White Sox showing signs of promise despite rough losses this past week on the road and at home in the team’s home opener.
The White Sox are more than a week into the new, young season but there are already signs of good things on the horizon despite a couple of tough losses. It remains to be seen whether or not the White Sox are ready to contend for one of two coveted Wild Card spots but regardless of how successful the team is, the hopes for this team are sky-high moving forward.
After the first two games of the season, the hype train was plowing through Chicago with reckless abandon at full speed. This exciting White Sox team could possibly win more than just a few games if they played like they did in Kansas City. But after the following two losses in Toronto, the hype train has settled to down to slow chug, making scheduled stops and now offering a discounted fare.
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The White Sox scored 14 runs in a euphoric win versus the Royals on Opening Day but were brought back to reality in Toronto. The Blue Jays scored 14 runs, with 7 scored in the eighth inning on Tuesday. To add to the near-sighted misery, the White Sox had what might be one of their worst losses of the season, mishandling a three-run ninth inning lead. In the home opener, of all games.
That being said, the Sox have experienced both high highs and now even lower lows. But the silver lining through all the early season speculation and oncoming growing pains is production from the players who will need to come up big when the time is right, either this season or the next. In addition to those players, the young studs have also shown many bright spots early in the first few games this season.
Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia are picking up where they left off in 2017. Abreu hitting well is not much of a surprise, he’s been doing so since he came into the league, but Garcia’s hitting performances are a very welcomed sight. He’s currently 9 for 27 (.333) which included an absolute blast in Toronto. The 481-foot home run was the longest White Sox home run in the StatCast era.
Another welcomed sight is Tim Anderson’s early season success. The rejuvenated shortstop is hitting a solid .304 already with three home runs and more notably, four stolen bases. Anderson is looking much more relaxed and is starting to get a hang of the pace of MLB baseball. He’s trusting his hitting ability at the plate and his speed on the base path. His success is very exciting to watch and at the same time comforting.
Other players off a nice start are Matt Davidson, who now has hit four home runs (tied-most in MLB) and scored nine runs (2nd-most in MLB). Davidson is hitting .318 and in the home opener went 2-for-3, with two walks, and scored all four times he was on base.
Reynaldo Lopez, Lucas Giolito and Carson Fulmer also showed signs of positivity in their first starts. Both Lopez and Giolito went a strong six innings, Lopez allowing only one run, Giolito allowing three. Fulmer went five innings, allowed one run but was charged with three for leaving two men on. All three pitchers are entering pivotal seasons in their young careers but have shown early signs of good things to come.
On a smaller scale of improvement, Yoan Moncada too, has been hitting the ball extremely well but is struggling to get base hits (4-for-26, .154 batting average). He’s currently ranked sixth in the MLB in hard contact percentage but just hasn’t been rewarded for it. He’s also tied for the team lead in strikeouts again but he also has the most base on balls on the club. He’s very patient in the box, his swing percentage sits around 40 percent.
The lowest swing percentage is 24 percent (Matt Carpenter) and the highest is 70 percent (Javy Baez). Moncada usually gets off to slow start so we’ll check in with him in a few weeks. And going back to Anderson, he drawing walks. Three, as a matter of fact. As funny as that sounds, it took Anderson 22 games to draw three walks last season. It came on the last day of April so it essentially took a full whole month to draw three walks. He drew two walks in the home opener, and if you’re curious, he only had one two-walk game last season and they came on June 20th.
The season is very young. New born baby young. The White Sox have been apart of a handful of rough losses already but the early signs of success are very promising. Davidson is smashing the ball, the young pitchers had solid first starts, and the boys are having fun. In the immortal words of Ken Harrelson, “Don’t stop now boys.”