This White Sox are currently playing second fiddle to the Cubs in the city of Chicago. The Cubs have a ton of youth and new faces that can bring any fanbase up from the basement. The White Sox are a weird bunch of veterans, kind-of-young hitters still waiting to mature and Chris Sale.
Jose Abreu had another solid year for the White Sox. He should have another good year if Adam Eaton keeps getting on base in front of him. The addition of Todd Frazier helps protect Abreu a little in the lineup, but another power hitter is needed if they want to compete in the AL Central.
Can the back-end of the starting rotation hold up against the rest of the AL?
Here is the 2016 MLB season preview for the Chicago White Sox.
2015 Win/Loss Record: 76-86
Key Additions: 3B Todd Frazier, OF Austin Jackson, SP Mat Latos, C Alex Avila, C Dioner Navarro, SS Jimmy Rollins, 3B Brett Lawrie, RP Tommy Kahnle, OF Daniel Fields, 1B Travis Ishikawa & 2B Steve Lombardozzi
Key Losses: SP Jeff Samardzija, SS Alexei Ramirez, C Tyler Flowers, 2B Gordon Beckham, C Geovany Soto & OF Trayce Thompson
Interleague Schedule: NL East
Projected Starters: Alex Avila, Jose Abreu, Brett Lawrie, Todd Frazier, Tyler Saladino, Melky Cabrera, Adam Eaton, Avisail Garcia & Adam LaRoche
Projected Starting Rotation: Chris Sale, Jose Quintana, Carlos Rodon, John Danks & Erik Johnson
Closer: David Robertson
Fantasy Sleeper: SP Carlos Rodon – ESPN currently has Rodon has the #100 best fantasy starting pitcher. I think he is on the cusp of being a legit top-of-the-rotation pitcher. He’s a bit inconsistent since he is still getting a feel for the Majors, but he pitched some fantastic games last year. He did sprinkle some god awful games in-between some gems, but he should be more consistent this season. I think he will end the season as a top-35 fantasy starting pitcher.
Prospect To Keep Your Eye On: SS Tim Anderson – One of the reasons the White Sox weren’t eager to re-sign Alexei Ramirez is because of Anderson. He’s currently their #1 prospect in their farm system. He played a full season in Double-A last year and will most likely hit Triple-A after Spring Training. He could be ready for the Majors soon.
Team Analysis: The White Sox were a trendy pick last preseason to sneak up on the rest of the AL Central. They never got close to the top of the division.
The White Sox traded for 3B Todd Frazier and signed some veterans, but nothing Earth-moving. I expect another middle-of-the-pack finish for them in the AL Central.
If things get ugly by the All-Star Break, I expect Robin Ventura to be gone and for Kenny Williams to possibly discuss trade options for Chris Sale. I don’t see them building a playoff contender from their current roster and farm system. It could be wise for them to get a big return for Sale while he’s hot and blow up the rest of the roster. Abreu will be worth holding on to since young power hitters who hit for average are hard to find in his market.
2016 Wins Over/Under Betting Line: 80.5 (Prediction: UNDER)
2016 Projected Win/Loss Record: 76-86 (4th in AL Central)
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.