Photo Credit: USA Today
As we enter tonight, one thing is of certain for the Chicago White Sox: they are a complete afterthought in the world of Chicago sports. The Cubs have an opportunity to clinch a trip to the NLCS tonight, the Bulls landed Dwyane Wade, the Blackhawks are a dynasty, and the Bears are starting to do something about their starting quarterback.
For the White Sox faithful, they were served yet another underachieving season. They ended the year with a 78-84 record and a 4th place finish in the AL Central. They had uniform drama with their ace starting pitcher and ultimately just fell flat on their face when you consider the talent and expectations.
For all the things that went wrong, however, there were some highs that the new manager Rick Renteria can use moving forward. Here are just some of the things that the White Sox need to carry into 2017.
Tim Anderson, Shortstop: With no doubt, he was the highlight of the season for the team. He batted .283 and hit 9 home runs while stealing 25 bases. Anderson was one of the top prospects coming out of the White Sox dry farm system. It was big for the organization that he delivered. Rick Hahn and the guys up stairs will definitely have a shortstop to work with moving forward in the 23-year-old Anderson.
Carson Fulmer, Pitcher: The 22-year-old right-hander posted pretty bad numbers in his first year in the Majors. However, he is the best pitcher the Sox have in their farm system. He is still very young and needs time to grow. Fulmer went 0-2 with a whooping 8.49 ERA. He spent more time as a long reliever out of the bullpen and really has a lot of potential going forward.
Brett Lawrie, Second Baseman: Lawrie is one of the few people on earth that can make terrible baseball watchable. He is always moving and talking up the team. The White Sox have not had energy from a player like him for a long time. Also, he isn’t a bad ball player either. Lawrie saw limited action due to injuries, but in his time with the team, he batted .248 with 12 home runs and a .723 OPS. His contract is up though, so general manager Rick Hahn should consider bringing him back.
There will be good things to come for these White Sox. Many of the folks on the South side have demanded a trade involving AL Cy Young hopeful Chris Sale. The problem with this club is a lack of a plan or direction. Hopefully that will change going forward and the club get back on track to being competitive in the AL Central and relevant in the city of Chicago.