Are the 2015 White Sox Better Than the 2005 Squad?
May 3, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Chicago White Sox catcher Tyler Flowers (21) hits a single in the eighth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
2015: Tyler Flowers (ESPN Projections: .219 Avg./17 HR/44 RBI)
2005: A.J. Pierzynski (2005 Stats: .257 Avg./18 HR/56 RBI)
Flowers will be a year older in ’15 than Pierzynski was in ’05, and will look to finally bloom. This is an interesting match-up because Flowers is actually the reason the front office felt Pierzynski was expendable after the 2012 season.
May 13, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Boston Red Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski (40) in the dugout at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
With his 2014 offensive output, Flowers at least worked his way into serviceable territory, and his ’15 projections aren’t far off from his ceiling as a potential 20-home run player.
However, batting average and strikeout propensity will always be what keeps Flowers from becoming a true offensive force.
The White Sox have consistently touted Flowers’ ability to handle the pitching staff, and Pierzynski wasn’t significantly better than him defensively. The key here is intangibles, as Pierzynski offers a gutsy type player with a fire that seems to be lacking from Flowers. Just see his heads up play in Game 2 of the ALCS as a prime example.
Combine Pierzynski’s “win-or-die trying” attitude with his better contact skills, and it’s enough for him to barrel Flowers away from home plate. Unlike his experience with Michael Barrett, Pierzynski probably wouldn’t have to absorb a punch from Flowers for doing so either.
Edge: A.J. Pierzynski
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