The Chicago White Sox got “only” 17 games in for this Cactus League season, good for a 10-7 record and a tie for fourth in Arizona (and a tie for eighth in all of baseball).
We engaged an MVP vote for every spring game — in fact, for an imagined game (a runaway romp vs. Kansas City) as well. Based on 4,357 votes, here are our White Sox Truncated Spring All-Stars.
Both Adam Engel and Yermín Mercedes earned the same number of MVP points, but Engel was in the All-Star race an amazing eight times this spring. That consistency, vs. the unquestioned heroics of Mercedes (who made four ballots), earned Engel the MVP.
Catcher Yermín Mercedes (20.3)
Mercedes was a spring monster, leading the White Sox in homers (four), slugging (1.000) and OPS (1.409), delivering clutch hit after clutch hit. He seemed to be forcing the club’s hand with regard to bringing him north, no matter how improbable. Mercedes slashed .381/.409/1.000 this spring. Whoa.
First Base Nicky Delmonico (12.3)
Delmonico’s three doubles led the White Sox in spring, with a .752 OPS. The optioning of Mercedes and Zack Collins may have indicated that Delmonico had the inside track for the final roster spot with the team.
Second Base Leury García (0.6)
García is fortunate he appeared to be the second-base incumbent, because his spring did not cement the deal. He was just one of two White Sox to be caught stealing (no steals) and had a .566 OPS.
Third Base Cheslor Cuthbert (7.1)
This fringe roster candidate did everything possible at the start of spring to earn the 26th man spot. Cuthbert led the White Sox in hits (11) and slashed .407/.515/.815 with three homers and just five Ks (four walks).
Shortstop Danny Mendick (4.2)
Played in the most games (15) and at-bats (34) of anyone on the White Sox this spring, with a .572 OPS. In that short sample size, he didn’t distinguish himself enough to guarantee a roster spot at the end of the month.
Left Field Adam Engel (20.3)
Once again, Engel ruled Arizona. He led the White Sox in runs (eight), RBIs (11), He had a .303./.314/.545 slash in spite of a more typical one walk against 11 strikeouts (tying for the team lead with Micker Adolfo).
Center Field Luis Robert (8.7)
Robert had a phenomenal spring, marked among many plays by a single-turned-triple against the San Francisco Giants. He is by far the most dangerous player on the White Sox. He led the team with three steals and slashed .333/.394/.567 in Arizona.
Right Field Nomar Mazara (11.6)
If memory serves, Mazara started slow, but then took off after the titanic homer that left color man Rich King so verklempt on the White Sox webcast. Mazara hit .364/.462/.545 and had equal walks and Ks (four apiece).
Designated Hitter Luis González (9.1)
What a wonderful spring for González, who had lost some prospect luster after a very tough season in Birmingham. He led the White Sox in hitting at .438 and on-base (.55), and walked twice as often as he struck out.
Right-Handed Starter Reynaldo López (6.4)
López was one of the few members of the rotation to get more than one start, and to have more than one good start. López had two strong starts, stitching together a 1.23 ERA in 7 ⅓ innings. He was still pitching in some traffic (1.50 WHIP), but the righty might bear more resemblance to Dylan Cease than Lucas Giolito going forward. We’ll take it.
Left-Handed Starter Dallas Keuchel (5.8)
Unlike López, Keuchel had a solid first start (earning all his MVP points) and a bad second one. He finished the spring with a 5.87 ERA over 7 ⅔ innings, with a worrisome .412 average against and 1.96 WHIP.
Relievers Michael Kopech (5.9) and Danny Dopico (5.2)
Both of these guys only threw an inning apiece. But those innings, whew, they were key in their games! SMALL SAMPLE SIZE ALERT. Safe to say, the hitters outshined the pitchers in early spring for the White Sox.