By: Mark Lester
I may have spoken too soon about this team.
Although they haven’t quite gotten there yet, the young core of the White Sox have carried the White Sox to a record of 29-32. That’s nothing to throw a party over, but it’s on pace to be a huge improvement over last year and a final record that would have six more wins than initially projected. There’s a good chance that they could pick up the pace in the coming months too; the team as a whole, in my opinion, looks a lot better than it did in early April.
So what’s changed? Here, I’ll list off the players who’ve performed like All-Stars this year, and who deserve a spot in the 2019 All-Star Game in Cleveland.
Do I really need to explain? Lucas Giolito is the hottest pitcher in the American League right now. The AL Pitcher of the Month in May has been on an absolute tear, winning in seven consecutive starts, two of them complete games, and one of them a complete game shutout. I would understand if pitchers like Chris Sale and Mike Minor (not a typo) got priority in terms of starting, but Giolito is more than qualified to be on the AL All-Star roster, and would be in my opinion the White Sox best representative in Cleveland. Fans from the big markets won’t vote him out since he’s a pitcher, so there’s certainly hope?
There are three catchers tied for the AL lead in fWAR. The first is obviously Gary Sanchez. The second isn’t very surprising either, Christian Vazquez of the Red Sox. Believe it or not, the third is White Sox catcher James McCann. As unnoticed as he is right now, he’s currently slashing .336/.376/.500, is 4th in fielding percentage, and is behind only Gary Sanchez in wRC+ with 140 on the year. All Star? You bet.
In my opinion, Abreu has the best chance on the White Sox to make the All Star Game, mostly due to name recognition and the fact that he’s been near the top of the AL RBI leaderboard for most of the year. If you’re on this website, you’ve probably heard that RBI’s are basically useless when measuring the value of a player, and I agree. But NBC Sports isn’t gonna put Abreu’s wRC+ or fWAR on the score bug, RBI’s are way more mainstream and easier to explain. That stat alone could propel him to All-Star status.
This is a bit of a stretch, but hear me out. Sure, there’s Correa, Bogaerts, and Jorge Polanco, all of whom are significantly better than Anderson in most relevant categories. Sure, Anderson is only sixth in fWAR behind five AL shortstops. But it’s important to remember that he bat flipped that one time. Wouldn’t it be awesome if he did that in the All Star Game?
I rest my case.