What should the Sox expect out of De Aza?

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What should the Sox expect out of De Aza?

For some reason, not everyone has been sold on Alejandro De Aza this offseason. That's a head-scratcher, because there wasn't a whole lot else De Aza could've done to prove himself in 2011.

He stayed healthy, coming to the plate over 600 times between Charlotte and Chicago. He posted a .378 OBP with 43 extra-base hits in Triple-A, then had a .400 OBP with 18 extra-base hits in the majors. And De Aza did all of that while playing excellent defense. What more, exactly, could De Aza have done?

The White Sox shouldn't expect to see that .329.400.520 line De Aza had in 2011 repeated in 2012 (if they do, he'll deserve some MVP votes). De Aza had just 171 plate appearances in the majors last year, hardly an ideal sample size. His .404 BABIPstands as unsustainable, too.

But the good news is that even with a regression, De Aza should be a valuable player for the White Sox. A look at what Bill James and Dan Szymborski (ZiPS) project:

Proj.GAVGOBPSLGBBKHRSBCSwOBAOPS James79.291.353.45020435136.350 (wOBA) ZiPS139.271.328.406381008221194 (OPS)
Thoughts:

-- James has De Aza as a backup or a starter who gets hurt. Given his history of injuries and recent status as a fourth outfielder, that's not illogical, although only 79 games would mean De Aza would suffer a serious injury or make multiple trips to the DL.

-- But James has De Aza doing very well for himself in those 79 games, with nearly a 1:2 walk-to-strikeout ratio and a very encouraging OBP. If De Aza can stay healthy and be in the neighborhood of James' numbers, he'll be a fantastic asset for the Sox.

-- Szymborski isn't as high on De Aza as James is, but a .328 OBP may still be the Sox best option to lead off.

-- Szymborski also projects defense and has De Aza as "very good" as a left or right fielder and "average" as a center fielder. "Very good" outfield defense coupled with that line Szymborski projects would equate to nice value for the Sox.

-The caught stealing projections aren't encouraging, but neither appears to be as egregious as Juan Pierre's stolen base mishaps from 2011.

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Tim Raines elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

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AP

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Tim Raines elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

Hub Arkush (670 The Score/Pro Football Weekly), David Schuster (670 The Score) and Patrick Finley join Kap on the panel.  Tim Raines finally gets the call from the Hall along with Jeff Bagwell and Pudge Rodriguez.  So when will Bonds and Clemens get in?  Why are Sammy Sosa’s vote totals dropping? The guys debate from former Cub David DeJesus joins the panel to talk Hall of Fame and the 2017 Cubs.

The Bulls lose to a bad Mavericks team. When will GarPax blow it up and start over?

Plus the guys discuss whether or not Antonio Brown will distract the Steelers and if the Falcons defense is the x-factor in the NFC title game.

Jerry Reinsdorf, Frank Thomas congratulate Tim Raines on Baseball Hall of Fame election

Jerry Reinsdorf, Frank Thomas congratulate Tim Raines on Baseball Hall of Fame election

Tim Raines became the 39th former member of the White Sox to be elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday.

White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf released a statement congratulating Raines on his election.

“On behalf of the entire White Sox organization and our fans, I want to sincerely congratulate Tim on today’s election to the Hall of the Fame, the highest and greatest honor bestowed upon a baseball player,” said Jerry Reinsdorf, chairman of the Chicago White Sox. “He played a crucial role on the 1993 division championship team, was a key member of the 2005 World Series-winning coaching staff and provided Sox fans with great memories that will not be forgotten.”

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Frank Thomas, who played with Raines from 1991-95, had high praise for his former teammate.

“Rock was one of my favorite teammates ever,” said Hall-of-Famer and White Sox legend Frank Thomas. “He made the game fun night-to-night and was a great leader in the clubhouse. His humor and hustle always brought the team closer. I’m so glad this has finally happened for one of my favorite people ever.”

Thomas also went on Twitter to express his excitement for Raines heading to Cooperstown.

Ozzie Guillen congratulated Raines as well, saying that it was well-deserved.