Tuesday, January 15, 2008

#45 - Carlos Lee

The best player to wear number 45 for the White Sox is Carlos Lee. The competition isn't even close on this one. Jeff Abbott? Not really. Shawn Abner? A number 1 draft pick, but did nothing on the Sox. Wayne Edwards? A scrappy reliever who played in a band, but no. Danny Tartabull? He was only with the Sox for one season at the end of his career.

There is no other choice than "El Caballo". He started off his career in great fashion. He hit a home run in his first at-bat. Carlos could hit for power and sometimes average, but he had very little patience at the plate. He tended to be on the high side of the strikeouts, when he was with the Sox, and walked very little.

Even though his fielding was sometimes questionable, Carlos made up for it at the plate. His home run total continued to climb slowly, every year he was with the Sox, even though his RBI total would fluctuate between 80 and 113 during his six years on the White Sox.

There was an uproar when he was traded to the Brewers for Scott Podsednik, Luis Vizcaino and Travis Hinton. Since that trade helped lead the team to a World Series championship, not too many people are complaining. To Carlos' credit, there hasn't been a steady left fielder for the White Sox since he left. Anyone who says Scott Podsednik, never saw him sit out the majority of his time with the Sox because of various injuries.


hardcle said...

No consideration even for Jenks? You can argue that Lee performed over a longer period of time, but Jenks has been far more proficient during his time in a Sox uniform than Lee ever was. Have you already forgotten that Jenks tied a record this summer by retiring 41 consecutive batters? I don't think Lee ever did anything as impressive with the bat.

As for LF, Pods may have been oft injured, but the Sox do not win the World Series with Lee. They certainly wouldn't have won it without Jenks.

Steve Gierman said...

This is the season that Jenks will probably take over this number. One more solid season for Jenks and there will be no debate.

After the 2008 off-season these will be revisited and revised. Jenks continues to be impresive, but the Sox usually have premium closers over the years. Left fielders that contribute have been a weak spot for the Sox after Lee and before Lee. My reasoning, right now, is that Lee had a greater impact on his position by being the biggest bright spot in the last few decades.

Jenks has plenty of company at his position. Thigpen and Hernandez come to mind first. One more year of consistency and Jenks will be a lock.

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