Aug 3, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Atlanta Braves infileder Emilio Bonifacio follows through during the eighth inning against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Emilio Bonifacio has proven to be one of the better utility players in the game. He can play pretty much anywhere.
Should the Chicago White Sox play Bonifacio at second base if Micah Johnson and Carlos Sanchez both prove unable to in Spring Training? Probably not, due to the fact that he is better used in the outfield.
Bonifacio is best used as a utility player.
When using him in the field, the outfied is going to be where Bonifacio needs to be. The White Sox really don’t want him in the infield, considering that his fielding percentage is below .970 at third base, shortstop and second base for his career.
Meanwhile, in the outfield he is near .990 (career) or above at all three spots. So spelling any of the three outfielders would be best.
When it comes to offensively, Bonifacio obviously is not an everyday player. A lot of that has to do with his HR/K Ratio. He struck out 85 times in 394 AB’s in 2014, which is a poor ratio for a hitter that has limited power (three home runs last year-more of a slap hitter), according to stats from FanGraphs.com.
A good thing with him is that when he puts the ball in play, he gets a hit almost 33 percent of the time. His BABIP is at .331 for his career, which is good for a player coming off the bench; however, keep in mind his strikeout rate.
One way I would use him is as a pinch hitter. When a tough reliever comes in late in a game, Bonifacio could pinch hit for a hitter that has a poor track record versus that pitcher. Not to mention he would make a great pinch runner, that being due to his speed (26 stolen bases in 2014).
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Bonifacio will give the White Sox a much-needed boost off of the bench. While I don’t think he will be of much help in the infield, he will be able to fill in at outfield spots.
That will be of great need assuming Adam Eaton goes down, due to the fact that Bonifacio could be a solid player to fill in at the top of the order. Bonifacio may have been not have been celebrated when he was signed, but don’t underestimate his value to the White Sox.