Until this season, the White Sox haven’t really seen much progress in the rebuild. Injuries to top prospects and losing 100 games will definitely waver the confidence of fans. But 2019 has been a different story.
Lucas Giolito has gone literally from worst to first. He has a great chance to start the All Star game for the American League this summer, and looks like a legitimate Cy Young contender. He is also the first pitcher in the MLB to reach 10 wins, has an ERA of 2.22, and an fWAR of 3.0.
Then there’s Tim Anderson, Yoan Moncada, and Eloy Jimenez. All three figure to be core pieces for the foreseeable future, and all 3 are having great years so far. After Jimenez had 2 3-run bombs against the Yankees, he is finally looking like the franchise player people envisioned. Moncada looks great both at the plate and at 3rd base, and Tim Anderson is carrying himself like a future captain.
Then there’s the top prospects. Luis Robert is still playing like a man amongst boys in Double-A, while Nick Madrigal continues to rake in a park where bats go to die. Dylan Cease is putting up very solid numbers in Triple-A in spite of juiced baseballs being used, and Zack Collins is still getting on base at a .382 clip despite striking out 30% of the time. It’s possible that we see all of these players in Chicago at some point this year. Especially if they are still in the wild card hunt.
Which brings us to the last point of this article. If you told me that the White Sox would be 3.5 games out of the wild card on June 16th, I would have slapped you. But here we are, at a game under .500 and right in the thick of things. You’d have to imagine that if the White Sox had a healthy Michael Kopech and Carlos Rodon that they would be sitting in the 2nd wild card spot right now. If they are this close to the playoffs with this pitching staff, imagine next year when they are (hopefully) healthy.
The White Sox are closer than you or I thought, and fans are noticing too. The ballpark has had an energy over the last couple home stands that I haven’t seen since…2008? 2012? It’s been a long time coming for us.
And that time is almost here.