This spring training, the Chicago White Sox have had a nice battle for the starting second base position to start the 2015 regular season.
Though there has been no official winner of the job announced, my vote goes to rookie Micah Johnson, who battled Carlos Sanchez for the starter’s role, along with others in the mix for time in Emilio Bonifacio and Gordon Beckham.
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With that said, the play of Johnson has been fairly solid this spring with a .339 average in 22 games for the White Sox. Johnson also has a .391 on-base percentage and a .475 slugging percentage.
His OPS is .864 in Cactus League play. The second baseman has 20 hits (three doubles, one triple and one home run) in 59 at-bats.
Johnson will most likely bat in the eight or nine spot in the order for the White Sox once Opening Day arrives, and most likely that is where he’ll stay, unless something were to happen to Adam Eaton at the top of the order sometime this season.
With Johnson, the fielding won’t be as spot on as he is with his bat, but Johnson had very good speed with six stolen bases in seven chances this spring.
Colleen Kane of the Chicago Tribune wrote this week about how the White Sox are keeping both Johnson and Sanchez on the roster for Opening Day.
"“Kane wrote: Ventura had said recently Johnson was the leader to win the job, but he wouldn’t confirm Johnson would make his major-league debut as the starter April 6 against the Royals. Both players have had solid spring showings.”"
Feb 28, 2015; Glendale, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox infielder Carlos Sanchez poses for a portrait during photo day at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
With that said, here is a look at Sanchez’s spring.
One plus Sanchez has over Johnson is he does have actual MLB experience, but not a lot (28 games, 100 at-bats, .250 average, 5 RBIs).
This spring, Sanchez has played in 21 games, where he assembled a slash line of .425/.489/.425 with an OPS of .914. In those aforementioned games, Sanchez has 17 hits (none for extra bases), along with six RBIs and one stolen base.
Yes, Sanchez is a better fielder than Johnson, and his average is higher, but with Johnson, I like his speed and ability to steal a base over Sanchez, which puts him over the top in my opinion.
Both are very quality players, so in all of this debate and battling this spring, the best part of all of this is the fact the White Sox have two talented players to choose from, and eventually, they both will be on the starting roster in some way for the White Sox.