Aug 30, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu (79) during the first inning at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
The 2015 MLB season will be the 10th anniversary of the last World Series championship by the Chicago White Sox, and nothing would commemorate it better than the franchise lifting another trophy this October.
Much has been written about Chicago’s postseason aspirations going into the ’15 season, and it struck me that there are actually quite a few similarities between this year’s club and the historic one from a decade ago.
The ’05 club still had power guys like Paul Konerko and Jermaine Dye, but also blended that power with speed and more of a small ball approach in the form of players such as Scott Podsednik. The ’15 club is constructed to do something similar and what follows is a position by position comparison of the two teams.
I’ll be comparing the starting lineup featured during Game One of the 2005 World Series to the projected Opening Day lineup for the upcoming season. This won’t strictly be a numbers comparison as I’ll be looking at intangibles as well, and how various players would fit on what will be a hybrid 2005/2015 team at the end of this process. Regardless, the main goal is to determine which squad has more overall talent.
All players from the 2005 club will be valued based on their ’05 regular season numbers. In other words, if I’m comparing Paul Konerko to Jose Abreu, I’m not talking about the 38-year-old Konerko of today, but rather the one that swatted 40 home runs in 2005.
I’ll be weighing past numbers on projections, but will not be using common benchmarks such as Steamer or PECOTA. I just can’t get behind some of the numbers coming out of those systems, such as LaRoche hitting .238 or Jeff Samardzija posting an ERA almost 100 points higher than he did in ’14. As a result I’ll be relying on ESPN fantasy projections, which I think are a little more in line with what we should see from these players in ’15.
Per ESPN, these projections:
"“are the product of an analysis of a player’s past performance, growth or regression potential and expected playing opportunity.”"
With that said, let’s see who has an edge on their historic counterpart at each position.
Next: White Sox: First Base