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We at Razzball realize that exporting our views across the country has damaging consequences on the blogosphere. To help make amends, we are reaching out to leading team blogs and featuring their locally blogged answers to pressing 2014 fantasy baseball questions regarding their team. We feel this approach will be fresher, more sustainable, and require less energy consumption (for us anyway). The 2014 White Sox Fantasy Baseball Preview comes courtesy of Bill Mahoney from Can I Get A Few Minutes?.

1) One of the biggest stories in the White Sox offseason was the signing of Jose Abreu. Grey is giving him a projection of 78/26/88/.268/2. Without any MLB at-bats to refer to, do you think he can match that projection?

Yes, it was a huge deal when the Sox outbid everyone for Abreu, but who are they getting? I don’t know. I’d like to think they got a cross between Cespedes and Viciedo–well a little more Cespedes, but who really knows. Abreu looked solid in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, but it was against guys just getting their arms straightened out and guys who will get as close to the bigs as I will.

His big chance against a career minor leaguer (Loek van Mil) in a big spot only produced a fly out. Not a big fly, a fly out. It may seem like I am down on Abreu, but lets just say I am holding my breath. Viciedo was supposed to be the guy to lead the Sox, and he did–in unfulfilled expectations. So excuse me if I don’t jump on the Abreu band-wagon just yet. I see more of a 80/17/65/.265. line. He is going to be given every chance to succeed, but with learning a new league, culture and expectations, not to mention the rest of the teams that’ll expose any weakness he may have, I will keep expectation in check. My fingers will remain crossed though.

2) Will Adam Eaton rebound in Chicago and be what we were thinking he would be in Arizona, which is a player capable of leading off and stealing bases at a nice clip? How many steals would you predict for him in 2014?

On the other side the coin, I think Adam Eaton is the real real. I do think there will be a few growing pains, but I think in the long run he will be everything and more. The man breathes fire on and off the field, and the baseball hungry Sox fans will eat him up. In his 88 game big league trial Eaton has just two more stolen bases than home runs. That is gonna change. Watching him with the D’Backs I saw a kid with the ability to be great. He has what I like to call an, “IT” factor. He has the chance to be the leader of this team for the next 10 years. About his stolen bases I would say pencil him him for 30. A low number yes, but remember he’s gotta a lot of learning to do.

3) Avisail Garcia is one of my personal favorites and Razzball has identified him as a sleeper for 2014. What are your thoughts on Garcia?

Ah, getting Garcia in the Peavy deal was a stroke of genius. Garcia is gonna explode like Eaton will in the future, Abreu might and Viciedo never will. I remember seeing this guy a couple years back beat out a ball hit to the shortstops back hand and thinking, “those Tigers have another stud on their hands.”

Now that hand belongs to the Sox. This guy is a baby at 22 years old, but is a monster at 6’4, 240 pounds. Wait till be matures! I may be reaching, but I see him as a bigger Magglio Ordonez. I wouldn’t sleep on this guy. To me he’ll be a perennial all-star. He may even be one this year. By October his line will look like this: 145/28/88/.285. The Tigers are gonna regret letting him get away.

4) Who do you think ends up winning the Matt Davidson / Addison Reed trade and why?

So trading away a live arm like Reed is never advisable, I think the Sox soured on him during last season’s up and down year. Especially at the end of the season when he allowed 7 runs in his last 7 innings. 69 saves in two years is nothing to sneeze at, but I will give the Sox credit, they know when to trade closers (Santos anyone).

Now to Davidson, who I saw mash balls in Reno last year. My thought is, “What do the Sox have to lose?” Do you want to see Keppinger, Semien, Gillaspie man the hot corner for the immediate future–me neither. Although I do like Gillaspie for his versatility and limited pop. Davidson was a consistent 20 home run guy in the minors, and I don’t see any reason why he can’t be that guy and more in the Majors. He did have 3 home runs in 76 ABS in Arizona last year. My problem is his fielding, where he admitted he isn’t the strongest. If he is hitting one out, then letting one back in that won’t work. However, I like him to start the season at 3rd for the Sox, mainly because of the alternatives I mentioned previously. Look for .245 BA with 19 home runs and roughly 70 RBI.

5) Which scenario is most likely for the White Sox in 2014?

A) Hawk Harrelson kills it with another #TWIW-esque internet meme.

