White Sox

White Sox cut six; Escobar wins bench spot

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White Sox cut six; Escobar wins bench spot

The White Sox reassigned Dan Johnson, Dallas McPherson, Jim Gallagher and Jordan Danks to minor-league camp Tuesday, meaning Eduardo Escobar appears to have won the battle for the final spot on the White Sox bench.

In 17 games this spring, Escobar has hit .471 with no walks, one strikeout and one home run. His defensive versatility also was a likely factor in his triumph, as Escobar can play second, short and third base pretty well.

How Robin Ventura uses Brent Lillibridge in relation to Escobar will be interesting -- Lillibridge has played all over the field this spring, showing signs of improvement, but still a few flaws, in the infield. Lillibridge is the superior hitter to Escobar, no matter what the latter's spring stats may show, but Escobar has the superior glove.

It would make sense for Escobar to be a late-game pinch-runner for, say, Paul Konerko, but he doesn't have experience playing first. Lillibridge, however, has played some first base, so he'd make more sense if the Sox need a pair of legs in the eighth or ninth innings. The same goes for Dayan Viciedo, as Lillibridge has experience in left field. Perhaps the majority of Escobar's pinch-running opportunities will come for Adam Dunn.

While awarding jobs based on spring stats is dangerous, the Sox probably figured all along either Escobar or Ozzie Martinez was the best fit for their bench so long as they didn't look overmatched in March. Martinez was overmatched and was cut pretty early into the process, but Escobar looked far from it. And as a result, he'll make the Opening Day roster.

There does exist a scenario -- albeit, an unlikely one that doesn't involve injury -- in which Escobar doesn't make the Opening Day roster. Given the versatility of Lillibridge, the lack of separation between a few bullpen candidates could lead the White Sox to open the season with eight relievers and only three bench reserves.

But history has shown that carrying an eighth reliever usually doesn't do much, since that pitcher rarely enters games. It's better to have the four-man bench, of which Escobar would be the fourth member.

Josh Phegley and Tyler Saladino were the other two players reassigned to minor-league camp Tuesday.

Meet the Prospects: Zack Collins

Meet the Prospects: Zack Collins

The White Sox rebuild is in full swing. While it might still be a year or two before the big league team is expected to start competing for championships, the minor leagues are stocked with highly touted talent fans will be eagerly following in 2018. With that in mind, it's time to Meet the Prospects and get to know the future of the South Side.

Zack Collins

Collins, the 22-year-old catcher, has been projected as the White Sox catcher of the future since he was selected with the 10th overall pick in the 2016 draft.

A Florida native and University of Miami product, Collins initially was celebrated for his batting prowess and faced questions about his defensive abilities, only to improve with the glove in 2017 while he watched some offensive numbers slip a bit.

After joining the White Sox organization in 2016, Collins slashed .258/.418/.467 with six homers and 18 RBIs in 36 games at Class A Winston-Salem. In 2017, he played 101 more games at Winston-Salem, slashing .223/.365/.443 with 17 homers and 48 RBIs. He also played a dozen games at Double-A Birmingham, where he added a couple more homers and five more RBIs.

This offseason's signing of Welington Castillo installs a veteran backstop for two or three seasons at the big league level, meaning there's no rush for Collins to get to the majors.

As of their most recent rankings, MLB Pipeline had Collins rated as the No. 7 prospect in the White Sox organization.

Get to know Collins in the video above.

Fantasy baseball: Taking another crack at projecting the White Sox 2021 lineup

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USA TODAY

Fantasy baseball: Taking another crack at projecting the White Sox 2021 lineup

Playing a rebuild-centric edition of fantasy baseball is all the rage for South Side baseball fans.

After Baseball America forecasted the White Sox starting lineup for the 2021 season, it sparked a new round of projections, and we weren't going to be excluded.

So here's a guess at what the South Siders will look like three years from now, with some variables obviously being discussed such as additions the team could make through free agency or a trade — Manny Machado? Nolan Arenado? Christian Yelich? — and which of their bevy of young pitchers could be left out of the starting rotation of the future.

Also be sure to send us your future lineups on Twitter. We're @NBCSWhiteSox.

Enjoy: