If you’re like me, then you know that the last two World Series was some of the best baseball we have been able to watch in recent memory. The Cubs broke their curse, and the Astros won their first title in franchise history. Both required a game seven. What does this have to do with the White Sox? Well nothing really, until you look a little deeper at how both teams were built.
The Rebuild Works
In 2011 the Chicago Cubs finished with a record of 71-91. Good for last place in the N.L. Central. At the end of October of that same year, they hired Theo Epstein and the rest is history. Like Rick Hahn, Epstein acquired the majority of the talent from the Cubs via trade. Anthony Rizzo, Kyle Hendricks, Jake Arrieta, Justin Grimm, Addison Russell, Dexter Fowler, and Aroldis Chapman were all brought in via trade. Epstein drafted Kris Bryant, Albert Almora, and Kyle Schwarber. Then he signed Jason Heyward, Jon Lester, Ben Zobrist, and John Lackey, and the Cubs had their championship team. Now when I write it like this, it sounds easier said than done. And it is. But Epstein knew what he was doing, and is surely heading to the Hall of Fame.
So one rebuild worked. Big deal.
Well, the Houston Astros would like to introduce themselves as well.
Like the Cubs, the Astros acquired the majority of their talent via trade. Chris Devinski, Evan Gattis, Ken Giles, Marwin Gonzalez, Brian McCann, Joe Musgrove, and Justin Verlander were all traded to the Astros. While the depth came through trades, the stars game through free agency and the draft. Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa, and George Springer were all drafted by Houston. Jose Altuve and Yuli Gurriel were international free agents. And there you have it. Sports Illustrated noticed the plan the Astros were putting into play years ago. Yesterday it came to fruition.
This issue came out June 30th, 2014. They finished 70-92 that year. On November 1st, 2017, the Astros were crowned champions while the man on the cover was named World Series MVP.
White Sox Implementing Same Plan
Like the Cubs and Astros, the White Sox have gotten the majority of their talent via trade. Those players would be Avisail Garcia, Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Dane Dunning, Eloy Jimenez, Dylan Cease, Blake Rutherford, and Luis Alexander Basabe. When it comes to the draft, the White Sox have recently chosen Tim Anderson, Carlos Rodon, Jake Burger, Zack Collins, Zack Burdi, Carson Fulmer, Alec Hansen, and Gavin Sheets. Next draft they will take yet another high rated prospect as they pick no. 4 overall. We have to wait until winter of 2018 to see what they do in one of the most hyped free agent classes ever, but they brought in Luis Robert as a top-grade international free agent last spring. They also signed Jose Abreu back in 2013.
Above are 15 young prospects in the White Sox system (Moncada has graduated) that have a legitimate chance to contribute. For the sake of the law of averages, lets say only seven or eight pan out. Now throw in one or two big time free agents and you are looking at a team that has 10 young, legitimately talented MLB players to pair up with Abreu, Garcia, Anderson, and Rodon. Sounds like an incredible core to me.
The White Sox are going to be good in the very near future. If you are still having doubts, just look at Houston and the folks on the North Side. They’ll be sure to tell you the same thing.