Thursday, April 18, 2024

This Name Could Replace Paul DeJong At Shortstop Very Soon

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The White Sox have a golden opportunity this season, as they have low expectations across the board. This can allow them to try out a combination of players at a few different positions, especially the ones that are by no means locked down by a player who has earned the spot.

This is most applicable to the shortstop position, as the main guy is currently Paul DeJong. However, DeJong at this point in his career is a better back up, rather than a starter. He plays good defense, but his bat has been very hit or miss over the last few years. Plus, he turns 31 later this year, so he doesnt figure into the long term plans for the Sox.

The White Sox should use this season to prioritize younger players that haven’t gotten much major league time, as they can see if these players figure into their longer term plans. Nobody fits that description better than former first round pick Braden Shewmake.

Shewmake was acquired in the Aaron Bummer trade, in which the White Sox acquired him along with four other players. He was initially overlooked in the trade, as most people were keyed on Nicky Lopez and former all-star Mike Soroka.

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However, Shewmake put up some very intriguing numbers in AAA last year and has the draft pedigree to be a solid major leaguer. He hit 16 home runs, had 69 RBIs, and stole 27 bases. His batting average and OBP weren’t the greatest, but he has the talent to improve that as time goes on.

These are the kind of players the White Sox need to let get a chance. He is 5+ years younger than DeJong and had a very solid Spring Training. Paul DeJong got the Opening Day nod, but he did not perform well. DeJong went 0-3 and struck out two times. Now, I know it’s one game, but he looked lost out there and doesn’t have the track record as of late. This is where Shewmake could come in and steal his spot.

In the second game of the season, Shewmake got the start and he took full advantage of it. At the time of this article, he is currently 2-3 and hit his first ever major league home run.

He is doing everything he can with this opportunity and he doesn’t look like he is overmatched despite this only being his 5th at-bat in the major leagues. He also ripped a single off a lefty, so he showed that he could hit the lefty-lefty matchup. On top of that, he also scored a run due to his speed, as he scored a clutch run from third on a steal attempt by Nicky Lopez at second.

Regardless of how Shewmake plays the rest of the year, as it is unlikely he keeps this kind of streak up, he provides the type of electricity that DeJong can’t. Shewmake also plays fantastic defense, so there would be no drop off from DeJong.

I believe that Shewmake has earned himself a few more starts in the near future, even if it is just against a righty starter. If he continues to show this type of potential, he could easily be starting every day at shortstop before May.

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