By S.C. Zuba
As of Sunday, Sept. 13, the Chicago White Sox are six games out of first place behind the Detroit Tigers and the Minnesota Twins.
With only 15 games to play, it is almost time to close the book on this season and begin looking forward to the future, which looks rather bright for the White Sox. Kenny Williams and the White Sox have made great strides in changing this ball club from an older, slower team that relies strictly on home runs into a younger, faster team that will be able to play small ball and manufacture runs.
The White Sox are not there yet, but in two to three years, they will be poised to make a World Series run.
Four out of the five spots in the starting rotation will be solid for at least the next two years, and even longer if they can persuade Mark Buehrle to sign an extension. With the acquisition of Jake Peavy, the White Sox turned their decent rotation into one of the most elite in the league. With Buehrle, Peavy, John Danks and Gavin Floyd filling the first four spots, the White Sox will just need to find someone who can give them a chance to win for the fifth spot in the rotation.
The future of the White Sox’s outfield could be the team’s brightest spot.
With their first pick in the 2009 MLB draft, the White Sox selected outfielder Jared Mitchell. Mitchell was said to be the fastest player in the draft, and one draft analyst declared Mitchell to be “the next B.J. Upton.”
Mitchell will most likely play center field for the White Sox in the future, while Carlos Quentin and Alex Rios will play left and right field, respectively.
As far as the infield goes, the White Sox’s Cuban prospect Dayan Viciedo could be inserted into third base, while Gordon Beckham will shift to shortstop, moving Alexei Ramirez back to second base, where he will not have to make the throw from shortstop to first base. First base is still a question mark, but Paul Konerko could still be around for the next few years.
Behind the plate will be Tyler Flowers, who has a career minor league batting average of .293 with 49 home runs and 230 RBIs in 370 games.
This is all speculation, and most of these players are simply prospects, but if all comes together as planned, the White Sox will be dangerous in the next few years and could potentially dominate the A.L. Central for years to come.
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From the September 16-22, 2009 issue.