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Inbox: Who is on the White Sox offseason radar?

Beat reporter Scott Merkin answers early offseason questions
MLB.com

CHICAGO -- Here's a look at this week's White Sox questions, with the answers coming fresh off Monday's Eagles concert at the United Center.

Submit a question to the White Sox inbox

CHICAGO -- Here's a look at this week's White Sox questions, with the answers coming fresh off Monday's Eagles concert at the United Center.

Submit a question to the White Sox inbox

With the impending wave of young arms in the system, what kind of deal makes the most sense for a free agent pitcher this season?
Ryan, @Dunt1

Locking up a younger, veteran-type pitcher makes sense for the overall White Sox position, with maybe a two-year deal and an option for a third. Someone such as Nathan Eovaldi, the 28-year-old who started Game 3 of the ALCS for Boston, fits that mold. The White Sox have an apparent strong core of young starters, with Reynaldo Lopez, Lucas Giolito, Carlos Rodon and Michael Kopech already in the Majors, and Dylan Cease, MLB Pipeline's Pitcher of the Year and the White Sox Pitching Prospect of the Year, not far behind.

But the White Sox know a more experienced type of presence is needed in the group. They will probably go after a couple of starters, but one might be more of the bridge variety.

What is your assessment of the results produced by the current batting coach during his five seasons in that role?
Bill, Williamsburg, Va.

Paul Konerko once dubbed baseball's hitting coach position as the worst job in sports. Or maybe it was the toughest job in sports, but he isn't wrong in either direction. If the hitters come through, it's because of their talent. If they fail, a new hitting coach is needed.

White Sox hitters need to make more contact after a record-breaking strikeout season. At the very least, they need to do more with the at-bats where they aren't striking out. I don't necessarily think a change from Todd Steverson is needed in relation to that fact, if the hitters are connected to his work and there seems to be a central theme throughout the system.

This might be a stupid question, but here goes: Would the Sox consider using Matt Davidson out of the bullpen on a somewhat regular basis next season?
Sol, New York

Davidson has spoken about expanding his role to include part-time reliever and spoke of a planned offseason conversation with the White Sox to potentially explore that new role. He was not scored upon in three relief outing during the 2018 season and certainly looked more polished than a position player filling innings in a blowout, but the White Sox didn't seem quite as devoted to the added pitching responsibilities. It would have been interesting to see Davidson pitching in a somewhat higher leverage role for at least one game in September.

Video: NYY@CWS: Davidson works scoreless 9th, K's Stanton

In reference to Tim Anderson's extension early in his career, should we be expecting (general manager Rick) Hahn to try and extend guys like Giolito, (Yoan) Moncada and Lopez anytime soon?
John, Hinsdale, @jbomba14

The tremendous contracts involving Chris Sale, Jose Quintana and Adam Eaton locked down key core players, and eventually enhanced their trade return, and in turn, the rebuild. The White Sox have been good about targeting the right players for these sorts of contracts and will almost certainly try again.

Which free agents do you think the Sox should target either this offseason or next offseason to finish the process?
Troy, Mokena, IL, @TroyTeske1

I've already mentioned Eovaldi. Going after Manny Machado this offseason or Nolan Arenado after 2019 obviously makes sense, as does Jeurys Familia or Adam Ottavino out of the bullpen. A multi-purpose player such as Marwin Gonzalez also fits well, or maybe a reunion with infielder Eduardo Escobar. These are just a few names, and remember, trades are also in play as part of the finishing process.

Better fit in free agency -- McCutchen or (A.J.) Pollock?
Jeremy, Highland, Ind., @jeremyrat47

I'd go for Andrew McCutchen for a couple of years. He would be a good fit with the younger players, although he's not a center fielder any longer, which would fit more of the White Sox need. The White Sox are prospect rich in the outfield, so it will be interesting to see how deep they go with outside additions in that area.

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox

Robert making up for lost time in Fall League

MLB.com

Shortly before international signing rules drastically changed in the summer of 2017, the White Sox splurged one more time. That May, they gave Luis Robert a $26 million bonus -- the second-highest ever for an amateur, trailing only the $31 million the Red Sox handed Yoan Moncada -- and paid a matching amount as a penalty for exceeding their spending pool.

