The White Sox have a cast of young stars on the rise
The White Sox came into the 2019 season looking to take a step forward and while nobody had expectations of making a postseason run, Chicago did enough to provide hope for the future even if they decided to stand pat this offseason.
At the top of the list of young breakout players is shortstop Tim Anderson. When he wasn’t initiating old man baseball debates with his celebrations, Anderson was leading Chicago in batting average and fulfilling his potential after being selected with the 17th overall pick in the 2013 MLB Draft.
The infield also saw another rising star in Yoan Moncada. The Cuban import came over from the Chris Sale trade that sent their former ace to Boston and the White Sox have been more than happy with their return with Moancada leading the team in WAR (4.9) last season. While there could be improvements defensively, Moncada is developing into a cornerstone at a rapid rate.
Another key trade netted Chicago a stud with Eloy Jimenez coming over in the Jose Quintana trade. While Moncada had a more balanced offensive approach, Jimenez brought a little more power leading the White Sox with 31 HR last season.
While all three players had great individual seasons, it couldn’t help the White Sox from an overall perspective, ranking 24th in MLB in runs scored (708). That was a shame considering Chicago also has an emerging ace in Lucas Giolito.
You might remember Giolito from last August when the right-hander threw a three-hit shutout against the Twins at Target Field. That was just one of the highlights of a strong season from the 25-year old, who set career-highs in wins (14), innings pitched (176 2/3), strikeouts (228) and strikeout-to-walk ratio (4.00) while making his first All-Star team and finishing sixth in the Cy Young voting.
With all four players at age 26 or younger, the White Sox had a strong nucleus to build around this offseason and a strong minor league system gave them hope for the future. The key for this winter was to add pieces that could help out and fill some of the holes around their young stars.