Chicago White Sox: Danny Mendick embodies ‘next man up’ approach
Danny Mendick had a night to remember on Monday. The 27-year old had a career-high five RBI’s highlighted by his first career grand slam. With the Chicago White Sox already up 6-1 in the fifth inning, Danny Mendick smelled blood in the water.
The bases were loaded and with no outs, there were plenty of RBI’s to be had. Mendick took it upon himself to clear the bases. He mashed the first pitch he saw to deep left field for his second home run of the season. Derek Law’s 85 mph slider never stood a chance. It came flying off Medick’s bat at 102.6 mph.
The Chicago White Sox needs players like Danny Mendick to continue stepping up.
He tacked on his fifth RBI with a good piece of hitting by grounding the ball to the right side of the infield allowing Yasmani Grandal to score. Mendick has not had many opportunities this season, but when he has he has made the most of them.
The White Sox have been plagued with injuries this season yet still find themselves with the best winning percentage in baseball. Their all hands on deck “next man-up” approach is a reason why. Danny Mendick is a perfect example of this.
Since arriving in the Major Leagues in 2019, Mendick has done whatever the White Sox have asked of him. He once said he was willing to take a fastball to the face while squaring up for a bunt if that is what he had to do to get the job done. Mendick made his debut as a pinch-runner on September 4th. One day later he made his first start at third base and recorded two hits against the Cleveland Indians.
He connected on his first home run just three days later against the Angels. He finished the month with a five-game hit streak spanning from September 20th-September 28th. During the final game of his hit streak, hit a two-run homer off of Edwin Jackson.
In 2020, he made 29 starts at three different positions, second base, third base, and shortstop. Despite having to play across the diamond he finished the season with a .992 fielding percentage. He was a finalist for the American League Rawlings Gold Glove Award at second base. Coincidentally the White Sox were 15-1 over his final 16 starts. He was eventually optioned down to the taxi squad on September 17th and remained there for the rest of the season. Despite the setback, Mendick kept his head down and never complained.
During the 2021 season, he was optioned to the White Sox alternate Training Site twice. He found himself back in the majors and has done whatever it takes to get on the field. When the White Sox were getting blown out in Boston, they called on him to pitch to save the bullpen.
Mendick tossed a scoreless inning and struck out a batter. When Luis Robert went down with an injury the White Sox needed an extra outfielder. Danny Mendick quickly learned how to play outfield despite being a traditional infielder. He has performed admirably in the right-field spot. No one position can define him, he is a baseball player.
Mendick has made the most of his plate appearances as well. Even when he is making outs, he is constantly working great at-bats. He makes pitchers work and sees a ton of pitches. He has a .405 OBP on the season. He crushed a two-run homer against the Royals on May 8th then followed that up with an RBI single the next day.
Every championship team needs depth. Mendick has served as a glue guy for the White Sox this season. When they need a hole patched they call upon guys like Mendick to do so. You cannot win a championship without role players like him.