During the offseason, the White Sox added a few bats to their lineup. Considering the fact that the Sox had an awful offense in 2015, changes needed to be made. So, in what order should manager Robin Ventura bat each player? Here is my mock lineup:
1. Adam Eaton-CF
Eaton is going to be the White Sox leadoff hitter on opening day, barring injury. Even though he got off to a poor start in 2015, he still rebounded to finish with a .287. Eaton gives the Sox a solid contact hitter at the top, with a bit of power to boot.
2. Melky Cabrera – LF
Over the last several years, Cabrera has proven to be a very good contact man. On top of that, he will take pitches well. Cabrera is probably the best #2 hitter on the White Sox roster since A.J. Pierzynski in 2008. I realize the fact that Cabrera didn’t live up to expectations last season, but keep in mind he hit into awful luck in the first half of the season.
3. Jose Abreu – 1B
Far and away, Abreu is the best player in the White Sox lineup. With the 30 HR/100 RBI ability per year, it makes sense to put him in the #3 hole. On top of that, Abreu will hit around .300, which only increases his value.
4. Todd Frazier – 3B
Frazier was the big offseason acquisition for the White Sox this offseason. With his 30+ home run ability, he makes for the ideal candidate to protect Abreu in the Sox lineup. Hopefully the 2015 Home Run Derby champ won’t fall off in the second half of the season, which would hurt both his numbers, not to mention Abreu’s.
5. Adam LaRoche – DH
After a horrible 2015, LaRoche is hoping for a bounce back season in 2016. LaRoche was brought in to add a left-handed power bat to the Sox lineup, which he didn’t provide. If LaRoche struggles out for too long out of the gate in 2016, don’t be shocked if the Sox go in another direction at DH.
6. Brett Lawrie – 2B
Second base was a horrible position for the White Sox in 2015 when it came to offensive production. The two main contributors at that position last season, Micah Johnson and Carlos Sanchez, gave the team an empty stat line at best. Lawrie bring a major injury risk, however if he stays healthy could provide one of the league’s better bats at second base.
7. Avisail Garcia – RF
I think that Garcia could move his way up this lineup very easily, assuming he develops into the player he can. However, until he does it might make sense to take some pressure off of him by hitting him down in the lineup.
The catcher spot has been a serious weakness for the White Sox since 2012, and I think that Navarro and Avila could provide a solid platoon. Neither are going to be elite starters, but as a tandem both have the ability to produce for the Sox.
Rollins is an interesting addition for the Sox, because if he has anything left with the bat he should start at shortstop. Saladino could also start, however he could make for an excellent utility infielder.
All in all, this lineup has flaws, not to mention a couple of holes. Considering the fact that they still have too many players with a poor K/BB rate, it could get frustrating at times to watch this group. I think it is a much deeper lineup than the one the Sox went into 2015 with, however don’t expect to be watching fundamental baseball every night. Overall, they should put up more runs, but will it be enough? Time will tell.