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2021 White Sox observations

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  • 2021 White Sox observations

    I've been biding my time so as not to be too hasty, but I've seen enough to chime in with my thoughts.


    First, I went to the Sox/KC game on Thursday, my first live game since September 2019.

    Bad:

    1) Sox are only doing cell phone tickets, at least for pre-game sales, which I abhor. I prefer to use as much cash as possible. Never had any problems that way. Wouldn't have gone if not for a buddy who ordered the "tickets" on his phone. Stupid.
    2) All transactions in the park are credit card only, no cash. This also meant there were no aisle vendors.
    3) Lines were much longer not having cash. This system is not patron friendly.
    4) Normally I like sitting in the upper deck, with the great sight lines, but we sat down the RF line, 15 rows up, about 50' from the warning track. The netting extending from home to the RF fence is new and extremely annoying to watch a game through, especially when the wind is blowing it. I know it is for safety, but that is too long a stretch in my opinion.
    5) Jose Abreu has the slowest hands of any first baseman I've ever seen. He has to start his mitt up quicker than any first sacker I've seen. It didn't hurt the Sox, but super noticeable between innings.
    6) Adam Engel cost us the game by misplaying a single into a double with runners on base. We lost the game 3-2, and it is because Engel misplayed it into a double that a second run scored in the first. He is not a very good centerfielder....I DO NOT CARE WHAT THE STATS SAY...I WATCH HIM, AND HE IS NOT GOOD!
    7) Official scoring is at the worst as it ever has been. Engel's play was a single with an error by any reasonable human being, yet the scorer gave him a double. Stop favoring the hitters and fielders and stop hurting the pitchers! People say defense is as great as it ever has been. BS! BS! The White Sox alone should have double the number of errors, but official scoring is so bad right now.
    8) Leury Garcia has pictures of Jerry Reinsdorf naked doing bad things with a fish. That is the only reasonable thought on way this backup has been with the White Sox since 2013. He is not a good player. His only skill is that he is bad in many positions.
    9) Reynaldo Lopez is a meat bag. The hitters are not fooled by his delivery and stuff; they were fighting themselves getting to the bat rack to hit against him and were hitting rockets against him.

    Good:

    1) That being said, Leury Garcia does have a good arm for a left fielder. Credit where credit is due. Also Edward Olivares of the Royals in left has a very good arm. Neither had to show it off during the game but it was noted between innings watching them throw. New guy Cesar Hernandez has a very strong arm at second.
    2) I've ripped on Yoan Moncada in the past for his glove. Watching him live and on TV, I will give mad respect to him for all the effort he has put in. Through hard work, he has turned himself into a B/B- defender. Kudos.
    3) The ballpark looked great. Love New Comiskey.
    4) If things break right for Andrew Vaughn, I give him a 60% chance of becoming a star. He was shifted to right field and I saw him make a full laid out diving catch in right, and he also made a nice running catch on the track. Tony LaRussa back in May stated that Vaughn is a plus defender in left. I fully agree with this. For being a natural first baseman, he had a few tough initial weeks in left. Since then, he has been good, a B level defender. I am so impressed with his defense and hitting potential.
    5) Dallas Keuchel pitched well.
    Last edited by Toledo Inquisition; 08-08-2021, 11:39 AM.
    "I, Toledo Inquisition, firmly believe that the New York Mets will win the 2021 World Series."
    Play the Who am I? game in trivia and you can make this signature line yours for 3 days (baseball signatures only!)

    Go here for a link to all player links! http://www.baseball-fever.com/forum/...player-threads

    Go here for all your 1920's/1930's OF info

  • #2
    General seasonal thoughts:

    1) The team is not as good as their record. I fully expect an early post-season exit. They have had a lot of injuries, but the team isn't good. Actually, some of the backups are better (Vaughn especially, but Burger and Sheets have impressed in limited duty). The offensive team is almost exclusively built on home run power, but they don't hit for average or draw a large number of walks.

