White Sox: What’s Going Right On The Southside

CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 05: Fans arrive at Guaranteed Rate Field for the Opening Day home game between the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers on April 5, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - APRIL 05: Fans arrive at Guaranteed Rate Field for the Opening Day home game between the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers on April 5, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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CHICAGO, IL – AUGUST 10: The Chicago White Sox celebrate the walkoff home run by Daniel Palka #18 of the Chicago White Sox during the ninth inning at Guaranteed Rate Field on August 10, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The Chicago White Sox won 1-0. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL – AUGUST 10: The Chicago White Sox celebrate the walkoff home run by Daniel Palka #18 of the Chicago White Sox during the ninth inning at Guaranteed Rate Field on August 10, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. The Chicago White Sox won 1-0. (Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) /

Surprised Performances

Omar Narvaez

After Opening-Day starting catcher, Wellington Castillo was suspended for violating the league’s PED policy, the starting job behind the plate was awarded to Omar Narvaez.

Entering his third year in the league, Narvaez only had 124 games under his belt, primarily serving as the team’s backup. But now, allowed to play every day, he has turned some heads. This year, after 79 games, he holds a batting slash line of .288/.378/.438 with an OPS of .816.

With the starting catcher job for the contending stage of the rebuild still up for grabs, Narvaez is setting the bar pretty high with his recent impressive performance.

Daniel Palka

Another player to get a starting job to replace another player was Daniel Palka.

On April 24, Avisail Garcia was placed on the 10-day disabled list and Palka was called up. After Garcia came off the DL, Palka’s performance and skill set were valuable to have in the Majors and he was able to keep his roster spot.

Despite his .237 batting average and .283 OBP, he is slugging an impressive .471 with an OPS of .754. But it is his 19 home runs, 14 doubles, and 53 RBIs in 97 games that stand out.

He may not have pushed his name into the American League Rookie of the Year debate, but in a couple years when Palka is hitting 30-plus home runs and driving in 100 or more runs constantly, many will question why he was not.

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