Of all the positional battles on the diamond, the Chicago White Sox seem to have to the most certainty in the outfield, with Dayan Viciedo in left, Adam Eaton in center, and Avisail Garcia in right. However, based on their performances this spring, outfielders Jordan Danks and Alejandro De Aza deserve to be more than backup bench players during the season.
In the past two days alone, Danks has hit three home runs, giving him five total and tying him for the MLB lead with Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays and Chris Heisey of the Cincinnati Reds. Overall, he’s hitting .378 this spring and has 10 RBI and 18 runs scored, in addition to those five home runs. De Aza’s average is just as high at .375, and he also has a .394 on base percentage.
While Viciedo provides the White Sox with needed power from the right side of the plate, his batting average since hitting .308 in 108 major league at bats in 2010 hasn’t topped .270. This spring, he’s hitting a decent .286, but hasn’t hit any home runs and is tied for third on the White Sox with seven strikeouts. Despite having a strong arm, Viciedo plays average defense, especially when compared to De Aza, who has three career errors in left, and Danks, who has committed one error in 590.1 defensive innings in the outfield.
Obviously a high batting average in Spring Training doesn’t guarantee success in the regular season. Even so, with the White Sox’s newly overcrowded outfield, paired with Danks and De Aza’s consistency both at the plate and in the field, and the rumor that the Seattle Mariners expressed interest in trading for Viciedo, it seems like there needs to be a left field shuffle on the South Side.