With the second half of the season about to begin, it makes sense to put down some goals for the final few months of the 2018 campaign. Even though the Chicago White Sox are heading nowhere this year, they should still be aspiring to achieve countless milestones the rest of the way. What are they? Here are three big goals the White Sox need to accomplish this season.
Development of their younger players
At this point in the Chicago White Sox rebuild, it is of critical importance for the Sox to see improvement from their youngsters, before 2018 concludes. Players such as Yoan Moncada and Tim Anderson will need to continue growing in the middle of the infield and show that they can be a quality keystone combination when they do begin winning more ballgames. As of right now, neither player is playing at an elite level defensively, which can be seen by Moncada’s fifteen errors and Anderson’s thirteen miscues.
Another aspect of this will take place in the minor leagues, which should also be fun to follow through the end of ’18. Third overall pick Nick Madrigal could be fun to watch develop, not to mention outfielder Eloy Jimenez and pitcher Michael Kopech might be headed to Chicago before we close the book on 2018. Madrigal played in five games in the Arizona League before the White Sox promoted him to full-season A-ball. Jimenez was also recently promoted. He has three home runs and a .348 OBP in 16 games for AAA Charlotte.
Acquisitions between now and August 31st
Notice how I said August 31st? That is because the Sox have players who could slip through waivers, especially when you take into account James Shields might be an August acquisition for someone. That is unlikely due to the year Shields is having, but closer Joakim Soria certainly might pique a contenders’ interest before the non-waiver deadline comes to a conclusion.
Speaking of their return, it will be critical for them to receive quality young players back if they do indeed ship veterans elsewhere. Plenty of teams are looking for arms, and the demand for pitching should aid the Sox when general manager Rick Hahn discusses trades with front offices around the league.
Get and keep Avisail Garcia healthy
Garcia has missed a significant amount of time in 2018, which follows a season when he posted career highs across the board. Keep in mind, this a player who put up incredible numbers in 2017, however, he is unlikely to come near his batting average or RBI totals this year (.330 and 80 RBI last season).
Garcia is still under team control through the end of 2019, meaning a strong finish to ’18 would help his trade value, come the offseason. However, we don’t know the Sox long-term plans for him, so just getting back to 100% is critical at the moment.
All in all, these are three goals that are attainable and important for the future of the ballclub. Progression from the youngsters, adding additional prospects, not to mention the health of a key bat will aid the long-term success of the White Sox franchise. We don’t know when the success is going to come, but the length of its’ duration is critical. The longer the better. Let’s hope it’s longer, Sox fans.