    2) Jose Abreu, for all the bad defense, is a tremendous hitters with runners on. He smells RBI like a politician smells corruption. For his career, he is hitting 0.19/0.392/0.564 with a 122 tOPS+ with RISP. He is a true "clutch" player. I just wish he was a DH.

    3) I hate, hate, hate the Kimbrel/Madrigal trade. As I have said elsewhere, Madrigal has a chance to be a 0.300 hitter with great contact and under 30 K. With a bit of learning on how to be patient, he could be a number two hitter for 12 years. His defense is poor now because he doesn't understand positioning/what base to throw to, but could improve.

    I told my friends and Sox fanatic uncle who lives out of state but watches each game devotedly that I was positive that Kimbrel would lose a big game for us by the end of the year, probably in the playoffs. Trading for a 50-inning reliever is a joke. Well, I almost called it already. Against the Cubs, he came in and allowed a few baserunners and gave up a three-run dinger Friday. Sox won in extra innings, but he screwed up. People do not look enough at save percentage and Kimbrel is off to a magnificent start with us. What a joke.

    For some reason Steve Stone, who I respect greatly, is a huge fan of the trade because he doesn't see Magrigal having any more upside. I think this is harsh...he needs to learn to take a few more pitches like Moncada has and needs to take 10,000 ground balls in practice.

    5) Yoan Moncada deserves credit for learning to field. I thought he wouldn't field enough to be a second baseman or hit well enough to be a third baseman. He started off terrible at third with the glove, but has turned it around. A B/B- fielder. Offensively he has become better than his valley and worse than his 2019 peak. This is his true skill level...he has consciously changed his batting style to draw more pitches and now has 60 walks (40 in 2019). He is hitting 0.256/0.370/0.393. He isn't a power guy but has become a solid third baseman.

    6) As mentioned above, Vaughn is my choice to become a star. He was completely overwhelmed in the field and at the plate his first month, but has come on strong. He is young (23). On April 29, he was hitting 0.225 with a 0.300 SLP. He didn't hit a homer until May 12, but since then has been so impressive. More than the results at the plate, I like his stroke. His strikeouts are at 26% of his AB, but I think he will drop that to 22-23% over time. Solid chance for him to be a 1700 hit, 250 homer career guy, and maybe higher.

    7) Eloy Jimenez is a disaster. He has missed a lot of the year due to injuries, but he jerks off the ball and only can hit homers. That is only skill. He will need to hit 35+ to have any value. He remains the single worst outfielder I've ever see. He makes Manny Ramirez look like a gold glover. Tony LaRussa has discussed the desire to put Vaughn in the outfield as an every day fielder because of his skill and to make Eloy a full time DH. Jimenez is balking at this, saying he doesn't want to be a hitter only. I fully expect the Sox to screw this up, since Jimenez is signed for big money, but right now, he is the worst I've ever seen.

    While I think anyone can get better defensively with practice, I don't think Jimenez has the judgment, speed, instincts, or eyesight to succeed in the OF. He is dreadful in left.

    8) Luis Robert remains the Sox best prospect, but seems to be injury prone.

    9) Tim Anderson has reduced the throwing errors and mental issues which plagued him. Right now, he is our best all around player, chipping in with a 0.300 BA, medium range power, good defense. He is unquestionably the Sox leader. I just wish he would take a few pitches for walks...but other than that, I think he is very solid or better in all aspects. If he had reached this skill level at age 24 or 25 instead of 28, I think there could be an honest HOF discussion for him.
    Last edited by Toledo Inquisition; 08-08-2021, 12:09 PM.
    "I, Toledo Inquisition, firmly believe that the New York Mets will win the 2021 World Series."
    Play the Who am I? game in trivia and you can make this signature line yours for 3 days (baseball signatures only!)

    Go here for a link to all player links! http://www.baseball-fever.com/forum/...player-threads

    Go here for all your 1920's/1930's OF info

    Comment


    • #3
      No thoughts on Yermin Mercedes, one of the biggest news stories (for better or worse) for the Sox this year?
      "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
      "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
      "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
      "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Toledo Inquisition View Post
        1) Sox are only doing cell phone tickets, at least for pre-game sales, which I abhor. I prefer to use as much cash as possible. Never had any problems that way. Wouldn't have gone if not for a buddy who ordered the "tickets" on his phone. Stupid.
        I was thinking about this earlier this season. It seems that all teams are moving further and further away from paper tickets. Alas, there goes a part of the game's history. Not accepting cash though for a "ticket" at game time is....well....see below.....

