White Sox

The most interesting White Sox stats from the first half of 2017

The most interesting White Sox stats from the first half of 2017

In a rebuilding season, it can be tough to find highlights. Luckily, baseball history is always lurking. Sometimes you just have to dig a little.

Despite the worst record in the American League prior to the All-Star break, there’s no shortage of interesting tidbits regarding the 2017 White Sox:

Jose Abreu

Most consecutive road home runs (13) by a White Sox player to begin a season, passing Tom Paciorek's team record of 11 in 1982. It was the most in the Major Leagues since Donn Clendenon's 13 in 1966 (for Pirates). Abreu eventually ended his home homerless streak (dating back to 2016) at 41 games. He had a sneaky-good first half and eventually overtook Avisaíl García for the team lead in OPS (.871)

Tim Anderson

Last season, Anderson became the first White Sox player since Thad Bosley in 1978 to hit a leadoff HR for his first career home run.

This season, Anderson became the first White Sox player EVER to hit a leadoff HR for his first season HR in each of his first two Major League seasons.

Melky Cabrera

Walkoff double on June 30th. 14 walkoff plate appearances (12 walkoff hits) is most in MLB from 2009-present.

Perhaps his most notable NON-walkoff hit of the season was his 9th inning one-out single on July 9th to spoil Kyle Freeland’s no-hit bid.

Matt Davidson

Fifth rookie in White Sox history with at least 18 HR before the All-Star break, joining: Jose Abreu (29) in 2014, Ron Kittle (18) in 1983, Carlos May (18) in 1969 and Zeke Bonura (18) in 1934

Fun Fact: Davidson is still a rookie despite having made his MLB debut (8/11/2013) before Jose Abreu made his (3/31/2014)

Avisaíl García

First player in White Sox history with 2+ Triples, 5+ Home Runs & 20+ RBI in a season before May 1.

He also had 11 three-hit games in the first half…which matched his total from the previous two seasons combined

2017: 11 three-hit games (78 games played)

2015-16: 11 three-hit games (268 games played)

Geovany Soto

Sixth player in White Sox history with 3 HR through team's first four games of season, joining Zeke Bonura (1934), Bob Nieman (1955), Minnie Miñoso (1960), Robin Ventura (1994) & Alejandro De Aza (2014).

Unfortunately, since that third home run on April 8th, the Sox have have had a total of ONE home run by a catcher (Kevan Smith). And Soto, struggling with injury, hasn’t played since May 7.

Tommy Kahnle

Kahnle has been the breakout bullpen star for the 2017 White Sox (honorable mention to Anthony Swarzak). 

He also had the best K/BB ratio by a White Sox pitcher before the All-Star break (with a minimum of 50 strikeouts):

K/BB Player Year K BB
8.143 Tommy Kahnle 2017 57 7
7.571 David Robertson 2015 53 7
6.826 Chris Sale 2015 157 23
6.375 Chris Sale 2014 102 16
4.852 Chris Sale 2013 131 27

Jose Quintana

First player in White Sox history with 10 K and an RBI in a National League park (7/8/2017 at Colorado). He was the first Sox pitcher to do it at any park since Bart Johnson 9/17/1971. It could be a useful note for a National League team seeking starting pitching.

Stay tuned, Sox fans. And enjoy the second half.

White Sox rookie Luis Robert confident in 'pretty hot' start to his '20 season

White Sox rookie Luis Robert confident in 'pretty hot' start to his '20 season

Luis Robert's pretty good at baseball.

That's not the concern.

Monday during workouts at Guaranteed Rate Field, he showed off a sampling of that jam-packed toolbox of his, tracking down fly balls in the outfield, loping around the bases and smoking a Dylan Cease pitch to the center-field warning track in live batting practice.

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"The biggest thing is just how big he is," Cease said of the encounter afterward. "I think I saw that on Twitter someone tweeted an Under Armour mannequin, and it's actually pretty accurate. That's what he looks like.

"He squared me up good on one of them today, and he looks like he's going to be a very talented player."

But even the best struggle when seeing major league pitching for the first time. Ask Mike Trout. While you're at it, ask Eloy Jiménez, who's so confident in Robert's talent that he called him "the next Mike Trout" back in January.

With Robert's rookie season squeezed down to 60 games in a two-month sprint to the postseason, there won't be time for Robert to make the same kinds of adjustments Jiménez had to make last season, when he started a much anticipated rookie season slowly, only to catch fire by September.

Even though he's never seen a big league pitch, Robert is not short on confidence, putting him in the same category as many of his fellow White Sox youngsters. Jiménez, Michael Kopech, Lucas Giolito, Tim Anderson, they've all made their fair share of comments that reflect the belief in their ability and the bright future coming to the South Side.

Add Robert to the list.

"If, for whatever reason, I don’t start the season as hot as I know I can, I will do my best to make the adjustments as fast as I can," Robert said Monday through team interpreter Billy Russo. "But of course that’s not my mindset right now.

"I’m pretty sure I’m going to be able to start the season pretty hot and display all my talent. I will have to adjust as much as I can if I have any trouble."

That's what White Sox fans want to hear.

RELATED: How Eloy Jiménez can help White Sox rookie Luis Robert during short MLB season

They're more jazzed for Robert's big league debut than they were for the arrival of any top prospect in recent memory, including Jiménez, Kopech and Yoán Moncada. The hype around Robert is massive after he thrilled fans in the minor leagues last season with a dazzling combination of tape-measure home runs, blazing speed and highlight-reel catches in center field. Evaluators are calling him potentially the best of the White Sox collection of young talent. His name has been mentioned frequently in the preseason Rookie of the Year discussion. White Sox fans are thinking Robert is a superstar in the making.

"I see or hear all of that stuff," Robert said. "I try to not pay attention to that. I know what I can do, and sometimes if you hear all that stuff, you’re going to have more pressure on you. And that might not be good for you because there is more. It’s good if people say that, but I just try to not pay too much attention to it.

"My expectations and goals are always the same. Give 100 percent, always, on the field, help the team as much as I can and hopefully go to the postseason. And if I’m lucky enough, maybe win the Rookie of the Year. Those are my goals, and if I stay healthy I feel confident I can do that."

Robert's arrival is part of why the White Sox postseason expectations are looking rather realistic, one of a number of additions that has this roster looking capable of competing right alongside the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians for the AL Central crown.

But obviously, the White Sox are prioritizing a decade's worth of dominance over one strong rookie season. Robert got a big-money contract during the offseason that keeps him in a White Sox uniform through the 2027 campaign, should the team decide to pick up both the options at the end of the deal.

It seems the calendar could work against Robert this year, not allowing him time to adjust and come out the other end of any potential struggles the way Jiménez did in 2019. But if he's good as everyone says he is, maybe the number of games won't matter.

If that's the case, then the only relief pitchers will have is that they were freed from 102 more games of his torment.


Sources: White Sox will open 2020 season against Twins at Guaranteed Rate Field

Sources: White Sox will open 2020 season against Twins at Guaranteed Rate Field

The White Sox will open their delayed 2020 season at home against the Minnesota Twins, multiple sources told NBC Sports Chicago Monday.

Opening Day will be July 24 at Guaranteed Rate Field.

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NBC Sports Chicago also reported Monday that the Cubs will open up at Wrigley Field against the Milwaukee Brewers on the same day.

Due to the shortened 60-game season, the White Sox will only play opponents from the American League and National League Central divisions.

The full 2020 MLB schedule will be released at 5 p.m. CT Monday.