We’re sitting here in the early days of May with a White Sox team that is currently crushing our preseason expectations. The Sox are 15-13, good enough for second place in the AL Central. They’ve even found themselves sitting in FIRST PLACE on two different occasions during the first month of the season. It’s a wonderful world where the White Sox are actually interesting.
But are they good?
I want to be completely honest up front, I’m not a very big advanced stats guy. That’s not to say that I don’t think they’re important or valuable, I’m just not smart enough to compute or understand a lot of them. I’m not a stats geek. Most of my analysis here will come from simple stats, what I read, and what I see while actually watching the Sox play baseball.
I’m not sure if there is some advanced stat out there that says the Sox are playing better or worse right now than in Aprils past or whatever. I guess you could look at the record, but that doesn’t have much context. But right now you can just watch the games and see how much better the White Sox look as a unit. They look like they enjoy baseball again.
You have a group that heard all offseason how this season was going to be a losing one, how they were gonna tank, and how this was gonna be the start of a rebuild. Athletes by nature are very competitive people, and when you say they can’t do something they usually love to go out and try to do it. That’s what I attribute most to the Sox hot start to 2017.
Avi Garcia has turned his career around and looks like an All Star, nearly winning AL Player of the Month in April. All of this after fans wanted him gone this winter. Matt Davidson is mashing the ball. Jose Abreu is starting to heat up at the plate. Quintana is starting to get in a groove on the mound. Oh, and the prospects continue to shine down in the minors, especially Yoan Moncada. There have been a ton of positive flashes in the first month of the season, something I told fans to watch for through this rebuild. Flashes.
Now, will the success last? Most likely no. The Sox will probably fade back to earth as the summer grind wears on, eventually making more trades to collect more prospects.
All a part of The Plan. The Plan that Rick Hahn said on 670 The Score this week he would not alter because of a little early season success. The White Sox are in this spot to rebuild into a franchise that has sustainable longterm success. That plan won’t be thrown to the wind just because of one nice April.
But that doesn’t mean this month wasn’t a ton of fun to watch. The Sox are interesting again. The Sox are playing hard again. They’re playing with passion, and it’s great to see. A lot of that is a credit to Rick Renteria, who has gotten these guys to believe in themselves first. A key stepping stone for this entire process.
So are the Sox actually good? Probably not.
But are they interesting? You bet they are.