The 2016 season was a turning point for this franchise and the 2016-2017 offseason will be one to remember when this team is back atop the standings in the AL Central. They tore the team down, trading away key assets, but bringing in excellent, exciting young talent. Now, that talent is inching its way to the big leagues.
The Chicago White Sox will have more than its share of growing pains in 2018, but this is a team that’s on the climb back up after a dramatic teardown over the last 18-months. There are a lot of pieces in place in Chicago. Now, it’s just about putting the puzzle together. This is one of the game’s top farm systems. Is it ready to produce fruit a the big league level?
2017 Record: 67-95
2017 Moneyline Record: +1.25 Units
2017 Over/Under Total Record: 76-80-6
Current World Series Odds: +11500
Current Odds To Win AL: +5000
Current Odds To Win AL Central: +1650
Regular Season Win Total: 68.5
The White Sox brought in Wellington Castillo this offseason. He and Jose Abreu are the old men on this offense. The rest of the lineup is made up of younger players, 26-or under.
Offensively, the White Sox could be okay. Abreu is as steady as they come at first. He was a 140 OPS+ bat in 2017, hitting .304 with a .906 OPS, 33 homers and 102 RBIs. He also scored 95 runs and hit 43 doubles and six triples. In his four Major League season, Abreu has hit at least .290 with at least 25 homers and 100 RBIs in each.
Abreu is a strong bat in the middle of the order and he’ll be protected by Avisail Garcia who broke out last year. Garcia doesn’t have the power of Abreu. He hit 18 homers last year and could be a 20-25 homer bat, but he hit .330 and produced a 137 OPS+ while putting the bat on the ball.
After those two, the rest of the order includes Castillo, who is a 20-homer bat behind the plate, and Yoan Moncada—one of the prizes of the Chris Sale trade and the key to this offense.
Moncada is a unique blend of speed and power. He’s a potential 20-20 guy this season and could hit ahead of Abreu, Garcia and Castillo in the order. Moncada is a true 5-tool player.
Moncada is a top of the order hitter. Abreu and Garcia fit in the middle. Castillo is a nice bottom of the order threat. That leaves a few holes in the order. Tim Anderson has been an answer for this team for a few years. They signed him to an extension, but he hasn’t developed as hoped. He’s a low OBP guy and okay answer at short, but needs the bat to come around.
Beyond those guys, Nicky Delmonico will be given a chance to show his small sample size in 2017 was real. Matt Davidson will try and build off his powerful season. Others like Chrlie Tilson, Laeury Garcia and Yolmer Sanchez will try and establish themselves as well.
The Sox have many prospects coming, including Jake Burger—who is now injured—and Eloy Jimenez who will debut for this offense in the next couple years.
The story on the mound is like that of the position players: there’s a lot of talent coming, but some bumps in the road between now and when the key players establish themselves as productive—and consistent—Major League players.
James Shields and Miguel Gonzalez are the veterans penciled into the starting rotation. Both could be pushed out by youngsters as the season progresses—or dealt away if pitching well. Speaking of those youngsters, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Carson Fulmer, and Michael Kopech could factor into the rotation. Meanwhile, Carlos Rondon is recovering from shoulder surgery.
Beyond those young guns, the Sox also have Hector Santiago on a minor league deal and further away prospects like Alec Hansen, Dane Dunning and Dylan Cease. The future is bright for this rotation, but the present may have some trouble. Giolito, Lopez and company could all go through some growing pains as they adjust to life at the Big-League level.
Beyond the starters, the Sox have added to their bullpen this offseason after completely dismantling it at the trade deadline in 2017. The idea is to support the young starters and Joakim Soria, Luis Avilan and Danny Farquhar all bring experience to the staff to help insulate the starters.This team is on the rebound. We’ve seen the Sox hit rock bottom. They’re on their way up and have a loaded system and good group of young arms to help them get back to the promised land. For now, however, the team will have to live through some struggles as the youngsters adjust and the others continue to develop. We can start to see some of the players breaking into the Majors and some of the positions filled with long-term answers, but for now too many question marks remain for the White Sox to do anything more than compete for third place in the AL Central.
|Baltimore Orioles||Baltimore, Maryland||Oriole Park at Camden Yards|
|Boston Red Sox||Boston, Massachusetts||Fenway Park|
|New York Yankees||New York City, New York||Yankee Stadium|
|Tampa Bay Rays||St. Petersburg, Florida||Tropicana Field|
|Toronto Blue Jays||Toronto, Ontario||Rogers Centre|
|CENTRAL||Chicago White Sox||Chicago, Illinois||Guaranteed Rate Field|
|Cleveland Indians||Cleveland, Ohio||Progressive Field|
|Detroit Tigers||Detroit, Michigan||Comerica Park|
|Kansas City Royals||Kansas City, Missouri||Kauffman Stadium|
|Minnesota Twins||Minneapolis, Minnesota||Target Field|
|WEST||Houston Astros||Houston, Texas||Minute Maid Park|
|Los Angeles Angels||Anaheim, California||Angel Stadium|
|Oakland Athletics||Oakland, California||Oakland–Alameda County Coliseum|
|Seattle Mariners||Seattle, Washington||Safeco Field|
|Texas Rangers||Arlington, Texas||Globe Life Park in Arlington|
|EAST||Atlanta Braves||Atlanta, Georgia||SunTrust Park|
|Miami Marlins||Miami, Florida||Marlins Park|
|New York Mets||New York City, New York||Citi Field|
|Philadelphia Phillies||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||Citizens Bank Park|
|Washington Nationals||Washington, D.C.||Nationals Park|
|CENTRAL||Chicago Cubs||Chicago, Illinois||Wrigley Field|
|Cincinnati Reds||Cincinnati, Ohio||Great American Ball Park|
|Milwaukee Brewers||Milwaukee, Wisconsin||Miller Park|
|Pittsburgh Pirates||Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania||PNC Park|
|St. Louis Cardinals||St. Louis, Missouri||Busch Stadium|
|WEST||Arizona Diamondbacks||Phoenix, Arizona||Chase Field|
|Colorado Rockies||Denver, Colorado||Coors Field|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||Los Angeles, California||Dodger Stadium|
|San Diego Padres||San Diego, California||Petco Park|
|San Francisco Giants||San Francisco, California||AT&T Park|
March 29-April 1: at Kansas City Royals
April 2-4: at Toronto Blue Jays
April 5-8: vs Detroit Tigers
April 9-11: vs Tampa Bay Rays
April 12-15: at Minnesota Twins
April 16-18: at Oakland Athletics
April 20-22: vs Houston Astros
April 23-25: vs Seattle Mariners
April 26-29: at Kansas City Royals
The Astros and the Twins are the only two teams on the schedule for the White Sox that finished the 2017 season above-.500. The rest of the competition should provide a nice easy transition into the 2018 regular season for the Chicago team still in a significant rebuild.
The Kansas City Royals will bookend the first month with the Sox traveling to Kansas City to kick off its season and then hosting the Royals in the Windy City as the month of April ends. KC is the only repeat team for the Sox who will also face the Tigers, Athletics, Jays, Rays, A’s and Mariners.
April doesn’t bring any lengthy road trips or homestands with neither lasting more than two series. The White Sox start the year on the road, but will celebrate its home opener on April 5 against a Tigers team at the beginning of its own rebuild, giving Chicago a good shot at a win against a team that finished below them in the standings in 2017.
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