Watch Out for De Aza

Right now, it seems like Juan Pierre, Carlos Quentin, and Alex Rios are locks for the White Sox starting outfield, and then Andruw Jones has a good chance of being the 4th outfielder. That leaves Alejandro De Aza, Jordan Danks, Josh Kroeger, and Mark Kotsay as the four candidates for the 5th outfield spot. So far, the 25-year-old De Aza is making a strong case in spring training, with a 13/33 line (.394 avg), 4 XBH, and 3 BB.

With Jones currently set to receive the majority of PAs at DH, that leaves quite a few PAs open for another outfielder after the three starters. That means that this decision will be important for the White Sox, as this final outfielder could be an injury away from a starting role and could potentially be the first player off the bench.

De Aza certainly isn’t as good as his spring line so far, but he’s a very interesting player. He didn’t play at all in 2008, but he had a decent season in Double-A as a 22-year-old in 2006 and then had an excellent season in Triple-A upon his return in 2009, putting up a 130 wRC+ in 300 PAs. Thanks to this minor league performance, De Aza is projected to be a near average hitter this season. He has a good defensive reputation and is extremely fast. As such, De Aza is probably a +5 or better defender in the corners and near average as a CF, and that’s a conservative estimate.

With that offensive and defensive profile, De Aza projects as a roughly average player for next year. This kind of player certainly doesn’t grow on trees, and the fact that they were able to steal him for the Florida Marlins is surprising. CHONE projects De Aza for 1.2 wins in only 325 PAs, or 2.2 wins in a full season of work.

Mark Kotsay is old and bad, Jordan Danks likely isn’t ready for the show after a 95 wRC+ in Double-A, and Kroeger is a Triple-A lifer. De Aza is young and has solid tools, and could step in and be productive if any of the starting three go down. Watch for De Aza this summer, as he could have a big impact at the major league level.

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4 Responses to “Watch Out for De Aza”

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  1. Part-Time Pariah says:

    Screw DeAza, what about Sergio Santos???

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  2. Paulie L. says:

    There is no competition. Jones is having a great spring and is going to be the 4th OF and part time DH. Kotsay is going to backup 1B and DH against RHP. Kotsay or Nix would be the emergency OF. The only way De Aza makes the Sox out of spring training is if someone gets injured.

    There has been zero indication from the White Sox that De Aza is in the mix for a roster spot. The problem is that if De Aza makes the team, then he is probably taking Nix’s spot on the roster leaving the Sox with only Vizquel to backup 2b, SS and 3B.

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  3. Part-Time Pariah says:

    Our DH is known as Mandruw Vizquel. Remember it. ;)

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  4. BaconSlayer09 says:

    You’re dealing with Ozzie Guillen here. He loves Kotsay. Kotsay’s making the team and Nix probably will too since the White Sox need a middle infielder more than a outfielder.

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