Spring of 2011 marks yet another audition for White Sox 3rd basemen. 3rd has been a swinging door for the Sox. This year’s candidates are incumbent Mark Teahen and newcomer Brent Morel. Each have a solid case to make, but the decision may have been made prior to the conclusion of 2010
Mark Teahen came to the in a trade from the KC Royals to be the starting third baseman before the 2010 season and was given a 3 year contract extension a month later. As the season wore on it was clear to all that Teahen, was not the answer at 3rd. his games were often marred by poor throws below average range and bad decisions. As a hitter, Teahen can be an asset. Don’t let his 2010 numbers fool you, he is a career .270 hitter who can hit home runs. In 2010 he converted on 7.7% of his flyballs to Home Runs which is well below his career average of 10.2%. Also he has value as a dynamic bench player, being a “Super-Utility” player, as he was for the Royals.
The Bakersfield, CA native was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2008 draft by your White Sox. He has been raising his profile as he has moved up the ranks of the White Sox organization as a prospect. Upon being drafted Morel was known for his glove but has been changing opinions since being drafted. In 2009 Morel won the Ari. Fall League’s batting title. In 2010 Morel hit .322 between AA and AAA earning a September call-up in which he gave Sox fans a glimpse into the Future. Morel was spectacular with his glove. As a hitter following his September call-up he didn’t look lost at the plate, as many 1st time call-ups do. His K% of 26.2 was well above anything he experienced in the minors.
What I see happening
Teahen as the incumbent has the upper hand in this battle, also the 3yr/14M extension signed 1 month after the trade that brought him to the South Side doesn’t hurt either. Ozzie was quoted as saying that handing the job over to Morel would be a slap to the face of Teahen, which I agree with. But, the fact that Ozzie played Morel at third over Teahen for the last month of the season shows who he favors. Morel will eventually win the spot and will be better for it. The battle will be hard fought but will solidify an already talented and confident Morel