Something else that the Sox also have is speed but they haven’t used it that much in the last couple of years. Early in this season, however, Chicago seems to be intentional about using its speed.
This is best exemplified by Luis Robert and his aggressiveness on the bases. In his first 10 games this season, Robert already has five stolen base attempts and has been successful on all five.
Last season, in 68 games for Robert, he only had seven stolen base attempts and was caught stealing just once. He may surpass his stolen base total from last season before this week is over.
Part of the reason why that number was so low for Robert was his hip injury. But even before his injury, Luis only had five attempts in 25 games. He and the entire White Sox team just weren’t as aggressive.
The Chicago White Sox are more aggressive on the bases this year up to this point.
In 162 games last season, Chicago had 77 stolen base attempts and they were successful on 57. That means the White Sox had just under 0.5 stolen base attempts a game.
This season, through the first 11 games, the Sox have nine stolen base attempts and have yet to be caught. They are successfully attempting to steal 0.8 bases a game.
If Chicago stays around this rate, it will have around 132 attempts at the end of the season. That would’ve been fifth in MLB last year, 20 spots higher than where the White Sox actually finished. Now that they’ve shown they have the speed to run, they need to keep doing it.
The value of stealing bases is evident and was proven by Luis Robert in the series opener against the Seattle Mariners. After being walked in the bottom of the eighth, Luis stole second, third, and ultimately scored a much-needed insurance run for the White Sox.
If Robert had just waited on first base to be advanced by hits, Chicago wouldn’t have got that run, and the team probably would’ve had to play extra innings where anything could’ve happened.
That game should be a lesson for the White Sox to continue to remain aggressive throughout the season. The team has athletes with really good speed and when they use that speed, it contributes to winning.