After what has seemed like season after season of modest All-Star buzz around the White Sox roster, the franchise appears ready to become a fixture at the Midsummer’s Classic.
Compared the their expectations heading into the season, only one player, Carlos Rodón, was an unexpected All-Star. Yoán Moncada was snubbed, José Abreu slumped, and Eloy Jiménez, Luis Robert, and Michael Kopech missed far too much time to make a true All-Star case.
The White Sox have a bright future. Everyone knows this. By Opening Day 2022, every player in the starting lineup should have All-Star aspirations. All five current starting pitchers could say the same. The White Sox could double their All-Star bids next season, and that is not an exaggeration.
Before we predict the White Sox All-Stars for the next two seasons, one thing should be made clear: Current White Sox players will only be considered through their existing contract. These lists will not consider potential trades or re-signings.
All-Stars: Tim Anderson, Eloy Jiménez, Nick Madrigal, Luis Robert, Michael Kopech, Liam Hendriks
Imagine how many All-Stars the White Sox would have had in 2021 if the entire roster remained healthy. Wishful thinking, right?
IF the White Sox can stay healthy next season, they could see a chunk of their roster playing at Dodger Stadium for the game in July.
Anderson, although a last-second add this season, has established himself as a perennial All-Star caliber shortstop. With Carlos Correa potentially leaving the Astros and the American League in free agency, Anderson could begin a run as a fixture at shortstop for the AL in the All-Star Game.
Jiménez was due for his first All-Star appearance had their been an All-Star Game last season. Assuming he’s healthy in 2022, he should certainly be there.
The same can be said for Madrigal, Robert, and Kopech, who all likely would have been named to the roster had they not gone down with injuries midway through the first half.
Hendriks hasn’t missed a beat in about three seasons. Until there's a reason to believe otherwise, he’s a shoo-in at this point.
All-Stars: Anderson, Kopech, Jiménez, Robert, Hendriks, Andrew Vaughn, Oscar Colás
The aforementioned explanations for Anderson, Kopech, Jiménez, Robert, and Hendriks still apply. Anderson and Hendriks are established All-Stars, whereas the other three have shown more than enough in limited samples to show their perennial All-Star potential.
Vaughn has had a successful rookie season for the White Sox in 2021. Vaughn will be in the starting lineup next season, albeit with an unknown role. In 2023, Abreu will likely be gone (as a free agent after 2022), and Vaughn will be reaching his prime. His potential at the plate and growing ability to defend makes him a good bet to be a future All-Star.
Colás is the top international prospect, and his expected to sign with the White Sox in January 2022. Colas is 22-years-old, but will surely have at least a tune-up in the minor leagues before reaching the majors. That should come towards the end of 2022, opening the door for Colás’ first full season in 2023.
There’s no telling what the White Sox lineup will look like in 2023 — regardless of who is remaining from the current squad, Colás will be in the lineup. His big power and strong arm will play well in Chicago, hopefully well enough to earn an All-Star selection at the age of 24.
The White Sox are just now seeing the product of the potential of all of their young stars. Even in an injury-riddled season, the White Sox still had four players named to the roster, with a handful of others either deserving nods or suffering unfortunate injuries.
For a franchise that is commonly underrepresented in most national conservations around baseball, the decade of the 2020s could be the 10-year stretch that completely transforms the manner in which the Chicago White Sox are perceived by the rest of baseball, from fans to players.