The White Sox are 20-23 at the time of writing this, and if I’m being fair, lucky to have that mediocre of a record. Four of their starting pitchers would be at best 4th but more likely 5th starters on competant rotations. Their 3rd highest slugging percentage belongs to a 26 year old 5′ 7″ former infielder converted to starting center fielder in Leury Garcia.
Those things sound like the makeup of a franchise without hope, but with the Sox the excitement lies underneath the surface. With the Sox farm system being heralded as one of the best in the league there’s a lot to look forward to in the upcoming years. Moving on from Sale and Eaton has gotten them enough pieces alone to be excited about this rebuild.
Pieces such as Yoan Moncada, Baseball Americas #1 overall prospect who should be up to the bigs sometime in mid-june has shown he’s just too good to be playing in the minors, boasting a .905 OPS so far in Charlotte
The other piece of the Sale deal included fireballer Micheal Kopech who has a 2.76 ERA this year with 59 Ks over 41 innings in AA.
The Eaton deal has come under minor scrutiny because of the disappointment of, former #1 overall prospect, Lucas Giolito. He has failed to regain his top end velocity after having Tommy Johns surgery. The jury isn’t out on Giolito yet though. He’s only 22 and still has good to great stuff, but he’s got to learn to use it first. He has a 6.41 ERA this year in AAA.
People tend to forget that the Eaton deal got the Sox 3 pitching prospects and the two not so big name guys are giving fans a reason to be excited. First Reynaldo Lopez who’s a 23 year old right hander and has been dealing so far in AAA. 5-1 with a 2.94 era making him the most likely candidate from this crop of young pitchers to start games for the White Sox this season. Then we have 2016 29th overall pick Dane Dunning. He’s a 22 year old righty who has been having success moving between levels of A ball.
The White Sox are far from done when it comes to acquiring young talent. As we all speculate the package Rick Hahn is going to whip up for Quintana he went out and made a huge move. Landing phenom OF prospect Luis Robert out of Cuba. Hahn didn’t mess around in getting him to Chicago either paying up 25 million. This is the last of the super high money Cuban prospects with the MLB changing the rules so they are paid more like regular drafted players after this season. This group of mega contract phenoms from Cuba started with Aroldis Chapmen getting huge money and includes guys like Yoenis Cespedes, Yasiel Puig, and the Sox very own Jose Abreu and Yoan Moncada.
Robert feels like a perfect fit on the White Sox. Without many promising OF prospects in the works he’ll have an easy road to the majors, and will feel welcome in a White Sox club house filled with Spanish speaking players and managers. There are reports that Jose Abreu helped convince the young Robert to settle on the White Sox, saying they are a great organization for Cuban players like himself and he will feel comfortable.
I don’t know about you but that’s enough to get me excited. I can take my lumps this season watching the breakout of Avisail Garcia or the continuing consistency of Jose Abreu. Tim Anderson after a horrific start has turned it around this month and given Sox fans something to dream about with a middle infield duo of Anderson and Moncada. Also don’t forget our possible future ace Carlos Rodon will be returning from injury hopefully sometime soon.
I’ll end it with this. If you’re a Sox fan and you struggle watching the mediocrity that is the 2017 White Sox then maybe try tuning in to some Charlotte Knights games. You’re likely to catch a young stud pitching that you could see later this season in the bigs with their rotation including Reynaldo Lopez, Carson Fulmer, and Lucas Giolito. Plus Moncadas at bats are must see TV. But if you’re like me you’ll likely be watching both…