The Chicago White Sox are in a good spot with their organizational depth right now. They needed it with some of the injuries that they sustained during the year. There was a solid mix of veterans and young players that stood up big. Gavin Sheets was one of the latest surprises to come of it and he fits in the young player category.
He was magnificent for the White Sox in his rookie year. He made his MLB debut in late June when the very injured White Sox were trying to hang on to the lead in the AL Central Division. Right from the beginning, he was an impactful power hitter that was flexible in terms of his defensive position and his spot in the batting order.
From his debut to the end of the season, he had a slash of .250/.324/.506 for an OPS of .830. Those are really good numbers, especially the high slugging percentage which is a big reason that he has an elite OPS. He hit 11 home runs, had 34 RBIs, and 23 runs scored over his 160 at-bats (179 plate appearances).
This is outstanding production for someone who went into the year with no intentions of playing Major League Baseball. He was awesome for AAA Charlotte early in the season and the White Sox took notice. He rewarded them in a big way for believing in him.
Gavin Sheets was on the playoff roster. A few notable names were left off and he found his way on. He also hit a home run in game four before it slipped away which made a good impression. He showed that he can be clutch and come up with big hits in big moments more than once which is something to be exciting about going forward.
Gavin Sheets was incredible for the Chicago White Sox during the 2021 season.
2021 Final Grade: A+
The Chicago White Sox received everything they could have ever expected and more from Gavin Sheets in 2021. He wasn’t someone who was a high-level prospect that everyone believed would be a star early on. We all knew that he had power but having an OPS over .800 one year in is incredible. He wasn’t their best player but he gets an A+ for the way that he played in his situation.
Sheets should make the roster in 2022. He is also going to be a regular part of the starting lineup. His one issue is positional needs for the White Sox. Sheets is a first baseman by trade but Jose Abreu has that spot locked down for a few more years. He played some right field in 2021 to fit the roster but the Sox might go for a legit right fielder in free agency.
With all of that, expect him to be a platoon designated hitter with someone like Andrew Vaughn. Each of them is opposite-handed so the White Sox could use that to their advantage. Regardless of how that shakes out, expect Sheets to make an impact on the team for a long time.