White Sox

Bears will stay the course with rookie McClellin and thats the best thing for him

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Bears will stay the course with rookie McClellin and thats the best thing for him

BOURBONNAIS, Ill. Looking a little deeper at the Shea McClellin situation at defensive end... (and if the coverage and critiquing of the rookie defensive end has seemed tsunami-ish, theres a reason: McClellin is the first No. 1 draft choice of Phil Emery, and drafting, particularly the No. 1s, is the No. 1 reason why the Bears GM job was open in the first place.)
As I discussed Tuesday morning with Dan McNeil and Matt Spiegel on The McNeil and Spiegel Show on WSCR-AM 670, I spent some of the last couple days going back and looking again at as much film as I could of McClellins play at Boise State.
What I was looking for was what worked so well for McClellin, because what the rookie was doing too often last Saturday and especially on Sunday wasnt working well at all.
He broke up a couple of passes, which qualify as impact plays, but one was down field in zone-blitz coverage and the other was at the line of scrimmage, and the Bears want McClellin to be past the line of scrimmage, not just at it.
But McClellin as a pass rusher was a flop and thats why he was a No. 1 pick and the best indicator of where the Bears view their biggest need to be.
Two- vs. three?
What I saw was McClellin primarily upright in a two-point stance rather than with a hand on the ground in a three-point. The Bears have McClellin exclusively hand-down and a question would be whether they are force-feeding a player something that does not play to his strength.
Its not that simple.
The reason for coaches putting McClellin exclusively in the three-point sprinters stance is for explosiveness. They want him forcing tackles to deal with as much speed as possible.
DeMarcus Ware is among the NFLs elite pass rushers at 6-foot-4, 254 pounds, about the same size as McClellin. Ware plays in a two-point stance. But Ware plays in a Dallas scheme with a 3-4 core.
Terrell Suggs in Baltimore, Osi Umenyiora for the New York Giants, even Clay Matthews up in Green Bay all are in the 6-3, 255-pound bracket with McClellin. Matthews (also in a 3-4) rushes from both two- and three-point starts, but is a blur upfield when he works with his hand on the ground.
For what its worth, NFL sack leader Jared Allen is on record as stating that if the Minnesota Vikings tell him to play in a two-point stance, hes gone.
Dont look for McClellin to go back to Boise anytime soon.
See a little...
McClellins problems in the short stretch of camp so far are based in his thinking too much, and seeing too much. If he sees a little, meaning that he sees exactly whats in front of him and deals with it, he sees a lot.
If he sees a lot, meaning the whole play, which is what hes seeing now as he stands too upright, he actually sees nothing.
The Bears one-gap scheme is based on a player owning his assigned gap. McClellin is seeing too much too often, and at a time when he is only beginning to work on NFL-grade techniques and moves, the result is paralysis at the hands of an obliging offensive tackle.
Outside linebacker? Nope
The Bears would be extremely happy to get 21 sacks from McClellin over his first two years. Thats what they did get from Roosevelt Colvin in 2001-2002 using Colvin as a strong-side linebacker (the position he beat out Brian Urlacher at in 2000) and moving him to defensive end in nickel.
McClellin wont be doing that anytime soon.
And Colvins sacks came primarily when he put his hand on the ground and rushed the passer.
Thats what the Bears have in mind for McClellin. Period.

Podcast: Dylan Cease raves about the White Sox farm system

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AP

Podcast: Dylan Cease raves about the White Sox farm system

Coming to you from Washington DC, we speak with Dylan Cease who competed in the MLB Futures Game along with his Birmingham Barons teammate Luis Basabe. 

Cease talks about the White Sox loaded farm system, what players have impressed him the most, where he gets his composure on the mound and more. 

Check out the entire podcast here:

Fernando Tatis Jr. is the prospect who got away: White Sox fans, read this at your own risk

Fernando Tatis Jr. is the prospect who got away: White Sox fans, read this at your own risk

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Fernando Tatis, Jr. is one of the brightest future stars in the game. MLB Pipeline ranks him as the No. 3 prospect in all of baseball, one spot behind Eloy Jimenez.

He’s a five-tool shortstop slashing .289/.359/.509 at Double-A San Antonio with 15 home runs, 42 RBIs and 15 stolen bases in 85 games. He’s bilingual, charismatic, the kind of guy who could be a face of a franchise.

And two years ago, he was property of the White Sox.

That was until they traded Tatis, who was only 17 at the time, to the Padres for James Shields. Tatis had yet to play a single game in the White Sox farm system, so it was tough to predict his future. However, speaking with Tatis before he competed in the MLB Futures Game on Sunday, the trade was definitely a shock to him.

“I was surprised. It was weird. For a kid that young to get traded, I had never heard of it. When they told me that, I couldn’t believe it. I was like, ‘What’s going on?’” Tatis said in an interview with NBC Sports Chicago.

No front office is going to bat 1.000, and when it comes to Tatis, this is a trade the White Sox would love to have back.

But first, more perspective.

In June of 2016, six months before the White Sox started their rebuild, they were 29-26, a game and a half out of first place. With Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and a healthy Carlos Rodon anchoring their rotation, they felt that with the addition of Shields, they could compete for the division.

Unfortunately, perception didn’t meet reality. Shields struggled on the mound with the White Sox in 2016 and 2017. His numbers have improved considerably, and he could return the White Sox another prospect if he’s dealt before the trade deadline. However, it’s unlikely they’ll receive a player with the potential that Tatis has right now.

“(The trade) was about getting a good starter so they could get to the playoffs. I understood. I know this game is a business,” Tatis said.

Before the trade occurred, Tatis looked into his future and saw a day when he’d be the White Sox starting shortstop.

“Yeah, that was my goal when (White Sox director of international scouting) Marco Paddy signed me,” Tatis said. “We talked about it when I started and that was the goal.”

His goal now is to make it to the major leagues with the Padres.

“I’m pretty close. I want to keep working. When they decide to call me up, I’ll be ready.”

As for his former team, he’s impressed with the talent the White Sox have assembled.

“They’re building something special. They have really good prospects. I wish the best for them.”

You can’t help but wonder what the rebuild would look like if Tatis was along for the ride. He’s the one who got away.