White Sox rebuild enters its second full season and is going exactly to plan. While some fans are impatient, sustained success for the team is close.
The White Sox rebuild is getting very tedious. Some White Sox fans are getting impatient. And the winning can’t come any sooner. And that’s because the future does indeed look bright but also because it looks like it’s going according to plan.
Last year, the rebuild hit its climax around the time the White Sox found themselves with Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Nicky Delmonico on their roster. They all had relatively productive years and everyone saw the potential and promise. This year, the Sox and their fans could see that elation reach new heights with developed skills and experience coming together and resulting in prolonged and increased production.
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And now the White Sox are seeing even more signs of great things to come. This time they come in the shape of studs like Michael Kopech and Luis Robert and what they can bring in a couple of years’ time.
What all this ultimately means on the scale of the grander picture is that rebuild is right on track.
Spring Training is going into its third week and the White Sox players of interest are getting extended time on the field. The results are looking better and better with every game. Moncada, a notorious slow-starter is starting to heat up. After getting one hit in his first 16 at-bats, he’s gone 5-for-9 with a double, three walks, and one strikeout. Moncada heating up in Spring Training would be the best case scenario for both him and the team.
But the best story coming out of Spring Training, aside from watching players like Kopech or Robert, has been the guys who are entering potentially their first and going into their second season. These players are going to determine how well the White Sox will do this season and yes, Spring Training is not exactly MLB quality of play but it might be the closest thing. Here’s how a few of the NextSox have done up through Friday.
- Matt Davidson: 11-for-32 (.344 avg.), six extra-base hits (three home runs), 15 RBI
- Delmonico: 10-for-32 (.313 avg.), five extra-base hits (five doubles), 5 RBI
- Moncada: 6-for-25 (.240 avg.), nine runs, .387 OBP
- Casey Gillaspie: 7-for-28 (.250 avg.), four extra-base hits, .429 SLG
- Ryan Cordell: 9-for-22 (.409 avg.), six walks, 1.172 OPS
- Adam Engel: 5-for-20 (.250 avg.), two home runs, .975 OPS
The Sox players who made the big league club last year had hot streaks and cold streaks throughout last season. But what they and the Sox need this year are extended periods of excellence and a full season of quality. A strong Spring Training is a good way to start.
Also, the very anticipated arrival of two players, in particular, Eloy Jimenez and Robert, might not be that far away. Jimenez has played very limitedly due to injury but is scheduled to be promoted sometime late this year. However, it was Robert who had the play of Spring Training when he launched a grand slam in the bottom of the eighth inning a few days ago. Both are two of the team’s highly-rated prospects. As of Saturday morning, Robert was diagnosed with a sprained left thumb and will be out for at least six weeks.
On the pitching side, it’s been awfully exciting watching the young guns showcase their talent so far. Kopech, Dylan Cease, Alec Hansen and Dane Dunning have been the talk of the mound. Not so much their numbers, because they only pitch one to two innings in an appearance. But just their sheer size, mechanics and even their sample-sized bodies of work are promising enough to merit excitement. Especially for pitchers like Kopech who are months or a season away from the majors.
There will be bumps along the way like hitless games and pitchers who get the boot after only pitching one-third of an inning, but that’s expected. The players are young and learning but the potential is all there. And that’s where the rebuild looks to be on track.
The overall success of the team leaves everyone associated with the team in high spirits. The rebuild may be still a few years away from fruition but it should be comforting to know that the White Sox do have talent in their prospects and they should be winning soon enough.