The start of the season is tomorrow! It has been a very disappointing off-season, to say the least, but damn it, I’m thrilled to have baseball back! I will be giving you some predictions on some players and the team as a whole compared to the Division. Now who better to start this article off than with:
Let’s start with the name that started the rebuild. I think Yoan takes a big step forward. He’s shown signs of being good and the tools to even be great. I’m concerned about the very high strikeout % but he was definitely the unluckiest player last year in called third strikes. I predict Yoan finishes with 30+ HRs, 80+ RBIs, 15+ SBs and an OBP Of .375. He’ll be serviceable at 3B as well and will finish with a WAR somewhere around 3.5.
Here’s another name I think makes a big comeback this season (hard to do worse). Lucas had major control issues leading the league in Walks with 90. His 6.13 ERA was horrendous at best too. I think he gets some control and confidence back this season. I predict 13 wins, a 4-4.20 ERA, 200+ IP, and a 2.5 WAR. Also, a top 10 finish in comeback player of the year.
In 2019, Timmy rides the upward trend both offensively and defensively. He remains at short and gives you serviceable defense there. I predict 25 HRs, 75 RBI, 30 SB, .245 avg. and .310 OBP. He will have a WAR around 3.00.
This is an important year for Rodon. He needs to prove he can stay healthy and survive the marathon of a baseball season. Also, we need to get an idea if he’s a top of the rotation guy or not. I think he has a season of 28 GS, 190 IP, 14 wins, ERA 3,80, 180k.
Last year was easily the worst year of Abreu’s solid career. It was an injury-plagued year which had a lot to do with it. He also hit the 30 years old downturn. I think he goes closer toward Abreu of previous years. Finishes with 30 HRs, 95 RBI, .285 avg and a 3.7 War. He continues the Total bases assault for one more year.
Reynaldo took a huge stride last year and showed he can be a top of the rotation guy. I think he puts up similar numbers and benefits from a bit better offense. 200 IP for Lopez this year. That’s becoming rare in today’s game but Lopez can be that workhorse pitcher this team will need. 3.80 ERA, 13 wins, 1.15 WHIP and a 3.5 WAR. He has number 2 stuff.
Eloy signed a new contract extension! He will put confidence back into the fan base in this rebuild after the debacle of this offseason. He goes toe to toe with Vlad Guerrero Jr for Rookie of the Year and prevails! Hits .275 with 28 HRs, 88 RBIs, and a 3.0 WAR.
Last years weak link by far. I see significant improvement here. With the addition of Colome and Herrera. Hopefully a healthy Nate Jones, and call ups of players to eat some innings. I see them being middle of the pack in the league and able to hold down late leads.
The core looks bright with the players listed above. Sadly, they won’t equate to playoffs with most the team not having much talent. I do, however, see significant gains in the win column. I predict 77-80 wins this year. The bullpen alone should be 8 extra wins from last year. With Abreu, Yoan, and Giolito turning things around and continued improvement from Anderson, Lopez, and Rodon plus the addition of Eloy should net the Sox 15 wins. I think the Sox finish 3rd in the AL central behind Indians(92-95 wins) and the twins (82 wins).
2019 has the makings to be a fun year and see great stride in this young core. We may also get to see the debuts of some talented prospects like Adolfo, Cease, Rutherford, and Robert. Let us know what your take and predictions for this season will be on Twitter @SidedSox. You can also email us at SoxSided@Gmail.com.