B) Jose Abreu launches 35 homers

C) Paul Konerko takes his new player/coach role too seriously and starts bringing a clipboard into the batter’s box and making himself do windsprints for chasing curveballs

This year could be a struggle for the Sox. I don’t see them losing 99 games, but I don’t see them winning 99, or 90, or 85 or 80-well maybe 80. I think 77 is better number. With that in mind expect some Hawk Harrelson blow ups—-make that epic explosions. Hawk is old school, and at 72 years young not one to hide his opinion either. There will be a time with the Sox struggling that Hawk will have had enough and…..KA-BOOM!! Umpires, commissioner, ball boys be damned. He will go off on a rant that will bring smiles to the faces of the Sox faithful and make the rest of the baseball world cringe. What do you expect from a guy that eats, breathes, sleeps Sox baseball. I, for one, can’t wait.

Now to that Konerko manager thingee. As far as I know Robin Ventura isn’t signed past this year, and either is the Captain. It’s reasonable to think that at the end of the year Ventura steps away, and Konerko steps in? Need precedence? The Sox hired Ventura without a lick of coaching experience. Konerko would be taking over a team devoid of leadership, and age (especially with Dunn jettisoned some time in 2014). Plus, he already knows the teams strengths and weaknesses. Add that to the respect he already has within the organization and I see a perfect marriage.

  1. gatorgreenwell says:
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    I have scoured the internets and haven’t seen anything about the possibility of Konerko (and maybe Dunn) cutting into Abreu’s at bats. Isn’t this bound to happen and shouldn’t we lower our expectations of Abreu accordingly?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      It’s certainly possible. I’m seeing between 540-560 PAs on most sites. I’d imagine most places account playing time concerns like that one into their projections. Abreu can DH as well.

  2. tj says:
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    Fill me in on when garcia has ever shown that kind of power. He had like 3 xtra base hits last year. Not to mention his plate discipline is not great. Hes a beast physically but to project him like that is very generous to put it kindly…

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I think Bill was having some fun there, but Garcia is a stud. Flirting with 20 homers as soon as this year isn’t crazy and he is still just a pup.

  3. ryan says:
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    Can I get your opinion on a trade? In my 20 team dynasty league I have 2 trades on the table. Which trade do I take or do i stay put?

    I trade fielder phillips victorino for ellsbury domonic brown and rasmus? Good or bad move? I could use the speed and I like the fact of dealing my aging bats in phillips and victorino.

    or I trade upton darvish kris bryant frazier profar for mccutchen hanley…What do you think?

    c evan gattis
    1b miguel cabrera
    2b brandon phillips
    3b evan longoria
    ss jurickson profar
    lf justin upton
    cf shane victorino
    rf michael cuddyer
    util prince fielder
    bn neil walker
    bn carl crawford/kris bryant/joc pederson/clint frazier

    sp clayton kershaw
    sp yu darvish
    sp cliff lee
    rp jose veras
    rp sean doolittle
    rp dan delarosa
    p zack wheeler
    p dan straily
    p tanner roark
    bn garrett richards
    Bn brian Wilson

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I don’t like either one for you Ryan. I’d hold.

      • ryan says:
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        @Mike: Any particular reason why? I am guessing ellsbury is too much of an injury risk and losing darvish might do more harm than good? Any what kind of moves should i focus on?

        • Mike

          Mike says:
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          Yeah, there is some risk involved in Ellsbury and you’re giving up a lot in Fielder. I think you can get by with Upton, Victorino, and Cuddyer without having to sacrifice Phillips and Victorino, who still have some gas left in the tank, especially Phillips.

          The other trade is just too rich for me. You’d be giving up a lot of right-now talent and future talent all in one shot, even though you’d be getting two elite players in return.

          I see what you are trying to do with speed. What about Ben Revere? I like him in dynasty formats…he is still just 25 and could deliver 40+ steals and a solid average. He also won’t cost you nearly as much as Ellsbury or Hamilton. :)

          • ryan says:
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            @Mike: I actually was thinking of trading for leonys martin. Would an offer of cuddyer for him be a good move if i can get that done?

            • ryan says:
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              @ryan: or maybe what if i just dealt philliips for brown?

              • Mike

                Mike says:
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                I like Phillips for Brown more. You can slot Walker at 2B then.

                • ryan says:
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                  @Mike: Thanks for the help dude@ Out of curiosity, what are your projections for ellsbury and fielder?

                    • Aubrey Plaza's Pillow says:
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                      @Mike: Rudy has also shown that Steamer has been the best ones last 2 years.

  4. Malon says:
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    The Sox extended Ventura to a multiyear deal this January. Oddly enough, they didn’t release the terms. As a Sox fan I’d love to see Paulie as a bench coach though.

