Adam Engel is putting up good numbers in an effort for fighting for the Center Field starting job.
For Chicago White Sox outfielder Adam Engel, it’s safe to say 2017 was a rough season for him. Engel had a slash line of .166/.235/.282 in 97 games. It was obvious that when he returned from injury, Charlie Tilson would have no trouble competing for his roster spot. But here we are midway through Spring Training and Engel is hitting everything in sight.
Update: Tilson was optioned to Triple-A Charlotte on Tuesday morning.
In 12 at-bats, Engel has driven in four RBIs with five hits, two of which coming via the long ball. His on-base percentage is a staggering .563 and he has an OPS of 1.563. Yes, it is only Spring Training and he has a small sample size. But from what we can see, Engel is not only in midseason form, he has a mindset of making the team and performing well.
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"“I just want to put the ball in play every chance I get. I don’t necessarily want to say to not strike out, but just be more of a contact oriented hitter. I feel like I have the skill set to put the ball in play and when I get to put the ball in play I get to use my speed and other aspects of my game a little bit more. I’m just trying to make sure when I get a good pitch to hit I hit it, put it in play and just go from there.” – Adam Engel"
Engel was competing with Tilson for the starting job in Center Field, and it shows he was aware of this with his spring numbers. He’s steadily improving and his power is gaining momentum.
It’s uncertain where, or even if, Engel fits with the future of the organization with star prospect outfielders like Eloy Jimenez, Blake Rutherford and Luis Robert flying their way through the MiLB. But for now, Engel is focused on getting this starting job. With his numbers so far, he may very well be granted his wish.