White Sox

Reynaldo Lopez, Yonder Alonso and Jon Jay among the biggest disappointments of the 2019 White Sox

Reynaldo Lopez, Yonder Alonso and Jon Jay among the biggest disappointments of the 2019 White Sox

With the playoffs underway - and the White Sox not in them - we decided to look back on the 2019 season and take a glance into the future. The ‘team of the future’ just might have a lot to offer… and it might already be here.

We sat down with our Chuck Garfien, Vinnie Duber, Leila Rahimi, Ozzie Guillen and Scott Merkin, White Sox writer for MLB.com, to get their take on the South Siders. 

Previously: Best storylines of 2019breaking down what we learned in the 2019 season and needs for the 2020 season.

We're breaking down the biggest White Sox disappointments from the 2019 season.

"Wow, so many," says Guillen. "So, so, so many."

The cards were mixed when asked about the biggest disappointment. Take your pick between Reynaldo Lopez, Yonder Alonso and Jon Jay. Jay was injured most of the season, so the basis of his disappointing season wasn't on lack of production, but lack of playing time as he only played in 47 games.

Meanwhile, Reynaldo Lopez and Yonder Alonso played a full season, though, Alonso ended up with the Colorado Rockies mid-season.

Lopez started 33 games and finished the season with a less-than-impressive and career-high 5.38 ERA. His 110 earned runs led the majors. (In fact, two White Sox pictures made the top five in most earned runs - Lopez with 110 and Ivan Nova with 98).

[MORE: Rick Renteria voices frustration with Reynaldo Lopez during start in Detroit]

"We hope and we thought this kid was going to be way, way, way, way better," says Guillen. "He needs to be better next year."

Yonder Alonso played his final White Sox game on June 26 and in his 67 games with the club his batting average was .178 with a .576 OPS... not great. The White Sox didn't miss out on a second-half surge from Alonso either as he only hit .260 with Colorado in 54 games.

"[Jon Jay] could have been a real, real bright spot in this lineup," says Leila Rahimi. "We never really got to see that whole 2019 White Sox lineup together like it was originally planned."

Before his injury, Jay was hitting .267 so it's hard to say that the White Sox lost a key piece of their lineup. Ryan Cordell was called up from Triple-A Charlotte to take his place and Jay's contract was only a one-year deal, so it's unknown if the White Sox plan to bring him back or not.

If the White Sox want to be real contenders in 2020, Lopez is the key guy that will need to improve. Having another consistently strong arm on the rotation next to Lucas Giolito, Michael Kopech and Dylan Cease will be very important.

Watch Luis Robert rope a triple for his first hit of spring training

Watch Luis Robert rope a triple for his first hit of spring training

Of all the excitement surrounding the White Sox entering 2020, Luis Robert might have the most juice right now.

After dominating three levels of the minors last season and fresh off signing a lucrative contract extension before even playing in a big league game, Robert has plenty of buzz around him. On Tuesday, he showed off a little bit of why in Cactus League action.

Robert roped a ball into the right-center field gap and raced to third for a triple.


Robert is known for his power and speed combination, which led to a 30-30 season in the minors last year. This is a good example of it. 

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Any Yoan Moncada extension would be in line with White Sox strategy

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AP

Any Yoan Moncada extension would be in line with White Sox strategy

Is a Yoan Moncada extension in the works?

Moncada's not aware of anything, or so he told reporters Tuesday in Arizona.

"Honestly, I don’t pay too much attention to that," he said through team interpreter Billy Russo. "My focus is just in the game and preparing myself to be in the best position that I can be for the season. Just work hard. That’s my goal right now. That’s where my focus is right now.

"If my agent calls me and tells me there is something ... then we’ll consider it. For now, I’m just focusing on my game and my preparation."

Whether winds blowing throughout the Twittersphere are onto something or not, indeed it is extension season. The White Sox just announced a long-term commitment to reliever Aaron Bummer over the weekend. It was in the run-up to Opening Day last spring that Eloy Jimenez signed his big-money deal that assured he broke camp with the big league club and could keep him on the South Side for as long as seven more seasons.

The big-money deal for Luis Robert — the second for a player yet to play a major league game in as many years — came well before the first full-squad workout at Camelback Ranch. But it shows the continued commitment by the White Sox to keep this core together as long as possible.

Seeing that kind of commitment to Moncada, who emerged as the team's best all-around hitter last season, after struggling through his first full year in the majors in 2018, would not be surprising.

"This tends to be the most productive time of year in terms of getting extensions done," general manager Rick Hahn said the day pitchers and catchers reported to Glendale. "Doesn’t mean anything is going to happen. But especially early in camp when things are a little quieter, it’s a little easier to have those conversations and certainly not distract the player from their in-season games or their late-camp preparation.

"In terms of whether any of those will materialize, we’ll see."

One already has, with Bummer. Could Moncada be next?

Though purely speculation, the White Sox third baseman would perhaps be less inclined than others to jump at big dollars now. After all, he received a record $31 million signing bonus when he signed with the Boston Red Sox as an international free agent. Since coming over to the White Sox in the Chris Sale trade, he's shown why the other color of Sox invested that much in him in the first place. While dancing around some injury issues in 2019, he slashed .315/.367/.548 with 25 home runs and 79 RBIs. He was considered an All-Star snub by many in the home clubhouse at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Whether Moncada and his representation want to cash in now or hold off for a bigger payday in free agency — scheduled to arrive after the 2023 season — is up to them.

The White Sox have shown their dedication to extending a contention window by keeping these youngsters on the South Side for a good, long while. Certainly they would be happy to employ Moncada for as long as possible, particularly if his 2019 breakout was merely a sign of things to come.

Take a look at how long the White Sox have their core under club control:

— Through the 2021 season: Nomar Mazara, Carlos Rodon

— Through the 2022 season: Jose Abreu

— Through the 2023 season: Yoan Moncada, Yasmani Grandal, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez

— Through the 2024 season: Tim Anderson, Michael Kopech

— Through the 2025 season: Dylan Cease

— Through the 2026 season: Eloy Jimenez, Aaron Bummer

— Through the 2027 season: Luis Robert

That's a lot of club control, and moving Moncada down on that list a few spots would only make the long-term future look all the better.

"I feel comfortable on this team," he said. "I have been feeling comfortable on this team since the moment I came here. I actually see myself on this team for a very long time."

We'll see, to borrow a Hahn term, if anything materializes before Opening Day. But if something does, that would be right in line with the front office's strategy as they look to open that contention window.

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