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2013 Fantasy outlooks: Chicago White Sox

Senior Fantasy Writer
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The 2013 White Sox look a great deal like the 2012 White Sox, with the core of a team that won 85 games returning nearly en masse to try and challenge the Tigers for the American League Central crown (or, at least, the Athletics for the second wild card spot). There isn't much new with Chicago: A.J. Pierzynski left via free agency to sign with the Rangers, which elevated Tyler Flowers to starting duties at catcher. Flowers hasn't exactly set the world on fire so far -- in 108 career games, Flowers has a .205 batting average with 12 home runs and two steals. But the 26-year-old former top prospect has been relegated to backup catching duties the past two years. When he was given more regular playing time in the minors, Flowers was much better, hitting .275 with an .876 OPS in more than 1,800 at-bats. He hit 15 or more home runs four times, despite getting more than 400 at-bats just once. Look for flowers, given regular playing time, to flex a decent amount of power, while bringing his average up to the .250 to .260 level.

2013 Fantasy Outlooks
A.L. East N.L. East
Orioles Braves
Red Sox Marlins
Yankees Mets
Rays Phillies
Blue Jays Nationals
A.L. Central N.L. Central
White Sox Cubs
Indians Reds
Tigers Brewers
Royals Pirates
Twins Cardinals
A.L. West N.L. West
Astros Diamondbacks
Angels Rockies
Athletics Dodgers
Mariners Padres
Rangers Giants

The White Sox also brought in Jeff Keppinger to play third base. The team had acquired Kevin Youkilis halfway through 2012, but Youkilis jumped ship to the Yankees in the offseason. Keppinger has quietly put up impressive numbers in his career, with a .288 average -- buoyed by a .325 average in 385 at-bats last season as a member of the Rays. The 32-year-old will have first, third and second base eligibility in 2013. Despite his lack of power -- he could top out at 15 home runs if he manages full-time at-bats and gets a few lucky swings in a hitter-friendly park -- Keppinger is a decent bet to hit for average and score a good amount of runs in a lineup with plenty of power behind him. Mixed-leaguers desperate for middle infield help can consider him a late option that won't hurt your team, while AL-only leaguers should consider Keppinger a mid/late-round sleeper option.

The pitching staff seems to be Chicago's possible weak spot, as every member of the rotation has question marks: Will Chris Sale's 2012 elbow issues pop up again? Can Jake Peavy stay healthy for two straight seasons? Will John Danks rebound from shoulder surgery? Can Gavin Floyd finish a season with a sub-4.00 ERA? And was the Jose Quintana we saw last year the real deal? Granted, the talented rotation could also shine if things break the right way, but the lingering doubt about each of them should give drafters pause when their names reach the top of the queue. Additionally, Addison Reed, who was a revelation after the White Sox cycled through their first few choices at closer, had a higher-than-we-may-remember 4.75 ERA last year. And while 29 saves for a rookie is a solid start to a career, Chicago has a lot of safety nets in that bullpen (Jesse Crain, Matt Lindstrom, Donnie Veal) in case he falters.

Deep sleeper ... Hector Santiago, pitcher

2013 projected lineup
Player Name Position
1. Alejandro De Aza CF
2. Jeff Keppinger 3B
3. Adam Dunn DH
4. Paul Konerko 1B
5. Alex Rios RF
6. Dayan Viciedo LF
7. Alexei Ramirez SS
8. Tyler Flowers C
9. Gordon Beckham 2B
Bench Jordan Danks OF
Bench Hector Gimenez C

Santiago is currently slated for a role out of the bullpen, which will give him value in AL-only leagues as a low-ratio, high-strikeout reliever, but if any member of the starting rotation falters, Santiago could be a surprisingly solid option in his place. Many owners may not have noticed, as it all took place in September, but Santiago made four starts in 2012, allowing four earned runs in 19 1/3 innings, good for a 1.86 ERA. He struck out 26 batters and had a 1.19 WHIP. His sleeper status is meant for deeper AL-only formats, where this type of risk-taking could pay off, but it wouldn't hurt for mixed league owners to keep an eye on his situation, as a few strong starts in this scenario could elevate Santiago to mixed-league worthiness (think Hisashi Iwakuma last season).

