The Chicago White Sox are mostly a poorly run organization from the top to the bottom. Things were looking up after playoff appearances in 2020 and 2021 but things have fallen out of sorts quickly. Now, they face an offseason loaded with big-time decisions.
Now, we have to watch the Houston Astros play in the World Series as the American League Champion for the second year in a row and the fourth time in six years. It is not fun seeing them continuously win big games but they deserve all of the praise that they are getting.
That is an organization that does things right. Look no further than their rookie shortstop named Jeremy Pena. Everyone thought that losing Carlos Correa would be a major blow to their chances of winning in the playoffs but Pena has been just as good if not better.
Pena was wonderful in 2022. He had a 4.8 WAR as a rookie thanks to his slash of .253/.289/.426 for an OPS of .715 with 22 home runs, 63 RBIs, 72 runs scored, and 11 stolen bases. It was a magnificent year for him as he is now officially an MLB star.
This is also a kid that is nominated (alongside Correa) for the American League shortstop Gold Glove. As valuable as he is offensive, he plays a very hard position at a high level. It is incredible to watch.
The Chicago White Sox needs to learn from the Jeremy Pena storyline.
Following this amazing regular season performance, he has been incredible in the playoffs. The Astros are 7-0 and headed to the World Series and Pena deserves a lot of credit for it. This has been his coming out party in terms of the world learning about him and his brilliance.
He hits second in their batting order which has really helped him out. He has some amazing sluggers protecting him in the lineup so he gets very good pitches to see. With most folks not wanting to face the likes of Yordon Alvarez, Alex Bregman, and Kyle Tucker, it makes sense.
That was extra evident in the American League Championship Series. Pena had a big-time home run in the clinching game (a sweep) against the New York Yankees. This was his third of the playoffs and it earned him the nod as the ALCS MVP. He is on a tremendous run. It will be fun to see his impact on the 2022 World Series.
This is important for the White Sox and other teams because the Astros replaced a superstar like Correa when the time was right. This kid had only a little minor-league experience but the organization had him ready when he was needed.
It is a sign of a good organization which we all know the Astros are whether we want to admit it or not. When bad things happen to White Sox players (injury, trade, free agency), it would be nice to see them replaced like this. It is something to learn from.