White Sox

Todd Frazier already feeling right at home with White Sox

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Todd Frazier already feeling right at home with White Sox

GLENDALE, Arizona -- Todd Frazier has yet to play a regular season game for the White Sox, but the team’s new third baseman already feels like he’s home.

I mean, really home.

If it was up to him, Frazier says he’d play for the White Sox for the rest of his career.

“Just talking to the guys, talking to Rick (Hahn), Robin (Ventura), the atmosphere. It’s just a different vibe,” Frazier said. “I can just tell it’s going to be a good fit for me.”

So if Rick Hahn came to you and offered a lifetime contract, you’d sign it?

“Sure. Most definitely.”

Frazier might have grown up in New Jersey, but he relates to the backseat sentiment of many White Sox fans who live in the shadow of the more popular Cubs.

In fact, he thrives on it.

“I went to a high school where we were the low high school,” Frazier explained. “There are three Toms River High Schools and we were always the one they put aside, and we’d come out and bring out the broomsticks and take care of business. I like that a lot.”

After facing the White Sox twice during spring training, San Francisco Giants (and former White Sox) pitcher Jake Peavy delivered a message to Chicago after Sunday’s game, saying, “Don’t sleep on that South Side team.”

Frazier agrees.

“We want to be those guys that nobody talks about. and the next thing you know - boom, here we come. I think we have that team,” Frazier said. “We have to prove ourselves, of course. The Chicago Cubs the last couple years I’ve been playing against them every two to three weeks. I know them really well. They’ve been playing great. They have a good caliber of guys coming up. Good for them, but don’t sleep on us, and we take that seriously. We’re going to work our tails off and we’re gonna wake some people up and hopefully when that rivalry (with the Cubs) comes around, it’s meaningful this year.”

[MORE: Jimmy Rollins named White Sox Opening Day starter]

As you can probably tell, Frazier is a straight-talking quote machine.

He’s also got the bat and glove to back it up.

His 35 home runs last year with the Reds would have led the White Sox. It was 11 more than all White Sox third basemen hit the last two seasons combined.

No wonder Hahn traded away three of their top prospects to get him.

But as you’ll find with Frazier, he’s not just thinking about himself when he takes the field. And he’s not just thinking about his teammates.

Be on the lookout when you come to a game, because he might be thinking and playing for you.

“Why not go out there everyday and say to a kid in the stands, maybe that’s his first time watching a game. Why not perform for him? Give him something to remember,” he said.

[MORE: Cooper says White Sox need more from Mat Latos]

Reds fans will always remember Frazier’s walk-up songs in Cincinnati. Growing up an hour south of Frank Sinatra’s hometown of Hoboken, New Jersey, Frazier picked Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon” and “Come Fly with Me” to be belted over the loudspeakers whenever he came to the plate.

He still hasn’t finalized which song or songs he’ll use at U.S. Cellular Field.

“I was going back and forth," he said. "I’ll start listening to music and I’ll figure it out. It’s coming along.”

You mean you’re not going to use “My Kind of Town (Chicago is)?” It seems like a perfect fit.

“I’m not sure. I’m up in the air right now.”

It would probably be a big hit.

“I think it would, too. It’s up there on the list.”

Will it be something Sinatra?

“Most likely.”

Come to think of it, “Summer Wind” wouldn’t be bad when the weather heats up.

If Frazier is on a hot streak, he can deliver a message to the opposition with “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.”

But come to think of it, if there’s one Frank Sinatra song that White Sox fans have been waiting for and can really get behind, it’s this:

“The Best is Yet to Come.”

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.