The 2019 Chicago White Sox didn’t have high expectations but the offseason is really putting it into perspective that it was a good year.
The Chicago White Sox missed on Bryce Harper and Manny Machado during the 2018-19 offseason. That money wasn’t really spent anywhere else meaningful and they were returning a team that was similar to the team that went 62-100 the year prior. With all of that negative energy headed into the season, there weren’t really many high expectations for them. They ended up going 72-89 which was a ten-game improvement over the year before. They also saw a vast improvement from many of the important players.
The offseason has really put into perspective how much of a success the 2019 season was for the White Sox. It starts and ends with the season that Tim Anderson put together. He had the highest batting average amongst qualifying players in all of Major League Baseball to win the batting title. Winning that award is something to be so proud of and build on for Anderson. He doesn’t have to win the award again in 2020, but he needs to repeat something similar and show he is a star for real.
Jose Abreu led the entire American League in runs batted in. He is a true leader in the White Sox clubhouse and he had a career year in 2019 to go along with it. He is in need of a contract and he proved in 2019 that he deserves to be a part of this team going forward. There were questions about him after having an off-year in 2018 and he proved to everyone that when he has more talent around him as he did in 2019, he can be great.
A lot of that talent around him came from improvements within the organization. Anderson had the great season that led to the batting title after being average in 2018. Yoan Moncada took a major step forward and looks like the superstar that he projected to be when he was the number one prospect in all of baseball. They got an All-Star season from James McCann and that certainly helped as well. They also had an elite rookie season from Eloy Jimenez. White Sox fans are upset that Jimenez wasn’t nominated for the Rookie of the Year but there is no arguing that he had a great year.
They also had the second base position win the Gold Glove at multiple levels within the organization. Nick Madrigal won the Minor League Baseball Gold Glove and Yolmer Sanchez won it at the Major League level. Madrigal is probably the guy going forward because of what he can do at the plate but it is good to know that the White Sox have options at second base next year if they want to go that route. It is not guaranteed that Sanchez returns but for now, a guy on the White Sox winning a gold glove is definitely something to cheer about.
So in 2019, the White Sox had a ten-win improvement, a batting title, an RBI title, a gold glove winner at the majors and minor league levels, and a bunch of breakout players. That is all great news and now they have their sights set on the postseason. It has been a long time so hopefully, they are able to have a strong offseason in order to reach that goal.