During Spring Training, the infield group for the White Sox had players shuffling around the field testing out different positions and they were frequently moved around throughout the lineup. This was another group that saw top farm talent suffer an injury. Let’s take a look at how the players in this group performed during Spring Training.
Yoan Moncada got off to a slow start offensively in Spring Training. However, when he switched to the leadoff spot in the batting order, he saw a ton of improvement. Overall, Yoan felt much more comfortable batting leadoff and it wasn’t hard to see. He slashed .313/.400/.563, drew seven walks, stole three bases, and had nine RBI in that spot.
Going… going… YOAN! pic.twitter.com/ieG34l04eD
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) March 23, 2018
After being placed into the leadoff spot, Yoan Moncada posted back-to-back multi-hit games and would go on to have five total multi-hit games in Spring Training. He had a span of 12 consecutive games where he reached base at least one time. His most impressive highlight was a 441 ft home run he belted off of Taijuan Walker of the Diamondbacks. In the field, it was business as usual for Moncada as he frequently showed off his athleticism and glove. Best game: March 20 vs. Texas (2-4, 2B, 3 RBI).
Jose Abreu arrived to Glendale looking much slimmer. Throughout Spring Training, he showed that even with his new frame, his power remained the same as he had no trouble driving the ball. Abreu got a lot of work in this spring, if he wasn’t starting at first-base, he was likely the starting DH for the day.
Coming into this season one thing Jose Abreu wanted to work on was his glove. He didn’t commit one error in the field, and that’s a good sign for someone who is questionable at times defensively. Jose finished Spring Training with a .227 avg, but he ended the spring season on a four game hit streak. He missed a few games due to a hamstring issue, but he was rested for precautionary reasons and it wasn’t anything serious. Best game: February 28 vs. Texas (1-4, HR, 2 RBI).
Tim Anderson is entering this season looking to bounce back from a tough season on and off the field last year. It didn’t take him long to show signs of improvement as he smacked a three-run home run in the very first game of Spring Training. He wouldn’t stop there, and continued to impress at the plate on his way to hitting for a .293 batting average during Cactus League play.
He was shuffled around in the lineup quite a bit, but he didn’t let that bother him. In the field he committed two errors, but looked good for the most part. On the diamond isn’t the only place Tim Anderson showed signs of growth. He seems to be one of the most liked guys in the clubhouse, and is often the center of many laughs with the team.
For a player that had a lot to deal with last season, it’s great to see him develop a strong relationship with all of his teammates and coaches. Best game: March 22 @ Diamondbacks (3-4, 3B, 2B, R).
Matt Davidson was by far the most impressive hitter in Spring Training. He got off to a hot start and continued to rake throughout the entire spring. He was tied for first on the team in home runs with four, and led the team in RBI with 19. His strikeouts were still an issue, but nonetheless he put together a very impressive Spring Training.
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) March 8, 2018
Davidson slashed .328/.411/.594 during Spring Training. At one point, he had a streak of three consecutive games where he had two or more RBI and had two hits in each of the games. Defensively he saw more action at first-base as opposed to his natural position of third-base. He posted a perfect fielding percentage at first-base and it’s looking like that will be his main position when he gets to play in the field. Best game: February 25 vs. Reds (2-3, HR, 4 RBI, 2 R).
Leury Garcia will be considered an infielder because he saw more action there than he did in the outfield. Leury has taken on the “super utility” role, and will be able to find more playing time because of it. He committed three total errors (two at SS and one at 2B), but he did have a really impressive play that saved a run from scoring. While playing shortstop, he ran all the way to his left, right past second-base and reached out to save a ball from going into the outfield.
Garcia had a successful spring at the plate as he hit .298 and drove in seven runs. He put together a five game hit streak, had four multi-hit games, and also lead the team in triples. As a switch hitter and a guy that can play multiple positions, Leury Garcia will provide good depth for the team. Best game: March 15 @ Angels (3-5, 3B, 2 2B, 2 RBI).
Yolmer Sanchez entered camp in a different situation than he did last season. This year, he had to opportunity to lock up the starting third base job and he did just that. Although his defense was rough at times this spring, he earned his spot and performed well enough for it to be his until someone outplays him.
At the plate, Sanchez produced a three game hit streak in late February-early March and another four game hit streak in March. In a game against the Reds, he hit second in the lineup behind Moncada. Both of them had three hits in the game and proved to be a deadly one-two punch that helped the White Sox get a win.
Yolmer was another player that was shuffled around in the batting order frequently, but he remained confident and continued to succeed no matter where he was hitting. Best game: March 7 vs. Reds (3-4, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R).
White Sox third-base prospect Jake Burger caught the attention of a lot of people during camp. In the early days, he showed off his power and quick hands in his swing and was a guy that anyone would stop what they were doing to watch him hit. He quickly became a fan favorite as he spent a lot of time interacting with the fans when he was walking back-and-forth from the field to the clubhouse.
During Spring Training, Jake showed that even a guy his size can be athletic as he hustled out of the batter’s box for a triple in his second game this spring. He posted a .286 avg in seven plate appearances, and was perfect in the field defensively.
Burger’s Spring Training ended way too early as he suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon running down the first-base line. It was a freak accident, and was an injury you hate to see happen to someone like Burger. He has been ruled out for the year, and we wish him a healthy and speedy recovery. Best game: February 24 @ Mariners (1-2, 3B, R).
Tyler Saladino came into camp unsure of what his future would be with the team. With younger players like Ryan Cordell pushing for a roster spot, it was up to Saladino to maintain his role with the team. He hit for a .300 batting average and secured an Opening Day roster spot.
Tyler’s ability to play multiple positions helped his case to remain on the roster. To top that off, he consistently hit well enough to prove his value. In 40 plate appearances, he only struck out five times. He got off to an incredibly hot start by hitting in the .400’s for nearly a month.
Unfortunately, Tyler Saladino was diagnosed with a concussion that sidelined him for a week. After he came back from that, his average started to drop and he started to cool down at the plate. Best game: February 26 vs. A’s (2-2, 2B, BB, SB, R).