Second base was the position many of us were talking about entering the 2015 season. When the Chicago White Sox turned to rookie second baseman Carlos Sanchez got his chance, early demands to remove him from the starting job were well deserved.
Through the month of June, he was hitting .153 and seemingly only stayed in the lineup due to him being the one half-decent defender that played everyday.
Something must have happened overnight as since the calendar has turned to July, Sanchez is hitting .306 and has brought his season average up to a respectable .239 with 20 doubles and three long balls which have all come in the last 7 weeks. He has been seeing the ball better as evidenced by his two additional walks despite 30 fewer plate appearances.
Luck has also been on his side with a batting average on balls in play (BABIP) of .233 in May and June and .365 since, It could also be attributed to better pitch selection, which is what the Venezuelan rookie said himself early this month.
What does all this mean though?
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Well if Sanchez continues showcasing his ability to hit, which was evident throughout the minor leagues, Micah Johnson becomes prime trade bait for another starting pitcher or perhaps a catcher during winter trade talks. If the club feels Sanchez is best suited for a utility role, it likely ends Gordon Beckham‘s second tenure with the team. Time would tell if manager Robin Ventura would actually use Sanchez though, as Beckham as well as former utility backup Emilio Bonifacio (designated for assignment earlier this month) have been used as sparingly as sunblock in February in Chicago this season.
Provided that Sanchez continues playing well to end the 2015 campaign, it appears he will get the first chance at starting next April unless something major happens (injury, trade for Jason Kipnis, etc.). If a move is made to upgrade the position, it would give the White Sox more depth in the middle infield, a switch hitting bat off the bench and another good, young player to add to the core of Chris Sale, Avisail Garcia, Adam Eaton, and Jose Abreu.
At this point it is not out of the question to think Sanchez could make an All-Star team one day with how he swings the bat and throws the glove around. Many teams would love to have those pieces. Now it is up to the White Sox to prove they can convert talent into wins. Sanchez can certainly help that cause.