White Sox Potential 2020 Lineup

At 45-70, the Sox continue to race towards being one of the first teams eliminated from postseason contention, and it is likely that the 2018 season will be more of the same.  While fans have suffered through starts from the likes of Pelfrey, Holland, and Shields this season, the hope is that the Sox will soon again be among the elite teams in the MLB in a few years.

Some of the young pieces such as Yoan Moncada and Nicky Delmonico have already found their way to the majors, while Reynaldo Lopez is expected to make his White Sox debut on Friday (and don't be surprised if Lucas Giolito is the next to make his first start with the team this year).  However, many of the top prospects like Eloy Jimenez and Michael Kopech will not play for the White Sox until late 2018 or 2019.  After allowing these prospects time to hone their talents and continue their development, it is realistic to expect the White Sox to be a World Series contender in 2020.  As all baseball fans know, prospects don't always pan out, but the White Sox have a quite of bit talent stockpiled to put together a nice looking major league roster just from our own farm.  Combine that with some future savvy Rick Hahn free agent additions, and we may be looking at a dangerous roster.  Here is what that lineup may look like:
(* indicates free agent signing)

C: Yasmani Grandal*
1B: Jose Abreu
2B: Yoan Moncada
SS: Tim Anderson
3B: Jake Burger
LF: Charlie Blackmon*
CF: Luis Robert
RF: Eloy Jimenez
DH: Matt Davidson
Bench: Leury Garcia
Bench: Adam Engel
Bench: Nicky Delmonico
Bench: Yolmer Sanchez

Starting in the field, one can see right off the bat that this is an extremely dangerous team at all positions.  Featured are some raw, unproven talents like Robert and Burger realizing their potential; in addition to Tim Anderson putting a rough year in 2017 both personally and statistically behind him.  If most scouts are correct, the Sox should feature at least three elite players in Yoan Moncada, Luis Robert, and Eloy Jimenez.  Combine that with two huge free agent signings in Grandal and Blackmon, and you have the makings of a World Series contender.  Blackmon is one of the top players in the MLB right now, and probably is going to command a salary north of $150M; however, with Nolan Arenado in line a massive contract extension sometime, it is unlikely Colorado can afford to keep both of these superstars in town.  Admittedly, the Grandal signing is a bit of a stretch, but with the Dodgers already having one of the largest payrolls in baseball along with an imminent Corey Seager extension by 2019, perhaps the White Sox may be able to simply outbid the Dodgers and other clubs for the services of one of the top catchers in the game.

Starting Pitchers:
SP1: Michael Kopech
SP2: Carlos Rodon
SP3: Reynaldo Lopez
SP4: Lucas Giolito
SP5: Alec Hanson

Michael Kopech has all the makings of an ace, and although he probably won't be up with the Sox until late 2018 (maybe not even until 2019), his stuff is already so good it arguably is enough to strikeout most big league hitters today.  Carlos Rodon has shown flashes of brilliance that makes you believe he is a top of the rotation-type pitcher, but consistency has been missing in his career to date.  Many predicted 2017 would be his breakout year, but perhaps his struggles this year truly are due to his injuries and lack of a Spring Training.  Reynaldo Lopez has been overshadowed in a crowded list of all-star prospects with the Sox, but will be a quality major league starting pitcher for some time.  He makes up for his small frame with a fastball that nearly hits 100mph and a lights-out slider.  Lucas Giolito has the highest risk of being a "bust" in this group given he has struggled with his confidence, consistency, and mechanics; however, he has strung together a series of straight quality starts in AAA Charlotte and may be in line for a promotion some time this year.  If anyone can help this young pitcher reach his high ceiling, it certainly is White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper.

RHP: Carson Fulmer
RHP: Dane Dunning
RHP: Spencer Adams
LHP: Aaron Bummer
LHP: Justin Wilson*
LHP: Ian Clarkin
Setup Man: Dylan Cease
Closer: Zack Burdi

While the state of the White Sox 2017 bullpen is probably the worst in the MLB, there is a ton of talent waiting down in the farm system.  Zack Burdi can absolutely light up the radar gun with his fastball and he probably would have been pitching for the Sox already if not for his injury this year.  Time will tell if he is able to have the same electric stuff after missing all of this year and next year while rehabbing the UCL tear in his arm.  Dane Dunning has starter material, but it will be hard for him to crack a loaded starting rotation if not for an injury (he seems like a likely candidate to be eventually flipped for an established bullpen talent).  Dylan Cease (one of the main pieces acquired from the Cubs in the Quintana trade) will be given the opportunities to prove he can be an MLB starter; however, many scouts believe it is more likely he ends up in the bullpen where he can develop into an all-star caliber setup man or even closer.

Key Omissions:
Zach Collins
Blake Rutherford
Avisail Garcia

Obviously not all of our top prospects will pan out (I genuinely hope I am wrong about that), so I had to pick a few talented young players to miss the cut.  Zach Collins was drafted for his bat and has made significant strides defensively at catcher; however, although his power numbers in single-A are appealing, he does swing-and-miss at an alarming rate.  His best shot at cracking the White Sox roster one day probably will be at DH, but the Sox may be presented with better options there if he cannot cut down on the strikeouts along his development.  Blake Rutherford also seems to have a high "bust" potential which is why he too misses the cut.  The Sox have been pretty high on him (he was the main piece in the Frazier, Robertson, Kahnle trade), but this 2020 roster has him being one of the inevitable "busts".  Finally, Avisail Garcia also is not included in this 2020 roster.  He was the lone All-Star this year for the Sox and is still only 26 years old; however, consistency has been an issue for him his entire career and it is tough to say if his 2017 breakout season was just a fluke or a preview of a fruitful career.  I find it hard to imagine anyone but Eloy Jimenez starting in right field for the White Sox in 2020, and Garcia has already shown he is not a DH.  I do envision the team eventually trading or simply choosing to move on from Garcia in favor of other options in the future.

There is a lot to be excited about with the future of the Chicago White Sox organization.  The roster hopefully will feature some of the young exciting talent we have, along with Hahn identifying some outside additions via trade and free agency.  While this team still has a long way to go and a lot to prove, the future seems bright and perhaps soon Chicago fans will be treated to the first Sox-Cubs World Series in well over a century.




  1. Mario Angelone August 9, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    I gave the article a tumble. It’s a solid piece and takes some real calculated risks. As with all assessment of prospects, player development can take many paths.
    Mario has the foresight to point these out and give Sox fans a short list of guy’s to watch that are currently in their system. The FA acquisitions are pure fun. Why not dream a little when looking to supplement a young roster with veteran talent. Good stuff.

    Liked by 1 person


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