Tuesday, July 23, 2024
AL CentralAmerican LeagueAnalysisChicago White SoxMLB

What’s On Second?

Photo: Keith Allison; Flickr

We already know who’s on first, with José Abreu and his new contract, for bulk of the time. The White Sox have an open spot in the middle of the infield, leaving us wondering what’s on second? With the loss of their first gold glove winning second baseman, Yolmer Sánchez who was designated for assignment and subsequently signed a minor league deal with the Giants, since 1960. Off the bat that sounds like a huge loss for the White Sox, but not much was happening off the bat for Sánchez last year. He was a stud on defense, but could not get it together on offense. Slashing .252/.318/.321 and an abysmal .069 ISO, it was not much of a surprise they decided to move on without him. So who’s there Opening Day second baseman?

To start lets look at the options on their depth chart listed on their site. They have Leury García, Danny Mendick, and Andrew Romine listed as one, two, and three respectively. García, who I talked about in a previous article, hasn’t played defense a substantial amount at second base in the majors since 2014, where he barely played over 100 innings. Despite that, I think he will receive most of the time at second base to start the season. Offesively, he is not much of an upgrade from Sánchez . Last year, he slashed .279/.310/.378 and a .099 ISO. He does not take many walks and strikes out too much, 3.4% and 22.5% respectively. Nor does he hit the ball hard, 28.5%

Baseball Savant

Next on the depth chart is Danny Mendick. He made his debut as a September call up last year. Slashing .308/.325/.462 and a .154 ISO in only 39 AB. It’s too early to tell if his BB% and K%, 2.5% and 27.5% respectively, is concerning. It very well may be adjusting to Major League pitchers. In minimal opportunities he did hit the ball all around the field; 35.7 Pull%, 28.6 Cent%, and 35.7 Oppo%.

In AAA last year he slashed .279/.368/.444 with a .166 ISO. He had a more respectable BB% and K%, 11.8% and 17.2% respectively, which is more of what you would hope for in his first full season in the majors. He played 403 inn at second base and did not commit a single error. I would prefer the White Sox to give Mendick the starting job while García platoons with Nomar Mazara in right field.

Last on the depth chart is Andrew Romine, the oldest of the three, invited to spring training as a non-roster invitee. He is the long shot to make the roster. I believe this spring training will be used more as a showcase for other teams to see if he still has anything to offer teams. He is an extra depth piece that the White Sox do not need. He’s a career .235/.291/.301 .065 ISO hitter. If he is not cut before spring training is done, he will stay in AAA as a depth piece in case of injuries

Waiting for his call to The Show is Nick Madrigal, the White Sox number 4 prospect and MLB’s number 40 overall prospect. It is not a matter of if, but when he will make his debut. This spring training he will be given a legitimate look to see if he is ready to make the Opening Day roster. In the minors last year he has a respectable BB% and an amazing K%, 8.4% and 3.1% respectively. If he can maintain that 2.7 BB/K, where he only struck out 16 times in 473 AB, he will be called up sooner rather than later. MLB Pipeline highlights his 65 Hit, 60 Speed, and 60 Field. He showed off his speed stealing 35 bases and also beating out many infield hits, as shown in his spray chart. He is going to be another fun rookie to watch, with teammate La Pantera, this summer at Guaranteed Rate.

All stats per FanGraphs unless noted.

Michael Flores

Born on the South Side of Chicago, writing about the White Sox. Manage 2 dynasty teams and a yearly redraft team, also a Little League team. Follow me on Twitter @mpflores90