White Sox: Adam Engel might have important role

Joshua Finkelstein
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - AUGUST 31: Adam Engel #15 of the Chicago White Sox fields a ball in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on August 31, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GEORGIA - AUGUST 31: Adam Engel #15 of the Chicago White Sox fields a ball in the first inning against the Atlanta Braves at SunTrust Park on August 31, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images) /
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The Chicago White Sox are going to have a very young and exciting team in 2020, but Adam Engel might play a bigger role than most would expect. 

Engel, 28, doesn’t offer a ton of offensive prowess as he hit .242/.304/.383 with six home runs, 26 RBI, and an 84 wRC+.

That being said, the right-handed hitter could prove to have a noteworthy role in the outfield for the team.

For starters, the newly acquired Nomar Mazara could use a platoon partner as he’s dreadful against southpaws (.633 OPS in 2019).

While the team should look into bringing in a right-handed-hitting platoon partner, it’s possible that the team prefers to stay internal on that front.

Adam Engel actually has proven to fare well against lefties as he had a .841 OPS against them in 2019.

That could prove to be a solid platoon situation where Engel plays maybe two out of every seven games in right field.

The center fielder by trade also is a very solid defender as he registered 2 DRS and a 2.4 UZR over 608 1/3 innings this past season.

For a team that ranked towards the bottom of the league defensively, anything closer to league average will help the team in 2020.

Engel appears more than capable defensively and that could be very useful for the team at least as a defensive replacement for Eloy Jimenez late in games.

Another aspect of Engel’s role to consider is that the team is essentially using him and Leury Garcia as their insurance policies for both Luis Robert and Nick Madrigal this season.

While it’s likely that Robert is major league ready to start the season, it’s not a guarantee that he performs right away. If he needs a demotion, Engel’s role increases substantially.

As of right now, Garcia is slated to compete for the starting second base job with Madrigal which means that Engel could become their true fourth outfielder if Garcia wins the job.  Madrigal, in that scenario, would start the season in the minors.

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Adam Engel might not be a major piece for the White Sox in 2020, but he might have a bigger impact on the team than most would expect.

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