The White Sox were supposed to be good this year, but not THIS GOOD. By rebuilding through the draft, and absolutely fleecing teams like the Red Sox and Nationals in deals for prospects, the White Sox were looking towards the future of the ball club.
And that ball club is about to run the league.
The Chicago White Sox
2020: Record: 35 – 25
2020 Finish: 2nd in the AL Central, 4th in the American League
Surprises in 2020
That future came early in 2020, as the brakes fell off this runaway train of a roster. The White Sox are too good in 2020, and it bears repeating that this team was supposed to be a few seasons away from success, especially in a solid AL Central. And yet, they finished second in the division and 4th in the American League.
What Worked for Them? Everything.
The 2020 White Sox were a very good baseball team, and they’ll only get better over the next few years. Franchise All-Star José Abreu had an MVP season while Tim Anderson is once again proved his place in the “Best AL Shortstop” conversation. Even offseason acquisition Dallas Keuchel had himself a Southside renaissance in 2020, posting a 2.04 ERA, a 1.099 WHIP, and an ERA+ over 200.
But these veterans only make up half of the story. It’s the young guns of this Chicago team that really pushed the envelope.
The White Sox built a solid core for the future over the last few years, and now they are seeing the benefits tenfold. Eloy Jimenez‘s sophomore season is far better than his first as he hit just below .300, with double-digit dingers. Nick Madrigal, who took over at second base midseason, hit .348, which is better than he hit in his minor league career.
The main offensive story for the White Sox was the explosive introduction of Luis Robert.
Despite cooling off in September, Robert’s 2020 was monstrous. In August, the Cuban centerfielder hit just below .300, and posted an OPS of 1.015, parking 9 home runs and driving in 20 RBIs.
On the bump, the White Sox had their first no-hitter since Phil Humber’s perfect game, when Lucas Giolito blanked the Pirates. Dylan Cease has shown flashes of brilliance, posting a 3.52 ERA over his 5-3 record, but his WHIP still sits higher than he’d like at 1.435. Reynaldo Lopez began the season injured and has continued his rollercoaster performances, but when locked in, the guy can be lights out.
Pitchers like Codi Heuer and Matt Foster are showing up for the White Sox. Also a fun, but very scary, fact for the rest of the AL Central: every pitcher mentioned in the last two paragraphs is 26 or younger.
This White Sox team isn’t going away anytime soon.
Disappointments in 2020
Normally this is where we’d discuss something that went wrong for the team we’re featuring, but were there any disappointments this season? The White Sox vastly outperformed expectations and there isn’t a ton of worry that they’ll backslide. If anything this team is only getting better.
Looking Ahead to 2021
With the recent additions of Lance Lynn and Liam Hendriks, the White Sox have added firepower to their arsenal. Add in a dash of Michael Kopech and the ChiSox are cooking with gas.
If this team can keep progressing, they’ll be division winners.
Don’t sleep on these White Sox. Be ready for them to show up.
Projected 2021 Finish: 93-69, 1st in the AL Central
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