Assuming health and good Spring Training, what are the odds that the 2018 rotation starts with Carlos Rodon, Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, Carson Fulmer and Michael Kopech?
-- Steve, Bettendorf, Iowa
You are three-fifths right, assuming good health, in Lopez, Rodon and Giolito. Also add in veteran James Shields.
Fulmer certainly has re-opened some eyes with his past couple of starts, and White Sox manager Rick Renteria has previously stated September will help decide the 2018 direction for Fulmer. It looks to be a starter right now.
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Kopech will be part of the White Sox rotation in '18 -- I feel extremely confident in that out-on-a-limb prediction. I don't think he breaks camp with the team. Look for the White Sox to add a couple of veteran starters to the '18 mix.
Where do Yoan Moncada and Tim Anderson end up in the batting order in 2018 and beyond?
-- Darrin, Carlinville, Ill.
Moncada seems to be a solid fit at the No. 2 spot in the order. Anderson and Moncada form a pretty good double-trouble combination up top, but I could see Anderson in more of a run-producing spot at No. 6 or 7.
Any idea what the White Sox have in mind for Jose Abreu and Avisail Garcia, regarding extensions?
-- Matt, Plainfield, Ill.
The White Sox have never been shy about locking down a core piece, even with two years of control over both Garcia and Abreu. See Anderson, Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and Adam Eaton as examples.
I've said before that Abreu should be part of the rebuild. He's a top-notch middle-of-the-order presence, and he has become a true clubhouse leader. Garcia will be the team's right fielder at the start of '18, but I wouldn't be surprised if the White Sox waited a bit before looking long term to see if he follows up this amazing breakout.
Are the following players considered legit prospects: Justin Yurchak, Logan Taylor and Craig Dedelow?
-- Rich, Cary, Ill.
Before we start analyzing who is and isn't a prospect, let's allow these kids to have more than a few months in the Minors. As I mentioned in the last Inbox, I've heard very good reviews of Yurchak, and Dedelow and Taylor had good system debuts, although Dedelow struggled at Class A Kannapolis. But much like the top-rated prospects or top-round picks, let them develop before judgment.
In light of his challenges in the field and at the plate, this year, do you think that Anderson will be the everyday shortstop of the future?
-- Fred, North Riverside, Ill.
Anderson not only is the shortstop of the future, but also one of the franchise faces of the future. The biggest thing he had to handle this season was personal adversity off the field, with the tragic death of his close friend, but he entered Thursday's contest hitting .440 over a career-best-tying 11-game hitting streak. Anderson is going to be a solid player and organization staple for years to come.