White Sox Storylines for Final Two Months of Season
By Brian Draus
White Sox playing for pride through remainder of the season, but there are storylines to watch out for with the team. With rookies getting more playing time, what player will take advantage and seize their opportunity?
With the White Sox out of the race for the postseason, it is time to take a look at some storylines that will be interesting for fans. While none of which will involve playoff implications, there are still some reasons to watch White Sox baseball. Here are some:
Will Todd Frazier lead the league in home runs?
As of right now, Frazier trails both Mark Trumbo (Baltimore-33 HR’s) and Edwin Encarnacion (Toronto-32 HR’s) with 31 of his own. That is more than within striking distance considering the amount of time left in the season (teams have a little less than 1/3 of a season remaining), however there is a catch.
With Trumbo and Encarnacion hitting in stacked lineups, not to mention playing in pennant races they will have the edge in winning the crown. Another factor is U.S. Cellular Field plays much larger as September wears on. Trumbo and Encarnacion however, play in warmer venues as Baltimore should stay warm longer, and Toronto has the ability to be indoors. An interesting note about this race is Frazier may finish third in the American League in homers. However he’s hit more home runs than any individual National League batter (Nolan Arenado of Colorado currently has 30).
How will Tim Anderson finish?
When Anderson first came up to the White Sox, he was extremely difficult to get out, as he hit .314 from June 10th through June 30th. However since Anderson’s June, he only managed to hit .245 in July and is hitting a measly .207 so far in August. Anderson is also striking out far too much, as he has fanned 68 times in 224 at bats so far in the major leagues. The most troubling stat of all with Anderson is the fact he has only walked four times.
When you watch Anderson the rest of the way, don’t look at the glamour parts of his game. That would be cutting down on strikeouts and increasing his walks. The rest will come along just fine assuming he does that.
Who are some young players to watch?
The name to keep an eye on is Zack Burdi. The White Sox seem to have him fast tracked to the majors, and at a lightning fast speed. Burdi was drafted in the first round of the draft with the 26th pick. After brief stints with Single-A and Double-A, Burdi is now pitching at the Triple-A level. Burdi’s fastball can reach triple digits, and he has a good slider as well. Burdi has the ability to be an elite closer at the big league level, but a lot of that has to do with his command.
The White Sox will likely call up a catcher (Kevan Smith quite possibly), not to mention outfielder Jacob May could be another. Not sure about the others, especially pitchers depending on how the team wants to develop them.
Next: White Sox Set to Begin Series With Miami Marlins
Overall, the young players are the big reason to watch the remainder of the season. It will be interesting to watch a potential back-end reliever develop, and if Anderson can adjust back to the league. Frazier’s home run title challenge should be interesting. The young players are more entertaining however, as they should be here for several more seasons. I know most White Sox fans have already checked out, but the team is starting to build a foundation. Better days are ahead, White Sox fans.