White Sox

MLB Power Rankings: Week 16

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MLB Power Rankings: Week 16

Every Monday throughout the regular season, we'll be ranking all 30 MLB teams.

Take a look and offer up your thoughts in the comments or to us on twitter @CubsTalkCSN or @WhiteSoxTalkCSN.

Previous rankings: Preseason Week 1 Week 2 Week 3 Week 4 Week 5 Week 6 Week 7 Week 8 Week 9 Week 10 Week 11 Week 12 Week 13 First Half Week 15

Tony
JJ Comments 1
Tony: Awfully close to TEX, but Yankees are half-game better.
JJ: Have emerged from brutal East as best in the game.
2
Tony: Will be interesting to see what they add at deadline.
JJ: Hamilton since June 1: .201.290.396. Yikes.
3
Tony: As we creep closer, Strasburg limit will become top MLB story.
JJ: Rotation can hold up with Gonzalez, Zimmermann and Jackson.
4
Tony: Incredible how hot they are now without Votto.
JJ: Neck-and-neck with Reds, going with PIT here for pitching.
5
Tony: (Potential) Dempster trade is a quality boost.
JJ: If they can play this well without Votto...watch out.
6
Tony: This is the year Pittsburgh. Get ready for Oct. baseball.
JJ: Pujols somehow quietly rounding into form.
7
Tony: To answer my question, yes this is the hot streak.
JJ: Can Sheets keep this up?
8
Tony: Too soon to try to get Trout on Weaver-like discount?
JJ: It's about three months late, but this is the team we expected.
9
Tony: Hottest team in baseball right now. Wow.
JJ: Could Belt be sent down with .341 OBP?
10
Tony: Could they separate from the Dodgers in NL West?
JJ: Incredible that both the A's and Pirates are top 10 teams.
11
Tony: Dang, that was a rough week, eh South Siders?
JJ: Konerko only has six extra-base hits since June 1.
12
Tony: If only they could play the Cubs every weekend...
JJ: Could NL Central get three playoff teams?
13
Tony: Even if they get Garza, would that be enough?
JJ: We're 20 starts in and Chis Capuano's ERA is 2.81.
14
Tony: They're not for real. See JJ's article.
JJ: As of Monday, have best run differential in NL West.
15
Tony: They need Bautista back like now.
JJ: With their rotation problems, pretty tough buy.
16
Tony: Doesn't look like this is Maddon's year with these guys.
JJ: One step forward, two steps back.
17
Tony: Lester doesn't even look like he belongs in bigs right now.
JJ: Maybe could make a run when Longoria gets back.
18
Tony: As Tigers heat up, Indians start to fade.
JJ: Getting absolutely hammered by injuries.
19
Tony: Rejuvenated Chris Young could help them make a run.
JJ: Santana's no-hitter a great moment, but has it killed season?
20
Tony: Wright's future is biggest question mark of this team.
JJ: Fading fast, could be sellers at deadline.
21
Tony: They're out of it. Time to sell.
JJ: Norichika Aoki a bright spot for them.
22
Tony: Carlos Lee trade didn't help too much, did it?
JJ: Just as they near .500, lose five straight.
23
Tony: Utley stole a base this weekend. Gotta be a good sign, right?
JJ: They're pretty well buried, may be too late to turn it around.
24
Tony: Will any of their young guns make first ML starts in '12?
JJ: Liking the future for this club.
25
Tony: HosmerGordon primed to have big second halves.
JJ: Padres are closer to division lead than Phillies.
26
Tony: Still think trading Quentin might have been better.
JJ: Finally dumped Jonathan Sanchez. Worst trade of offseason?
27
Tony: Was hottest team in baseball before STL sweep.
JJ: AS Roma playing at Wrigley Field was pretty neat.
28
Tony: Don't know what to say about them anymore, honestly.
JJ: Should probably trade Willingham, but may not.
29
Tony: Don't have much to offer before deadline.
JJ: Shame Dexter Fowler's solid season is going to waste.
30
Tony: Well, they got Brett Myers off their hands at least.
JJ: Without Jed Lowrie...man, they're bad.

