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Grading the White Sox: Davis Martin

The current fifth starter — but hopefully Charlotte pitcher on Opening Day

Minnesota Twins v Chicago White Sox
Biggest out-of-nowhere, positive surprise of 2022? Hard to imagine it isn’t Davis Martin.
Michael Reaves/Getty Images

At midseason, the SSS staff graded the 46-46 White Sox, from the head of the class Dylan Cease down to Dallas Keuchel. We invented a WARsss metric that could very well be just a cute way to trot out our special site grades — but really for all you know could be the product of years of research in a stats lab.

Our expanded report card will take us through everyone who saw time in uniform for the White Sox, plus some front-office types. Most of our writers will take on a couple of players, with final grades and short writeups, running through the end of November. Enjoy!


Davis Martin
Starting Pitcher/Long-Reliever
Midseason: 3.6 WARsss
Final: 4.1 WARsss

Davis Martin came into the 2022 season on minor league writer’s minds, because there was no reason to think he would make it to Chicago. He started in Double-A, an obvious sign that he might not have been on the front office’s radar to pitch consequential MLB innings. Nevertheless, he had a stellar April in Birmingham and catapulted to 63 ⅓ innings pitched for the White Sox.

He ended 2022 with 0.6 fWAR in Chicago and showed he had the stuff to stick around on a team that needed a starter down the stretch. He needs to get his strikeouts from his MLB innings (17.8%) closer to his in MiLB (a little less than 30%) while keeping the command of the strike zone he has shown throughout his professional career. Allowing fewer homers, as he did in 2022, would help, too.

One “easy” fix for Martin would be to improve on a tertiary pitch, whether it is his change or curveball. He is mainly a two-pitcher starter, with a fastball (46.3% usage) and slider (32.3%). His fastball did not play well last year, so an improved change would really help that. It just so happens that the changeup is his worst pitch, and the reason why he does not use it much. The curve did play well, to a .197 wOBA last season, but Martin does not seem to trust it enough against righties. An improved changeup will help that.

As it stands, Martin is Chicago’s fifth starter, and that is not a comfortable fit for a World Series-aspiring team; breathe easier if Martin is our sixth or seventh starter. The goal for the White Sox this offseason is to push Martin further down the depth chart, so he starts the year in Charlotte. He has option years to use, and the White Sox should use them. He is a spot-starter until he proves otherwise, and it’s better to rely on Martin for doubleheaders and injuries to the rotation than to send him out on the fifth regular season game of 2023. Charlotte needs more (any) reliable starting pitchers, anyway.


2022 White Sox Grades

Davis Martin, RHSP, 4.1
Seby Zavala, C, 4.0
Luis Robert, CF, 3.7
Lance Lynn, RHSP, 3.5
Miguel Cairo, Bench Coach/MGR, 3.48
Tim Anderson, SS, 3.43
Kendall Graveman, RHRP, 3.1
Josh Harrison, 2B, 3.0
Gavin Sheets, RF-1B, 2.5
Jake Burger, 3B, 2.2
Romy González, IF, 2.0
Aaron Bummer, LHRP, 1.8
AJ Pollock, OF, 1.3
Matt Foster, RHRP, 1.2
Yoán Moncada, 3B, 0.92
Lenyn Sosa, SS, 0.85
José Ruiz, RHRP, 0.83
Mark Payton, OF, 0.6
Carlos Pérez, C, 0.399
Lucas Giolito, RHSP, 0.392
Adam Engel, OF, 0.237
Vince Velasquez, RHP, -0.4
Reese McGuire, C, -1.1
Kyle Crick, RHRP, -1.65
Joe Kelly, RHRP, -1.75
Daryl Boston, 1B Coach, -2.0
Anderson Severino, LHRP, -2.2
Jerry Reinsdorf, OWN, -2.321
Jake Diekman, LHRP, -2.366
Rick Hahn, GM, -2.401
Bennett Sousa, LHRP, -2.425
Frank Menechino, BAT COACH, -2.469
Yasmani Grandal, C/DH, -2.549
Leury García, UTIL, -2.7
Adam Haseley, OF, -3.146
Joe McEwing, 3B Coach, -3.167
Ryan Burr, RHRP, -3.4
Tony La Russa, MGR, -3.5
Dallas Keuchel, LHSP, -3.9

Poll

This series is getting more fun, with pleasant surprises. Davis Martin was a true bonus in 2022. How is our grade for him?

  • 11%
    Too harsh, he hit the ground running and kept the rotation afloat.
    (8 votes)
  • 17%
    Too easy, he was promoted to the majors because the White Sox don’t have anyone else.
    (12 votes)
  • 71%
    Just right; can’t wait to see if he can follow this up in 2023!
    (50 votes)
70 votes total Vote Now