2010 MLB Predictions: Why the Chicago White Sox Will Win the AL Central

Erik ProusaContributor IApril 6, 2010

CHICAGO - APRIL 05:  Alex Rios #51 is congratulated after an eigth-inning home run during the Sox game against the Cleveland Indians on Opening Day at U.S. Cellular Field on April 5, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Scott Olson/Getty Images

Although the White Sox are returning only five players that won them the 2005 World Series, they have the talent, mentality, and coaching to return to the big stage.


This past offseason, Kenny Williams went out and acquired the players that can complete this White Sox club and give them an opportunity to make the playoffs again.


Getting Juan Pierre was the most important pickup of this offseason because of the lack of a speed threat for the White Sox. He brings speed into the equation to use “Ozzie Ball,” which is the style of play that Ozzie Guillen enjoys using.


The only question with Pierre is his arm. He can easily play right, and then the Sox can move Alex Rios, Carlos Quentin, and Andruw Jones around.


Another good purchase the Sox made was getting J.J. Putz. This gives the South Side Hit Men versatility in their bullpen. If Bobby Jenks does not perform up to his hype, then Matt Thornton or Putz can step into the closer role to end games.


As for the arrival of Andruw Jones, I am quite confused. The White Sox had a perfect low-salary backup outfielder in Dewayne Wise. Wise saved a perfect game for Mark Buehrle and has been a reliable defensive replacement. Jones has not hit above .300 since 2000, when he hit .303. The White Sox need a backup that can get on base and drive in runs for them.


The best offseason pickup the White Sox made was getting Mark Teahen. This is because the White Sox’s only third baseman is Dayan Viciedo, but with Teahen, the White Sox can wait for Viciedo to develop in the Minor Leagues. When Teahen is on for a season, he can get upwards to 150 hits a year, which is good production for a guy that played in Kansas City. This pickup was by far the best for the White Sox.


The final player named to the White Sox roster was none other than the veteran shortstop in Omar Vizquel. He has played in MLB since 1989 and has won 11 Gold Gloves in his career. Ken Williams acquired Vizquel so he could teach or mentor the young players in the infield. Examples of this would be Gordon Beckham, Alexei Ramirez, Viciedo, and Teahen.


The move for Vizquel was surprising yet seemed to fit in with this young Sox infield.


All in all, the White Sox are destined to win the AL Central because of their offseason moves. The Sox let go of certain players and obtained new ones, which makes for a balanced Sox club that can win more than 90 games in this 162-game marathon.