Chicago White Sox

Poetry in Pros: Offensively, Sox remain lost

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Poetry in Pros: Offensively, Sox remain lost

Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2011
Posted: 8:50 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com White SoxInsiderFollow@CSNChi_Beatnik
With thousands of measurements in baseball, from wins and batting average to FIP and OPS, but none of those measures take into account the actual value a player brings to a team. Isn't someone who hits 20 home runs but makes just 500,000 a better value than someone who also clocks 20 but makes 10 million?

Every 10 games this season, Poetry in Pros will run a value survey that details just what the Chicago White Sox are getting for their moneya report more essential than ever, given the team-record payroll.

While the White Sox have dropped out of the AL Central race courtesy of a three-game sweep at the hands of the Detroit Tigers last weekend, the team went 6-1 otherwise and now sits two games over .500 at 71-69. Correspondingly, the teams overall value has risenand in fact, when you see how the trio of young position players called up to the White Sox have added value to the team, youre going to be angry at how long it took them to get a chance to make their mark.

What follows is a survey that you won't find anywhere else in the baseball world, a snapshot that attempts to marry actual costs of players against the value they provide the team on the field. Arguably, this player value trumps any you'd find on the back of a baseball card. Using raw WAR (Wins Above Replacement) data from FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference and prorated salary tells us which side of the ledgerplayer or managementis benefiting more from each players performance. A plus figure means the player has provided more value than hes been paid, a negative one means hes provided less.

White Sox Bargains

White Sox Bargains Players who are providing value on top of what they are costing the team in salary. (Last survey standing in parenthesis, a negative number indicates the player was on the "busts" list and a plain - meaning the player did not appear in the last survey.)

1. Alexei Ramirez, ss, 11,237,693 (1)
2. Phil Humber, sp, 10,351,400 (2)
3. Carlos Quentin, of, 7,984,103 (3)
4. Brent Lillibridge, of-if, 5,869,974 (9)
5. Chris Sale, rp, 5,582,402 (7)
6. Sergio Santos, rp, 4,933,011 (4)
7. Gavin Floyd, sp, 4,780,558 (12)
8. Paul Konerko, 1b, 4,331,170 (5)
9. Alejandro De Aza, of, 4,222,450 (15)
10. John Danks, sp, 4,016,286 (6)
11. Edwin Jackson, sp, 3,706,325 (8)
12. Jesse Crain, rp, 2,979,346 (11)
13. A.J. Pierzynski, c, 2,387,768 (10)
14. Gordon Beckham, 2b, 2,204,197 (13)
15. Zach Stewart, sp, 1,744,264 (18)
16. Tyler Flowers, c, 1,373,072 (16)
17. Mark Buehrle, sp, 882,597 (14)
18. Dayan Viciedo, of-if, 819,585 (-)
19. Ramon Castro, c, 365,275 (17)
20. Jeff Gray, rp, 362,477 (19)
21. Josh Kinney, rp, 350,279 (22)
22. Hector Santiago, rp, 207,388 (21)

The White Sox continue to boast more players in the black than the red, with 23 of the 41 players who have seen action for the White Sox this year posting a value profit for the team. Ramirez, Humber and Quentin remain 1-2-3 as the club's best values, but look at three names on the list in particular. De Aza is the teams ninth-best value despite having played just 34 games with the team, while Flowers and Viciedo are 16th an 18th respectively in spite of just 33 games played between them. While there was no room for Flowers on the roster until Castros injury, De Aza and Viciedo both have done much to prove that they were wasting away down in Triple-A Charlotte.

White Sox Busts

White Sox Busts Players who value cannot offset what they are costing the team in salary. (Last survey standing in parenthesis, a "" means the player was on the "bargains" list and a plain - meaning the player did not appear in the last survey.)

1. Adam Dunn, dh, -20,499,120 (1)
2. Alex Rios, of, -15,388,332 (2)
3. Jake Peavy, sp, -6,191,922 (4)
4. Mark Teahen, if-of, -4,875,357 (3)
5. Omar Vizquel, if, -3,773,411 (5)
6. Juan Pierre, of, -3,370,207 (6)
7. Tony Pena, rp, -1,698,205 (8)
8. Brian Bruney, rp, -1,527,898 (7)
9. Lastings Milledge, of, -1,472,249 (9)
10. Dallas McPherson, 1b-3b, -1,019,967 (10)
11. Jason Frasor, rp, -885,155 (12)
12. Matt Thornton, rp, -821,436 (11)
13. Shane Lindsay, rp, -783,493 (-)
14. Eduardo Escobar, if, -345,600 (-)
15. Will Ohman, rp, -335,262 (23)
16. Brent Morel, 3b, -267,240 (20)
17. Lucas Harrell, rp, -260,128 (14)
18. Addison Reed, rp, -169,647 (-)
19. Donny Lucy, c, -128,099 (13)

Everything wrong is right again, as Dunn and Rios remain 1-2 at the top here and well outpacing the other 17 poor White Sox values combined. More than half of the players listed above are either no longer with the White Sox or have been with the club only briefly.
White Sox Added Value

White Sox Added Value Over the past 10 games, here are the White Sox who have increased their value to the team (players who were not active with the team over the past 10 games are not included in this list).

