Second Base – Yolmer Sánchez and Leury Garcia
Yolmer Sánchez has been on the White Sox for five years. In that time he has had a rough go. His career-best average is .267 in 2017. His best OBP was .319 also in ’17. He does not draw too many walks and has had a strikeout rate as high as 25 percent in 2016.
But what Sánchez lacks in offensively, he makes up for in his defense, versatility, and speed. In 2017, Sanchez had the seventh highest defense WAR in the American League with 1.8. In 2018 he hit the most amount of triples in the American League and in two previous seasons hit the top 10. He committed the fifth least amount of errors at third base with 13 last season. He also had 14 stolen bases in 2018.
Sánchez lacks the ability to contribute offensively on a constant basis, but that does not mean he cannot. He is showing improvement by steadily raising his average each year, except for 2018. But he did hit those 10 triples so that could even things out a bit.
If you are looking for Sánchez to be the second baseman to hit .300 or .280 for that matter, he is not. He will not hit 20 plus home runs and have an OBP of .360 or higher. But he is the type of player to drive in 50 or more RBIs, steal at least ten bases, play third, second and shortstop and has the capability to hit 10 triples.
Sánchez is essentially fighting for his job in the future. With Madrigal expected to make the team out of Spring Training next season, Sanchez’s time on the south side could be coming to an end. If he can record a slash of .270/.340/.400 or somewhere near there, hit five to 10 home runs and drive in 50-60 runs, he has a very good chance at keeping his job.
Essentially Marwin González 2.0, Leury García can play seven, maybe eight of the nine positions in baseball. The eight exclude pitcher and first base. Although he does have two innings of pitching experience under his belt…
Once part of the infamous Tres García’s in the Outfield, Leury can play just about anywhere you put him. He is scheduled to be in center field Opening Day, but once Jon Jay comes back off the 10-day injured list, he could be moved as Sánchez’s back up at second and just alternate between shortstop and third for Anderson and Moncada’s off days.
García and Sánchez are very similar players, just García being a bit more versatile than Sánchez being that he can play almost everywhere. He, however, did have a solid year in 2018 hitting .271 with 12 stolen bases. But he only played 82 games, the second most in his career (87 in 2017).
Despite the lack of consistent offensive ability, a player that can play in seven or even eight of the positions is the type of swiss army knife you do not want to give up.
García is most likely going to play about 80 to 90 games this season, but his speed and defensive capabilities will keep him on the team for some time.