        2) All transactions in the park are credit card only, no cash. This also meant there were no aisle vendors.
        3) Lines were much longer not having cash. This system is not patron friendly.
        Hopefully this is response to COVID-19 and not a permanent trend. I can't imagine aisle vendors disappearing permanently.

        4) Normally I like sitting in the upper deck, with the great sight lines, but we sat down the RF line, 15 rows up, about 50' from the warning track. The netting extending from home to the RF fence is new and extremely annoying to watch a game through, especially when the wind is blowing it. I know it is for safety, but that is too long a stretch in my opinion.
        Not knowing what the sightline is from those seats in that park, I will trust your judgment. MLB needs to avoid the general trend towards "safety-proofing" the ballpark at the expense of the customer experience. Adults who purchase a ticket to a baseball game must understand that they are accepting the responsibility to pay attention to the game on the field as their own safety may depend upon it. Netting behind home plate is one thing (for obvious reasons), but this sounds like overkill.

        5) Jose Abreu has the slowest hands of any first baseman I've ever seen. He has to start his mitt up quicker than any first sacker I've seen. It didn't hurt the Sox, but super noticeable between innings.
        Perhaps, but like Dick Stuart, he's not getting paid for his glove.

        6) Adam Engel cost us the game by misplaying a single into a double with runners on base. We lost the game 3-2, and it is because Engel misplayed it into a double that a second run scored in the first. He is not a very good centerfielder....I DO NOT CARE WHAT THE STATS SAY...I WATCH HIM, AND HE IS NOT GOOD!
        I'm not going to look up his numbers in-depth, but there are a number of possible reasons for this disparity.
        (1) Your personal observations are from a sample size that isn't representative of the whole.
        (2) Engel's defensive stats may have waned from earlier in his career.
        (3) There may be component parts of his defense, which are subpar, which aren't being measured by, or don't show up well, in the stats. An oversimplified example might be a player throwing to the wrong base, or missing the cutoff man, if it's not an error.
        (4) Do the various defensive stats generally agree with each other on Engel's defense?

        I've never found Engel, proficient on defense or not, much of a major league player anyway.

        7) Official scoring is at the worst as it ever has been. Engel's play was a single with an error by any reasonable human being, yet the scorer gave him a double. Stop favoring the hitters and fielders and stop hurting the pitchers! People say defense is as great as it ever has been. BS! BS! The White Sox alone should have double the number of errors, but official scoring is so bad right now.
        I don't know how to measure this, much less how best to address this, but it occurs to me that MLB certainly has the resources to hire a permanent, rotating crew of official scorers, much like with the umpires, and, thereby exercise a large measure of quality control over the product. This would also serve to remove any "home field" biases in the product and that each individual scorer has been thoroughly trained and clearly instructed using the same standard.

        8) Leury Garcia has pictures of Jerry Reinsdorf naked doing bad things with a fish. That is the only reasonable thought on way this backup has been with the White Sox since 2013. He is not a good player. His only skill is that he is bad in many positions.
        See my last comment on Engel.

        9) Reynaldo Lopez is a meat bag. The hitters are not fooled by his delivery and stuff; they were fighting themselves getting to the bat rack to hit against him and were hitting rockets against him.
        Too bad. At the time he was acquired, I was hoping he'd turn out to be the pleasant surprise in the package they got. Doesn't sound like this is a fixable issue.


