The Chicago White Sox roster has undergone some massive changes over the last year, and that process will continue in earnest as the team gathers in Glendale for spring training.
Which players will be viewed as full-time contributors? Who will be placed on the trade block by the organization? We’re taking a deep dive into the Sox as they move into Season 2 of their rebuilding project, and today we’re examining the team’s crowded outfield situation.
Nicky Delmonico wasn’t one of the main guys listed by White Sox pundits as a potential breakout candidate before the season started in 2017, but he certainly jumped onto the radar in a big way as he slugged nine home runs in just 141 at-bats for the team.
After appearing in 43 games a season ago, Delmonico likely has a strong shot at the everyday left fielder spot, with Leury Garcia and Willy Garcia potentially spelling him at times.
Nicky Delmonico’s spot most likely. Had a strong rookie campaign.
The middle of the White Sox outfield is a lot more unsettled, with Adam Engel presumably the favorite at the position right now. The problem with Engel is that for all the good work that he’s capable of doing with his glove, he simply couldn’t figure things out at the plate last season, with an appalling .166 batting average and 117 strikeouts in just 301 at-bats for the White Sox.
That’s where the team has to hope that Charlie Tilson can come into the picture. Tilson spent just about all of 2017 battling injuries, but if he can get healthy and showcase some strong talent in spring training, there is a chance that he could knock Engel out of that everyday center fielder spot and give the White Sox a new dimension to their lineup.
Freshly paid thanks to his arbitration victory over the White Sox, Avisail Garcia will bring his big bat back into the middle of the Sox order after hitting 18 home runs and driving in 80 RBIB in 136 games for the Pale Hose a season ago.
Of course, there is a player that Sox fans will be keeping a sharp eye on this spring and summer, as Eloy Jimenez will look to make the leap at some point despite the team feeling comfortable in taking things slowly with him. Jimenez is one of baseball’s top prospects, and he could be a superstar in the making if he lives up to his considerable potential.
He won’t threaten Garcia’s job out of spring training, but there is at least a chance that he could force the team’s hand later in the season.