The Chicago White Sox will be looking to contend for the World Series title for the next couple of years. After making the playoffs for the first time since 2008, the White Sox fired manager Rick Renteria and hired Hall of Famer Tony La Russa to manage duties. The White Sox will be looking to add some more pieces to put their already potent roster over the top this offseason.
General manager Rick Hahn has assembled a nucleus of talent that includes: the MVP of the American League, Jose Abreu, at first base. An exciting middle infield of Tim Anderson and Nick Madrigal. The former number one prospect in baseball, Yoan Moncada, is handling the hot corner. A savvy veteran catcher, Yasmani Grandal, behind the plate. A powerful left fielder in Eloy Jimenez. Roaming centerfield is Luis Robert, who has the potential to become the best player in baseball. Lucas Giolito headlines a starting rotation that includes former Cy-Young award winner Dallas Keuchel and the exciting young arms of Dylan Cease and Dane Dunning. The bullpen consists of some imposing relievers such as Aaron Bummer, Evan Marshall, Codi Heuer, and Garrett Crochet.
With more talent likely on the way, White Sox fans have good reason to be excited.
Chicago White Sox Veterans
The White Sox have a young, exciting team. While they have no shortage of talent, experienced veterans on the roster are hard to come by. The White Sox tried to add some experience to the locker room by acquiring Dallas Keuchel and Yasmani Grandal. Grandal was handed the largest free-agent contract in White Sox history. Grandal gives the White Sox a good defensive catcher who can get on base and has postseason experience. In Keuchel, they added a much-needed veteran to the pitching staff. The southpaw also has a World Series ring, Cy-Young award, and multiple Gold Glove awards on his resume. Keuchel made sure the White Sox got their money worth in 2020, finishing fifth in the Cy-Young voting with a sub 2.00 ERA.
The longest-tenured member of the White Sox is surprisingly Leury Garcia. He has been on the Southside since 2013 despite not being a starter for most of those years. Garcia can play nearly every position on the diamond, has above-average speed, and can handle the bat. His versatility is what has kept him around through the rebuild.
No veteran has been more impactful than Jose Abreu. Abreu has developed a reputation for being one of the most feared hitters in baseball, for his ability to drive in runs. The Cuban slugger burst onto the scene in 2014 and made his presence felt immediately. He won Rookie of the Year and soon became the third player in MLB history with four straight seasons of at least 25 home runs and 100 RBI’s. He has also made three All-Star game appearances and taken home two Silver Slugger awards. In 2020 he was recognized as the best player in baseball by winning the American League MVP award. Abreu’s impact on the White Sox extends off of the field as well. He has served as a mentor to players such as Yoan Moncada, Eloy Jimenez, and Luis Robert.
Outside of Abreu, Tim Anderson is the next most experienced infielder on the White Sox. In five short seasons, he has established himself as one of the most exciting players in baseball. Anderson won the batting title in 2019 thanks to his .335 batting average. He followed that up by coming in second in 2020 but made up for it by leading the league in runs scored. He looks to continue his success at the top of the White Sox batting order for years to come.
Newer Chicago White Sox Players
While the White Sox fans were excited by the additions of Yasmani Grandal and Dallas Keuchel last offseason, one fresh face stood out above all the rest.
Rookie phenom Luis Robert made his much anticipated major league debut in 2020. Robert was listed as the second-best prospect in baseball. He had a respectable rookie campaign, and his range in the outfield was enough to earn him a Gold Glove award. The White Sox are excited by his rare combination of defense, speed, and power.
The White former first-round pick in 2018, Nick Madrigal, also got his feet wet in the majors in 2020. Madrigal has a knack for putting the ball in play. He is already a great two-strike hitter and has a slick glove at second base. The White Sox are hoping Madrigal and Tim Anderson athleticism will turn them into a lethal double-play combination up the middle.
Garrett Crochet is another name to keep an eye on in the future. He was drafted by the White Sox in 2020 and pitched for the White Sox in the playoff just a couple of months later. Crochet has a blazing fastball. Despite no minor league or prior professional baseball experience, Crochet ranked second in the MLB in pitches thrown 100 mph or more. He did not allow a run in 2020.
Chicago White Sox Prospects
Despite the White Sox highest-rated prospects graduating to the big leagues, their farm system is still stocked with talent. The pride of the system is Andrew Vaughn. The White Sox selected him as the third overall pick of the 2019 draft. He was considered the best hitter coming out of college that year. The White Sox hope he will fill the void at DH this upcoming season and eventually take over Abreu’s job at first once he leaves.
Micheal Kopech sat out the 2020 season after working his way back from Tommy-John surgery in 2018. He has electric stuff and should work his way into the starting rotation at some point.
Some other arms to keep an eye on are Jared Kelly, Jonathan Stiever, Matthew Thompson, and Jimmy Lambert. They rank 6,7,8 and 15 in the White Sox farm system, respectively. Lambert has already seen some action at the Major League level, and it is only a matter of time before the rest of them do as well.
Former first-round pick Jake Burger is finally healthy and is looking to make an impact in the minors this season with the hopes of working his way to the show.
Outfield prospect Micker Adolfo is someone who has a very high ceiling. Unfortunately, he has struggled to stay healthy. Tommy John’s surgery and arthroscopic surgery cost him the final two months of the 2018 season and the majority of the 2019 season. However, when he is on the field, Adolfo generates bat speed that produced some raw power at the plate. If he can stay healthy and cut down on strikeouts, he can be the solution to the White Sox problems in the right field in the future.
White Sox Roster FAQ
- What do Mazara and Rodon being non-tendered mean for the rest of the roster?
- Will the White Sox target Kris Bryant this offseason?
- Who has the potential to have a breakout season in 2021?
- The biggest hole in the lineup?
- Can the White Sox sign George Springer?
- Expectations for the 2021 season?
The White Sox traded for Mazara last season with the hopes that they could find some untapped potential. It never happened, so Adam Engel will likely get the job in right field if the White Sox do not add another outfielder this offseason.
There would be no reason for the White Sox to do so. They have a third baseman in Yoan Moncada, who they think very highly of already. The asking price for Bryant to stay long term is too much to justify bringing him onto the team.
Obvious answer would be Luis Robert just because of all the raw talent he possesses. But following the hire of Ethan Katz as the new pitching coach, Dylan Cease will take the biggest jump this season. Once Katz gets the chance to work with him, Cease will maximize his potential.
After an early exit from the playoffs a year ago, it is obvious that starting pitching depth is a glaring need. Some available potential solutions are Trevor Bauer, Blake Snell, Lance Lynn, or even James Paxton. You can’t win championships without an abundance of pitching.
Springer would provide any team lucky enough to have him with a difference-maker in the outfield. It just so happens the White Sox non-tender Nomar Mazara, so there is a spot available for Springer to take. However, rumors indicate the team doesn’t want to spend big money for Springer.
With a team with layers of good players, the only expectation for the 2021 White Sox is championship or bust. The starting rotation should be great and the core of position players will continue to develop with a good mix of veterans on the roster as well.