Breakout ... Dayan Viciedo, outfielder

One would think a 25 home run season from a 23-year-old would already be considered a breakout performance. But Viciedo's 2012 has been mostly overlooked by Fantasy players. Viciedo had two straight 20 home run seasons in the minors in 2010 and 2011, while keeping up a decent average. An improvement on his average is within reason and an uptick in power isn't out of the question, so a .280 average and 30 home runs from Viciedo in 2013 is a real possibility, making him a solid late-round pick in mixed leagues.

Roto gem ... Adam Dunn, first baseman

2013 rotation/bullpen
Player Name Throws
1. Chris Sale LHP
2. Jake Peavy RHP
3. John Danks LHP
4. Gavin Floyd RHP
5. Jose Quintana LHP
ALT Hector Santiago LHP
Bullpen Breakdown
1. Addison Reed RHP
2. Jesse Crain RHP
3. Matt Thornton LHP
4. Matt Lindstrom RHP
5. Donnie Veal LHP

When a player hits 39 home runs in nine of his past 10 seasons, that one year without the power production looks almost certain to be the outlier. Chalk up Adam Dunn's 2011 failings to any factor of your choosing -- the switch to a different league, the move to full-time DH, injury -- but know that it was the exception, not the rule. Dunn will get you home runs in bunches while dragging your average down. But 40 home runs bring at least 95 RBI and 80 or more runs scored. Dunn even stole two bases last year. You might luck into one of those .260 seasons from Dunn, but you won't have to worry about a lack of doubles or leading the league in strikeouts, which haunt those in points leagues.

Prospects Report

The White Sox have a pretty shallow group of top prospects heading into 2013. Not from lack of building, but mainly because many of them have been promoted recently, clearing out space at the upper levels. ... Trayce Thompson and Courtney Hawkins lead their farm stars, but the most intriguing prospect is Nestor Molina, a converted outfielder/third baseman who didn't start pitching until 2008. Since then, he's compiled a 2.92 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in more than 400 minor league innings. Pickins are slim here for Fantasy vultures -- you may want to look elsewhere for minor league impact.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us on Twitter @CBSFantasyBB or Nando Di Fino at @nandocbs . You can also send us an e- mail us at fantasybaseball@cbsinteractive.com .

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- all updated in real time. Download the CBS Fantasy App.

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Player News
Cubs closer Hector Rondon is learning from his mistakes
by Jason Lempert | Staff Writer
(5/23/2015) Cubs closer Hector Rondon blew a save Friday night in Arizona, his third blown save of the season. The right-hander served up a game-tying two-run home run to Paul Goldschmidt in the 10th inning in the eventual 5-3 Diamondbacks win.

But Rondon, who is in the third season of his career, knows where he went wrong.

"I need better location," Rondon said Saturday, per MLB.com. "I know that pitch ran up a little to the middle [to Goldschmidt]. I think that's why we lost the game yesterday, those pitches."

Manager Joe Maddon has expressed faith in his 27-year-old closer, and a change does not seem to be in the cards, at least for now. 

"He knows what he did wrong," said Maddon. "I'll say [to him], 'Hey, listen, everything's cool. I still have a lot of trust and support.' It's one of those things that happens in our game."

Rondon has blown two of his last three save opportunities.


Cubs OF Jorge Soler: I expect more from me
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Cubs outfielder Jorge Soler is having a fine debut to the major leagues this season. The rookie is hitting .267 with 14 RBI in 161 at-bats this season, but he his still hoping for more, according to the Chicago Tribune.

"So far, I don't feel good about what I've done," Soler said Saturday. "I expect more from me."

Soler has struck out 59 times so far this season, 15 more than anyone else on the team. He also noted he thinks his hamstrings will hold up this year after missing more than two months in 2014 because of hamstring injuries.


Angels pitcher Mike Morin headed to the disabled list on Sunday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Angels pitcher Mike Morin will be placed on the 15-day DL on Sunday after suffering a left oblique injury on Saturday, according to the Orange County Register.