Strikeout machine Alec Hansen wants to be the best ... OK, one of the best

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AP

Strikeout machine Alec Hansen wants to be the best ... OK, one of the best

GLENDALE, Ariz. — On a day when Jose Abreu and Yoan Moncada took live batting practice for the first time this spring, off in the distance was a lanky White Sox prospect standing in the outfield grass.

But Alec Hansen was doing more than shagging flies. He was watching both hitters very closely.

“I was looking to see how much pop they had,” Hansen said of Abreu and Moncada. “I kind of look at that to see the difference in power between minor league ball and the major leagues. It’s nice to see it’s not a huge difference. That makes me feel a bit more comfortable.”

At 6-foot-8 — actually 6-foot-8-and-a-half, according to his spring training physical — Hansen is a big man with big plans for his baseball career. He might be quiet on the outside, but he has booming expectations for himself on the inside.

“I want to be the best,” Hansen said in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago.

The best? The very best?

That’s what Hansen aspires to become, though later in our conversation, he did dial back a notch, settling for becoming “one of the best.”

Either is fine with manager Ricky Renteria, who is overseeing these uber-confident White Sox prospects and accepts their lofty expectations.

“I think their mindset is where it’s supposed to be,” Renteria said. “None of these kids are concerned or consumed with the possibility of failure. Much more they’re consuming themselves with the understanding that they might hit some stumbling blocks, but they’re going to have a way to avoid overcoming them and push forward and be the best that they can be.”

In his first full season in the White Sox organization, Hansen led the minor leagues with 191 strikeouts. He’s proud of that accomplishment but admitted something: He’s not that impressed because he didn’t do it where it really matters — in the major leagues.

When you watch Hansen pitch, it’s easy to see that the talent is there. His coaches and teammates rave about his ability. With his enormous size and power arm, he is loaded with strengths.  

Though there is one weakness that Hansen acknowledges he needs to work on.

“Sometimes I have a tendency to think too much and worry. I think worrying is the worst thing that I do just because I want to be perfect,” Hansen said. “I think everyone wants to be perfect, some more than others, and I worry about things getting in the way of achieving perfection.”

To Hansen, that doesn’t mean throwing a perfect game. He actually takes it one step further.

He wants to strikeout every single hitter he faces.

“I love striking people out,” Hansen said. “Not having to rely on anyone else and just getting the job done myself and knowing that the hitter can’t get a hit off me. That’s a great feeling. That they can’t put it in play. Like a line drive out. That’s terrible.”

At some point, Hansen will have to lower these impossible expectations for himself. This is an imperfect game. There’s no place for nine-inning, 27-strikeout performances. Players end up in the Hall of Fame because they learn how to succeed with failure.

In the meantime, Hansen is here in big league camp watching and learning anything and everything.

“I’m a good observer. I listen. I don’t really talk too much. I’m a pretty quiet guy. I like to sit back and observe and see how these guys go about their business. Just trying to be at their level, hopefully one day surpass them.”

Surpass?

“It’s kind of hard to surpass some of these guys. I mean, they’re at the tip-top, like the pinnacle of the sport,” Hansen said. “I guess you could say, to get on that level and then be one of the best in the league.”

He might be on his way.

White Sox free up spot on 40-man roster by outrighting Dylan Covey

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USA TODAY

White Sox free up spot on 40-man roster by outrighting Dylan Covey

The White Sox freed up a spot on their 40-man roster Sunday, outrighting pitcher Dylan Covey to Triple-A Charlotte.

Covey pitched in 18 games last season, making 12 starts for the South Siders. Things did not go well, with Covey turning in an 0-7 record and a 7.71 ERA in 70 innings.

While there was an outside chance that Covey could have provided at least some starting-pitching depth heading into the 2018 season, the team's recent additions of Miguel Gonzalez and Hector Santiago — not to mention Covey's results from last season — wiped out that idea.

At the moment, the White Sox starting rotation figures to look like this by Opening Day: James Shields, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Gonzalez and Carson Fulmer, with Santiago seeming like a good option to provide depth as the long man in the bullpen.