It’s not as bad of an oversight as Joey Votto, but White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu was overlooked for the American League Silver Slugger Award on Thursday.
First baseman Eric Hosmer received the honor over Abreu, who outslugged his Kansas City counterpart .552 to .498.
Previously a Silver Slugger winner in 2014, Abreu’s production was his best since his rookie campaign. Abreu finished the year with a .304/.354/.552 slash line with 33 home runs and 102 RBIs in 675 plate appearances. Hosmer hit .318/.385/.498 with 25 homers and 94 RBIs in 671 plate appearances.
Abreu also had a massive edge in total bases as he led the AL with 343. Hosmer finished 12th overall in total bases with 300.
Abreu also finished with an edge in both park adjusted-production categories. Abreu had a 140 OPS-plus to Hosmer’s 132 while Abreu had the slight edge in weighted Runs Created plus, 114-113.
The National League race was an even bigger omission as Paul Goldschmidt topped Votto, who finished with a whopping 1032-966 edge in OPS.
27-year-old Justin Jirschele made quite an impression in his first season as manager of the White Sox Class-A affiliate in Kannapolis. He helped lead the Intimidators to the South Atlantic League championship, and was named White Sox Minor League Coach of the Year. Jirschele came on the podcast to speak with Chuck Garfien about how he went from playing minor league baseball with the White Sox to coaching in their system. He talks about how growing up with a dad who was coaching minor league baseball helped mold him as a manager who is wise beyond his years. Jirschele also gives a report on some of the top White Sox prospects he managed last season such as Jake Burger, Alec Hansen, Dane Dunning and Miker Adolfo.
The White Sox farm system is baseball's best, according to one of the people making those rankings.
In the wake of Major League Baseball's punishment of the Atlanta Braves for breaking rules regarding the signing of international players — which included the removal of 12 illegally signed prospects from the Braves' organization — MLB.com's Jim Callis tweeted out his updated top 10, and the White Sox are back in first place.
Now obviously there are circumstances that weakened the Braves' system, allowing the White Sox to look stronger by comparison. But this is still an impressive thing considering that three of the White Sox highest-rated prospects from the past year are now full-time big leaguers.
Yoan Moncada used to be baseball's No. 1 prospect, and pitchers Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez weren't too far behind. That trio helped bolster the highly ranked White Sox system. Without them, despite plenty of other highly touted prospects, common sense would say that the White Sox would slide down the rankings.
But the White Sox still being capable of having baseball's top-ranked system is a testament to the organizational depth Rick Hahn has built in such a short period of time.
While prospect rankings are sure to be refreshed throughout the offseason, here's how MLB Pipeline's rankings look right now in regards to the White Sox:
4. Eloy Jimenez
9. Michael Kopech
22. Luis Robert
39. Blake Rutherford
57. Dylan Cease
90. Alec Hansen