1. Alejandro De Aza, of, 2,159,063 (1)
2. Phil Humber, sp, 1,758,352 (8)
3. Matt Thornton, rp, 1,648,915 (6)
4. Zach Stewart, sp, 1,321,715 (-3)
5. Brent Lillibridge, of-if, 1,195,493 (-12)
6. Alexei Ramirez, ss, 1,145,807 (5)
7. Mark Buehrle, sp, 1,009,157 (-13)
8. Gavin Floyd, sp, 850,206 (-11)
9. Jake Peavy, sp, 844,750 (-2)
10. Dayan Viciedo, of-if, 819,585 (-)
11. Chris Sale, rp, 654,772 (10)
12. Jesse Crain, rp, 354,386 (4)
13. Josh Kinney, rp, 340,411 (13)
14. Paul Konerko, 1b, 277,465 (12)
15. Donny Lucy, c, 200,721 (-9)
16. Jason Frasor, rp, 36,866 (11)

In territory that was customarily occupied by Ramirez, De Aza has gone back-to-back as the top value in Chicago over now the past 20 gamesvirtually his entire stay with the White Sox (hes played 34 games total and came up to the majors at the end of July).

No shock that after their brilliant outings, both Humber and Stewart have surged near the top of the added value list, Stewart jumping from high on the lost value list to high in added value.
White Sox Lost Value

White Sox Lost Value Over the past 10 games, here are the White Sox who have decreased their value to the team. (players who were not active with the team over the past 10 games are not included in this list).

1. Adam Dunn, dh, -1,672,995 (1)
2. Alex Rios, of, -1,372,409 (6)
3. A.J. Pierzynski, c, -943,917 (-)
4. Sergio Santos, rp, -852,135 (7)
5. Shane Lindsay, rp, -783,493 (-)
6. Juan Pierre, of, -782,354 (10)
7. John Danks, sp, -542,082 (2)
8. Omar Vizquel, if, -487,658 (7)
9. Brent Morel, 3b, -478,974 (9)
10. Gordon Beckham, 2b, -460,266 (4)
11. Eduardo Escobar, if, -345,600 (-)
12. Addison Reed, rp, -169,647 (-)
13. Will Ohman, rp, -148,326 (8)
14. Tyler Flowers, c, -146,553 (3)

Again in a case of wrongs righting themselves, Rios has rejoined partner in crime Dunn atop the lost value list, with the two players costing the White Sox more than 3 million over just the past 10 games. That puts Rios recent hot streak (six-game hitting streak) in perspective, as even such a run couldnt offset how poorly he performed on the front end of this last set of 10 games.

Overall, players collectively dropped -737,520 in value and stand at 10,344,296 in the hole for the entire season, making it a virtual lock that the Chicago offense, vaunted before the season began, will not break even in 2011.

On the plus side, the pitching continues to surge, adding 6,871,892 in value in the past 10 games and standing at 27,222,943 in total value for the season.

Thus the White Sox are in the black on the year, at 16,878,647, a surge of 6,134,372 from the 130-game mark.

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.com's White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox information.

Why Yoan Moncada's slow start with White Sox could soon be a thing of the past

Why Yoan Moncada's slow start with White Sox could soon be a thing of the past

Yoan Moncada wrapped up his first Crosstown Series — in front of the closest thing to a playoff atmosphere he’ll experience in, likely, a while — with an 0-4 showing in the White Sox 6-3 loss to the Cubs on Thursday. 

The 22-year-old had mixed results facing the defending World Series champions, striking out four times in five at-bats on Monday and hitting his first career home run off Jake Arrieta on Wednesday. His final numbers for these four Crosstown games: 17 plate appearances, two hits, two walks, two runs, eight strikeouts and one hit by pitch. 

Moncada is off to a slow start in his second stint in the majors, but he’s drawing plenty of walks (12.5 percent) and probably has been victimized by some bad luck (a .118 batting average on balls in play which, to say the least, is exceedingly low). 

Manager Rick Renteria, though, likes Moncada’s even-keeled demeanor and his ability to handle the ups and downs of the day-to-day grind of the regular season. 