Shortly before international signing rules drastically changed in the summer of 2017, the White Sox splurged one more time. That May, they gave Luis Robert a $26 million bonus -- the second-highest ever for an amateur, trailing only the $31 million the Red Sox handed Yoan Moncada -- and paid a matching amount as a penalty for exceeding their spending pool.

Arizona Fall League overviews for all 30 teams

Robert had batted .401/.526/.687 in Cuba's top league as an 18-year-old in 2016, so Chicago hoped the potential five-tool outfielder could adapt easily to the Minors and advance rapidly. While his physical ability has been evident, he has had difficulty staying healthy.

Sent to the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League for his 2017 pro debut, he appeared in just 28 games while dealing with minor knee and ankle injuries. He injured ligaments in his left thumb on a slide during a Cactus League game this March, knocking him out for three months. He earned a promotion from low Class A Kannapolis to high Class A Winston-Salem after just two weeks, only to aggravate his thumb soon thereafter, forcing him to miss another month.

After all that inactivity, Robert, the White Sox No. 4 prospect, said he was thrilled and honored to get the opportunity to play in the Arizona Fall League. He worked on improving his English while sidelined but was frustrated by not being able to play.

"Unfortunately because of the thumb injury, I wasn't able to work on my game and keep getting better," Robert said through an interpreter. "But I'm happy that I'm here now."

Robert collected hits in his first four AFL starts for the Glendale Desert Dogs before tweaking a hamstring while running to first base on Oct. 12. His latest injury isn't considered serious and should cost him only a couple of games.

In 50 games between three levels this year, Robert batted .269/.333/.360 with 15 steals. He has the raw power and well above-average speed to be at least a 20-20 player, though he'll need to improve his plate discipline. Besides getting some much-needed reps, he hopes to use his time in the Fall League to hone his right-handed swing.

"My goal down here is just to perfect my swing," Robert said. "That way I can have better results here in the United States. I was coming in and out of the zone really quick with my bat. What we're trying to work on is that my bat stays on the plane a little longer so I can stay with the ball a little longer, maybe more with the secondary pitches."

Robert also needs to polish his center-field defense. With his speed and solid arm strength, he's capable of playing anywhere in the outfield, though it's his offensive potential that led the White Sox to invest $52 million in him.

White Sox hitters in the Fall League

Luis Alexander Basabe, OF -- Part of the Chris Sale trade with the Red Sox in December 2016, Basabe introduced himself to a national audience by homering off a 102-mph fastball from the Reds' Hunter Greene at the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game this July. A switch-hitting center fielder with 20-20 potential, the Venezuelan batted .258/.354/.445 with 15 homers and 16 steals between Class A Advanced and Double-A in 2018.

Video: WLD@USA: Basabe smashes a 2-run home run in the 3rd

Laz Rivera, SS -- Signed for $1,000 as a 28th-rounder out of Tampa in 2017, Rivera opened eyes by hitting .314/.361/.471 with 13 homers and 17 steals between two Class A stops during his first full pro season. He has impressive feel for the barrel and shows gap power with average speed and defensive ability.

White Sox pitchers in the Fall League

Tanner Banks, LHP -- A strike-throwing left-hander selected in the 18th round out of Utah in 2014, Banks led White Sox farmhands with 12 wins and ranked third with a 2.59 ERA while recording a 100/32 K/BB ratio in 146 innings between Class A Advanced and Double-A. His cutter is his best offering, and he also owns an 88-91 mph fastball and a curveball.

Zack Burdi, RHP -- The 26th overall pick in the 2016 Draft, Burdi ended his first pro season in Triple-A and seemed on the fast track to Chicago before having Tommy John surgery the following July. He showed closer stuff before he blew out his elbow, with a fastball that reached 102 mph and a sometimes-wipeout slider that climbed into the low 90s, and returned to work 6 1/3 innings in Rookie ball this summer.

Danny Dopico, RHP -- Dopico has averaged 12.1 strikeouts per nine innings since signing as an 11th-rounder from Florida International in 2015, getting swings and misses with a 92-96 mph fastball and a splitter and slider in the low 80s. He logged a 2.98 ERA with 77 strikeouts in 60 1/3 innings this year, mostly in high Class A.

