A Nightmare on 35th Street

Before I get started, how does Eloy Jimenez feel about not getting called up before or along with Michael Kopech, who will be starting for the Chicago White Sox in about 36 minutes from this writing?

Jimenez is hitting .326/.374/.580 with 21 home runs, 69 runs batted in, and 48 extra base hits between Double A Birmingham and Triple A Charlotte this year.  What else does he need to do?  Don’t tell me there are defensive boxes to check, please.  Look at those offensive numbers.  If his service time wasn’t in jeopardy, they’d call him up if he played defense like (I am VERY sorry to use these two profane words) Adam Dunn in left field. 

Remember, the golden boy third baseman on the north side wasn’t too happy about being held down in Triple A, waiting for the call up day when an extra year of team control wouldn’t be lost.  If you don’t remember, read about it here:

https://wgntv.com/2015/12/07/kris-bryant-filed-grievance-against-cubs-over-manipulation-of-service-time-report/

Yet, we don’t hear a peep of negativity from Jimenez or his representation.  If I were Jimenez, to say I’d be upset is an understatement. 

Anyway, let’s get started. As if the Sox 47-77 record isn’t enough cold water in the face, something occurred to me last week that I’d like to share with you.  All eight current position players on the Sox, plus the two designated hitters, may not be on the team when they start winning.  That’s beyond scary.  It’s Freddy Krueger, Jason, Michael, and the Saw guy all rolled up into one.  It’s Satan hellfire scary. 

Don’t believe me? Well, let’s review.

1B Jose Abreu:  Abreu is 31 years old and he’ll be 32 when his contract expires with the Sox.  Will the Sox win next year?  Of course not.  They’re not close to being ready to contend.  So do the Sox extend Abreu?  If so, for how long?  If Rick Hahn was a little more clever, he would have moved him already.  Reportedly, Hahn didn’t get any offers he really liked, but the question is, can Hahn see talent beyond the obvious?  There are 5thand 6thround picks playing in minor league parks right now that are going to be stars, and there are 1stround bonus babies that are going to flame out.  The fact Abreu is still here might be proof that Hahn isn’t creative enough. 

When the Sox contend in 2022, Abreu will be 35 years old, and no one gets better at 35 years old other than Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens.  Steroids probably played a role in those anomalies, right?

2B Yoan Moncada:  I need people comparing Moncada’s struggles with Javy Baez’s initial struggles on the north side to stop right now. Moncada looks completely lost at the plate and a turnaround next year seems incredibly unlikely.  He doesn’t look comfortable at second base, he cannot bat right handed at all, left handed he is in search of the perfect pitch and will not offer at anything else.  He leads Major League Baseball in strikeouts. He looks somewhere between uncomfortable and confused in a significant portion of his at bats. 

I’m not saying bust, but any claim Moncada is a sure thing at this point are absolutely ridiculous. 

SS  Tim Anderson:  How many times has Anderson big timed it this year?  Do you get to big time it when your line is .247/.294/.415?  Do you get to not run on a dropped third strike when you’ve struck out 115 times (to 26 walks)?  Anderson’s 25 years old.  Where do you put him with 24 year old Corey Seager, 23 year old Carlos Correa, 25 year old Xander Bogaerts, 25 year old Trea Turner, 25 year old Paul DeJong, 25 year old Trevor Story, or 24 year old (yes, 24 year old) Francisco Lindor?

I am nobody, but I’d take any one of these guys before Anderson, and I’m sure I’m not alone.

3B  Yolmer Sanchez:  I love Yolmer Sanchez, his defense, and his enthusiasm.  However, you and I both know he’s a reserve, utility player on a good team. He is not a starting third baseman.

LF  Nicky Delmonico:  In five years, if someone brings up Delmonico’s name, you’ll reply “Where do I know that name from?”

CF  Adam Engel:  If Engel can improve his .225/.270/.325 line to somewhere in the neighborhood of .245/.310/.380, a modest and likely achievable goal, he is a 4th outfielder on any team in baseball.  He is a fantastic defensive player.  If I need a centerfielder for the 9thinning in a one run game that my team is winning, I’ll take Engel with anybody in baseball. However, by the time the Sox contend, he'll be a 4th outfielder someplace else.  

RF Avi Garcia:  Before a couple incidents this year, I really valued and admired Garcia’s hustle.  You don’t see a lot of big guys like him go 100% down the line on a ground ball to shortstop.  However, I don’t see him ever repeating the numbers he put up last year, which begs the question, what was Hahn offered for him in the offseason (and again, can he unearth talent or just cherry pick other organizations’ top ten prospects)?

C Omar Narvaez and Kevan Smith:  Two back up catchers.

DHs Matt Davidson and Daniel Palka:  Long, hard hit home runs, lots of swing and miss on breaking balls, lots more swing and miss outside the strike zone.  Won’t Zack Collins fill this spot eventually, seeing every scouting report published online says he is not a major league catcher? Collins’s on base percentage in Double A is a ridiculously good .396.

There you have it.  All these guys may very well be a memory in 2022, including Anderson and Moncada, when the White Sox (hopefully) contend for an AL Central title. 

How’s Nick Madrigal doing at High A Winston-Salem?

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