Chicago White Sox

Brent Morel Wins Chicago White Sox Third-Base Job: Was He the Right Choice?

GOODYEAR, AZ - MARCH 02:  Brent Morel #22 of the Chicago White Sox throws the ball to first base against the Cincinnati Reds at Goodyear Ballpark on March 2, 2011 in Goodyear, Arizona.  (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Norm Hall/Getty Images
Chris MurphyAnalyst IMarch 25, 2011

Another week and yet another question answered for the Chicago White Sox.

This answer, however, was not too shocking.

Mark Teahen has done his best to lose his position at third base, batting .258 with a .327 OBP, four home runs and 25 RBI in 233 at-bats last season.

Throw in the fact he had 10 errors and a minus-five Rtot (the number of runs above or below average a fielder is worth) in 411 innings at the hot corner last season, and Teahen has himself given some valid evidence to be a utility player for the rest of his career.

Teahen's only true worth is that he can play—granted, not very well—first, second, third and the outfield. Otherwise, he isn't worth much.

Well, according to GM Kenny Williams, he is worth $3.75 million in 2010, $4.75 million in 2011 and $5.50 million in 2012, but that's a whole different rant.

Teahen isn't the first Kansas City Royal to fool Williams, nor will he be the last.

Skipper Ozzie Guillen plans to use the left-handed Teahen against tough right-handed pitching he feels Brent Morel isn't ready for yet. Then again, Teahen is 30 and he probably isn't any more ready to face tough right-handed pitching than Morel.

Which brings us to Brent Morel.

Anything was a welcome sight at third base for the White Sox last year thanks to Teahen, so Morel didn't have much to lose.

In 21 games, he batted just .231 with an OBP of .271, but six of his 15 hits were extra-base hits, including three home runs.

In a little more than a quarter of the at-bats Teahen was given, Morel had one less home run.

Generally, all hitters will struggle with plate discipline when they start, but the good ones show when they can line up a pitch, they can send it a long way. The pop was a good sign for the soon-to-be 24-year-old, who is batting .286 this spring.

Doesn't hurt that Morel stole two bases and wasn't caught. He doesn't have blazing speed, but it's a possibility for him to shock teams with a steal.

Now people, including the White Sox, are going to glorify his glove. Once again, I think it's a matter of just watching Teahen and thinking anything at third base is better.

Morel had one error in 164 innings at third to go along with a 0 Rtot and a 2.03 range factor per nine innings. In comparison, Teahen had a 2.50 range factor per nine and the Gold Glove winner for the American League, Evan Longoria, had a 15 Rtot and a 2.73 range factor per nine.

Basically, Morel is mediocre.

But the "not sure" factor is that he is only going to be 24 this season, as opposed to Teahen turning 30 in September, and he doesn't have enough innings logged to make a fair assessment

So what the hell, right?

Last time the White Sox built a massive lineup and asked a young prospect to focus on defense and perhaps learn to hit a tad was...Brian...Anderson.

Uh-oh.

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