Chicago White Sox Spring Training Preview

Spring training is coming up fast, and the White Sox were one of several teams who overhauled their team during the winter months. Here’s an overview of their offseason, and a preview of their Spring Training battles.

Key Additions:
Jeff Samardzija (Trade OAK)

Melky Cabrera (Free Agent)

David Robertson (Free Agent)

Emilio Bonofacio (Free Agent)

Zach Duke (Free Agent)

Dan Jennings (Trade MIA)

Adam LaRoche (Free Agent)

Gordon Beckham (Free Agent)

Key Departures

Andre Rienzo (Trade MIA)

Dayan Viciedo (Designated For Assignment)

Paul Konerko (Retirement)

Marcus Semien (Trade OAK)

Position Battles:

Backup Catcher:

Rob Brantly vs. Adrian Nieto vs. Geovony Soto

Brantly, who signed a minor league deal this past offseason, has hit .235 through 98 games in two seasons with the Miami Marlins. He is still only 25 years old and has a .273 average and a .321 OBP in his minor league career. At the very least, he provides the White Sox with depth in case of injury, after the White Sox traded Josh Phegley to the A’s, who was stuck behind Flowers and Nieto this past season.

Nieto hit .246 through 48 games last season, after being a Rule 5 Draft pick last year. He never had experience above A ball before last year, and managed to stay afloat pretty well. It is expected for the White Sox to store him in the minor leagues to let him develop for a couple years. Even with Nieto’s experience last season, the backup catcher position is Soto’s to lose. The former rookie of the year is a .248 lifetime average hitter, with a .354 OBP average. Soto is by far the most experienced out of the trio.
Winner: Soto

Second Base: Micah Johnson vs. Carlos Sanchez vs. Gordon Beckham vs. Emilio Bonifacio

Johnson, known for his blazing speed, was a relatively unknown prospect from when he was drafted in 2012 until last season, but has put up great numbers as he climbed through the system. His career minor league numbers are .297/.366/.424 with 133 RBI’s and 128 stolen bases.

Sanchez has been up and down in the White Sox organization. Through a couple of short stints, he has hit .250 and walked 3 times. While those are certainly eye-popping numbers, his minor league stats speak better of him. in 2013/2014, Sanchez batted above .275 and had at least 50 walks along with 15 or more steals. He also has experience at Short Stop, giving him more options for playing time.

Beckham is a familiar face in the White Sox clubhouse, and has been since 2009, when he made his debut. He was traded in August of last year to the Angels, but was signed last week to a one-year, $2 million dollar deal by the team. He is a lifetime .245/.307/.375 hitter, and very strong defensive player for the middle infield alongside Alexei Ramirez.

Bonifacio has been used best as a utility player, as he has experience at Second Base, Third Base, Short Stop, Outfield, and DH. He is a career .262/.319/.341 hitter with 164 steals. His best value is his versatility to play elsewhere, which should keep him as a utility bat to play everywhere off the bench.

Prediction: Beckham starts the Season as the opening day Second Basemen until Micah Johnson comes up and takes over the everyday duties.

Some might consider the 5th starting pitcher as another battle, but Hector Noesi should be breaking camp with that spot controlled, barring any injuries/miracles. Erik Johnson has not shown enough consistency to show he is much better than Noesi, and Carlos Rodon could either be put in the Bullpen, or in AAA, until an injury comes up. Brad Penny and Scott Carroll are injury insurance, and nobody else is ready to take the job. Noesi should be the 5th in the rotation.

The 4th outfielder should be taken up by J.B. Shuck, Bonifacio, and Trayce Thompson, among other prospects should injuries occur.

Projected Opening Day Lineup:

1. CF Adam Eaton

2. LF Melky Cabrera

3. 1B/DH Jose Abreu

4. DH/1B Adam LaRoche

5. RF Avisail Garcia

6. SS Alexei Ramirez

7. 3B Conor Gillaspie

8. 2B Gordon Beckham

9. C Tyler Flowers

Bench:
Utility: Emilio Bonifacio/Gordon Beckham/Leury Garcia
4th OF: J.B. Shuck
Backup Catcher: Geovany Soto

Rotation:

1. Chris Sale

2. Jeff Samardzija

3.Jose Quintana

4. John Danks

5. Hector Noesi

Bullpen:

Zach Duke

Zach Putnam

Dan Jennings

Jake Petricka

Javy Guerra

David Robertson

One Response

  1. warren weaver

    Like the writer of this article, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Gordon Beckham start at 2nd base for the Sox. Maybe, just maybe a light bulb went on or will go on after getting dumped by the Sox and the Angles. He may realize this Is his career, his last chance, and again maybe he Is just a .240 hitter no matter what. But his glove Is excellent, and that gives him the edge. Johnson had better hit and field and run plus stay healthy to have a chance.

    Reply

Leave a Reply