Despite trading top pitcher, outfielder PECOTA projections favorable to White Sox for upcoming season. If more trades are made, could team actually finish in last place?
The Chicago White Sox aren’t expected to contend this season. While the team could very well finish in last place, the recent PECOTA projections from Baseball Prospectus has the team finishing another season below .500 with 77 wins.
With the Sox still holding onto solid trade assets in Jose Quintana, Todd Frazier, and David Robertson, they could very well eclipse 77 wins this season. However, if they trade any or all of these players, it could be a long season on the South Side.
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The Sox could be looking at another season below .500, but the PECOTA predictions are still kinder to the South Siders than another team in the AL Central Division. The projected standings in the AL Central according to PECOTA are listed below. The Royals are expected to finish in last place.
Cleveland Indians 92-70
Minnesota Twins 80-82
Detroit Tigers 78-84
White Sox 76-86
Kansas City Royals 71-91
Although the Sox are projected to finish in fourth place by PECOTA, the Sox could very well end up in third or last place in the division. The AL Central won’t be a relatively strong division in 2017 with the reigning American League Champion Cleveland Indians getting better this offseason. The Indians added free agent slugger Edwin Encarnacion to a solid lineup, and they could run away with the division.
The Sox are in a better position than other teams in the division, but its surprising to see PECOTA give a positive projection for the Twins. The Twins don’t have a strong starting rotation or bullpen, and they will need more help on offense. Despite fielding a lineup with Brian Dozier, the Twins failed to produce another player that had a batting average higher than .268. The Twins did hit 200 home runs as a team however, which was good for 12th in MLB last season.
If the Sox are able to have solid seasons from their younger players, they could have a good 2017 on the South Side. With Rick Hahn stating the Sox aren’t expected to contend, fans shouldn’t be upset about PECOTA’s projection for the upcoming season. The Sox aren’t the only division team in the midst of possibly rebuilding. With the Tigers and Royals expected to finish below .500, the Indians could dominate the division from Opening Day to the end of the season.
This upcoming season will be mostly about developing young talent. The Sox are entering a season with no expectations of contending for the first time in a very long time. If the Sox are able to continue developing their younger players, 2017 will be a success no matter what the final record is.