White Sox see big turnaround coming thanks to young stars

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The Chicago White Sox signaled better days are coming. Maybe next season, they will make the big breakthrough.

With young stars establishing themselves in the majors and promising prospects in the pipeline, there is a strong sense on the South Side that this string of losing seasons is finally about to end.

“Definitely,” star shortstop Tim Anderson said. “We’ve got the guys to do it. I’m just excited to be in the mix of it. I think next year is going to be even better.”

The White Sox went 72-89 in their seventh straight losing season and missed the playoffs for the 13th time in 14 years since the 2005 team won the World Series. But they won 10 more games than they did a year ago and the big steps taken by their young core players have generated plenty of optimism.8

They saw Lucas Giolito emerge as an ace, Anderson hit for the highest average in the majors (.335), Yoan Moncada break through and rookie Eloy Jimenez show the pop they envisioned. And they see more in the pipeline.

“You look around the clubhouse you see players like Giolito, Tim Anderson, Moncada, I’m sure I’m missing guys,” All-Star catcher James McCann said. “From an individual standpoint, there’s a lot of players who had growth. But also from a team standpoint, the development of chemistry within this locker room, the culture that was put in place last year and has continued to develop this year — from a team standpoint I think we’re on the right track. And going into this offseason and the next spring training is going to be a big thing for this organization.”

With their young players stepping up and Abreu having a strong season, the White Sox finished with the eighth-highest average in the majors. Although they were only 24th in runs, they believe they have the makings of a strong lineup.

Anderson’s averaged jumped 95 points, to .335 from .240. Moncada went from a major league-leading 217 strikeouts to 154 while hitting .315 with 25 homers and 79 RBI. And Jimenez finished with a .267 average, 31 homers and 79 RBI

Assuming Abreu re-signs and Robert and Madrigal deliver, the White Sox could have a potent lineup next season.