Don't believe what you are seeing in spring training.
The wins, the losses. The home runs and game-winning hits. The good, the bad, and the ugly. None of it can be trusted.
Yes, I know it's difficult. You want to believe it. Of course, you do. Hope springs eternal in the spring, right? But do yourself a favor and remind yourself that what happens in the spring stays in the spring. And leave it there.
Start believing what you see when the White Sox open the regular season in Houston against the defending World Series champion Astros. Not before. That's just two more weeks of suspending belief. You can do it.
White Sox fans, though, see Jake Burger's four home runs this spring and get excited.
Oscar Colas drives a couple of baseballs out of the park down in Arizona and, yes, the right field problem is solved for the next decade.
Hanser Alberto is hitting near .500 and why is Leury Garcia still here? Yasmani Grandal is hitting well over .300 with a home run and his troubles of a year ago are long gone.
Stop it. It's practice. All of the above is great and fun to watch. It's certainly better than the alternative, such as Andrew Benintendi's three singles in 18 spring at-bats. But none of it is real. Not yet.
Still, need more convincing that spring training statistics are not to be believed? Well, we offer up the following 10 recent reminders, in no particular order, that what happens in the desert in Arizona just might be a mirage.
The Chicago White Sox should be careful with spring training sensations.
- MICKER ADOLFO
The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Adolfo hit .435 for the White Sox in spring training just last year. He was 10-for-23 and scored five runs.
He had two doubles and two home runs and also drove in nine runs. A powerful, physical outfield of Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert and Adolfo flashed through the heads of White Sox fans.
The White Sox, though, had other visions. They obviously didn't believe in that .435 spring average and designated Adolfo for assignment before the start of the regular season and later outrighted him to Triple-A Charlotte.
Adolfo played 96 games at Triple-A Charlotte last year, hitting .231 with 15 homers in 338 at-bats.
Who will be this year's Micker Adolfo? How about Oscar Colas?
Adolfo, still just 26 years old, became a free agent after the 2021 season and signed this week to play independent baseball in the American Association of Professional Baseball.
- CHESLOR CUTHBERT
Cuthbert, a veteran of five seasons and 1,077 at-bats with the Kansas City Royals from 2015-19, had an outstanding spring in 2020 for the White Sox. He hit .355 (11-for-31) with two doubles, three homers, and six RBI. His on-base percentage was .459.
The pandemic-shortened 60-game season of 2020 limited Cuthbert to just one major league at-bat that season. The White Sox released the utility infielder the day after that at-bat on July 27 and Cuthbert has yet to appear in the major leagues since.
Who can be this year's Cheslor Cuthbert? Try Hanser Alberto.
- MATT SKOLE
Skole, a 6-4, 220-pound first baseman, was a force in the springs of 2018 and 2019.
He was 14-for-45 (.311) in 2018 with six doubles, two homers and 10 RBI with eight walks. He also scored 15 runs. The following spring he was 10-for-31 with two doubles and four RBI and scored nine runs.
Skole did get 83 at-bats with the White Sox in 2018 and 2019 combined, hitting .217 with one homer and seven RBI. The White Sox released him in June 2020.
- JACOB MAY
The 5-10, 180-pound May was 14-for-40 (.325) with five doubles, a homer and six RBI in spring training in 2016. The next spring he went 22-for-69 (.313) with 11 runs scored, two doubles, three triples, and three RBI.
May, whose uncle is former White Sox outfielder Carlos May, began the 2017 season as the White Sox starting center fielder. He went 2-for-36 in 15 games before being sent down to Triple-A Charlotte.
May, now 31 years old, played 81 games at Charlotte in 2018 before being released by the White Sox on July 28 that year.
- JORDAN DANKS
Danks was a perennial White Sox spring training standout.
In the spring of 2012, he went 11-for-33 (.333) with three doubles, a homer, and five RBI. The next spring he hit .351 (13-for-37) with three doubles, two homers, and nine RBI. In the spring of 2014, he was 14-for-42 (333) with two doubles, five homers, and 10 RBI.
