White Sox center fielder providing value in brief time on the South Side. The 2013 19th round draft pick showing he’s capable of staying in the majors.
The Chicago White Sox started the 2017 season with Jacob May as their starting center fielder on Opening Day. After May showed he couldn’t handle major league pitching, he was demoted to Triple-A Charlotte. Leury Garcia would get the starting nod full-time in center field shortly after and played well for the Sox.
Garcia would go down with an injury however as he was placed on the 10-day disabled list on June 16 with a sprained left finger. With his injury, this opened up an opportunity for Adam Engel. Engel, the 2015 Arizona Fall League MVP had a brief stay with the Sox when he was called up on May 27. He would only have five at-bats before being sent back down to Triple-A Charlotte.
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After Garcia’s injury, Engel would get called back up to the Sox and he’s taken advantage of his opportunity starting in center field. Through 19 total games, Engel is hitting .296/.345/.462 with two home runs, four RBIs, four stolen bases and two walks. This is a very small sample size, but Engel is showing he could have staying power in the major leagues.
The Sox don’t have many true center field options in the minors currently, and Engel has done a solid job defensively thus far. Engel appears to have great range in center field and has made some good catches in the outfield. With the Sox rebuild underway, the team is able to give more opportunities to younger players this season.
For Engel, he’s finally able to show his worth at the major league level. With his speed and versatility, Engel could have some staying power with the Sox. The Sox could use more speed in the outfield and on the basepaths, something Engel has provided thus far.
With Garcia recovering from his injury, Engel will continue getting playing time in center field. If Engel can continue producing at the plate and defensively, he could become the starting center fielder for the Sox for the remainder of this season. The Sox could use a true center fielder, and Engel is proving why he deserves consideration to start more games.