White Sox Player Previews: Josh Phegley

White Sox Player Previews: Josh Phegley

I don't pine away for the days of A.J. Pierzynzski.  It was time for him to go and give the young Tyler Flowers a real shot at the starting job.  It was apparent by May that wasn't going to work out.  So the White Sox dipped into the minor leagues and brought up another young catcher, Josh Phegley.  It was a great first week.  Josh hit three home runs in five days.  He was only 25 and for one week in July, he provided a nice little boost of energy around an already moribund season.

By the end of his first month, it was apparent Phegley wasn't the answer to the catching problems that the White Sox had.  He would eventually rest at a .206/.223/.299 hitting line in 65 games and 213 plate appearances.  In the field he was a little better. He managed to throw out 10 runners, for a 30% success rate, slightly better than the league average.

Interestingly, most projections I've seen have Phegley playing in more than half of the White Sox games this summer.  I wonder if the projections were made before Ventura mentioned that Flowers had the inside track for the starting job.  The Oliver projections have him starting 143 games, which they also have him playing through the 2018 season.  Somehow I think that is an error.  The Bill James Handbook puts him at 105 games, hitting 11 home runs on the way to .254/.288/.410 line.  If that is fairly accurate, James sees Phegley making a significant leap from 2013 to this year.  If Flowers falters like a year ago, Phegley will get a chance to make these projections a reality.  It would make a great story and it would last longer than one week in July.  Of course a move for a better catcher would make for a great story too.

Update:  On March 19 Josh Phegley was sent to minor league camp, insuring that he'll be starting the season in the minors.  Kind of a tough break, especially considering that his competition isn't exactly the second coming of Johnny Bench.  Bruce Levine over at 670 The Score highlights a couple of possibilities, but the best move would be to go out of the organization.  Here's hoping Rick Hahn can work some more magic.

Leave a comment