The White Sox have had a rough couple of seasons. They used to dominate the AL Central but things have changed. The Royals have made the correct changes to lift them to the World Series two years in a row. The White Sox have had such a terrible string of bad years that they have finished either fourth or dead last in their division every year since 2012 where they finished second behind the Tigers and missed the playoffs. In fact, they have not made the playoffs since 2008.
The organization is hoping for things to change this year. Some off-season moves that they made were quite surprising. They signed Jimmy Rollins last month to a minor-league deal but also invited him to Spring Training and will make the deal worth $2 million if he makes the starting lineup. Also, last month they signed free agent RHP Matt Latos.
One of the biggest moves that the White Sox made was being part of a three-team trade that eventually landed Todd Frazier from the Cincinnati Reds. They were able to do this by having the Reds and Los Angeles Dodgers agreeing to the Sox sending pitcher Frankie Montas, outfielder Trayce Thompson and infielder Micah Johnson to the Dodgers.
Now, I live about an hour away from Cincinnati and have been to quite a few Reds games including Homer Bailey’s 2013 no-hitter against the San Francisco Giants. I can honestly say, the crowd and environment for that was amazing. But the excitement that was brought because of the feat is something that happens every time that Todd Frazier stepped up to the plate or made an amazing defensive play. The city loved him and the city will never forget everything that he did for them.
Frazier has had a pretty good career so far. This will be his sixth season, with the first five being with the Reds. In those five seasons, Frazier has 2,281 at bats, 305 runs, 586 hits, 108 homeruns, 324 runs batted in, and 0.257 batting average.
There is honestly no doubt that Frazier could very well be the best player on the White Sox right now. He plays the hot corner at third base and they need someone defensively who can take away balls driven down the line and make plays. However, it is not his defensive scheme that will jolt the White Sox back up to the top of the AL Central. I think what he can do at the plate is something to marvel at. He gets on base and follows the “Money Ball” rule (if the players get on base then the team has a higher chance of scoring runs and winning games). If you combine his hits along with his walks and hit by pitches, he gets on base around 35% of the time he steps up to bat.
Now, do I think that the White Sox will get back up to the top of the American League right away? Absolutely not. The White Sox are going through a rebuilding stage and every team will have to go through that at some point or another. The Royals had to go through that (a lot longer than other teams) and they have been to the past two World Series and even won last year’s against the Mets. I think the White Sox have the right front office and are slowly gaining the talent and hard work needed to boost them back up to the top.