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Could the White Sox have the best offense in the AL in 2020?

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I'm not going to put a lot of advanced stats in this post. I will leave others to do that. But I was thinking this morning as I wrote my "Untouchables" post about the White Sox offense and how it could be the best in the AL in 2021.

In 2020, in the AL the Sox were 

  1. 2nd to the Yankees (315) with 306 runs.
  2. 2nd in OPS+ to the Yankees (117) with 113. 
  3. 1st in HR with 96
  4. 1st in slugging at .453

Yet, they gave a huge number of ABs to Edwin Encarnacion, who slashed .157/.250./.377 with an OPS+ of 70.

They also gave a lot of ABs to Nomar Mazara, who slashed .228/.295/.294 with an OPS+ of 64.

There is no question that Andrew Vaughn as the primary DH will destroy EE's DH numbers. Right field, on the other hand, is still an open question. If the Sox fill that slot with Joc Pederson, he put up an OPS+ of 127 as recently as 2019. 

Then you look at the rest of the lineup.

  1. Tim Anderson, 27, put up a better year in 2020 than he did in 2019. He could still get better. 
  2. Yoan Moncada, 25, went from 140 OPS+ in 2019 to 94 OPS+ in 2020, mostly because of the lingering effects of COVID. I would expect him to bounce back.
  3. Luis Robert, 23, started hot but then went ice cold, only to start to find his stroke by the playoffs. Expect him to make major strides.
  4. Eloy Jimenez, 24, is going to continue to solidify his game. 
  5. Nick Madrigal, 23, is just a really good hitter. 
  6. Jose Abreu, 33, is unlikely to repeat as MVP, but he's driven to win a championship, so who knows how long he can keep up his play
  7. Yasmani Grandal, 32, hit about as well as he has for years. 

With the upside of the Sox youth, and the fact that they only have one hole to fill -- right field -- if Vaughn holds down the DH spot, the Sox offense should be even better in 2021 than they were this year, when they were already in the top 1-2 offenses in the AL. 

This is why the Sox should not consider trading any of their core offensive players for pitchers. The Sox can fill their few holes from within, or in free agency, without weakening their offensive strength. 

Edited by VAfan
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Moncada, TA, Abreu could be in the MVP conversation. Robert and Eloy could sniff an argument if they stay consistent and Eloy limits the ridiculous error. I think the Yankees still have more fire power but signing Springer and adding Vaughn may put us over the top. 

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