Examining the Top Heavy Nature of the Chicago White Sox Roster


The Chicago White Sox were not a great ballclub in 2013. Going 63-99, the White Sox finished 30 games out in the American League Central and posted the third worst record in baseball. Naturally, with that record, they were not going to have many stellar performances.

Mar 10, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Chris Sale (49) pitches against the Milwaukee Brewers at Maryvale Baseball Park. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

On ESPN.com, David Schoenfield took a look at the top ‘core five’ players in baseball, looking at which teams received the highest WAR total from their top five players. Further down the article, he notes which teams received the highest percentage of WAR from their top five players. In the latter category, the White Sox are listed as receiving 86% of their overall WAR from their top five players.

Looking at the White Sox on Fangraphs.com, the top five members of the White Sox combined for 16.1 of the White Sox overall 19 WAR from last year. Essentially, the other players that the White Sox had on the field accounted for 2.9 WAR, which means that everyone else that played for the White Sox combined to be one relatively solid player. Then, as Alex Rios and Nate Jones both tied for fifth with a WAR of 2.0, leaving one off the list, that means that the rest of the White Sox roster after the top six combined for a WAR of 0.9, which is basically a replacement level player.

Chances are, the White Sox are not going to be as top heavy this season. While they may still be led by Chris Sale, they have added a number of solid younger pieces. Jose Abreu, by all accounts, is expected to be a force of nature. Conor Gillaspie may be starting to tap into his potential. Jose Quintana very quietly put together an excellent season last year, and could be poised to take that next step. With another year of maturation, the younger players on the White Sox may lead to a much more balanced team overall.

2014 may still be a rough season for the White Sox next season, but better days could be ahead soon. In all likelihood, those better days will start making an appearance as soon as next season.