A couple of days ago I said the White Sox needed a remodel not a rebuild. As a follow up, I’m giving a projection of what the White Sox could look like in 2019. I’m not an expert on the Sox farm system but just a cursorily look at the farm system, coupled with a look at their current major league roster, and it’s easy to be optimistic about the Sox future. Of course no prospect is a sure thing. Even the Cubs haven’t hit on 100% of their prospects. Having said that, here’s your 2019 Chicago White Sox.
Catcher: Zack Collins This might be a reach. Thus far in his minor league career Collins has hit for a low average, but has shown some power and does take his walks. He reportedly is improving his defense. I’m less confident on this projection than others.
First base: Jose Abreu I look for Jose to still be around, though maybe as a DH. In two years his bat should still be playing well and he could serve as a mentor to Yoan Moncada and Luis Robert.
Second base: Yoan Moncada Look for Moncada to see action with the Sox later this year. The Sox have had trouble developing hitters so the acquisition of Moncada looks to be a great pickup for the Sox.
Shortstop: Tim Anderson While I don’t think Anderson has the ceiling of other young stud shortstops like Francisco Lindor and Carlos Correa, or even Addison Russell for that matter, I suspect he will be a bit above league average. He looks to be a bat first guy with good speed and limited power. My biggest concern with Anderson is his glove.
Third base: Matt Davidson: It’s possible that the Sox could hang on to Todd Frazier through 2019, but to me, Davidson and Frazier are similar players. Both are fair in the field, have good power and strike out a lot. I don’t think third will be a strength for the Sox in 2019, but neither will it be a black hole. Tyler Saladino could also see time at third in 2019. He brings something different to the position, a good glove, though with much less power.
Left field: Melky Cabrera I like Melky more than a lot of people do. I see him as a tough out, but an outfielder with limited range and a good arm. Cabrera could be a role player on a good team. This is another position I have a lot of reservations about.
Center field: Luis Robert Robert is reportedly a five tool player. Since Robert is 19 years old, this is an aggressive projection. Howver, the Sox are particularly lacking in outfield talent and Robert could have the door wide open for him. Especially if the Sox can contend for a playoff slot.
Right field: Avisail Garcia I’ve come over to the camp that things Garcia has turned the corner and will be a productive hitter. He could also be a candidate for DH. Garcia’s development as a hitter has been one of the most pleasant developments surrounding the Sox this season.
DH: Todd Frazier This is a real long shot. I’ve mentioned other potential DHs, but players like Leury Garcia and Willy Garcia could see some time in the outfield and push Avisail Garcia or Melky Cabrera into time as DH. There’s a very real chance somebody not currently in the system could show up in this slot.
- Jose Quintana Quintana is signed through 2020so I hope the Sox don’t deal him off. He’s a known commodity that can be built around.
- Carlos Rondon Assuming he regains his health, Rondon has the potential to be a dominant, or a least semi-dominant starter.
- Carson Fulmer Fulmer is doing well in AAA. Look for him later this season. By 2019 he should have worked off some rough edges.
- Reynaldo Lopez Lopez has major league stuff based on what I read would seem to have the potential to be a solid 3, maybe even a number 2 starter.
- Michael Kopech Kopech might have the best stuff of any pitcher in the Sox system. In addition, he seems to be putting it together in AA.
- Zack Burdi Burdi looks to be a closer in training down in Charlotte. 27 strikeouts in 17.2 innings looks like he’s well on his way to Chicago.
- Anthony Swarzak I have no idea if Swarzak will be with the Sox in 2019, but I like what I’m seeing now.
- Tommy Kahnle Kahnle is another guy who has found success this season due, in large part, to improved command. Kahnle could well be a key to the Sox pen for the next few years.
So there it is, a projection of the Sox 2019 roster. No doubt a lot of players will come and go, but one thing seems fairly obvious: The Sox are not that far away from being a good team. I’s hate to see them trade off players who could be a part of a contender in 2019. It might be a good idea to hang on to Quintana.