White Sox: Team would shine in a skills competition at ASG
Despite having some notable talent, the White Sox were represented by only one player at the 2018 All-Star Game.
White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu got to start his first game for the AL All-Stars. He went 0-2 striking out against Max Scherzer of the Washington Nationals and flying out against Mike Foltynewicz of the Atlanta Braves.
Neither team hit many singles nor earned many walks, so Abreu did not get to show off his skills at first base. Unless players hit home runs, there were not many opportunities to showcase skills.
If you enjoy watching home runs, then you most likely enjoyed the events at the All-Star Game and the Home Run Derby. But, if you enjoy seeing other baseball skills, then the event was disappointing.
The proposed idea
Hall of Famer Cal Ripken, Jr. shared his idea to make the All-Star event more enjoyable for fans and players. On Tuesday afternoon, he told reporters:
"“I always liked the skills challenge concept and idea. I know I participated in a few of them early, when we had the relay-throwing contest, and I think they had the fastest around the bases. … It’s interesting to know who’s the fastest to first, or who’s the fastest in a split.”"
His idea has merit, especially if players who are not in the All-Star Game can participate.
Why the Sox would shine
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It would be fascinating to watch the fastest players round the bases and to see the strongest catchers pop up and throw down to second. This means that players like Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada, and Adam Engel could show their speed. And, believe it or not, Welington Castillo has a pop time in the top 10 and Alfredo Gonzalez has the strongest arm in the AL according to Statcast.
It would be fun to watch players turn double plays or make throws from deep in the outfield. Consider if Avisail Garcia were given a chance to show off his arm against some of the best. And, imagine if pitchers could have their own shortened version of the Home Run Derby!
It would be similar to the NFL Combines, but with MLB pros showing what they can do.
Next: Past White Sox in the Home Run Derby
There is no doubt that today’s MLB players are athletes and Ripken’s idea of bringing back skills competition would let them show off their skills. Along with the bonus of giving fans more of their favorite players to watch, it would make the Mid-Summer Classic event even more fun to watch.