Right-handed pitcher Lucas Giolito was a first-time All-Star featuring shutouts thrown at Houston and Minnesota, while third baseman Yoán Moncada might have had the most complete season of any position player on the White Sox. And now all four of these players are White Sox candidates for the 2019 All-MLB Team.
Abreu, who joked in-season about signing himself back with the team if the White Sox didn’t offer him a deal as a free agent, agreed to a three-year, $50 million contract on Friday. And the first baseman had huge praise for the club's young talent, featuring Anderson, Moncada and Giolito, among others, pointing the White Sox toward potential playoff contention in 2020.
“I haven’t had the chance to talk with other players in the league,” said Abreu through interpreter Billy Russo. “But I know that everybody has noticed us for the talent we have, for the young talent we have, for the young players we have. Everybody realizes we are going to be a very good team because we have talent, and we have very, very good young guys.
“There’s not any doubt that we are going to be really good because I know these guys. I’ve been working with them. And I know their desire to get better, their desire to compete and their desire to be champions. I know we are going to be good, and it’s going to be noticed around the league.”
The selection process for the 2019 All-MLB Team began Monday and runs through 4 p.m. CT on Dec. 3, with 50 percent of the vote coming from fans and 50 percent coming from a panel of experts.
Fans can vote once every 24 hours between now and when voting ends next Tuesday. The inaugural All-MLB Team will be announced on Dec. 10 at baseball’s annual Winter Meetings in San Diego.
There will be a first team and second team All-MLB, and voters are asked only to consider performance during the regular season when casting their ballots. Each team will include one selection at each position (including designated hitter and three outfielders, regardless of specific outfield position), five starting pitchers and two relievers.
Anderson, who missed from June 26 to July 29 with a high right ankle sprain, also had a career-high 32 doubles to go with 18 homers, 56 RBIs, 81 runs scored and 17 stolen bases. Abreu added a slash line of .284/.330/.503 with the career high in RBIs, 38 doubles and 33 home runs.
Moncada, who struck out 217 times during his first full season in 2018, bounced back to produce a slash line of .315/.367/.548, 34 doubles, 25 homers, 79 RBIs and 83 runs scored in '19 while playing solid defense at third base in the position switch from second. Giolito, who had the worst ERA among all qualifying starting pitchers in ’18 and topped the AL in walks, finished 14-9 with a 3.41 ERA this season and struck out 228 over 176 2/3 innings against 57 walks and 131 hits allowed. He finished tied for sixth in the AL Cy Young Award voting.
“[Giolito has] accomplished certain things and was able to dominate types of pitches, his changeup, obviously using his fastball, commanding, executing,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. “Now it’s more about consistency rather than to grow, and the growth will come with the consistency in which he executes.”