Found February 21, 2012 on
Alejandro De Aza
Chicago White Sox
CF - Alejandro De Aza
2B - Gordon Beckham
1B - Paul Konerko
DH - Adam Dunn
LF - Alex Rios
C - A.J. Pierzynski
SS - Alexei Ramirez
RF - Dayan Viciedo
3B - Brent Morel
SP - John Danks
SP - Gavin Floyd
SP - Jake Peavy
SP - Chris Sale
SP - Philip Humber
CL - Matt Thornton
Five things to think about:
- Dunn was astonishingly putrid in 2011, batting .159 with 11 home runs. His strikeout rate jumped last season, but his walk, line-drive and fly-ball rates were just fine. Gambling on a rebound somewhere after Round 15 in mixed-league drafts sounds like a good idea.
- De Aza hit 13 homers and stole 34 bases between Triple A and the majors last season, and will be the new leadoff hitter on the South Side. Getting 10 homers and 25-30 swipes from your OF5 in a mixed league is something you'd be interested in, right?
- This team is full of rebound candidates, which will happen when you have a disappointing season. Rios and Peavy have gone between Rounds 15 and 20 in early drafts, while Beckham has pretty much fallen off the map. It's hard to count on Peavy's health, and Beckham didn't give us much to like in 2011, but Rios is on my list of late-round value opportunities.
- Remember all the stories last season about Morel being all-glove, no-bat? After you waived him, he hit eight homers in September. He also had 13 longballs between the minors and majors in 2010, and 16 at Class A in 2009. It's not like the hot corner is full of thumpers, you know.
- Danks and Floyd pretty much are what they are, but the interesting rotation member here is Sale, a flamethrowing, 23-year-old southpaw who spent 2011 in the White Sox' bullpen. Some mixed leaguers are drafting him in the last few rounds, and that sounds like a good strategy. Sale has plenty of upside at that draft position, and if he doesn't work out, you can cut him.
Odd man out: Super utilityman Brent Lillibridge will again ply his trade at many positions after hitting 13 home runs and stealing 10 bases in just 186 at bats in 2011.
Farm system: There's not much to concern yourself with here, other than maybe backup catcher Tyler Flowers (20 HR between Triple A and MLB last season) and potential closer Addison Reed (see below). RHP Nestor Molina could emerge later in the season, but he's started just five games above Class A.
Backup closer: The Chisox' website had Thornton listed in the closer's spot when spring training opened, so we can start there. However, look for rookie flamethrower Reed and maybe veteran Jesse Crain to push for the job. Reed will be a popular guy during draft season, as his minor-league history is filled with ERAs that start with the number "1." However, Reed's rise through the minors has been so rapid that there could be bumps in the road. He should close at some point this season, but don't be shocked if it's not by Opening Day.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
There are a lot of reasons for even the most optimistic White Sox fans to be pessimistic about the 2012 season.
Below this picture of the most laughable thumbs up in baseball history is an incomplete list of the reasons for pessimism, bulleted in no particular order off the top of my head.
Our manager has no experience at his job.
Adam Dunn is coming off, literally, the worst year...
The new manager of the Chicago White Sox didn't curse, rant or make any headlines during his first media session of the spring.
Robin Ventura was calm and cool - in other words, he was no Ozzie Guillen.
The White Sox are opening training camp for the first time since 2004 without Guillen, their former fiery manager now with the Miami Marlins. The change is already noticeable...
Entering his seventh season in the majors, Carl Yastrzemski had a reputation as a solid but not spectacular player. He was averaging 16 homers and 76 rbi's with a .293 batting average. He had a batting title to his credit (.321 in 1963) and had led the AL three times in doubles. It helped that Yaz could go the other way and use the left field wall. However, Carl had many detractors...
Ozzie Guillen has decided he'll manage better at the Miami Marlins' sprawling spring training complex if he's riding a golf cart.
When the Marlins began their first workout Wednesday, the new skipper discovered the team's seven practice fields are a lot of ground to cover. So the former shortstop asked for a cart and monitored drills from behind the wheel.
I have a theory why Adam Dunn will have a good season.
It arguably was Dick Allen's arrival in 1972 and ensuing MVP season that helped restore the White Sox to prominence, via a second-place finish in the AL West, an 87-67 record and almost 1.2 million in attendance, and silence talk about a possible relocation out of Chicago.
For the first time since 2003, the Chicago White Sox opened training camp on Wednesday without Ozzie Guillen, and while no one knows what to expect from first-year manager Robin Ventura, players agreed the clubhouse won't be as boisterous.
GLENDALE, Ariz. - The Chicago White Sox's 2012 slogan is "Appreciate the Game," which will be gladly received by the players after last year's "All-In'' theme that collapsed during an 83-loss season.
Replacing a franchise icon like Mark Buehrle is not an enviable task, and the White Sox aren't asking one person to fill that void. It will take the entire starting rotation to pick up the slack left by the clubhouse and on-field leader.
Ozzie Guillen is reenergized. Those close to him notice it. Danny Knobler says the first day of camp is too soon to speculate on the Ozzie-Marlins union, but it's clear he needed the change.
FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Chicago White Sox released Bobby Jenks after the 2010 season, deciding his many physical issues and frequent disputes with manager Ozzie Guillen outweighed his merits as a closer.
Humber: 'People are going to have to step up'GLENDALE, Ariz. — As the White Sox embark on life without manager Ozzie Guillen during their first workout for pitchers and catchers, a lingering question will be how the team copes without at least 10 victories, 30 starts and 200 innings for 11 consecutive seasons from Mark Buehrle.
New White Sox manager Robin Ventura knows the message he wants to convey to his players during his first team meeting. It's a message he wants the entire organization to hear.