Chicago White Sox
Last year, the White Sox went all-in on a rebuilding plan and traded away most of their players that had even minimal name recognition outside of south Chicago. This year, they figure to plug some of the youngsters netted in those deals right into the big-league lineup and see what they can do. The Sox will probably be pretty terrible this season, but they may show some glimpses of successes yet to come if any of these prospects prove worthy of the American League.
Not all familiar White Sox were traded away—for the moment, Avasail Garcia, José Abreu, and James Shields still wear the (rhetorical) pale hose. They form a supporting veteran presence around the Sox of Tomorrow, headlined by shortstop Tim Anderson and starting pitcher Lucas Giolito. Anderson is among the longest-tenured White Sox, having come up to the bigs all the way back in 2016; the speedy infielder was a first-round draft choice by Chicago in 2013. Giolito has been called a future ace, but that future is not immediate; though he did impress in a late-season callup last year, his 2018 campaign has started off rocky. Other new Sox of interest include second baseman Yoan Moncada and Nick Delmonico.
Players to Watch
Yolmer Sánchez: Formerly known as Carlos, Yolmer is, according to manager Rick Renteria, the Sox's best defensive infielder. Now the regular third baseman, Sánchez has also played second and short and has even logged a few innings in the outfield. At the plate he's still something of an unknown; a career .244 hitter, he began 2018 well above that mark. One thing he will do is strike out—nearly a quarter of his career at-bats have ended with a K.
Nick Delmonico: After serving a 50-game suspension in 2014 while in the minors due to an addiction to Adderall that dated back to high school, Delmonico decided he didn't want to play baseball anymore and walked away from the game. He came back, though, and within a year had signed a minor-league deal with the White Sox. After a surprising performance in last year's spring training, he went on to have a decent rookie campaign in the bigs, and this year the left fielder has started the season in fine fashion, posting a .400+ OBP.
Lucas Giolito: Viewed as Chicago's "ace-in-waiting," Giolito had a fine Sox debut in a late-season callup last year, posting a 2.38 ERA in seven starts. This year, he's had a rougher go of it, but it's early and the weather hasn't been kind. In this developmental year for the Sox, Giolito will be called upon to home his skills more than rack up wins, but the low-pressure campaign will, if nothing else, give him valuable big-league experience to draw on.
Rick Renteria: In his second year managing the White Sox, the former Mariner infielder isn't expected to win many games; instead, Renteria's charge is to mold his young team into a cohesive unit that can win in future years. It's a rebuilding scenario that worked well for the Astros, who were god-awful in their first season in the American League in 2013 and quickly gelled into a playoff team and then World Champs. South Siders hope the Sox's effort can follow that formula, but it may take longer than Houston's rise to power.
As a player, Renteria spent 43 games of his brief big-league career as a Mariner in 1987-'88. He performed as you might expect a reserve on the '80s M's to do, posting a .194/.218/.296 line.
Danny Farquhar: Notable as the guy traded for Ichiro (along with fellow pitcher DJ Mitchell, who never suited up for the M's and was last seen in uniform for the Long Island Ducks of the Atlantic League), Farquhar was decent in 2013 and '14 for Seattle (3-4, 3.34 ERA) before a terrible 2015 (1-8, 5.12). He was traded to Tampa Bay in a six-player deal following that season.
|Chicago White Sox||(1901 - present)|
|World Champions:||1906, 1917, 2005|
|League Champions:||1919, 1959|
|Division Titles:||1983, 1993, 2000, 2008|
Lucas Giolito: Giolito's uncle is television writer Mark Frost, co-creator of the cult favorite Twin Peaks.
Welington Castillo: One of the weirdest player acquisitions of the Jack Zduriencik era was Castillo. The Mariners traded for him to shore up the catcher position in May of 2015, then two weeks later he was traded again to Arizona with Dominic Leone and a couple of minor leaguers. He went on to hit 17 homers for the Diamondbacks that year.