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White Sox 2016 Season Review: Grading the Infielders

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Sep 4, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu (79) hits a three run home run during the seventh inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. The Chicago White Sox defeated the Minnesota Twins 13-11. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 4, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu (79) hits a three run home run during the seventh inning against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. The Chicago White Sox defeated the Minnesota Twins 13-11. Mandatory Credit: Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports /
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C Alex Avila

Jul 5, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Carlos Beltran (36) is tagged out by Chicago White Sox catcher Alex Avila (31) during the first inning at U.S. Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 5, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Yankees right fielder Carlos Beltran (36) is tagged out by Chicago White Sox catcher Alex Avila (31) during the first inning at U.S. Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports /

Avila was really a two outcome player for the White Sox in 2016.

He either walked to first or back to the dugout with his bat draped back. That’s not entirely a hyperbole either. Avila walked in 19.2 percent of his plate appearances but was hung up 37.3 percent of the time.

37.3 percent. Avila was objectively there starting catcher going into the 2016 campaign.

Avila hit seven home runs in 57 games, so with regular playing time he may have been good for third on the team leaderboard in bombs. That’s not exactly a compliment.

Avila’s greatest skill was that he wasn’t Dioner Navarro. Unlike his cohort, he was a good receiver and got on base at a decent clip (.359).

To solidify his career narrative, Avila knew the shelf more than the scruff of dirt behind the dish. A hamstring strain kept him sidelined for most of the season, rendering the Avila era a footnote rather than front page news.

Grade: C

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