the minors and Dominican Winter League, he has a combined .314 BA, .364 OBP, .528 slugging and 207 extra-base hits in 450 games.
Expect Jimenez to make an immediate impact in the White Sox lineup alongside Abreu and Moncada. And with Tim Anderson, Yonder Alonso, Daniel Palka, and Yolmer Sanchez lurking in their shadows, the Sox could assemble an impressive offensive threat.
The X-Factor: Alex Colome
Only three MLB teams had fewer than the 34 saves White Sox relievers manufactured in 2018—the Orioles (28), Marlins (30), and Royals (33). The trade with Seattle that brought Alex Colome to be the White Sox closer should help lessen the club’s bullpen woes. Colome, who saved 37 games in 2016 and a league-leading 47 in 2017 with the Rays, struggled with consistency last year when he finished the season with only 12 saves. In a midseason deal, he moved from closer to a late-inning specialist and recorded a 5-0 record and 2.53 ERA in 46.1 innings with the Mariners.
For the White Sox to challenge for a .500 or better winning percentage, Colome must return as one of the A.L.’s most reliable shutdown relievers and avoid the damage 19 blown saves caused Chicago last season. He will loom large as a difference maker for the Sox in the late-innings of close games.


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