Deep Dive: Free agent shortstops

Armed and dangerous: Despite an injury-riddled season, Didi takes no back seat to anyone in this tiny free-agent class of shortstops. (@DidiG18)

“Deep Dive” focuses on the depth of each position in the Chicago White Sox organization. Each position is broken into a five-part series:

  1. Depth in the rookie levels (Dominican through Great Falls)
  2. Depth in A-ball (Kannapolis and Winston-Salem)
  3. Depth in the higher levels (Birmingham and Charlotte)
  4. Under the Radar-type detail on one of the White Sox players at that position
  5. Free agent options at that position

Shortstop seems to be in good shape for the White Sox in 2020, with Tim Anderson coming off the AL batting championship. Reserves are also in plentiful supply via Leury García, Yolmer Sánchez (if he returns) and Danny Mendick. With some concerns about Anderson’s defense, are there any shortstops available here good enough to play the position and force Anderson to move into the outfield? There aren’t many shortstops on the market this year, and the best one who would’ve been slated for this offseason signed an extension (Xander Boegarts). Only one shortstop (Didi Gregorius) seems capable of transplanting Anderson, and he comes with injury concerns. Nobody in this small list has qualifying offers attached to them.

(age as of April 1, 2020)

Jose Iglesias
Cincinnati Reds
B/T: R/R
2019 bWAR: 1.5
Stats: .288/.318/.407, 504 AB, 21 2B, 11 HR, 59 RBI, 6 SB, 20 BB, 70 K
Age: 30

Adeiny Hechevarria
Atlanta Braves
B/T: R/R
2019 bWAR: 0.9
Stats: .241/.299/.443, 203 AB, 12 2B, 9 HR, 33 RBI, 3 SB, 14 BB, 48 K
Other positions played: Second base, Third base
Age: 30

Didi Gregorius
New York Yankees
B/T: L/R
2019 bWAR: 0.6
Stats: .238/.276/.441, 344 AB, 14 2B, 16 HR, 61 RBI, 2 SB, 17 BB, 53 K
Age: 30

Jordy Mercer
Detroit Tigers
B/T: R/R
2019 bWAR: 0.3
Stats: .270/.310/.438, 256 AB, 16 2B, 9 HR, 22 RBI, 0 SB, 13 BB, 57 K
Other positions played: Second base, First base, Third base
Age: 33

Today in White Sox History: November 24

Triple threat: Agee had a magnificent rookie campaign at bat, on the basepaths and in the field. (Topps)

1966 — After having a marvelous 1966 season, White Sox outfielder Tommie Agee was named the American League Rookie of the Year by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Agee had a unique blend of power and speed, becoming the first player in franchise history with at least 20 home runs and at least 20 steals in the same season.

In 1966, Agee hit .273 with 173 hits, 27 doubles, eight triples, 22 home runs, 86 RBIs and 44 stolen bases. He also won a Gold Glove. Agee got 16 first-place votes out of 20. Jim Nash of the Kansas City A’s was second in the voting, while George “Boomer” Scott and Deron Johnson tied for third place. Johnson would play for the White Sox in 1975.

1976 — The first free-agent signing in franchise history turned out to be a bargain-basement success for the White Sox. Pitcher Steve Stone inked a deal for his second go-around with the team (Stone signed four years and five days after first becoming a member of the White Sox, via trade in 1972). In 1977, Steve would win 15 games, pacing a staff that won a surprising 90 games. In 2009, Stone again returned to the organization, this time as a television broadcaster.