Intuition:

A thing that one knows or considers likely from instinctive feeling rather than conscious reasoning.

I have no idea what our White Sox are going to do to prepare for 2019.  I assume Rick Hahn is putting on a brave face and pretending he knew all along everything was going to look like it does in October of 2018.  I also assume White Sox fans, for the most part, are beginning to be a little leery of this rebuild.  Additionally, I suppose there is a small contingent of hard core, yet pessimistic south side fans who see Chris Sale winning in the post season and are wondering, ‘Did we really get a guy who whiffed 217 times, a pitcher hurt until 2020, and two guys that’ll never make the major leagues for the best left handed pitcher in baseball?’

Here are the primary starters and key contributors of your 2018 White Sox.  I will offer if I think they’ll stay in 2019 and where I think they’ll be long term. I base this on nothing more than my intuition-that and 6 bucks will get you a latte at Starbucks.

1B Jose Abreu (.265/.325/.473, 22 HR, 78 RBI)

Stay? Yes

Long term? White Sox

The White Sox have trumpeted Abreu’s leadership skills so often for so long that I have come to believe they love him as much as they say they do.  Some time after the All Star break, after a solid if not spectacular first half, the Sox will sign Jose to an extension keeping him around an additional two years, minimum.

2B Yoan Moncada (.235/.315/.400, 17 HR, 61 RBI, 217 Ks led majors)

Stay? Yes

Long term? White Sox

The White Sox are stubborn with some players, showing love, faith, and attention beyond what other organizations might for a struggling player.  Moncada will definitely be one of those White Sox afforded such extravagant patience. If Moncada continues to treat pitches that are 1/8thof an inch inside or outside like they are 8 inches inside or outside with 2 strikes, the Sox’ patience will be wasted.

SS Tim Anderson (.240/.281/.406, 20 HR, 64 RBI, 149 Ks)

Stay? Yes

Long term? White Sox

Ask anyone affiliated with the Sox in a team or broadcast capacity and they will say Anderson’s second half defensively was like the 1980 Men’s U.S. Olympic hockey team, Santa Claus, and Christie Brinkley from Vacation all wrapped up into one and multiplied by ten. Don’t believe it, it’s White Sox Rebuild Year Two Propaganda (derived from White Sox Rebuild Year Two Paranoia). Anderson will be with the Sox, incrementally discovering his potential along the way, until he is on the verge of his first option year at the end of the 2022 season.

3B Yolmer Sanchez (.246/.306/.372, 8 HR, 55 RBI)

Stay? Yes

Long term? White Sox

Yolmer is obviously a good teammate and a solid utility player.  He is also obviously not a starting third baseman.  I have a feeling the Sox will realize Jake Burger isn’t going to be at 35thand Shields for a long while, and they’ll go out and get Eduardo Escobar, who they traded in 2012 when he was 23 years old for Francisco Liriano. Escobar had 74 extra base hits in 2018, plays a solid third base, and will be 30 when the 2019 season begins. That would leave Yolmer backing up 3B, SS, and 2B on a regular basis.

LF Nicky Delmonico (.215/.296/.373, 8 HR, 25 RBI in 284 AB)

Stay? For Opening Day, but not for the entire 2019 season

Long term? Hitting coach, University of North Carolina-Greensboro Spartans

Eventually, Eloy Jimenez will show up to Chicago, pushing Delmonico to the bench. After the bench, he’ll bounce around on the fringes of the majors, back and forth from Triple A clubs. 

CF Adam Engel (.235/.279/.336, 6 HR, 29 RBI, 129 Ks to 18 BBs)

Stay? Yes

Long term? 4A player

The Sox will sniff out a decent, team first, leader type to sign a one year contract while they wait for center field prospects like Luis Robert, Blake Rutherford, and Luis Gonzalez to mature.  It might be Jon Jay.  It might be Adam Jones.  They’ll keep Engel around because of his fantastic defense, but they’ll eventually lose patience with him due to his inability to hit.  He’ll bounce around for a couple more years, getting 400 at bats a season in Triple A with various clubs, while collecting 50 to 60 at bats with various, non-contending major league teams in a fifth outfielder role.

RF Avi Garcia (.236/.281/.438, 19 HR, 49 RBI)

Stay? For the majority of the season until right before September 1st

Long term? Cleveland or Kansas City

I see the Sox looking to move Avi before the trade deadline, failing, then moving him during the more cumbersome trading period beyond July 31st.  They’ll get a 19 year old pitching prospect who throws 99 mph, but has trouble throwing strikes.  Either he’ll go to Cleveland and help bring the Indians their fourth straight A.L. Central title, or he’ll go to Kansas City to be the veteran who hustles to first base on ground balls during the Royals’ rebuild.

C Welington Castillo (.259/.304/.406, 6 HR, 15 RBI, in 170 AB)

Stay? For Opening Day, but not for the entire 2019 season

Long term? Any of 30 teams that need a backup catcher by midseason

The Sox will start him in the interest of shopping him. Either a team will lose a starting catcher to injury or want to replace a backup catcher hitting .112 with a proven hitter like Castillo.  Either way, you’d expect Omar Narvaez and Zack Collins to get more playing time and a promotion, respectively, Castillo to head out in late June, and Kevan Smith to maybe head to Korea or something.

DH Daniel Palka (.240/.294/.484, 27 HR, 67 RBI, 153 Ks)

Stay? Yes

Long term? Baltimore Orioles or Seattle Mariners

The 2018 Daniel Palka is the 2017 Matt Davidson.  For some reason though, probably the ridiculous popularity of exit velocity, I see Palka with more staying power in Major League Baseball than Davidson.  He’ll hit 38 meaningless home runs a year for two or three years with a losing team, along with 190+ strikeouts to go with each of those 38 homer seasons.

P James Shields (7-16, 4.53 ERA, 33 starts, 154 Ks to 78 BBs, 34 home runs allowed)

Stay? No

Long term? Pasture

Come on.  Time to get Grandma’s rocking chair out of storage.  The party is ovah.

P Carlos Rodon (6-8, 4.18 ERA, 20 starts, 90 Ks to 55 BBs)

Stay? Yes

Long term? Yankee World Champion 2022

Carlos has three more years with the Sox and will be a free agent after the 2021 season.  He’ll miss 30 to 35 starts due to injury over the 2019 and 2020 seasons. However, in his walk year, the Scott Boras client will go 17-5 with a 2.91 ERA and a career best K to BB ratio of 250 to 68.  He’ll leave to be a Yankee and at some point he’ll say, “I’ve wanted to be a Yankee my whole life.”

P Lucas Giolito (10-13, 6.13 ERA, 32 starts, 125 Ks to a league leading 90 walks)

Stay? Yes

Long term? White Sox

Giolito is going to be a serviceable number 3 or a pretty good number 4 starter in the big leagues.  Hey, even if the big Sox-Nationals trade turns out to be Adam Eaton for Reynaldo Lopez, the Sox still won.

P Reynaldo Lopez (7-10, 3.91 ERA, 32 starts, 151 Ks to 75 BBs)

Stay? Yes

Long term? White Sox

Reynaldo is going to come out gangbusters next year and get a long term, team friendly/player security deal, which makes him a White Sox for a long time.

Prediction:  A ten win improvement to 72-90 and several more bobblehead promotions.  Good seats are still available. 

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