With incumbent second baseman Alexei Ramirez shifting to shortstop for 2009, the keystone will be home to rookie Chris Getz this season. The 25-year-old prospect will not offer as much power at the position as Ramirez did, but he still brings a lot to the table.
In 2008, Getz hit .302/.366/.448 with 11 homers and 11 stolen bases in 404 Triple-A at-bats. He also posted rates of 9.2 BB% and 13.1 K%. In 10 games with the White Sox, Getz hit .286. Originally selected out of the University of Michigan in the fourth round of the 2005 draft, the left-handed hitter put together a career minor league average of .286. This spring, he held off challenges for the position from Brent Lillibridge (acquired from Atlanta) and Jayson Nix (a former Colorado prospect). Getz has hit well with a line of .317/.388/.433 with six walks, six strikeouts and four stolen bases in 60 at-bats.
The White Sox system does not have a surefire second base prospect coming up behind Getz, so the job should be his for awhile, unless he struggles mightily. Long term, though, he projects as more of a utility player who can play all over the infield and even in the outfield.
Lillibridge could see time at second base as well this season. The White Sox club may also rely on him as a utility player who can fill in all over the field, including the outfield. He’s done OK this spring by hitting .275 but he’s walked just once in 69 at-bats. Lillibridge has also accumulated 23 strikeouts, so his approach does not really work with his skill set, which is based on speed.
Nix had a good shot at the second base job for Chicago, after opening 2008 as the Rockies’ starting second baseman. Unfortunately he hit just .125 in 22 games and was demoted to the minors. Nix signed on with White Sox as a free agent this past off-season and was hitting .462 in 13 at-bats before straining his quad. Once he comes of the DL, he’ll have to work his way back into the picture by playing well in Triple-A.