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White Sox Grade Book: Looking back at the 2018 outfielders

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CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 30: Avisail Garcia #26 of the Chicago White Sox celebrates with teammates after hitting a home run in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on August 30, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 30: Avisail Garcia #26 of the Chicago White Sox celebrates with teammates after hitting a home run in the first inning against the Boston Red Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field on August 30, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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CHICAGO, IL – SEPTEMBER 25: Nicky Delmonico #30 of the Chicago White Sox makes a diving catch on Francisco Lindor #12 of the Cleveland Indians during the fourth inning on September 25, 2018 at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /

Left field can be a challenging spot to play at Guaranteed Rate Field. The wind often blows strangely out there, which can make fielding the ball a bit of a challenge.

After Melky Cabrera was traded to the Royals at the deadline in 2017, the White Sox have not had an everyday left fielder. Nicky Delmonico saw the most time in left in 2018, but he only had 579 innings. By comparison, Cabrera had 787 prior to his departure in 2017. The other 500+ innings were covered by Charlie Tilson, Leury Garcia, Daniel Palka, and Ryan LaMarre.

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BOSTON, MA – JUNE 10: Charlie Tilson #22 of the Chicago White Sox and Daniel Palka #18 of the Chicago White Sox smile as they run in from the outfield after the victory over the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on June 10, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images) /

Since Delmonico played the most innings in left, his stats tell the best story. He had a fielding percentage of .969, due to four errors. Left field is a tough position to play, as many of the best players had a small handful of errors, too.

Delmonico’s range at left was 1.66, which was a bit lower than Tilson’s 1.75. The best range in the MLB belonged to Justin Upton who had a range of 2.15 in 1200.1 innings. A few other players had slightly better ranges, but with a fraction of innings. Just for comparison, Melky Cabrera only spent 33 innings in left field this season with the Indians and his range was 1.75. The majority of his defensive innings (467) were spent in right and there, he had a range of 1.41.

It would be nice to see more of Tilson, since his defensive stats were better than Delmonico’s were. Would they stay that way if Tilson saw double the innings?

The third most innings in left were given to Leury Garcia, but his numbers weren’t as good. Garcia had a range of 1.50 and a fielding percentage of .952 due to three errors in 63 attempts. He’s got speed, but it didn’t show up well this season.

Defensive grades:

Delmonico: C+

Tilson: B-

Garcia: C-

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On offense, Garcia was much better than Delmonico and Tilson. Garcia clearly hits singles as his .271/.303/.376 shows. In his 258 at-bats, he had four home runs and triples and seven doubles. He had 70 hits and 9 walks. Delmonico had a slash of .215/.296/.373 with eight home runs, five triples, and 11 doubles. He had fewer hits (61) and more walks (27). Tilson batted .264 but did not hit a home run. He did hit one double and one triple in his 121 plate appearances.

When it comes to left fielders who can hit, the White Sox were all over the place. In regards to batting average, Garcia ranks 19th and Delmonico 56th. With home runs, Delmonico ranks 35th and Garcia ranks 44th. Considering that both Khris Davis (48) and J.D. Martinez (43) spent significant time in left field, the White Sox home runs are insignificant.

Offensive grades:

  • Delmonico: D+
  • Tilson: D
  • Garcia: C-

Next. James Shields should not be re-signed by the White Sox. dark

Overall, the White Sox outfielders need to improve in several areas. It would be nice to see all of the regular outfielders become better offensively. It would also be nice to see range factors improve in the corners. Engel should continue his aggressiveness in the field, as should Avisail Garcia. But, Avisail’s injuries prevent him from being consistently amazing in right field. He could be dominant if he could stay healthy. And, all of the left fielders need work, both offensively and defensively.

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