  5. Zaclo24 says:
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    Do you see Micah Johnson making an impact this year? Or even Marcus Semien? Would they be good for dynasty league stashes or just players to keep an eye on?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Semien is the better play. He’s a few Beckham mis-steps away from playing 2B , and he should already come into the season with 3B elig.

      Johnson is more of a speed guy, but he’s got a ton of it. Swiped 84 bags across three levels in the minors last year. He’d be a “watch” for me while Semien I’d look to acquire.

      Great question.

  6. Anthony says:
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    Just on potential with position not in mind, would you rather have Matt Carpenter and Mike Moustakas or Prado and Evereth Cabrera?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Moose and Carp

  7. PBMax says:
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    Did the DBacks want a closer more than a true grit guy? Eaton appeared to be the poster child for Gibson’s Sparky Anklebiter team.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Haha

      I guess, they make some weird moves…

  8. Ghost of the Disappeared says:
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    It ate my post bummer

    123) all the same answer All impacted by log jam of players at their positions

    Like Garcia the best. He is ranked 40 picks too high by Grey

    Abreu may be great – but then again he might stink – High Risk for number of ABs and Performance for Gray’s ranking. Grey is out to lunch on this one. CUBA to MLB jump in pitching and cultural factors scare me off. He is a plus 120 pick for me.

    Eaton will get 20 – Grey has him about 20 too high IMO

    4) Reed is the winner for this year. – long term maybe different. Reed’s value hurt by this deal though – as he has real competition for his role if things go even a little sideways for him

    5) The Hawk… What a Homer turd. Perhaps, the worst announcer in the history of MLB. Bet, he has to wear RB “Don’t-Miss-A-Pitch” Fantasy Sports Diapers.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I don’t think I’ll be owning Abreu in many leagues this year. He’s gonna be too expensive.

      • @Mike:

        Mike In a keeper league, Abreu, Garcia and even Eaton would be great pickups to go forward with.

        I was for years the man picking up Cubans – I believe in them… I may have reserve rostered K Morales before anyone in the country back in 2002.

        Had Cepedes as early as 2008 and many others – most who have not chosen to leave Cuba.

        People would pshaw my efforts and ideas with them back then – They ain’t now. There is nothing like success to get folks attention. Did the same with the Japanese too had YU for years before he came.

        Still, there must be a limit for expectations for new Cuban arrivals… These young men have a giant cultural leap to make – besides playing the game in a league that functions at a much higher level of play

        A generalization here – think, the leap to a MLB ready player may be even harder for the Cuban pitchers – as they have to unlearned bad habits. The hitters just have to deal with failure and adjust on the job. While, pitchers are yanked and sent to the showers as soon as the have set the stadium on fire. Funny thing, the opposite seems to be true of Japanese hitters and pitchers. Strange world we live in.

        Biesbol in Cuba is a mix of talents. Evidenced by the number of players hitting over 300. every year and the number of 400. there hitters over the years. Same same with some of the stellar pitching numbers.

        I have no doubts Abreu will succeed eventually – It’s just this year, I’m worried about in ESPN play.

  9. stonepie says:
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    abreu being ranked 140 on yahoo helps. as long as i get him past pick 100 ill take the gamble
    im a fan of eaton as well. the guys at the end of the draft with speed and a bit of pop are all pretty meh except him with alot of potential to exceed his adp

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Good stuff. Worth the gamble at that point.

  10. Jimmy Crack Corn says:
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    I’m a longtime reader and this article is not the site’s finest moment. I don’t mean to bash a guest contributor, but this strikes me as a lot of Hawk Harrelson-inspired gut feeling and not much in the way of helpful analysis by Mr. Mahoney. Abreu a “cross between Cespedes and Viciedo”? He’s one of the greatest hitters in Serie Nacional history and has an offensive profile built on patience – not something either of those players have exhibited at all. That comp seems bizarre to me. And to the culture question, all reports on Abreu from Spring Training so far are of a guy with an impeccable work ethic who does nothing but show up early, spend absurd amounts of time in the cages, leave late, and go straight home to his condo. The Sox have several Cuban players on their MLB roster and a (relatively) storied history of helping Cuban players transition well to the Majors. I think that issue is significantly overblown. I realize he’s an unknown and there’s risk in that and all, but his swing his perfect for that ballpark and that projection looks a little ridiculous given his career performance and scouting reports. Also 69 saves in two seasons absolutely is something to sneeze at. Whoever they toss into the closer’s role this year, be it Jones, Webb, Belisario, or the Ghost of Bobby Thigpen will put up 30+ saves, that’s just the nature of the closer role.

