White Sox: Can Yasiel Puig be a great addition for Chicago?
By Samiya Green
Yasisdsdsdsel Puig is a powerful hitter in the league but never shines bright amongst his peers. Here’s how Puig can reach his glory with the White Sox.
Yasiel Puig has always been effective at the plate but continues to fly under the radar. This year, the one-time All-Star has elected free agency and the Chicago White Sox could be a destination for him. The Sox could add Puig to add some power to the lineup and give him the chance to become a star.
The Sox have a nice squad of batters but could use a more prominent fielder to create a big three in the outfield. Eloy Jimenez has held his own at the plate and Leury Garcia has done the same. But this past season, the Chicago White Sox fielded by a committee. Jon Jay was by far the most consistent hitter between himself, Ryan Cordell, and Daniel Palka, but with Jay and Cordell gone the Chicago White Sox are more exposed in the outfield.
Cordell’s performance for 2019 was underwhelming with a .645 OPS. Unfortunately, Palka was even more disappointing as he posted a .372 OPS. The addition of Puig could make up for that poor hitting in the lineup by becoming a sure starter in the outfield while providing a much more dangerous threat at the plate, even though Jay was able to get on-base. However, Jay lacked power and did not record any home runs last season. The 2018 Gold Glove finalist totaled only 9 RBIs in 165 at-bats.
It is worth mentioning young power hitter Luis Robert when bringing up the need for improvement in the outfield. Robert has had an outstanding minor league performance with a .328 batting average, a .376 OBP, and a .624 slugging percentage. He has shown in the past two years that he is ready for the main stage but his future is unclear in the 2020 regular season because the spotlight is on free agency. The Chicago White Sox had a chance to call Robert up last season when Jay hit the 60-day injured but he was not promoted.
Puig experienced two trades in one season, but it did not affect his game. His stats for the 2019 season consisted of a .267 batting average, a .327 OBP, and a .458 slugging percentage. With runners in scoring position, he averaged a .847 OPS, which means that Puig can be that clutch hitter the Chicago White Sox need to increase their chances to win close games.
Having hitters that aren’t productive in the lineup hurt the Chicago White Sox in 2019 and breaking that cycle will pave the way to becoming a winning franchise. Puig would be a great addition to the Chicago White Sox. He’s also a much more realistic addition because fielders with Marcell Ozuna‘s has a much higher value on the market.
Besides batting average, Puig and Ozuna’s statistics last season were close even though it’s rarely mentioned. Puig is just as good as Ozuna and he runs cheaper. FanGraphs predicts a three-year $38.3 million offer for him and a four-year $64 million offer for Ozuna. Puig is capable of filling the void as a star center fielder for the Chicago White Sox and a player fans can be excited about if it were to happen.