White Sox: The importance of building team chemistry

CHICAGO, IL - JULY 31: (L-R) Yolmer Sanchez
CHICAGO, IL - JULY 31: (L-R) Yolmer Sanchez /

The White Sox are adding a wealth of new young talent. They also are hoping to build a positive culture in the organization as well.

It is common knowledge that the White Sox are rebuilding and adding talent to their roster. What may not be as apparent is the rebuilding of a positive culture around the organization.

At first glance, you may just look at prospect rankings to gauge how a team’s rebuild is working. But, in many cases, you need to look a little deeper to see how it really is progressing. Watch the camaraderie between players at this winter’s hitters mini-camp and you’ll see a positive attitude permeating throughout the team.

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You’ll see the expected explosiveness of Eloy Jimenez‘s bat. You’ll see the improved workout regime of Jake Burger. But, you’ll also see a whole lot of laughter and togetherness. While pure talent trumps “getting along”, when you have both, it’s a beautiful thing.

When we read stories of Yoan Moncada picking up Luis Robert and playing big brother to him this winter, it speaks volumes to the new positive team chemistry being built. Just as Jose Abreu took it upon himself to mentor, teach and guide Moncada when he was called up to Chicago, Moncada has taken that role now with Robert.

Watching Burger, Blake Rutherford, Zach Collins and Gavin Sheets dancing in the outfield while warming up together is just one more sign of positiveness. With the enormous influx of high-level talent, there can be the danger of big egos clashing. This is definitely not the case with the Sox newest additions.

The last three World Series champions all had one thing in common. The young core that they built the team around all came up together. They knew each other from the minors to the major leagues. They all started from similar places and related to each other. That same equation is now rampant in the White Sox organization.

Can teams win without getting along? Absolutely. Look at the Yankees of the 1970’s. They were the definition of a dysfunctional team. They had very public shouting matches at one another in front of millions. But, in those cases, their talent was able to rise above it.

There is no definitive answer to how much team chemistry is worth in wins to a major league team. However, one needs to look no further than the World Series champions of 2015, 2016 and 2017.

A positive team culture provides a better base for young players to be able to achieve their maximum potential. Players who are brought up in those environments want to be at the ballpark early and work on their craft. They want to be around each other and help each other. A negative team culture, on the other hand, simply extinguishes any positive vibes from players.

It’s not a coincidence that the players the White Sox drafted and signed are quality personalities along with quality talent. This has been a measured and precise plan. The Sox have done their homework and have followed their plan to perfection so far. Gaining talent is only half the rebuild, however. Changing a losing or mediocre culture takes time. You have to remove the negative influences while bringing in positive ones.

Next: Excitement over White Sox current rebuild

The White Sox plan is going along just swimmingly right now. And it’s not all just about the athletic talent soon to be on the field. It’s a new winning and positive culture. It’s team chemistry and don’t think it’s not important to progressing into a championship team.