White Sox

Todd Frazier: White Sox have 'key cogs' in place


Todd Frazier: White Sox have 'key cogs' in place

GLENDALE, Ariz. — At the time he was acquired by the White Sox, Todd Frazier had a convergence of significant life moments.

The New Jersey house he lived in was for sale, his wife was pregnant with their second child and the family was about to move into a newly purchased home. And then, of course, there was the little matter of the Dec. 16 three-team trade that brought Frazier to the White Sox from the Cincinnati Reds.

As Frazier described it Sunday morning, he had a “lot of crap going on, a lot of great stuff.”  

Two days later, his daughter was born.

So it wasn’t until a week later that the two-time All-Star third basemen could even begin to research his new team. And with each investigation, Frazier, who has been in White Sox camp for several days, has increasingly grown confident in his new club.

[SHOP: Gear up for the season, White Sox fans!]

“We’ve got the key cogs,” Frazier said. “I did a little homework. I looked online a little bit and saw the capabilities we have with this team. The pitching staff is great, through the bullpen and starters. And I’ve said this all the time, if we’re healthy, if the team is healthy and we’ve got guys who produce and do their jobs, we’ll be fine.”

If Frazier can match what he has done the last four full seasons with the Reds, the White Sox should be much better all around than they were in 2015.

Not only should Frazier provide the offense with a middle-of-order bat — he has averaged 25 1/2 home runs the past four seasons — but the glove is very good, too.

From 2012-15, Frazier produced 5 1/4 Defensive Runs Saved per season and had an average Ultimate Zone Rating of 6.4, according to fangraphs.com.

Last season, White Sox third baseman were 30th among 30 teams in OPS (.611) and 29th in Wins Above Replacement with minus-1.3.

[MORE: Hahn confident offense has improved but won't rule out additions]

“It’s important to have a guy who can play it on both sides of the ball,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “He’s got a track record. That’s the biggest thing, is you’re looking at a guy that when you start looking at what he’s done in the past couple of years, you’re confident he’s going to be able to come over here and do that.”

Frazier is a pretty gregarious guy — “I talk a lot,” he said. But as he tries to get his bearings in a new clubhouse, Frazier intends to operate in a little more of a low-key fashion.

“I’m not going to be as boisterous,” Frazier said. “I’m not going to be crazy. I have to find my little niche.”

Frazier said he doesn’t mind any pressure expectations may bring.

Last week, Fangraphs declared the team’s trade for the 2014 Home Run Derby champion to be the second-best move of the offseason. Even though he’s switching leagues — “I’ve got a lot more homework to do,” he said — ZiPS projects Frazier to produce 3.7 WAR while Steamer has him at 3.4.

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That kind of production would not only provide protection for Jose Abreu, it could help the White Sox turn around an offense that was mired in a slump for much of 2015. If they can get those issues taken care of, the White Sox may just end their streak of losing seasons at three.

“This is a team that is striving to be winners, to make the playoffs,” Frazier said. “That’s basically the first goal there has to be. You’ve got to get to the playoffs. You start off slow. You always have team goals, you always consider them really high, but once we get to the playoffs, then we can do some damage. So let’s start with the division, and then we can go from there.”

After everything that transpired this offseason, this baseball stuff has to be much easier for Frazier. With everything else occurring all at once, he needed a little time to process his livelihood and how it would be affected by the first trade of his career. But now that he’s arrived, Frazier likes what he sees.

“I had so much going on,” Frazier said. “It took me basically, like, a week to calm down and breathe a little bit. I kind of looked online and saw a lineup of the guys we had. I got pretty excited.”

Sox Drawer Q&A: Joe Girardi, Enoy Jimenez and Chris Sale's 'infected' belly button


Sox Drawer Q&A: Joe Girardi, Enoy Jimenez and Chris Sale's 'infected' belly button

We made it above 60 degrees in Chicago today: A cause for celebration and another edition of the Sox Drawer. Questions from White Sox fans range from Joe Girardi to Enoy Jimenez (yes, Enoy) to Chris Sale’s “infected” belly button. Here we go.

Q: Jon Heyman tweeted out earlier that Joe Girardi pulled out of the Reds managerial search because he wants to wait a year for the Chicago job. Do you think he’s talking about the Sox? — @piratedwight

CG: I don’t know if the report is true or not, but what I do know is that Girardi grew up a Cubs fan and he later played for the Cubs. Put those two together and I’d assume he would love to manage them in the future. Something to consider: The main reason Yankees general manager Brian Cashman gave for firing Girardi in 2017 was that he felt he had trouble communicating and connecting with the young players. For a young, rebuilding team like the White Sox, that might be a red flag. Granted, that’s the Yankees' side of the story. Personally, I don’t think he’s interested in managing the White Sox.

Q: Who do you want the Sox to draft with the 3rd pick? Do some research. — @Frankie_OConnor

CG: If you look at most mock drafts right now, you’ll see high school shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. going first, followed by Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman (Nick Madrigal’s teammate) and Baylor catcher Shea Langeliers. Rutschman’s stock went way up because of his play in the College World Series, where he was named the Most Outstanding Player. Langeliers won a Gold Glove in 2018, named the best defensive catcher in Division I. He nailed 70 percent of would-be base stealers. Umm, I’ll take that.

The White Sox took Zack Collins with the 10th overall pick in 2016. White Sox scouting director Nick Hostelter always says “take the best player available.” Would they draft another catcher with their top pick again? Possibly.

You know what, why don’t we hear from Hostetler himself? I asked him to describe the talent level at the top of next year’s draft.