    • Jay

      Jay says:
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      @Jimmy Crack Corn: When you leave out the “I’d like to think they got a…” part, the context completely changes.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      “The Sox have several Cuban players on their MLB roster and a (relatively) storied history of helping Cuban players transition well to the Majors.”

      -good point

    • @Jimmy Crack Corn:

      Jimmy: Are you are Peter B., our great unabashed socialist ambassador (unofficial) to Cuban Biesbol, fan?

      Viciedo was a raft of spun hype when he arrived. He has exceeded my expectations (and Peter B’s). He is what he is. Yes, he and Abreu are different players and talents. Yes, Abreu is a proven talent in Cuba and on the world stage of International – comparisons to Viciedo are not fair. AND I LOATH THE HAWK. Still in doing so, it does not make this RB Show wear the label of “”not the site’s finest moment”” A tempest in a tea pot analysis, that Jimmy boy

      Also, one does not dismiss the cultural hurdles both on and off the field – different people adjust to new circumstances at different rates. Abreu has taken a cultural leap here can be no doubt about it. There is a risk here. It is not to be poopooed. Many in Oakland, feel it is the biggest problem Cespedes is dealing with now . MLB or AmeriKa or any place in the world for that matter can be a hard places to deal with or without money when one first arrives. Besides, wasn’t it the Hawk who was making all these reports on his wonderful ST adjustments????

      On Abreu’s expected performance: In MLB, the first time is quite often easier than the second. The MLB club advanced scouts sit together and will quickly come up with plans to squash any early success of Abreu’s. How good & adaptive Abreu is and how quickly the scouts find his weaknesses will tell a lot. Warning: Baby steps may be seen here.

      You neglected to speak to the AB pressure he will be under in a crowded situation with the CWS. We must remember, these RazzBall conversations are couched inside the 2014 ESPN RazzBall League framework – not real MLB or even other leagues formats. Often, opportunity trumps talent in FBB. It certainly is good to question if Abreu is the everyday guy in the Windy City. There is a real risk here he is limited in his ABs. The conversation is about his relative ranking in FBB for ESPN in 2014.

      I found nothing wrong with Mikes questions and commentary Mike put forward here in this article or the bulk of them. I enjoy Mike’s RB show and format as much as anything on RazzBall – Well OK, I do have an unnatural attraction to the Star of Show Jay Wrong – he’s just as cute as a bug, I tell you – don’t you think so too.

      If you are looking for and enjoy low moments on RazzBall, I recommend, The Lidless Eye’s weekday morning shows – everyday is a race to the bottom there.

  11. Proses says:
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    I have Hanley and puig as keepers so far. It’s a mixed 12 team 260 lge. My last keeper is between gyrko-6 s miller 11 yelich 5 belt 9
    Which one do I hold?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Gyorko

  12. Bob says:
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    What are some salty sleeper picks for you in 2014? (maybe 2 pitchers and 2 hitters)

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Hmmm, not sure how deep you want to go, but Ike Davis, Moose, Villar, Revere, Pollock on offense. I’m stashing Santos and Allen for saves. Pitchers I think Cashner goes to another level this year, deeper it’s Ventura, M Perez, Kluber, Smiley, Alex Wood, Ivan Nova, Richards

      • Mike

        Mike says:
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        or Smyly not “Smiley” ;)

  13. Mike: Reports of M’s and CWS deal on Viciedro would change some things for OF players talked about. It would increase their value

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Just catching up on that news now.

  14. Swfcdan says:
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    Love mini-miggy (Garcia) too after he helped my team late last year and looks to be a future stud. The only disappointment is im not in a standard 5×5 league where his value would be greatest. I’m in a keeper pts league, and a keeper 5×5 roto (OBP over AVG) league, in which one do you think he is the better target?

    Going hard after Eaton too this year, think hes a sleeper in the making.

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      I’d think he’d eventually have value in both, but for now I would lean the pts league, since his walk rate isn’t projected to be above 6%.

  15. Clint says:
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    Seems like I’ve heard every White Sox outfielder rumored to be getting dealt out of town in the last few days. Should we bump Eaton & Garcia up some w/the Viciendo & de Aza rumors based on the fact that even if they stay, it’s clear they’re no longer “the guys” to start or wait until something actually happens?

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      eh, I’d take the wait and see. Nice avatar

  16. John says:
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    Hey man, thanks in advance, I have beltre/prado in dynasty, howie k/lowrie for 2B — ok to trade dj lemahieu for semien? 5×5

    • Mike

      Mike says:
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      Anytime…yes, I ‘d pull the trigger for Semien

Comments are closed.