Safe bet and radical prophecy

Before we get started...

Michael Kopech, the White Sox #2 prospect, is out for the year due to injury.

Dane Dunning, the White Sox #6 prospect, is out for the year due to injury.

Alec Hansen, the White Sox #10 prospect last year and #15 prospect this year, regressed profoundly last year, going 0-5 with a 6.31 earned run average and 59 walks in 51.1 innings pitched.

Your prayers for Dylan Cease's health are mandatory.  

Not trading Jose Abreu and Avi Garcia while their stock was higher certainly looks like a missed opportunity now.  Their minor league depth, especially in the starting pitching department, could use a boost.  Other than the draft, where does that come from now?  The template for the Sox during this rebuild indicates they'll trade away recent additions Alex Colome, Kelvin Herrera, Ivan Nova, and Ervin Santana for mid-level to low-level prospects like Ryan Cordell, Kodi Medeiros, Felix Paulino, and Johan Dominguez.  

There isn't a future starting position player or an impactful young pitcher coming in a trade to the Sox in July for one of the aforementioned veterans.  Reality and recent history bare that out.

Now, back to 2019 and the major league Sox.

There are two lists here.  One is based on pragmatism, directness, and brutal honesty.  The other is based on luck so unlikely, that I am more comfortable talking about the likelihood of meeting Bigfoot or leprechauns on State Street.  

Safe bet

Yoan Moncada and Tim Anderson make incremental progress, but nothing indicative of two players that should start on a playoff caliber team.

Colome, Herrera, Nova, Santana, Jon Jay, Yonder Alonso, Nate Jones, and Wellington Castillo will be traded by August 1st.  

Carlos Rodon will encounter various 'setbacks' that limit his starts.  Rick Hahn and Ricky Renteria will display varying degrees of disingenuous optimism.

Jose Abreu will revert back to his standard numbers, in the realm of .292/.358/.495, with 28 home runs and 92 runs batted in.  He'll be loyal to the White Sox, and the White Sox will be loyal to him, and he'll sign a two year extension.

Adam Engel will solidify his status as a defensive replacement/fourth outfielder by making a highlight reel play at least once every ten games.  Unfortunately, he'll be hovering under the Mendoza line, with a strikeout to walk ratio of 122 to 6.  

The first day of the 2019 MLB Draft will be watched by more Sox fans than that day's game against the Yankees.

Eloy Jimenez and Cease will tantalize with flashes of brilliance, but they'll endure standard rookie dry spells and obstacles.  Too much will be expected of them too soon, and the numbers won't quite be where Sox fans want them to be.

The Sox will finish 71-91 and the buzzwords will be 'progress' and 'patience'.  Multiple mentions of Luis Robert's athleticism and Kopech's recovery will cross Hahn's lips as he speaks to the media after a 7-2 loss to the Tigers to end the season. 

Radical prophecy

Moncada and Anderson will cut down on the strikeouts, cut down on the errors, and a metamorphosis of their five-tool potential will manifest itself in an All Star caliber season for both of them.

Nick Madrigal will be called up after hitting .336 combined in Double A and Triple A, with six total strikeouts in over two hundred at bats.

Eloy Jimenez will have 24 home runs by the All Star break, and his new contract will look like a ridiculous bargain.

Cease will have a 7 to 1 strikeout to walk ratio in Triple A, and he’ll be called upon by the Sox to help them down the stretch in a surprising race for the second wild card spot.

Robert and Blake Rutherford will get the call two weeks after Cease, sending Engel to the bench and Jay to Cleveland.  Robert will hit four triples in his first two weeks with the Sox, and Rutherford will hit thirteen doubles in half of August and all of September.

Zack Burdi will be called up on September 9th with the Sox 2 ½ games out of the final wild card spot. He’ll go eight for eight in save chances to end the year.

After Castillo goes down with a quad injury, Zack Collins will be called up on September 20th and promptly hit four home runs in his first two games.

On October 1st, the Sox will play the Angels to determine the winner of the second wild card spot.  Michael Kopech will deem himself sufficiently healed from Tommy John surgery on Twitter three hours before the game, and he’ll go on to throw a 91 pitch complete game for a 1-0 victory at Guaranteed Rate Field.  He’ll strike out Mike Trout with a high and inside fastball to finish the game.  The Sox lone run will come when Robert steals home in the bottom of the 7th with two outs.

Not even fantasy can allow me to get the Sox farther than this. They’ll lose the play in game 12-0 to the Red Sox.  Lucas Giolito will give up four home runs in the first inning and Renteria will dislocate his knee running out to the mound to pull him.  Hahn will spit shine his loafers for the post game press conference, mumbling the words “patience” and “progress” to himself as he walks to the podium to field questions.

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