2020 MLB Power Rankings: 7. Chicago White Sox


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Brendan Murphy

The Chicago White Sox have been one of baseball’s worst teams the past half-decade and 2019 was no exception. The team finished with 72 wins and a third place finish. Don’t let that record fool you. I expect this team to compete, and that’s why I ranked them as the seventh best team in baseball heading into 2020.

You may be asking yourself, why am I ranking a team who finished nine games below .500 last season this high, well I am very high on this team. There were so many good offseason moves that I need to dedicate an entire section to them.

Let’s start with the biggest one of all, Yasmani Grandal. Grandal is one of the best catchers in all of baseball and is a hitting machine. He is also great with pitching staffs which will benefit this team immensely. The Sox also made one of the most interesting trades of the offseason, acquiring slugger Nomar Mazara from the Rangers, who adds some more pop to an already powerful lineup. They also added two veteran southpaws who will be reliable options to look to down the stretch in former Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel and two-time all-star Gio Gonzalez. Let’s not forget about the veteran DH the team added in Edwin Encarnacion, who is basically a lock for 35 homers and 100 RBI.

In addition to their big offseason acquisitions, the White Sox also retained Cuban slugger Jose Abreu to play first base once again, who has been a mainstay in the White Sox lineup since his debut in 2014. Yoan Moncada took a massive leap forward last season, cementing himself as one of the next stars of the game. The lineup is held together at the top with small ball hitter Leury Garcia and one of the biggest breakout players of 2019, Tim Anderson. Did I forget to mention Eloy Jimenez, who was one of the top prospects in baseball heading into 2019 and shined in his first season in the big leagues. Top to bottom, this lineup, while unproven, is a formidable force.

The rotation, while it has its holes, got considerably better this offseason. Adding Keuchel and Gonzalez to the mix will really help out the rest of their young starters. Lucas Giolito made an incredible turnaround from his abysmal 2018 season with an outstanding 2019, finishing sixth in the American League Cy Young Award voting. The main question mark is Reynaldo Lopez. He flashed signs of greatness last year with quite a few dominant starts, but there were many other suspect starts that made you wonder if he is even good enough to be in a big league rotation. After seeing the resurgence of Lucas Giolito last season, I feel good about Lopez being a breakout candidate this season.

The White Sox farm system is ranked 13th in baseball according to Bleacher Report, but is very top heavy at the high levels of the minor leagues. There are a few guys worth noting, like the third pick in the 2019 draft Andrew Vaughn, flame throwing righty Michael Kopech, and pure hitting middle infielder Nick Madrigal, but without a doubt, the best player in their farm system is Luis Robert.

Robert signed a six-year extension before even stepping on a big league field, so if you couldn’t tell already, the south siders are very high on him. Robert is a five-tool player, outstanding on both sides of the ball. Robert has the potential to be baseball’s next superstar. His power and speed combination make him a threat for a 30/30 season nearly every year. Watch out for Robert to emerge and prove why he’s so highly rated this season.

Overall, I love this White Sox team. They are one of the most exciting teams in baseball and I expect them to compete for the postseason for years to come, starting with this season, shortened or not.

Top Acquisition – Yasmani Grandal

Biggest loss – Nobody of note

MVP – Yoan Moncada

Projected Finish – 2nd in AL Central (2nd AL Wild Card Team)

Projected Lineup:

  1. Leury Garcia, 2B
  2. Tim Anderson, SS
  3. Yoan Moncada, 3B
  4. Jose Abreu, 1B
  5. Yasmani Grandal, C
  6. Eloy Jimenez, LF
  7. Edwin Encarnacion, DH
  8. Nomar Mazara, RF
  9. Luis Robert, CF

Projected Rotation:

  1. Lucas Giolito
  2. Dallas Keuchel
  3. Gio Gonzalez
  4. Reynaldo Lopez
  5. Dylan Cease

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Twitter: @B_Murphy_MU