“What he’s going to be able to do is minimize how much he gets wrapped up in frustration, as opposed to taking the at-bat, the last at-bat, going through pitch by pitch and trying to figure out what it was he wrapped in his approach,” Renteria said. “Younger players usually get very, very frustrated and lose that moment to gain some knowledge. Failure is not in and of itself a bad thing. It’s actually something that can produce a lot of positives. The thing is to try to get them to understand as quickly as possible so they can take those moments and gain information. 

“That’s why his even-keeled approach and even-keeled attitude (will help). He’s got fire. It’s not that he doesn’t care. That’s where people — for a lot of players who are calm or even-keeled, they have fire, they have desire, but they know how to compartmentalize and separate those things and try to gain something from every moment, positive or negative.”

Moncada already took that clear-eyed approach to self-evaluation in the minor leagues, and said that hasn’t changed now that he’s at baseball’s highest level. 

“I’m just keeping the same routine that I was using in the minors,” Moncada said through an interpreter. “And the whole year, I’m just keeping with the things that have been giving me results.”

There’s not much of a common thread between Moncada’s brief call-up with the Boston Red Sox last September and his first few games with the White Sox. Moncada was overmatched in his 2016 debut, striking out 12 times in 20 plate appearances and only drawing one walk. He had four hits, though, so his way-too-small-sample-size BABIP was .571. 

Moncada looks like a different player this year, carrying over his strong Triple-A walk rate (13.6 percent) to his nascent tenure with the White Sox. Eventually, the hits are likely to start falling as long as he doesn’t get out of the approach that got him here — and made him baseball’s biggest prospect in the process. 

“He’s been doing all the work that he has to do to adjust to this level,” first baseman Jose Abreu said through an interpreter. “He’s been doing his same routine from Triple-A and I think that’s something good because you have to stick with the things that are giving you good results.” 

Anthony Rizzo: More than talent needed for successful rebuild

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USA TODAY

Anthony Rizzo: More than talent needed for successful rebuild

Nearly eight months into their rebuild, the White Sox have accrued an eye-popping amount of young talent. The franchise continues to receive kudos even in trading a pair of relievers this week to add depth to what might be the best farm system in baseball.

But having the best farm system -- the White Sox have eight of MLBPipeline.com’s top 100 prospects -- won’t mean much until it’s realized.

Well versed on the subject having experienced it on his own, Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo acknowledged before Thursday’s 6-3 win over the White Sox just how uncertain the rebuilding process can be. In Rizzo’s eyes, it wasn’t just talent that got the Cubs over the hump, it was timing, too.

“It happened fast, but it could have went the other way, too,” Rizzo said. “We’re lucky with how everything turned out. Plus, a lot of hard work has gone into it.”

[MORE: Aaron Bummer on what it's like to get called up to the majors]

Similar to Yoan Moncada’s arrival last week, Rizzo was the first [hyped prospect to be promoted] after Theo Epstein’s plan went into place. Acquired the previous winter from San Diego, Rizzo reached the majors midway through the 2012 season with the Cubs only a few months into their rebuild. The three-time All-Star didn’t know it at the time, but he was the first new face the Cubs would introduce to their audience. While Rizzo often [was aware of skepticism of Epstein’s plan], he said he never felt the same pressure from fans. Rizzo also said he can understand why not all the Cubs faithful were on board.

“I think I was naïve and happy to be back in the big leagues,” Rizzo said. “You’ve just got to focus on playing baseball and not worry about everything else that you can’t control.

“I didn’t feel (pressure) at all. I know people were calling for the upper front office’s jobs. But they had a plan and they had a vision and they preached it the entire time.”

“As a fan I can understand why you get upset because you want to win. As a fan of football or whatever sport, if my team doesn’t win, I get mad. But obviously they knew what they were doing.”

So far the White Sox fan base has been mostly supportive of Rick Hahn’s efforts and embraced the idea of building through the farm system. But not everyone is on board with a 25-man roster teardown that appears to have the club hurtling toward its first 100-loss season since 1970.

This week’s Crosstown series is a reminder there are tough times ahead for the White Sox.

The Cubs lost a combined 197 games in 2012 and 2013 and 89 games in 2014. The second half of the 2017 season could be extremely difficult for a White Sox club that has traded Chris Sale, Adam Eaton, Jose Quintana, Tommy Kahnle, David Robertson, Todd Frazier, Anthony Swarzak and Dan Jennings all since December.

Rizzo thinks the way the Cubs handled those difficulties played into their success in 2015 and 2016.

“It’s life,” Rizzo said. “There are tough times in anything. There are going to be good times and bad times so it’s all about how you approach it and how you handle it.

“We always knew the potential we had, it was just a matter of going out and doing it. Ball’s bouncing your way, calls going your way and staying together.”