A rival scout sizes up the WHITE SOX
This team got complacent last year after overachieving the year before—they weren't nearly as good as their 2012 record. If they get much over 70 wins, I'd be surprised.... Cuban import JOSE ABREU is absolutely the real deal. He's Andres Galarraga—not quite as strong defensively at first base but a big power guy who's going to hit for a high average. His swing is quiet, but the power is unmistakable. He's not going to strike out 130 times like Yoenis Cespedes—he's a better hitter than Cespedes.... I love ADAM EATON—he's a Dustin Pedroia kind of guy, bearing down on every pitch, hypervigilant about his craft. He will help them big time in center, and he'll steal 40 and can hit 10 homers in that ballpark.... That said, they're not great defensively. TYLER FLOWERS is too big to be an everyday catcher. MATT DAVIDSON is heavy legged, not the agile kind of guy you want at third base.... GORDON BECKHAM is what he is offensively—let's stop waiting for his breakout—but he's turned into a really good defensive player.... If Chris Sale were on a better team and not in a launching pad of a ballpark, he'd win a Cy Young. He's one of the most valuable commodities, a young lefthanded ace. Beyond that, there are pitching problems. JOSE QUINTANA is not a No. 2 starter; for me he's a No. 4. He'll throw strikes, but there's nothing much in the tool box. ERIK JOHNSON is going to be good—good arm, good motion—but he's not there yet.... The worst news for them is that there's just nothing coming up. That's a very thin minor league system.
2014 Projected Statistics and Run Totals by ROTOWIRE.COM
PROJECTED RUNS SCORED
WHITE SOX 629
AL AVERAGE 694
PROJECTED RUNS ALLOWED
WHITE SOX 756
AL AVERAGE 707
ADAM DUNN's off-season included an Academy Award nomination for Dallas Buyers Club, which he helped finance. You wonder, however, if he appreciates the gravity of his current situation in Chicago—he's in the way. Cuban sensation JOSE ABREU has laid claim to all the playing time at first base, and the fans want to see PAUL KONERKO in his farewell tour as DH. And no one needs to see Dunn's hustle, American or otherwise, in the outfield. While general manager Rick Hahn, who is quickly becoming the wolf of 35th Street, would love to trade Dunn for a prospect, no team is going to give up much for a one-dimensional player who is owed $15 million. It's best for everyone if Chicago just releases Dunn. The White Sox aren't winning any awards this year; they can take a small hit to their payroll to make it clear—to the player, the fans and the media—that Abreu is going to be the everyday first baseman.
BRACE HEMMELGARN/MINNESOTA TWINS/GETTY IMAGES (DUNN)
JOHN IACONO FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (SALE)