As the 2017 Chicago White Sox season draws to a close, the team has provided many reasons to watch even though they have been well out of playoff contention since July.
With just 13 games left this season, there are many individual and team aspects that make the last few games very intriguing to watch.
First baseman Jose Abreu and outfielder Avasil Garcia are chasing individual records, one of which is highly historic and the other being a season award.
Abreu is just two runs batted in from becoming just the third player in MLB history to start his career with four straight seasons of 25 home runs and 100 RBIs. He would join hall of famer Joe DiMaggio and future hall of famer Albert Pujols in that group.
It would an outstanding accomplishment on Abreu’s part because he has been without a consistent lead-off hitter to get on base for him all season.
Abreu’s RBI totals since his 2014 rookie season are as followed: 107 in 2014, 101 in 2015, 100 in 2016, and 98 so far in 2017.
For outfielder Garcia, this season has been bittersweet, to say the least as he proven all critics and fans wrong in regards to his future with White Sox. Going into the offseason, the White Sox organization tried to trade him as they believed he was not going to live up to the potential they scouted a few years ago.
All doubters have been proven wrong as with just the 13 games left, Garcia is not only second in the American League in batting average hitting .333 but second in all of baseball currently.
Across the board, Garcia has improved on his batting numbers from last season.
In 2016, he batted .245 with an on-base percentage of .307 while hitting 12 home runs with driving in 71 runs. This year, his batting average is up .92 points, on-base percentage is up .74, has 5 more home runs, and 6 more RBIs.
Garcia was rewarded with his first half performance with being named to the American League All-Star team and has an outside chance of catching Jose Altuve for the American League batting title as they are only separated by .15 points going into tonight.
The White Sox can help Garcia’s chances as they face off against Altuve’s team the Houston Astros for three games starting Tuesday.
The biggest attention getter for the White Sox has been their accumulation of young prospects, some of those prospects have been receiving a lot of playing time down the stretch and performing well.
Second baseman Yoan Moncada hit extremely well in this past weekend series against the Detroit Tigers as he went 7 for 19 at the plate with two home runs, two walks, and four RBIs.
The young pitchers Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Carson Fulmer have combined to post eight quality starts in 10 outings.
In regards to the team, there is some what of a dubious achievement for the players that is actually seen highly valuable for the organization and the fan base in the long run.
The team currently holds the third worst record in the majors that has them slotted for the third overall pick in next year’s amateur draft. They are still in contention for the first overall pick as they are currently three and a half games behind the San Francisco Giants for the worst record.
Next year’s draft is being predicted to feature an extremely high level of talent similar to the 2011 draft that featured six future All-Stars in the first round. Clinching the worst overall record wouldn’t make White Sox fans mad but most fans would rejoice with excitement for next season.
With the team’s record currently at 60-89, on paper the White Sox season would be deemed a failure for many, but it hasn’t been bad at all.
The team kept fans interested throughout the season with constant trades of major league talent and promotions of minor league talent. In September, the individual success of Jose Abreu and Avasil Garcia have given fans a reason to watch games that are otherwise meaningless.
The White Sox will close the season on October 1st and from game 1 to game 162, the team has provided interest in a year that was projected to be anything but interesting.