The 6-5, 220-pound brother of Sox pitcher John Danks, had moments of success in the regular season with the White Sox from 2012-14. He hit five homers and drove in 12 runs over 160 at-bats in 2013 and hit .227 with eight homers and 26 RBI over his three Sox seasons.
The Philadelphia Phillies grabbed Danks off waivers from the White Sox in January 2015. Danks hasn't appeared in a major league game since 2015.
- COURTNEY HAWKINS
Hawkins, a 6-3, 245-pound former first-round (2012) pick by the Sox, had a wonderful spring in 2015. He hit .412 (14-for-34) with three doubles, four homers, and 10 RBI.
Hawkins, though never got past Double-A with the Sox and left the organization after the 2018 season.
He has never appeared in the major leagues, advancing as high as Triple-A in the Cincinnati Reds organization in 2019. Hawkins now plays in the Nippon Professional Baseball League in Japan.
- JARED MITCHELL
Mitchell, another former first round pick (2009) by the White Sox, hit .367 (11-for-30) with nine runs scored, a double two homers and three RBI in the spring of 2012. The next spring he went 12-for-31 (.387) with nine runs, three doubles, two triples and a homer with five RBI.
It's not a stretch to say that the failure of Hawkins and Mitchell, two first-round picks, contributed to the organization's decision to rebuild after 2016.
Mitchell also has never appeared in the major leagues, getting as high as Triple-A with the White Sox from 2012-15. The 6-foot, 2-5-pound outfielder has played independent baseball since 2016.
- BRIAN ANDERSON
Anderson, yet another first-round Sox disappointment (2003), always hit in the spring.
The 6-2, 220-pound center fielder, hit .309 (21-for-68) in the spring of 2006 with five doubles, two triples, a homer, and 10 RBI and took over in center field for the traded (to the Phillies) Aaron Rowand in the regular season.
Anderson proceeded to hit .225 over 365 at-bats for the Sox in 2006.
He then came back to spring training in 2007 and hit .308 (16-for-52) with five RBI and followed that up the following spring in 2008 by going 22-for-68 (.324) with five doubles, four homers, and 12 RBI.
Anderson's spring stats, though, never followed him into the regular season. In parts of five years with the Sox, he hit just .225, though he did manage to hit 20 homers with 74 RBI over 782 at-bats. The Sox traded him to the Boston Red Sox for Mark Kotsay in the middle of the 2009 season.
Anderson, who also tried pitching with four different organizations from 2010-14, never appeared in the major leagues after 2009.
- YONDER ALONSO
Alonso was 32-years-old in his only season with the White Sox in 2019. The 6-1, 230-pound first baseman, a major leaguer since 2010, had a standout spring in 2019.
Alonso hit .319 in the spring of 2019 with three doubles, five homers, 14 RBI, nine walks and 11 runs scored. He would last just 67 games with the Sox in 2019, hitting .178 with seven homers and 27 RBI over 219 at-bats before getting released at mid-season.
It was suggested in the media that the White Sox traded for Alonso in December 2018 from the Cleveland Indians (for Alex Call) because his sister was married to free-agent infielder Manny Machado. The Sox failed to sign Machado and Alonso was released in July 2019.
Alonso, who retired after the 2019 season, is now an analyst with the MLB Network.
- CODY ASCHE
The 6-1, 205-pound Asche was 27 years old in the spring of 2017. The third baseman was coming off four major league seasons with the Phillies, where he hit 31 homers and drove in 125 runs over 1,181 at-bats on a .240 average.
Asche had a strong spring in 2017 with the Sox, hitting .289 (13-of-45) with five doubles, four homers, and nine RBI. He also scored seven runs and walked 10 times for an on-base percentage of .429.
Asche wasn't expected to start for the White Sox in 2017 because Todd Frazier was at third base. But the Sox were in the first season of their rebuild in 2017 and Frazier wasn't expected to be on the roster for long.
Frazier, though, was traded to the New York Yankees in July 2017 and still lasted longer on the White Sox major league roster than Asche. Asche went 6-for-57 with the Sox with 21 strikeouts and one homer and was sent to the minors in the middle of May.
He has yet to return to the major leagues, though he has been a part of six more organizations since leaving the Sox after 2017.