White Sox might have a trio of players worth watching for fans this season. Each player represents hope for the team’s offense.
Last year the White Sox did not really have any player worth watching on their team. Their only All-Star Jose Abreu had a down season and missed time due to injury. Daniel Palka‘s home runs were cool but his defense and on-base percentage were not, making him an average-at-best player.
Despite losing their seventh straight game dating back to last year, the White Sox have given fans a reason to watch the team these first two games.
Moncada has played great in the first two games of the season, mashing his first home run on Saturday (a two-run shot) and does not yet have a single strikeout. Sure it is a small sample size, but he certainly looks like a more confident player and nearing 24, he is at the age where it is time to make a big step.
Abreu also hit his first home run of the season on Saturday, and given his talents and the fact that he is a fan-favorite, the White Sox need to lock him up long-term. He remains one of the games best first baseman, and as brutal as the team has been with him, they would be even worse without him.
Until the Sox find an equivalent replacement prospect first baseman (which probably will take at least two years) he needs to remain part of this team. Hopefully, a four-year extension is in the works. After missing out on all the major free agents this past offseason, the franchise certainly has the money available.
Jimenez also had a good game Saturday, picking up his first two career hits, so there is no reason to overreact over his hitless debut. Even with such little MLB experience, he showed an ability to battle at the plate.
In his last at-bat, he battled but then took two questionable pitches for strikes two and three, leaving him visibly frustrated at either the umpire or himself. The strikes he took reminded me of a line from “The Natural” when Hobbs didn’t like the call, “well, welcome to the majors Mr. Hobbs”. The majors can be tough sometimes, but Jimenez has the talent to become a star.
Unfortunately, the rest of the team is… well…. not good. You need a lot more than three good players to have a winning team, as the Sox had at least four consistently good players from 2014-2016, and they were not able to crack .500 once.
Tim Anderson has not been good, as the shortstop with a career .286 on-base percentage has made two errors in two games, and I would have given him a third on the missed pop-up hit by Jorge Soler, which ended up costing the Sox runs. Whomever’s fault that was, that sort of defense is completely unacceptable from a major league team. That has to get better.
Two games down, 160 to go. The White Sox are now 419-555 under General Manager Rick Hahn’s watch.