Growing Pains: Young players finding their way
The White Sox have played this season like a group of young players finding their way and determining if they belong in the majors. That said, the growing pains are real. Yoan Moncada is striking out a lot, but that has been part of the scouting report forever. He’s drawing some walks, and the eye test makes me think he’s beginning to look more like a big leaguer as opposed to a new prospect.
Tim Anderson, who I once pegged as a future center fielder to make room for Manny Machado, is beginning to move like a shortstop. The footwork in the field is improved, and he has shown some patience at the plate. It’s no longer a complete rarity for him to walk, even if it still doesn’t happen too often. Plus, those wheels are finally equating to more steals.
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Charlie Tilson is back from his unfortunate injury and looks like he belongs. He’s been overmatched a few times. He’s looked like a rookie more often than not, but I can see him in left with Luis Robert manning center, or perhaps the reverse, in the future. Here’s to hoping the local kid can continue his growth and find a home.
Let’s not forget the system is stocked with young, developing, ideally soon to debut future trade candidates, bench pieces, everyday players, and stars. Not every rebuild functions like the Cubs, where somehow every single player seems to belong from day one. There will be failures and setbacks. Keep the faith, and the beauty of the White Sox rebuild will shine through.
Hopefully, I didn’t stray too far from the beauty.
Trading players who are clearly not part of the future is a beautiful thing. Signing guys to one-year contracts in the hopes of a cheap trade candidate is integral to any rebuild, not just the White Sox rebuild. They bring back potential pieces of the future. They reload systems for trades during contending seasons. These players unload salary. Growing pains are beautiful. Very few players are effective on day one.
Even superstars like Mike Trout had some trouble at the start. I’m not saying we have the equivalent of a Trout, but early struggles in the majors can often lead to later success. As more stopgaps and rentals get traded away, there will be no choice but to plug in prospects and glimpse the future. The future is right there – big, bright, and beautiful. We just have to peel back the messy on field layer of errors, strikeouts, and underperformance. Be patient.