2020 MLB Preview: Chicago White Sox
I’m not sold on Tim Anderson. Yes he hit .335 with a .399 batting average on balls put in play, which is really high. He didn’t cut down on his strikeouts and walked only 15 times. The year before he hit .240.
Left fielder Eloy “Big Baby” Jiminez hit 31 bombs in his rookie campaign. Hopefully he’s less of a head case than Glenn Davis was, who had the same nickname during his time in the NBA. Catcher James McCann is coming off a decent season. There’s something to be said for swinging more I guess. He had 21 more strikeouts in 2019 and 26 more hits. In previous years, he’s followed good seasons with bad ones. It will be interesting to see how much he catches now that Yasmani Grandal has been signed. Grandal can carry a team as long as opposing pitchers forget he’ll swing at pitches in the dirt but can’t hit breaking stuff there to save his life. He did top the 100-walk plateau though for the first time in his career. He also played some first base last year which could free up the Sox to give Jose Abreu a day off here and there.
The same concern I have for Anderson I also have for Yoan Moncada, who hit .315 after hitting .235 the year before. Chicago also signed bomber Edwin Encarnacion who should have enough to hit 30 homers in a season. I think Chicago was wise to bring in more offense to take the heat off Anderson and Moncada because I’ll be shocked if they repeat those numbers in 2020. Remember the name Luis Robert. He’s supposedly only 22 and has hit at every level since he was a 15-year-old in Cuba. I say supposedly because players from the islands have a history of fudging their birth records to make them look younger. Regardless of how old he is, he could do some damage in a short year.
On the mound Dallas Keuchel and his career 3.67 ERA likely adds at least eight wins above replacement to a staff that needed it. With Lucas Giolito (3.41 ERA, 228 strikeouts) Chicago now has two really good starters. The other four from last year were bullpen material but at least they were healthy enough to take the ball every fifth day.
All told the offense is better and so is the pitching. Considering the Pale Hose won just 72 last year that’s not saying much.Overall, it looks like an 82-win team.
Coronavirus 60 game prediction: 26-34