White Sox 26th ranked prospect gets Opening Day start in center field. The young outfielder has worked hard this Spring to earn his chance to play in the big leagues.
The Chicago White Sox will start rookie Jacob May in center field on Opening Day against the Detroit Tigers on April 3. May, who was a third round draft pick in 2013 (91st overall), will make his MLB debut starting in center field.
With May getting the nod to start in center field, the Sox will be able to see what they truly have in the 25-year-old speedster. May has baseball in his genes as his great uncle Carlos May played 10 MLB seasons, and his grandfather Lee May played 18 MLB seasons. The young outfielder will carry on his family legacy this upcoming season.
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The Sox, who entered Spring Training with Charlie Tilson as a possibility to be the starting center fielder, will rely on May to begin the season. Tilson is still recovering from an injury to his right foot, and could be out until mid to late May. With Tilson injured, and Peter Bourjos traded to the Rays, May took advantage of the opportunity to become the Sox starting center fielder on Opening Day.
May had a solid Spring Training for the Sox as he hit .349 with two doubles, three triples, two home runs, three RBIs and four stolen bases in 25 games. The young outfielder was a long shot to make the team at the beginning of Spring Training, and he knew he had something to prove according to Scott Merkin of whitesox.com.
"“I had nothing to lose. Not someone that is really talked about a lot, which is fine with me. I don’t really care about that stuff. It gave me a little chip on my shoulder.People didn’t expect too much from me. I know the organization knows what I’m capable of doing, which is all that really matters. Everyone else has opinions as well.” Jacob May"
The journey of May to the big leagues has been a rough one for the outfielder. He suffered injury setbacks in the minor leagues, and he could have started this season in Triple A again. A career .273 hitter in the minors, May only played 83 games with the Charlotte Knights last season. He suffered an oblique injury on July 15 and didn’t return until August 9 for the Knights.
During the 2015 season, May suffered a concussion after colliding with Tim Anderson on a pop fly while playing for Double A Birmingham Barons. May played 98 games that season for the Barons, but missed more than a month of action due to concussion symptoms. With injuries behind him, May finally gets his chance to showcase his talent at the major league level.
The Sox won’t be contending this season, so they will be able to utilize May a lot more than if they were expecting to compete for the playoffs. May could be a surprising player for the Sox this season. He will certainly have plenty of opportunities to prove he belongs in the majors. Let’s hope his career is just as long as his great uncle and grandfather’s was.