The Chicago White Sox dealt with a lot of injuries in 2021. In fact, the outfield that was projected going into spring training was Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert, and Adam Engel. As you know, all of them missed significant time during the first half of the season. Adam Engel, in particular, had a tough year battling multiple different things.
He isn’t as much of an offensive star as Robert and Jimenez but he has developed into a really good hitter. Now, he is seen as a valuable piece to the organization. In a perfect world, they find an above-average offensive right fielder and make Engel the fourth outfielder. He has the ability to play all three positions defensively and play them well.
He went from being one of the worst hitters on the team to a very good one. In 2021, he only played in 39 games but he hit well in those 39 games. He slashed .252/.336/.496 for an OPS of .832. He also had 7 home runs, 18 RBIs, and 21 runs scored in those 39 games.
That is some great production from a guy who is supposed to be a fourth outfielder. He accumulated a 1.4 WAR over those 39 games which is really good. If he was able to play for the entire season, the White Sox may have won a few more games. He can be a really impactful player.
2021 Final Grade: C
Adam Engel gets a C. His statistics were A worthy but he only played in 39 games this year. If he was in the lineup more with those stats, he would have earned that A. Instead, he drops to a C because he wasn’t available. He can’t go lower than a C because he certainly was good when he was in the lineup.
We don’t know if Adam Engel is going to be the starting right fielder or not in 2022. They might go out and add someone to either take the spot full-time or platoon with Eaton. Regardless, he will get his playing time and he deserves it in every way.
It is hard to get better than him on defense so expect more of that. You can also expect him to continue building on his offensive game in the meantime. He has the tools to have big power which helps him produce the White Sox runs. As long as he is healthy, he is going to be a fantastic player on this team. With the protection that the lineup proves, Engel will be just fine.