Jose Dariel Abreu – 1B
Date of Birth: January 29, 1987
Height/Weight: 6’2″/258 lbs
Acquired: Free agent out of Cuba (6 years/$68 million)
2013 Stats: Did not play
Analysis: Abreu has wowed teams with his outstanding power from the right side and his gaudy numbers in the Cuban league. It was probably his performance in the 2013 World Baseball Classic that sealed the deal for Abreu, hitting a double and three home runs in six games.
2014 Prognosis: The White Sox are hoping to get what the Athletics and Dodgers got in Yoennis Cespedes and Yasiel Puig: an every day player who can step into the lineup immediately and fill the big shoes of 15-year White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko.
Matt Davidson – 3B
Date of Birth: March 26, 1991
Height/Weight: 6’2″/225 lbs
Acquired: Traded to the White Sox from the Arizona Diamondbacks for reliever Addison Reed on December 16, 2013; drafted by Arizona in the 1st round (35th overall) of the 2009 draft
Analysis: Davidson was one of the big White Sox acquisitions this offseason and gives the club a young third basemen with gobs of potential who acquitted himself well in his first exposure to major league pitching last year with the Diamondbacks. Throughout his minor league career, Davidson has been a solid-batting-average, high-OBP, good-slugging guy. He hasn’t blasted the ball out of the stadium, even in stops in the California League and Pacific Coast League but he has outstanding gap power and will hit his share of home runs. He’ll strike out a lot but when he has .350 OBPs combined with slugging percentages in the .400s, it won’t be too much of an issue.
2014 Prognosis: Davidson could easily be the opening day third baseman for the White Sox. He might head back to Triple-A for some more seasoning but is likely ready for the majors.
Tim Anderson – SS
Date of Birth: June 23, 1993
Height/Weight: 6’1″/180 lbs
Acquired: 1st round (17th overall) of the 2013 draft
Analysis: At 20 years old the White Sox drafted Anderson with the 17th pick in 2013′s draft, assigning him immediately to Class-A Kannapolis where he he played very well. The Sox were enamored by his athleticism and the fact that he plays shortstop, running very well and having the potential for an above-average hit tool. Like many of the Sox’ prospects, Anderson strikes out too much but is likely to be able to overcome that as he shows he can hit for a solid average. Anderson will have to work to show that he can stick at shortstop which is something that not all are convinced he can do.
2014 Prognosis: He’ll head to Winston-Salem to keep working on his issues with contact. If he works out, he could be a nice player in the long run.
Marcus Semien – SS
Date of Birth: September 17, 1990
Height/Weight: 6’1″/190 lbs
Acquired: 6th round of the 2011 draft
|2013||22||2 Teams||2 Lgs||AA-AAA||CHW||137||626||518||110||147||32||6||19||66||24||5||98||90||.284||.401||.479||.880|
Analysis: The boys at Southside Showdown like Semien a lot, as evidenced by his #2 ranking. Like Carlos Sanchez, Semien doesn’t stand out in any one category but puts a lot of very good tools together for a nice package that could play at second base. With a floor as a utility infielder, there’s a lot to like about Semien who hits for a good average, gets on base, can swipe a bag or three and has shown some surprising pop in the last couple of years.
2014 Prognosis: Semien wasn’t overwhelmed in his first exposure to the major leagues at 22. The one concerning stat from his major league debut was the 22 strikeouts to just one walk. He’ll probably go into Spring Training with the opportunity to make the bigs.
Erik Johnson – RHP
Date of Birth: December 30, 1989
Height/Weight: 6’3″/235 lbs
Acquired: 2nd round of the 2011 draft
|2013||23||2 Teams||2 Lgs||AA-AAA||CHW||12||3||.800||1.96||24||24||3||1||142.0||100||35||31||7||40||131||5||1||0.986||6.3||0.4||2.5||8.3||3.28|
Analysis: Johnson came on strong in 2013, starting in Double-A and finishing in the major league, making five solid starts. Scouts think that Johnson will be able to be a solid, unspectacular workhorse at the major league level, throwing in the low-90s with a good slider, solid curveball and still developing changeup.
2014 Prognosis: Johnson sticks with the big club, throwing 200 innings if he can remain injury free.