The Chicago White Sox are so close to being a World Series team that every fan can taste it. They could even win it with the current roster that they have and nobody would be surprised. However, there is room for improvement on the roster which would make things even better.
Adam Engel is fine in right field. In fact, he is a very good defensive outfielder and a hitter that can make a really big impact from time to time. If he is the guy that gets a bulk of the starts, the White Sox could probably be good with it.
The problem is that he was hurt for a lot of the 2021 season so folks are wondering if he is going to be healthy this year. There is no reason to believe that he won’t be hurt again but it is fair to be cautious. With that in mind, he needs to be considered a better option than some of the other solutions.
Having two life-long first basemen platoon an outfield position on a World Series contender. Gavin Sheets and Andrew Vaughn both have bats that will be extremely nice to have in the lineup on a regular basis. However, having them play right field is not the White Sox putting their best foot forward.
The Chicago White Sox needs an actual right fielder to play right field in 2022.
Andrew Vaughn was very good in left field last year when Eloy Jimenez went down. He showed that he can play the position if needed. It was admirable but that doesn’t mean right field will be the same story. It is the harder of the two outfield positions to play and it shows.
He doesn’t look very graceful when he plays in right. He wasn’t even the most graceful in left but it was a little bit better. He also hurt his hip in Sunday’s spring game making a diving catch which is something that you never want to see.
Yes, an actual right fielder can also get hurt making a diving catch but it is less likely because they have been working on that for their entire life. Someone who is used to playing first base is an entirely different story. Hopefully, Vaughn is okay.
Leury Garcia has shown that he is a legit utility player. He can play the infield and the outfield and does well at both. He just doesn’t have nearly the power that Vaughn does so he is less appealing. Engel is the best option as far as in-house with Vaughn or Sheets as the DH.
There are plenty of options out there that can help as well. Trade options or free agents are still there to help Rick Hahn address this problem, it just is a matter of how fast they act with the season just over a week away.