Month in a Box: The White Sox in September

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Most encouraging month of the rebuild yet. Hope it doesn’t have a ton to do with whatever cannon fodder Step ember callups were out there for the opponents.

karkovice squad

1 of the things to watch out for is that, while coaching can have single-season impacts, it might take a couple seasons for Steverson’s replacement to really make a mark unless they jump right in with the kind of offseason camp he ran for Anderson and Moncada. There’s probably only so much anyone can do before their first season if they’re only given Spring Training to do it.

Do take it with a grain of salt since it’s more of a hunch than thoroughly researched conclusion. Mostly based off the Twins seeing little progress from last year followed by some big steps this year, the Braves having a similar trajectory, and the Mariners making some steps forward that didn’t significantly outlast regression this year. There definitely might have been something else in play than just time.


Most of the players on next year’s roster will already be familiar with Menechino. Plus there obviously won’t be a change in philosophy or approach, just the mouthpiece.

karkovice squad

I don’t think Menechino being in the system solves for the potential time issue. Menechino was hired in January this year. So while a lot of them might be familiar with him, they haven’t worked extensively with him. Certainly not in the kind of extended bootcamp setting most likely to produce significant, lasting results like the work Steverson did this offseason with Anderson and Moncada. That program was a departure from their traditional January mini-camps.

We also know that while there’s probably a bigger disparity between the Sox and the rest of MLB (YouTube, Abreu’s tablet purchases), there’s still a gap between the tools provided to their minor leaguers and what’s available to the MLB roster. We’ve also seen how it can take some extended failure in the majors before players seek out opportunities to improve. Robert and Madrigal in particular, who had 2 months of success with Menechino but didn’t get a cup of coffee, might lag like Jimenez if they aren’t pushed into getting offseason attention.

The way Menechino might have an advantage is if already being in-house and getting a quick promotion means he’s more likely to run that full offseason program compared to someone who on-boards later.


The Sox hitting instruction was a top down system. Menechino was under Steverson. He taught Steverson’s approach and philosophy.

Timeline is meaningless for a different guy teaching the same failed pre-steroid era slappy opposite field “selective aggression” junk.

karkovice squad

The Sox seem to operate with MLB instruction siloed from MiLB player development with the exceptions of Spring Training and the invitation-only mini-camp.

Anderson and Moncada, the guys who Steverson put through his new program, set career highs in exit velocity and ISO. Calling the approach slappy is kind of missing the point.


“new program”?
If only there was a way to check if their exit velocity and ISO increase was actually a common occurance 2018 vs 2019 and thus a product of the bouncy ball as much as luck, development or swing changes.


Like maybe twice as many players had ISO’s over .275 and MORE THAN twice as many had ISO’s over .250.

A full tick on avg exit velo looked pretty standard among the top 30 qualified hitters as well.
BSavant has 20 more player with avg exit velo(10 examples) over 91mph in 2019.

karkovice squad

Anderson’s year over year change was +2.7mph.

Moncada’s was +2.2mph.

Their improvements aren’t fully or even mostly explained by the ball.

Yes, new program. They spent significant time with Steverson during the offseason getting individual instruction as opposed to the old way of doing things which maybe included showing up in January for a 6-day camp then going to Spring Training.


13 outings for Bummer seems a bit excessive.