Grading time: 2018 Chicago White Sox Infielders Survey

Patrick Nolan already made his thoughts known about the White Sox position players this week, but now it’s your turn to give your grades and thoughts for Monday’s Sox Machine Podcast.

We will be addressing both the infielders and outfielders in that episode, and in this first survey is asking for your thoughts about the infield. If you would like to join the show you can leave us a voicemail at (312)870-0224 with your name and opinion on the following:

  • Best infielder
  • Which infielders should the White Sox target in free agency or trade?
  • Would you move Yoan Moncada off second base?

Below is the survey. As always, thank you for participating!

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Josh Nelson
Josh Nelson

Josh Nelson is the host and producer of the Sox Machine Podcast. For show suggestions, guest appearances, and sponsorship opportunities, you can reach him via email at

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I stuggled answering whether Yolmer should get another shot at 3rd. Mainly because he has middle infield skills. I see him more as a 2nd baseman or possibly a utility guy. His power just doesn’t rate 3rd base – though his defense is really good.

Moncada on the other hand… He just doesn’t look like he has the hands of a middle infielder to me.

lil jimmy

First base needs to be addressed as in Jose should be signed to a two year deal, maybe with an option. That way we don’t have to hear about it all year long.
In truth, the infield is in good shape. It’s the outfield that’s a disaster.

Yolmer's gatorade

I’m an easy grader, gave everyone a B. I think Narvaez was great, and everyone else did what I expected. Moncada had expected growing pains for a switch hitter who needs a little work on the hit tool. I want Moncada to switch back to third, and the Sox sign a stop gap at second for next season. Then Madrigal will be ready in 2020, 2021.

Trooper Galactus

I think Narvaez would be great if he wasn’t catching. There’s bad catching, then there’s what Omar did back there in 2018. Holy ass, was he ever a drain on the pitching staff.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Wish Narvaez and Zavala was listed as an internal option.


I think it’d be wise to wait for Seby to muster a AAA wOBA north of .300 before start clamoring for his promotion.

Right Size Wrong Shape

Our options are Narvaez, Smith and Castillo. I’ll clamor if I want to.


I graded Yolmer harshly, I dont need antics I need production, he is a utility infielder plain and simple.


That seems like a strange way to refer to a player who’s 1 1/2 seasons at third have already made him the third-best third baseman the Sox have had in the last 15 years.

I really don’t get why people sleep on Yolmer so hard. He’s averaged 2 fWAR and 3.1 bWAR in the last two seasons. That’s a perfectly fine starter. His season wasn’t a massive success, but he beat his projections and put up a solid repeat of his 2017 season. B- at worst.


If the whitesox had brooks robinson at 3rd or if they had an ineptitude of mass proportions over the last 15 years it has absolutely nothing to do with Sanchez.

Im not fired up over a guy who produced a 1.7 fwar… and does nothing well that the sox need. Power nope, obp nope , he will be just fine as a utility infielder, a lot of guys given 660 plate appearances can manage a 1.7

Plus now his cheapest years are behind him, you going to want to pay this guy for that level production? Count me out.

Trooper Galactus

Just because you’re not fired up about him doesn’t mean he needs to be graded harshly. He met and probably exceeded expectations as a regular player, a role he was pushed into because the front office fucking sucks. Part of being a good utility player is being a capable backup plan at multiple positions should disaster strike, and Yolmer accomplished that.


If I could have slightly more granular grades:

Timmy: A-
Exactly the kind of rebound season that we had hoped for after a down year last year. Even though the walk rate faded down the stretch, the plus defense that we saw in 2016 resurfaced. Solid production that beat projections. He looks more like the player we thought we were signing two years ago.

Moncada: B
A last-minute surge propelled Moncada’s rookie season into the “entirely acceptable” category. Despite all the hand-wringing and a hot pursuit of the major league strikeout record, an average season for rookie is not only fine, but exactly what he was projected for at the beginning of the season.

Yolmer: B-
Going into the season it was hard to understand what to expect from Yolmer. 2017 flashed the potential that he could become a solid contributor in the future, but the lack of previous track record resulted in a middling projection (~1 WAR). Sanchez did exceed that projection, but fell short of his 2017 numbers – making it hard to firmly declare him a part of the “core”. Regardless, a league average player is plenty useful to a contending team.

Abreu: C-
A career-worst slump turned into a career-worst year, both in terms of performance and injury. A down year is not a great sign for a slugger entering his age 32 season. The thing that saves Jose from a ‘D’ are the various news reports throughout the season of his clubhouse leadership. Ultimately, his mentoring is probably more important for the rebuild than his 2018 production.

Narvaez: B-
The bat really came around this year. And while the glove remains abysmal, Narvaez has done enough to promote himself from the “fringe” category to the “potentially useful” category, similar to Yolmer last year. Omar was worth 1.9 bWAR this year. Even if you subtract the 8 runs he lost due to framing, 1.1 bWAR isn’t awful. Meh production exceeding his lowly projections is enough for me to want to see him back again next year, in the unlikely hope that the defense can come around

Eagle Bones

This was tougher than the pitching one. I think the toughest ones were (1) who to keep at catcher for next season and (2) where does Moncada end up defensively.

I went with Castillo and Narvaez at catcher, but I’m not really sure that’s the best move. Narvaez was absolutely awful defensively and I can’t see that improving, so even if he’s really an above average bat going forward I can’t see the total package ending up as anything special. Smith was a significantly better receiver and the bat doesn’t look like anything special, but at least he makes a bunch of contact. Sounds like a useful backup and I’d rather have him catching these young pitchers than Narvaez.

For Moncada, I think he’d eventually be fine at 2nd and his best position might be CF, but I have a feeling he ends up at 3rd next year sometime when Madrigal pushes him off 2nd. Just seems like an easier transition for him than the OF (which I don’t believe he’s ever really played).


I’m gonna go out on a limb and say there’s absolutely no chance in hell Madrigal makes the MLB roster at any point in 2019. If he’s pushing Moncada off 2B next year, that’s easily the most shocking player development by the White Sox in the past decade.

Eagle Bones

Meant 2020. Sorry that was definitely unclear from how I said it.


Ha to be fair I probably should have thought about context clues.

Trooper Galactus

If you guys don’t like a .714 OPS with all those strikeouts from a second baseman, I don’t see why it would be any more palatable from a third baseman. Any value he might theoretically gain defensively would be lost in the positional adjustment for his offense, and he’d need to hit gobs better to justify putting him there.

Eagle Bones

Well I obviously think he’s going to hit better. And the question wasn’t which position you want to see him play, it was where do you think he will end up.