White Sox: 5 under-the-radar players to watch this spring
Tyler Saladino (IF/OF)
(Photo credit: MiLB.com)
Anderson and Johnson are certainly flashier names, but Tyler Saladino put together a solid 2014 before he underwent Tommy John surgery in August. Saladino posted a .310/.367/.483 over 82 games at Triple-A Charlotte while showing some defensive versatility.
His .367 OBP was just above career norms, but his average was significantly better than anything he had previously shown in lower levels of the system. So the question with Saladino is, how much of his 2014 is the real deal?
Saladino’s greatest asset is that he can play shortstop and has the chance to give veteran Alexei Ramirez some rest. He even spent some time in left field, which means he could have an impact as a super-utility type in ’15.
With Gordan Beckham and Emilio Bonifacio already serving roles that would fit Saladino, I think he’ll have a difficult time getting to Chicago out of spring training.
Rebound candidate Matt Davidson is ahead of him on the depth chart for third base, and that is the other position where Saladino theoretically could vie for the most playing time.
Saladino is worth watching over the next few weeks not only because he is a crucial depth piece, but also because his value could best be served in a midseason trade. If the White Sox go after a big name player at the trade deadline, players such as Frank Montas or Tyler Danish might headline the package, but Saladino could very well be another significant piece in the deal.
Thus, his performance this month has other meaningful ramifications aside from his push to see time on the South Side in ’15.
Next: Under the Radar: Chris Beck