2014 Chicago White Sox - Lineup Overview
A good offensive team is beautiful to watch: stolen bases, sacrifice bunts and flies leading to scoring chances, and home runs igniting the crowd. The White Sox are hoping for much more of that in 2014. While the Sox are not loaded with fantasy studs this year, they have a few solid starters that fantasy owners will want to pick up. Jose Abreu leads the way in overall offensive potential, followed by Avisail Garcia. The next level of players contain a few interesting position battles. Alejandro De Aza could be a impact fantasy outfielder, but Dayan Viciedo and Adam Eaton may limit his at-bats. Eaton is the Sox sleeper candidate this year-- with a full season in the leadoff spot, he could have a big year. There will also be an interesting rotation of Abreu, Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko for starts at 1B and DH. Take a look at the projected value of the Sox best offensive players.
Hitter Projections & Fantasy Analysis
Jose Abreu – 1B, DH
Jose Abreu is going to play a large role in the Chicago White Sox offense this year. His success will have a direct impact on the success of the team. The Sox are looking for immediate production from the 27-year-old rookie, and Abreu is fully capable of putting up big numbers. The biggest question is how long of an adjustment period he will need to get used to playing in the major. Abreu hit .453 with 33 HR in just 66 games in the Cuban National League in 2011. While he may not be as athletic as fellow Cuban superstars Yoenis Cespedes and Yasiel Puig, Abreu has the raw power to be the Sox best hitter and run producer in 2014. Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn will both be in competition for at-bats, but look for Abreu to cement himself into the everyday lineup from the start.
Projected Stats: .268 AVG, 79 R, 31 HR, 82 RBI, 1 SB
Avisail Garcia – OF
At 22, Avisail Garcia is still developing as a player. Unlike Jose Abreu, the White Sox will show more patience and reserve expectations with regard to the promising youngster. In 95 career games, Garcia is hitting .289 with 7 HR and 34 RBI. Those power numbers would average out to 12 and 58 over a full season of at-bats-- not exactly eye-popping numbers. However, the fact that Garcia is a year older and more experienced combined with an everyday starting job in Chicago will lead to more comfort at the plate. Don't expect huge power numbers from Garcia, but he can contribute to fantasy teams in each of the main five offensive categories.
Projected Stats: .290 AVG, 70 R, 17 HR, 71 RBI, 10 SB
Alejandro De Aza – OF
De Aza is a perplexing fantasy option this year. If he doesn't run himself into outs, like he did in 2013, he has the potential to steal 25 bases and score 85 runs. He was also second on the team with 17 HR and 62 RBI last year, so he can produce in every offensive category. However, with the signing of the CF Adam Eaton, De Aza finds himself in a crowded outfield. Most likely, Alejandro will split time with Dayan Viciedo in LF. Barring injuries or trades, it will be tough for either one of those players to post big fantasy numbers. However, these things have a way of working themselves out, and De Aza will find his way into the lineup. A speedy top of the order containing Eaton and De Aza could do wonders for the Sox offense.
Projected Stats: .275 AVG, 80 R, 14 HR, 58 RBI, 21 SB
Adam Eaton – OF
The new White Sox center fielder has tremendous upside and could be a serious sleeper in this year's fantasy draft. Though he is still unproven in the big leagues, Adam Eaton has the speed and patience at the plate to be a successful leadoff hitter for the Sox. Depending on how well the rest of the lineup is hitting around him, Eaton could turn out to be an asset in multiple categories for fantasy owners.
Projected Stats: .264 AVG, 78 R, 11 HR, 49 RBI, 20 SB
Alexei Ramirez – SS
Ramirez's home run totals have dropped every year of his career, spare one. Last year Alexei hit only 6 HR and drove in a career-low 48 RBI. However, he stole 30 bases (career high) and hit .284 (second-highest of career). Depending on where he hits in the lineup, Ramirez is capable of producing any of the five main statistics. As far as shortstops go, owners could do a lot worse than Alexei.
Projected Stats: .278 AVG, 66 R, 8 HR, 56 RBI, 17 SB
Adam Dunn – 1B, DH
Anyone who has owned Adam Dunn in a fantasy baseball league over the past few seasons knows the frustration of sacrificing average for some power numbers. Seriously, this guy swings for the fences with runners on first and second and nobody out. He doesn't play situational ball, and he doesn't choke up and try to go the other way with two strikes. He does have a decent eye and can get on via the walk. More often then not, Dunn will swing and miss, keeping his average hovering barely above the Mendoza line. His one value is that, every so often, he connects with those giant swings.
Projected Stats: .219 AVG, 68 R, 35 HR, 84 RBI, 2 SB
Overall Fantasy Baseball Outlook
The White Sox may be in line for a better offensive year, but there are a lot of inexperienced, young players joining the team, which could lead to some inconsistent play. The overall fantasy output of this team is not incredibly high, but there is definitely some value. Jose Abreu will be a solid 1B or DH starter for any fantasy owner this year. Avisail Garcia and Alejandro De Aza are worth taking as lower-level starting outfielders. Adam Eaton has a lot of upside and could be a late round gem for some lucky owners. Alexei Ramirez is capable of being one of the best options at shortstop. Lastly, look out for Matt Davidson, who could be a deep sleeper for HR and RBI if he wins the third base job.