2024 Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Busts: Chicago White Sox

The White Sox to target and avoid this draft season.

The Chicago White Sox are going through a time of transition. President Kenny Williams, the architect who led the White Sox to a World Series title in 2005, and General Manager Rick Hahn, are out. Leading the helm now is the former Director of Player Development Chris Getz, who seems to be bringing the experience and values he learned from the Kansas City Royals as both a player and front office executive (he was an assistant to player development) to the South Side.

The White Sox have hired two former Royals players/executives including Brian Bannister, their new Senior Advisor to Pitching, and Gene Watson, their new Director of Baseball Operations. In addition, Pedro Grifol, the Royals’ former bench coach, will stay on as manager for another year under Getz despite the club going 61-101 in his first season as White Sox skipper.

While the manager and coaching staff will remain the same, there are plenty of new faces in Chicago (including some former Royals). Former All-Star Tim Anderson was non-tendered and is currently an unsigned free agent. Reliever Aaron Bummer was traded away to Atlanta for a package that included Michael Soroka and utility infielder Nicky Lopez. Former top-catching prospect Max Stassi was also acquired from Atlanta and is expected to be the White Sox’s regular starting catcher. Lastly, Dylan Cease has been on the trade block, and it’s looking less likely that he will be on the bump for the White Sox on Opening Day in 2024.

It’s hard to envision the White Sox surpassing their 61 wins in 2024 with the current roster as situated. This leaves the White Sox with few fantasy-viable players, beyond the obvious ones (Luis Robert Jr.; Cease if he is still with the White Sox). That said, there are a couple of players who could be deep-league or AL-only league options.




Garrett Crochet


2023 stats (13.2 IP): 3.55 ERA, 1.97 WHIP, 12 K, 0 W

Back in 2021, it seemed like Crochet, the White Sox’s first-round pick in 2020, was on the fast track to being the White Sox’s long-term closer. In 54 appearances and 54.1 IP, Crochet posted 2.82 ERA, 2.80 FIP, and K% of 28.3%. Unfortunately, he ended up suffering an arm injury near the end of spring training in 2022 and proceeded to miss the entire 2022 season and most of 2023 due to recovery from Tommy John surgery.

Last season, Crochet returned to make 13 appearances for the White Sox out of the bullpen. The ERA looked decent at 3.55, but he struggled with control, producing a K-BB% of -1.6% (amplified by a BB% of 20.3%). Despite the issues, he still sported a K% of 18.% and a swinging-strike percentage of 9.6%. That isn’t bad for a guy who hadn’t pitched in nearly a year and a half.

Even though the former Tennessee Volunteer sports a limited pitch mix (four-seamer; slider; changeup), his primary breaking ball has typically rated pretty well. Even during last year’s rough return to the majors, Crochet’s slider still proved to be an effective pitch on a PLV end, and compared favorably to the excellent PLV he posted on the pitch in 2021.

As one can see in the graphic comparison, Crochet’s slider was only one point lower in PLV from his PLV mark in 2021 when he posted an ERA under three. The big difference from 2021 and 2023 was that his four-seamer (4.70) and changeup (3.97) were far worse.

What makes Crochet a sleeper is that it’s still a bit undetermined what kind of role Crochet will have for the White Sox in 2024. Gregory Santos is slated to be the White Sox closer after saving five games last year. However, Steamer is projecting him and Crochet to split the role, as they are projecting Crochet to save 14 games next year. So if Grifol plans to keep Crochet in the bullpen, it’s possible that Crochet could nab a sneaky number of saves.

On the other hand, there is some talk that Crochet could move to the rotation, which was something the White Sox planned to possibly do in 2022 before Crochet’s arm injury. Bannister was known in the Giants organization for helping pitchers develop and refine their pitch quality and shape. Could Crochet be Bannister’s first success story on the South Side and give the White Sox a starter who could impact the rotation for years to come?

In a deep league or AL-only format, Crochet may be worth taking that flier on in the last round.


