White Sox center field will be crowded for next season, but each player will need to prove they’re worthy of starting on Opening Day.
The Chicago White Sox had many different players starting games in center field this past season. From Jacob May to Leury Garcia and Adam Engel, the Sox didn’t have a true bonafide starter in center field in 2017. Entering the 2018 season, the Sox will have a muddled center field picture according to James Fegan of The Athletic.
Fagan spoke with Sox general manager Rick Hahn earlier this week about the team’s center field situation entering next season. With Tilson coming off multiple injuries this past season, he will need to show he’s ready for competitive action in 2018. Engel struggled last season at the plate and will need to improve his offense entering next season. Garcia started 2017 nicely, but injuries limited him to just 32 games played in the second half.
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Many Sox fans are familiar with Eloy Jimenez being the headliner of the team’s trade with the Cubs for Jose Quintana this past season. Another player that was included in that trade, Dylan Cease, could be a tremendous asset for the Sox. According to Patrick Mooney of NBC Sports Chicago, the Sox see the same big potential in Cease as the Cubs did when they drafted him in the sixth round of the 2014 draft.
"“We still project him as a starter. He certainly has the stuff where it’s easy to envision him as a potential dominant reliever. But to this point – for the foreseeable future – we deal with the starting and continue to develop him as a potential front-end arm.” Rick Hahn"
With the deadline for adding players to the 40-man roster this Monday at 7 PM CST, the Sox will need to make decisions in order to protect prospects from the Rule 5 Draft. One of those players, Ian Clarkin, is thankful for being healthy this past season according to Scott Merkin. Clarkin, the Sox no. 22 prospect was acquired from the New York Yankees as part of a return for third baseman Todd Frazier before the trading deadline this year.