While we waited for the Chicago White Sox to contend again, Tyler Saladino was an infielder for the White Sox from 2015-2018. He is now playing in the Korean Baseball Organization
First drafted in 2009 in the 36th round by the Astros, Tyler Saladino decided not to sign and wait another year. Then in 2010, in the seventh round, he was drafted again. This time around he signed with the team that drafted him, the Chicago White Sox.
After spending five years in the minor leagues, Saladino finally got the call up to the White Sox during one of the biggest series of the year: the Crosstown Cup.
In his debut, Saladino went 0-3 but recorded his first MLB hit the next day. It was about three feet short of a home run, but he did wind up standing on third.
Saladino finished his first season hitting .225 in 68 games. Four home runs and 20 RBIs with eight stolen bases and 12 walks, he was viewed potentially to be the shortstop of the future. Of course that all changed when Tim Anderson would make his debut in 2016.
The next two years for Saladino would be a gig on the bench. He played in 93 games in 2016 and 79 in 2017. His ’16 was a step in the right direction for him hitting a slash of .282/.315/.409 with eight home runs and 38 RBIs. The only step backward he took was his walks to strikeout ratio. But if that is the only problem, it is not that terrible.
But 2017 hit him like a ton of bricks.
To say his stats took a step back would be an understatement. He saw a decrease in almost every category, except in walks. He walked 23 times in just 79 games compared to his 13 in 2016. But everything went down significantly besides the number of walks which is not enough to keep a player on.
After just playing six games with Chicago in 2018, Saladino was traded to the Brewers in exchange for cash considerations.
After a solid 2018 with Milwaukee, a .246/.302/.398 slash with five home runs and 16 RBIs in 52 games, Saladino once again saw his stats take a drastic step backward.
In 28 games he hit a mere .123 average and just a .197 OBP. He had a terrible 2017, but it might be safe to say 2019 was, in fact, his worst season. Yes, he did not play nearly as many games as he did in previous years, but only eight hits after 71 plate appearances is not a hole that someone could get out of.
He was often compared to Gordon Beckham. But, as we all unfortunately know, both of those players did not live up to the potential that was set on them. Saladino, turning 30 this July, was once believed to be the future. He was one of the first prospects in the system many Sox fans were excited to see in the majors before the rebuild started.
Today, the potential each individual infielder has is believed to be far better than the stats Saladino would be expected to put up. There is just simply no room for him on the team moving forward. He served well as a platoon piece that could be plugged in at three infield positions and the fans loved him, especially his mustache. But unfortunately, moving forward, he is not the key.
Currently, Saladino is playing for the Samsung Lions in the Korean Baseball Organization.