2021 Roster Review: Chicago White Sox

93-69 (1st in Division; 6th in MLB)

[PREVIOUS REVIEWS]

SP Wins: 61 (3rd)

RP Wins: 32 (18th)

Saves: 43 (8th)

1+ Save: 5 (Liam Hendriks 38, Aaron Bummer 2, Craig Kimbrel [total: 24], Matt Foster, Ryan Tepera 1)

100+ Ks: 6 (Dylan Cease 226, Lucas Giolito 201, Carlos Rodón 185, Lance Lynn 176, Hendriks 113, Michael Kopech 103)

.260+ AVG (min. 350 PA): 4 (Tim Anderson .309, Leury García .267, Yoán Moncada .263, José Abreu .261)

65+ Runs: 3 (Anderson 94, Abreu 86, Moncada 74)

65+ RBI: 1 (Abreu 117)

10+ HRs: 8 (Abreu 30, Yasmani Grandal 23, Anderson 17, Andrew Vaughn 15, Moncada 14, Luis Robert 13, Gavin Sheets 11, Eloy Jiménez 10)

5+ SBs: 5 (Anderson 18, Billy Hamilton 9, Adam Engel 7, Garcia, Robert 6)

BEST BUY: Yasmani Grandal

Grandal packed a full season into his 93 games last year and even managed to hit .240 despite returning from the IL on August 27th with a .203 AVG. From that point forward he hit .337/.481/.673 with 9 HR in 129 PA. The craziest part is that he was a waiver pickup for many because he was widely dropped after a torn left knee tendon required surgery in early-July. He recovered quickly and fully as his 209 wRC+ was the MLB’s best in that time. Grandal is regularly available after pick-100 (ADP of 110) as the 5th catcher off the board. Steamer sees another strong season coming: .235/.373/.458, 26 HR, 72 RBI, and 73 R in 536 PA.

ON THE RISE: Dylan Cease

Cease took a major step forward with his two biggest flaws: walks and homers. His BB% dropped nearly four points to a career-best 9.6% while his HR rate sank from 1.9 to 1.1 in his 166-inning breakout. Cease and pitching coach Ethan Katz seem to be meshing well and we have likely only seen the beginning of what Cease can do on the mound. With another cut into his walk rate, he could improve upon both his ERA (3.91 in ’21) and WHIP (1.25).

OFF THE RADAR: Gavin Sheets

Sheets had a really sharp season at Triple-A (131 wRC+) and MLB (125), but he is dirt cheap with an ADP outside of the top 400 (418 to be exact). Playing time is a reason for the low draft stock as he will be fighting for time in the corner outfield and DH with Eloy Jiménez, Andrew Vaughn, and Adam Engel. His struggles against lefties will likely put him in a strong side platoon, but there is enough time in such a role to smash 25 HRs. I think Vaughn gets the shot at working through his issues vs. righties so Sheets/Engel looks like good duo.

HOT TAKE: Garrett Crochet spend the 2nd half as a top 50 SP.

The White Sox view their 23-year-old lefty stud as a starter, though he will likely open the season in the bullpen and build up his innings. This progress would no doubt be ahead of schedule, but he has excellent stuff and doesn’t even need to massively improve his control to be a half season stud. I could see 65-70 innings with a mid-3.00s ERA, low-1.20s WHIP, and a 27-30% K rate.

ICYMI: Reynaldo López had a strong season in a hybrid role: 3.43 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 19% K-BB in 9 starts and 11 relief appearances (58 IP).





Paul is the Editor of Rotographs and contributes to ESPN's Daily Notes. Follow Paul on Twitter @sporer and on Twitch at sporer.

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Paul, love reading your work overall. I encourage you to maybe slow the team reviews down and give us some of your professional insight. To date, the reviews are maybe just north of a statistical review. We ( as subscribers) have access to those stats in many forms already,