“Overall the ‘19 draft has a little bit of everything up top,” Hostetler said. “There are some interesting high school bats and arms, as well as some college bats and a few college arms that are intriguing. I’m not sure there’s a clear top five at this point, but as we’ve seen in past years, the guys sitting at the top of all the lists and mock drafts today usually change come the first Monday in June.”

In other words, let’s talk again in June. The best part about this? The White Sox will be in position to grab a very talented player for their future.

Q: After the most recent international signing of Eloy Jimenez’s brother, Enoy, do you think he could get close to the level of Eloy? Eloy wasn’t a known prospect until a few years ago, keep in mind. — @Dehhmac_

CG: In case you missed it, the White Sox signed Eloy’s 17-year-old brother to a baseball contract Sunday. Eloy posted a photo of him and his smiling brother wearing a White Sox hat and jersey.

By the way, if you do a Google search for “Enoy Jimenez,” Google will ask: “Did you mean Eloy Jimenez?” Even Google can’t believe it.

We don’t know too much about little Enoy. I say little because he’s tiny compared to his big brother. See the video we found on YouTube which was posted a couple of weeks ago. Enoy is wearing a White Sox retro tank top and a Charlotte Knights hat. If anything, he’ll fit right in at SoxFest. Seriously, he has some great baseball DNA, so he’s got that going for him. He’s an infielder. That’s about all we know. As MLB Trade Rumors put it, “scouting information on the younger Jimenez brother is virtually non-existent.”

Q: We know that Rick Hahn plays things close to the vest. In your opinion, do the White Sox view Matt Davidson as a viable two-way option? Personally, I'd like to see how he does in close games. — @emm528

CG: I know Davidson is quite serious about it. I’m not sure about the White Sox side of things. When I asked Don Cooper during the season about the possibility of Davidson having a more permanent role in the bullpen, he seemed skeptical about the idea. That said, if Davidson comes to spring training and impresses the coaching staff, they might be open to it. Davidson told me in September that he needs to train his body during the offseason so he could handle the workload as a pitcher. He just basically winged it in emergency duty last season. At one point after one of his appearances, he needed around two weeks for his body to get back to normal. It’ll be interesting to see if he can pull it off.

Q: You got to be by the dugout for most home games this year. What’s something that goes on in the dugout during a game that fans at home wouldn’t know? — @PeteCha56613119

CG: Davidson likes to throw gum at me.

Q: Chris Sale. Discuss. — @sccerlaw​​​​​​​

CG: If you’re asking about Sale getting an infection from a belly-button ring, he was joking. Sale likes to have fun with the media. Remember in 2014, when he tried to work in a specific word during his postgame media scrums? He said things like juxtapose, acquiesce, capitulated, ruminate, amalgamation. Waiting to hear what his next Harvard vocabulary word was one of the highlights of a rough fourth-place season. Sale did miss his start in Game 5 of the ALCS because of an unspecified stomach illness. Keep in mind, he’s probably taking medication for an inflamed shoulder. But he says he’s 100-percent ready now for Game 1 of the World Series.

Q: If the White Sox win the World Series next year will you get a belly button ring? — @vlamas05​​​​​​​

CG: Sure.

Q: Why don't the White Sox have a museum in the park? About 1/3 of the league does and most of those teams have half the history the Sox do. — @Gnome89​​​​​​​

CG: Good question. For this one, I went right to the source and asked Brooks Boyer, White Sox senior vice president of sales and marketing.

“We used to have a small museum that fans could walk through which was attached to our team store," Boyer said. "Years ago, we converted that space as demand for a wider selection of retail products grew. We do have a museum-like historical display in the Magellan Scout Seats and have put many of the significant moments in our history on the columns leading to the sections on the 100 level. This past season we had a Negro League Museum traveling display in the Chicago Sports Depot.

"We continue to look for ways to display our history, and the Depot may very well be the best place, but, at this point, there are no plans for a permanent museum location.”

Q: Who do you see the White Sox going after in free agency this year? — @Grank2410​​​​​​​

CG: I wrote about my top five free agents last week. I don’t know for sure who the White Sox will sign, but I’d like to see them add a veteran hitter or two who have playoff experience, who know what it takes to win and can impart that on the young hitters.

Q: When will the Sox change their uniforms? — @ckottlarock​​​​​​​

CG: Personally, I’d wear the 1983 throwbacks for every game, home and away. But that’s just me.

Q: Can we please not get Machado? Can we get Nolan Arenado instead? — @drobaseball555​​​​​​​

CG: Rick Hahn, if you’re reading this, @drobaseball555 wants Arenado. Got it?

Thanks everyone for all of your questions. We’ll do it again next week.

White Sox sign Enoy Jimenez, the 17-year-old brother of Eloy Jimenez

White Sox sign Enoy Jimenez, the 17-year-old brother of Eloy Jimenez

One Jimenez just isn't enough for the White Sox.

The White Sox signed the younger brother of top prospect Eloy Jimenez this weekend. Enoy Jimenez is a 17-year-old infielder, and the 21-year-old outfielder ranked as the No. 3 prospect in baseball was on hand for his brother's big moment.

Eloy figures to hit the big leagues early next season, though it will likely be a while longer before his teenage brother could do the same. Still, they're likely hoping for the chance to play together one day.

According to this pretty exhaustive list from MLB.com, four sets of brothers have played together on the White Sox: Homer and Ted Blankenship in the 1920s, Dick and Hank Allen in the 1970s, Roberto and Sandy Alomar in 2003 and 2004 and John and Jordan Danks in 2012.

Should we be getting ready for the fifth pair?

Update: Our Chuck Garfien found this video of Enoy taking some cuts with his big brother — all decked out in White Sox gear, too.