Yoán Moncada


2023 stats (92 games): .260 average, 39 R, 40 RBI, 11 HR, 1 SB

Injuries and underwhelming results have deflated the stock of Moncada, who seemed to be a budding superstar back in 2019 when he hit .315, collected 25 home runs, and produced a fWAR of 5.5 in 132 games as a 24-year-old. After a 4.0 fWAR season in 2021 (he hit .263 and had 14 home runs), things dropped dramatically in 2022 as he only hit .212 and produced an fWAR of 0.9. As a result, he was barely rostered in 2023 (17% rostered in Yahoo), as he didn’t have the pop to justify a spot at third base or corner infield on fantasy managers’ roster.

The injury bug plagued Moncada again last season as he only played in 92 games and produced a .232 average and .648 OPS in the first half of the season. However, he was finally able to stay healthy in August and September and things finally clicked for Moncada. After the All-Star Break, Moncada hit .281 with a .788 OPS which included eight home runs, 22 R, and 27 RBI in 210 plate appearances. His power PLV rolling chart also seemed to back up Moncada’s strong finish to the year, as his expected extra bases added per BBE surpassed the 90th percentile at the end of the season.

Courtesy of Pitcher List

Health will always be a concern for Moncada. However, he seemed to be back to full health by the end of the year, and the White Sox have talked about utilizing Moncada again in multiple positions, which only adds to his fantasy value. He could be worth taking in the later rounds, especially for teams that may need help in the corner infield positions.




Michael Kopech


2023 stats (129.1 IP): 5.43 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, 134 K, 5 W

It’s easy to get seduced by Kopech’s K potential and his intriguing 2022 season. Despite producing a 5.43 ERA and -0.9 fWAR in 2023 (yikes), he still sported a 22.7% K rate and is just two years removed from a season in which he posted a 3.54 ERA in 25 starts and 119.1 IP. It’s also possible Kopech could assume to the top of the White Sox rotation should Cease be traded this offseason.

That said, despite his prospect pedigree and promising 2022 season, Kopech should be avoided as much as possible in fantasy drafts.

Of White Sox starters last year, Kopech sported the second-worst K-BB% (7.2%) and CSW% (26.3%). In addition, his overall PLV of 4.75 ranked near the bottom 5th percentile of the leagues, and none of his four pitches rated as even average pitches on a PLV end, as seen in the graphic below.

Courtesy of Pitcher List

Could Bannister help turn around Kopech (like we’re hoping for Crochet)? It’s possible, but Kopech is too big of a risk to waste a middle-round pick on, which seems to be likely due to his name and probable position in the White Sox rotation.


Eloy Jiménez


2023 stats (120 games): .272 average, 50 R, 64 RBI, 0 SB

Many have gotten sucked into the Jiménez hype train since his breakout rookie season in 2019 when he hit 31 home runs. Last year, I wrote that Jiménez was due for a breakout in 2023 like Jorge Soler in 2019 with the managerial and coaching change on the South Side. Steamer projections also are buying on a Jiménez breakout as they are projecting a .276 average, 29 HR, 77 R, and 90 RBI in 2024.

Unfortunately, the history just doesn’t bode well for the 27-year-old to be a borderline 30-HR hitter in 2024 and beyond.

Eloy Jimenez Career Stats

While Jiménez did hit 16 home runs in 84 games in 2022, he only hit 18 home runs in 120 games last year. As a result, his ISO fell from .205 two seasons ago to .169 in 2023. To make matters worse, his .313 xwOBA was 12 points lower than his actual wOBA, the second straight season where his wOBA outpaced his xwOBA.

There was also a concerning trend in Jiménez’s power PLV chart from a season ago, as he saw a sharp drop around the 175th BBE mark and hovered around the 25th percentile toward the end of the season.

Courtesy of Pitcher List

Was Jiménez struggling through a nagging injury? Was he out of shape and just felt the effects of fatigue? Did the front office change and uncertainty about the direction of the franchise affect his on-field play?

Regardless, he probably isn’t worth what it would take to draft/acquire him in fantasy drafts (he’s being ranked as the 105th best hitter, according to Fantasy Pros).

Photos by Quinn Harris/Icon Sportswire and Christopher Alvarenga/Unsplash | Featured Image by Ethan Kaplan (@DJFreddie10 on Twitter and @EthanMKaplanImages on Instagram)

Kevin O'Brien

Kevin O'Brien is a high school educator and baseball blogger based in the Kansas City metro area. In addition to writing for Pitcher List, he writes about the Kansas City Royals at his own blog, the Royals Reporter, which can be found at royalsreporter.com.

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