Chicago White Sox: The importance of “The Big Six” hitters
Today, the Chicago White Sox face off against the Houston Astros in Houston. “The Big Six” are (finally) at full strength and are in stride. The White Sox big six is the unit of shortstop Tim Anderson, third baseman Yoan Moncada, first baseman Jose Abreu, center fielder Luis Robert, left fielder Eloy Jimenez and catcher Yasmani Grandal.
The White Sox play much better baseball when the top six guys in their order are healthy and it has shown in the limited number of times they’ve played together during the regular season.
During this postseason run, the White Sox have a real chance at competing for a World Series championship but these six hitters need to will this team to victories. When these six are in stride and producing for this team, they are one of the most potent offenses in baseball.
Tim Anderson is the face of the franchise and he has played like it. He has maintained an incredible batting average over the last three seasons and was finally awarded his first all-star appearance this season. He is the heart of this team and they go as he goes. When Anderson produces, his team usually pulls out the win. His fiery attitude and competitive spirit will drive this White Sox team through the postseason.
In 68 games played this season, Luis Robert finished the regular season with a slash line of .338/.378/.567, hitting 13 home runs and driving in 43 runs. The star centerfielder maybe the White Sox hottest bat heading into the postseason.
Since his return from the IL, Robert has been electric for the White Sox and will be a pivotal player for the White Sox both offensively and defensively. A healthy Luis Robert is a five-tool player that can do everything and immediately makes the team better.
2021 was an up and down year offensively for Yoan Moncada. He was hot until June and his slump continued through parts of August. He had a 28 game on-base streak that continued more than halfway through September and hit .327 during his streak. Moncada may be the key to the White Sox success throughout this postseason.
In 2021, he has shown maturation as a hitter and the switch-hitting third baseman posted a career-high .375 on-base percentage. Moncada has also played gold glove caliber defense at third base. Moncada is a star and maybe a gamechanger for the White Sox if he can find his stride early this postseason.
There is still some uncertainty about whether Abreu will be playing today as he has been dealing with flu-like symptoms but it takes a lot to keep Abreu out of the lineup. The 2020 MVP is everything a championship-contending team needs.
He plays hard, hustles, and always continues to get better. He is vital to the White Sox making a deep postseason run. He is the top run-producer on this team, finishing second in the American League with 117 RBIs. Abreu is the leader of the clubhouse and he means everything to the White Sox organization. His leadership and play have allowed this White Sox team to become what they are today.
Eloy Jimenez might be the most fun guy to be around in all of baseball. You never see him without a smile. He has kind of been in a slump since September began. He is batting only .213 while hitting only two home runs and driving in seven runs. However, if he catches fire during the postseason, watch out.
He was not involved in any of the seven games the White Sox played against the Astros during the regular season. Although Jimenez has struggled lately, he is still one of the most dangerous bats in the White Sox lineup. If he gets hot against Houston’s pitching, he can swing things the White Sox way this postseason.
As for Yasmani Grandal, there’s a reason why the White Sox like him. He gets on base. He started the season slow offensively. Then, he got hurt and missed time in July and August. Since his return from the IL, Grandal has posted a .337 batting average while hitting nine home runs, driving in 24 runs, and drawing 27 walks.
He has posted an on-base percentage higher than .364 in August, September, and October. Yasmani Grandal will have his hands full defensively as the Astros will attempt to run on him. The veteran catcher knows how to lock in and as long as he continues his offensive tear and stays solid defensively, he will be another vital piece in the White Sox journey through the postseason.
The Chicago White Sox needs their best players to be their best players in October.
The White Sox have arguably one of the best lineups in baseball and the team would put their top six guys against any other team’s top six guys. This team is at its best when all six of these guys are healthy and in the lineup. There is just a certain cohesiveness about this team that drives them.
The White Sox Big Six are pivotal to the White Sox making a run at a World Series championship. Last season’s early exit in the Wild Card round gave them the experience that has fueled them into their World Series or bust mentality.
The Big Six have gotten the White Sox to this point and will be the reason they succeed in the postseason. It all starts today for the White Sox in their journey through October.