The All-Chicago team, 1970-1979

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The All-Chicago team, 1970-1979

By Tony Andracki and JJ Stankevitz
CSNChicago.com
This spring, we at Cubs Talk and White Sox Talk have decided to unify Chicago's two baseball teams into one in an effort to pick out the best players to grace each side of the city over the last 50 years. Each Wednesday during spring training, we'll roll out a different All-Chicago team, beginning today with the best Cubs and White Sox players from 1970-1979. If you didn't catch our first three installments, check out our 1980-1989, 1990-1999 and 2000-2011 teams.

Tony: There were quite a few Cubs guys from this era that many youngsters would even know. Guys like Steve Stone, Randy Hundley, Don Kessinger, Glenn Beckert. And then, of course, the Hall of Famers Ron Santo, Billy Williams and Fergie Jenkins. Stone didnt win his Cy Young until later in his career with the Orioles, but the Stone Pony pitched for both Chicago teams in the decade and has been a TV personality for each team at some point since. It was a close battle between him and Milt Pappas, but the novelty of having a guy like Stony Pony on the list was just too good to pass up.

JJ: There wasn't a whole lot separating Stone from the rest of the fifth starter pack here. Leaving Pappas off was tough, but at least we're not Bruce Froemming.

Tony: In a lot of ways, this was a simple list to compile. Williams, Santo, Melton and Allen were locks. May, Kingman and Madlock were great players and JJ and I both agreed they needed to be on the team, it was just a matter of where. Kingman earned the final bench spot thanks to his stellar 1979 season in which he led the league with 48 homers and a .613 slugging percentage while knocking in 115 and scoring 97. It was arguably the best single season power performance in Chicago in the decade, so we couldnt leave him off the list.

JJ: Well, Dick Allen might have something to say about that. His 1972 was the second best single season ever by a White Sox player, although in terms of pure power, yeah, Kingman probably has him beat. Allen only had a 1.023 OPS and 37 home runs that year.

Tony: Pitching was also pretty easy as two guys from each team earned the nod. The only question was for the fifth starter spot.

JJ: My god, look at that bullpen. That Terry Forster had to be bumped off the closer line is a real testament to its strength. I don't think we've had a better one in these all-city teams, and that's with the 2000s unit of Bobby Jenks, Carlos Marmol and Matt Thornton.

Tony: I cant say I didnt try for Hundley to be the All-70s catcher, but his numbers were just not very good in the decade and while Downing wasnt head and shoulders better, his .351 OBP was the tipping point.

JJ: It was a valiant effort, but Hundley only spent four years with the Cubs in the decade and owns a .296 OBP in his career on the North Side. And he doesn't get bonus points for his son being part of the deal that netted the Cubs Mark Grudzielanek and Eric Karros.

To the roster:

C: Brian Downing
1B: Dick Allen
2B: Bill Madlock
SS: Don Kessinger
3B: Ron Santo
LF: Billy Williams
CF: Chet Lemon
RF: Rick Monday
DH: Bill Melton

Utility: Carlos May
Utility: Dave Kingman

SP: Wilbur Wood
SP: Fergie Jenkins
SP: Rick Reuschel
SP: Jim Kaat
SP: Steve Stone

CL: Bruce Sutter
RHP: Goose Gossage
LHP: Terry Forster

Check back next week for the all-city team of the 1960s! Chuck and Kap will be back next week to offer up their thoughts on the roster, too.

White Sox avoid arbitration with Todd Frazier, four pitchers

White Sox avoid arbitration with Todd Frazier, four pitchers

The White Sox agreed to one-year contracts with five players on Friday, including a $12-million deal for Todd Frazier.

Frazier established a franchise record for home runs by a third baseman in 2016 when he blasted 40 in his first season with the White Sox. A free agent after the 2017 season, Frazier hit .225/.302/.464 in 666 plate appearances, drove in a career high 98 runs and produced 2.4 Wins Above Replacement, according to fangraphs.com. 

Starting pitcher Miguel Gonzalez is set to earn $5.9 million this season. The team also agreed to deals with relievers Dan Jennings ($1.4 million), Zach Putnam ($1.1175 million) and Jake Petricka ($825,000).

The White Sox acquired Frazier in a three-player trade from the Cincinnati Reds in December 2015. It's expected they would try to trade Frazier, who has hit 104 homers since 2014 and participated in the All-Star Game Home Run Derby three consecutive years, before the Aug 1 non-waiver trade deadline as part of the club's rebuilding efforts. 

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Gonzalez went 5-8 with a 3.73 ERA in 24 games (23 starts) after he was signed to a minor-league deal in early April. 

Jennings posted a 2.08 ERA in 60 2/3 innings. 

Putnam had a 2.30 ERA in 27 1/3 innings with 30 strikeouts before he had surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow. 

Petricka was limited to nine appearances before his season was ended by hip surgery.

Both Petricka and Putnam are expected to be ready for spring training.

Top White Sox prospect Yoan Moncada impresses club at minicamp

Top White Sox prospect Yoan Moncada impresses club at minicamp

It was a limited look, but Yoan Moncada made a strong first impression on the White Sox this week.

Acquired from the Boston Red Sox last month in the Chris Sale trade, Moncada arrived in Glendale, Ariz., earlier this week with the franchise hopeful he'd offer a glimpse of the skills that earned him the designation as baseball's top prospect.

Moncada didn't disappoint, either, as he had White Sox evaluators excited throughout a three-day hitters camp. Whether it's his physicality, how he carried himself or his baseball IQ, White Sox staffers couldn't have been happier about their first experience with their new prized possession.

"(Moncada) looks like a linebacker, but he moves like a wide receiver," player development director Chris Getz said. "He's got good actions. He's obviously a switch hitter. He's got power. He can hit. He's got a good smile. He seems to be enjoying himself out here, he interacts well with his teammates.

"So far it has been very impressive, and we look forward to seeing more."

Hitting coach Todd Steverson said Moncada, 21, looked every bit the part when he first observed him from across the hall at the team's facility. Steverson spoke to friends in the scouting community and wasn't the least bit surprised when he encountered the 6-foot-2, 205-pound second baseman. Moncada was just as impressive on the field with his skills and effort, Steverson said.

"This is a large specimen right here," Steverson said. "He's put together pretty well.

"On defense it looks like he has some really good hands.

"He got in the box and he hadn't swung for a while. But still, you could tell he had good hands going through the zone, has a nice approach and wants to work real hard."

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Moncada's fancy tools have been well publicized since he received a $31.5-million signing bonus from the Red Sox in March 2015.

MLB.com graded Moncada's hit tool at 60 on the 20-80 scouting scale while his base running is 65 and arm is 60. Moncada's power received a 55 grade, and his fielding is 50. Moncada received an overall grade of 65, which suggests he has the ability to be a perennial All-Star and worth 4 Wins Above Replacement, according to fangraphs.com.

But the White Sox weren't just impressed with Moncada's physical ability.

One of manager Rick Renteria's top objectives for the camp was to emphasize fundamentals and what's important to the team. Renteria wanted to identify specific game situations and how players are expected to handle them so they're well prepared for the future. Moncada handled that area well, too.

"Yoan is a very knowledgeable baseball player who has experience on a multitude of levels," amateur scouting director Nick Hostetler said. "In the brief time we had with him this week, he showed a tremendous ability to drive the ball the opposite way as well as drive balls to the gap and out of the ball park from both sides of the plate. That ability will help him handle and any all situations that Ricky asks him to do at the plate. Defensively his hands and feet are very good and will have no problem there. He's a bright hard-working kid that is part of a bright future for the organization."