        4) If things break right for Andrew Vaughn, I give him a 60% chance of becoming a star. He was shifted to right field and I saw him make a full laid out diving catch in right, and he also made a nice running catch on the track. Tony LaRussa back in May stated that Vaughn is a plus defender in left. I fully agree with this. For being a natural first baseman, he had a few tough initial weeks in left. Since then, he has been good, a B level defender. I am so impressed with his defense and hitting potential.
        Very glad to hear this. You always want a top 5-10 overall pick to turn into a franchise cornerstone.
        "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
        "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
        "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
        "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Toledo Inquisition View Post
          1) The team is not as good as their record. I fully expect an early post-season exit. They have had a lot of injuries, but the team isn't good. Actually, some of the backups are better (Vaughn especially, but Burger and Sheets have impressed in limited duty). The offensive team is almost exclusively built on home run power, but they don't hit for average or draw a large number of walks.
          That describes a lot of offenses these days. The Sox certainly have more talent than anyone else in the AL Central, which guarantees them a playoff spot. They are a combined 36-23 combined against the Indians, Twins, Tigers and Royals. They are only 29-23 against the rest of MLB. BTW, they are 8-12 combined against the Rays, Jays, Yanks, Red Sox and Astros this year. You're right about them not being a strong playoff contender, but then again someone does have to beat them and they aren't going to be stuck in the Wild Card Game either.

          3) I hate, hate, hate the Kimbrel/Madrigal trade. As I have said elsewhere, Madrigal has a chance to be a 0.300 hitter with great contact and under 30 K. With a bit of learning on how to be patient, he could be a number two hitter for 12 years. His defense is poor now because he doesn't understand positioning/what base to throw to, but could improve.

          I told my friends and Sox fanatic uncle who lives out of state but watches each game devotedly that I was positive that Kimbrel would lose a big game for us by the end of the year, probably in the playoffs. Trading for a 50-inning reliever is a joke. Well, I almost called it already. Against the Cubs, he came in and allowed a few baserunners and gave up a three-run dinger Friday. Sox won in extra innings, but he screwed up. People do not look enough at save percentage and Kimbrel is off to a magnificent start with us. What a joke.

          For some reason Steve Stone, who I respect greatly, is a huge fan of the trade because he doesn't see Magrigal having any more upside. I think this is harsh...he needs to learn to take a few more pitches like Moncada has and needs to take 10,000 ground balls in practice.
          I agree with you. This isn't quite the Aroldis Chapman-for-Gleyber Torres butt clencher, but this one also makes me grimace. I hope Madrigal goes on to have an excellent career.

          7) Eloy Jimenez is a disaster. He has missed a lot of the year due to injuries, but he jerks off the ball and only can hit homers. That is only skill. He will need to hit 35+ to have any value. He remains the single worst outfielder I've ever see. He makes Manny Ramirez look like a gold glover. Tony LaRussa has discussed the desire to put Vaughn in the outfield as an every day fielder because of his skill and to make Eloy a full time DH. Jimenez is balking at this, saying he doesn't want to be a hitter only. I fully expect the Sox to screw this up, since Jimenez is signed for big money, but right now, he is the worst I've ever seen.[/QUOTE]
          One of several extremely young sluggers who appear to have this issue. Yordan Alvarez, Juan Soto and (a little older) Jesse Winker spring to mind here. When teams invest tens of millions in player salaries, you'd think it would be a no-brainer to invest a fraction of that into personal trainers to work on whatever's lacking with some of these guys. I never understood why the Reds didn't pay Rickey Henderson or someone to be Billy Hamilton's shadow for an off-season or two, making sure the kid learned to reach base. I have grown to appreciate the DH, but it's sad if your DH is a 25-year old who can't man first or left instead of 35-year old who can't man it any more.

          8) Luis Robert remains the Sox best prospect, but seems to be injury prone.
          Absolutely agreed here and someone I salivate at the prospect (no pun intended) of trading for any any sim league I'm in. What a talent!


          Great write-ups, TI! Thanks for sharing!
          "It is a simple matter to erect a Hall of Fame, but difficult to select the tenants." -- Ken Smith
          "I am led to suspect that some of the electorate is very dumb." -- Henry P. Edwards
          "You have a Hall of Fame to put people in, not keep people out." -- Brian Kenny
          "There's no such thing as a perfect ballot." -- Jay Jaffe

          Comment

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