Morin was forced to come out of Saturday's game after facing just one batter against the Red Sox. 

"I've never dealt with anything like this," Morin said. "It's frustrating. It's been frustrating."

Morin has a 6.00 ERA in 15 innings of work this season.


Marlins 3B Martin Prado delivers game-winning RBI in 13th
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Marlins third baseman Martin Prado went 1 for 5 at the plate in Miami's 1-0 win over the Orioles in 13 innings on Saturday.

Prado was hitless when he stepped in the box in the 13th. After Baltimore intentionally walked Giancarlo Stanton to load the bases, Prado delivered on a 1-1 pitch from T.J. McFarland when he cracked a single into center to bring home the winning run.

Prado is now htting .273 with 17 RBI in 176 at-bats this season.


Marlins reliever Carter Capps strikes out six in win on Saturday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Marlins relief pitcher Carter Capps tossed three scoreless innings on Saturday in Miami's 1-0 win over the Orioles in 13 innings of work.

Capps came on in the 11th and allowed just one hit while striking out six. Capps, now 1-0, also did not issue a walk and lowered his ERA to 1.50 in six innings of work this season.


Orioles pitcher Mike Wright strikes out four in no-decision on Saturday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Orioles pitcher Mike Wright tossed seven scoreless innings on Saturday, allowing three hits in Baltimore's 1-0 loss to the Marlins in 13 innings, but did not factor into the decision.

Wright faced the minimum hitters through four innings, but ran into some issues in the fifth. After hitting leadoff man Martin Prado, Wright picked up two quick outs. Then after a walk put two men on, Wright forced a groundout to end the inning.

Wright, who remains 1-0, maintained his perfect 0.00 ERA in 14 1/3 innings of work. He will look to keep things rolling Thursday against the White Sox.


Marlins pitcher Dan Haren strikes out six in no-decision on Saturday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Marlins pitcher Dan Haren tossed six scoreless innings on Saturday, allowing seven hits in Miami's 1-0 win over the Orioles in 13 innings, but did not factor into the decision.

Haren struck out six with three walks in his outing. Although Haren put himself into multiple jams, including the first inning when he put runners on first and third with one out, he was able to work out of them without allowing a run.

Haren, who remains 4-2, lowered his ERA to 3.09 in 55 1/3 innings of work. He will look to get his fifth win of the year on Friday against the Mets.


Red Sox 1B Mike Napoli blasts two home runs in win on Saturday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Red Sox first baseman Mike Napoli went 2 for 4 at the plate in Boston's 8-3 win over the Angels on Saturday.

Napoli ripped a solo home run over the Green Monster in the second inning off of C.J. Wilson. Then in the sixth, Napoli did the same thing when he belted a two-run shot off of Wilson, his seventh of the season.

Napoli is now hitting .193 with 17 RBI in 135 at-bats this season.


Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson tagged for four runs in losing effort
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Angels pitcher C.J. Wilson allowed four runs on seven hits in six innings of work in Los Angeles' 8-3 loss to the Red Sox on Saturday.

Wilson had issues in the second inning when Mike Napoli belted a solo shot over the Green Monster. Then in the third, Wilson put runners on first and third for Mookie Betts, who singled to left center, plating another run. Wilson then surrendered a second home run to Mike Napoli, this time a two-run shot.

Wilson, now 2-3, moved his ERA to 3.36 in 59 innings of work. He will look to get back on track Thursday against the Tigers.


Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright allows two runs in win on Saturday
by Brandon Wise | CBSSports.com
(5/23/2015) Red Sox pitcher Steven Wright allowed two runs on four hits in  6 1/3 innings of work in Boston's 8-3 win over the Angels on Saturday.

Wright's only blemish came in the first inning when he allowed three of the first four hitters to reach safely, including back-to-back doubles by Albert Pujols and Kole Calhoun, leading to two runs. Wright settled down and got out of the inning without anymore damage.

Wright, now 2-1, lowered his ERA to 3.68 in 22 innings of work. He will look to keep things rolling Thursday against the Rangers.


 
 
 
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