White Sox: 3 biggest X-factors heading into the 2023 season
By Eric Treuden
Depending on who you ask, you may get many different definitions for what exactly an "X-factor" is on a Major League Baseball team.
To me, an X-factor is a player who has the potential to heavily influence his team's performance, whether it be in a positive or negative light.
If said player performs the way the projections think he will, he can singlehandedly keep his club in contention. If he fails, his club could suffer.
The 2023 Chicago White Sox have a ton of players that fit this mold. From players returning from injuries to new faces to top prospects with lofty expectations, there's a bit of everything on this team.
Let's check out the 3 biggest X-factors on the 2023 Chicago White Sox.
Honorable mention: Oscar Colás
Isn't it wild to think that we've only gotten one season of 100-plus games out of Jiménez since he debuted in 2019?
The 26-year-old has become one of the more injury-prone players in the league, which is a shame because he has some otherworldly talent that he's displayed in parts of each year of his career.
It seems that the left fielder is at full health entering the 2023 season and if he can stay on the field all year, there's no reason why he can't hit 40 home runs and drive in 100 runs along the way. His presence in this lineup is crucial to the team's success.
Luis Robert Jr.
Robert, like Jiménez, has immense potential but has had a hard time staying healthy. Over the course of his three-year big league career, he has never topped 100 games (he appeared in 98 last season).
Whenever Robert is on the field, he is capable of influencing the outcome of a game both at the plate and in center field.
He is still so young and could very easily be an MVP contender if he can avoid some of the injuries that have plagued him early on. He, also like Jiménez, seems to be healthy entering the season. Now, it's just a matter of staying that way.
Kopech, 26, turned in a (nearly) full season of starts last year for the very first time in his career. For him, it will be about building off of that more than strictly staying healthy like Robert and Jiménez.
The former top prospect showed what he's capable of in 2022, posting a 3.54 ERA and 112 ERA+ in 119 innings.
His strikeout numbers were down a bit but he's a solid candidate to improve across the board in the coming season. If Kopech is capable of replicating last year's success, or perhaps getting even better, he'll be a crucial part of the Sox's trio atop the starting rotation.