Zach Thompson, RHP -- Thompson excelled in his first season as a full-time reliever, recording a 1.55 ERA with 76 strikeouts in 75 1/3 innings between high Class A and Double-A. The 2014 fifth-rounder from Texas-Arlington pairs a 92-96 fastball with a spike curveball that grades as a plus pitch at its best, and his 6-foot-7 frame creates nice angle.

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

Key 2018-19 free agents for all 30 MLB teams

MLB.com

An impressive collection of talent will hit the open market when free agency gets underway this offseason, and players are eligible to sign with a new team five days after the conclusion of the World Series. Here is a division-by-division breakdown of the key free agents for all 30 Major League clubs.

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

An impressive collection of talent will hit the open market when free agency gets underway this offseason, and players are eligible to sign with a new team five days after the conclusion of the World Series. Here is a division-by-division breakdown of the key free agents for all 30 Major League clubs.

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Atlanta Braves
Key free agents: RHP Brad Brach, 1B Lucas Duda, 3B Ryan Flaherty, OF Nick Markakis, C Rene Rivera, RHP Anibal Sanchez, C Kurt Suzuki, LHP Jonny Venters

Markakis was a valuable member of a youthful Braves club in 2018, providing veteran leadership and making the All-Star team for the first time in his career. Atlanta has a stellar farm system that is loaded with pitching prospects, which is one of the reasons why Sanchez is unlikely to be back after his impressive rebound campaign. But without an obvious replacement for Markakis in right field, the door remains open for the soon-to-be 35-year-old to return. Suzuki has formed a productive catching tandem with Tyler Flowers over the past two seasons, but the 35-year-old may be too expensive to bring back for a part-time role.

Miami Marlins
Key free agents: None

The Marlins' roster is replete with players who are at the early stages of their big league careers, putting them years away from free agency. After trading multiple big-name players last offseason, Miami will likely now look to deal veterans Starlin Castro and Martin Prado, as they are owed nearly $27 million combined in 2019.

New York Mets
Key free agents: LHP Jerry Blevins, OF Austin Jackson, C Devin Mesoraco, RHP AJ Ramos, INF Jose Reyes

There's a chance the Mets won't bring back any of these players after they combined for -1.7 Wins Above Replacement in 2018, per FanGraphs. With Travis d'Arnaud, T.J. Rivera and Juan Lagares returning from injuries, the Mets have obvious replacements for Mesoraco, Reyes and Jackson next year. Blevins is more likely to be back than Ramos, whose recovery from right shoulder surgery is expected to extend into next June and possibly longer.

Philadelphia Phillies
Key free agents: 3B/OF Jose Bautista, INF Asdrubal Cabrera, LHP Aaron Loup, C Wilson Ramos

All four players on Philadelphia's list were acquired late in the 2018 campaign as the Phillies made a playoff push that ultimately fell short. Instead of bringing back Ramos, who is sure to fetch a sizable multi-year deal, the Phils may give 25-year-old Jorge Alfaro another chance to show he can handle starting duties behind the plate. Cabrera could be a fallback option if the Phillies are unable to land Manny Machado in free agency.

Washington Nationals
Key free agents: OF Bryce Harper, RHP Jeremy Hellickson, RHP Kelvin Herrera, RHP Greg Holland, 1B Mark Reynolds, C Matt Wieters

Harper will be one of the top free agents available this offseason, and the Nats will likely make a major push to keep him in Washington. The club might also be interested in bringing back Holland and Hellickson, but the two righties are sure to draw interest from other clubs after boosting their value with the Nats. Washington is expected to try to upgrade at the catcher spot, which could leave Wieters looking for a new home.

NL CENTRAL

Chicago Cubs
Key free agents: RHP Jesse Chavez, LHP Jorge De La Rosa, LHP Jaime Garcia (club option), LHP Cole Hamels (club option), OF Jason Heyward (can opt out of his contract), RHP Brandon Kintzler (club and player options), 2B Daniel Murphy, RHP Pedro Strop (club option), LHP Justin Wilson

The Cubs have many decisions to make this offseason, most notably regarding the $20 million club option for Hamels, who was acquired from the Rangers at the non-waiver Trade Deadline and recorded a terrific 2.36 ERA over 12 starts. They also have a bevy of bullpen arms that are set to depart or have club options. The Cubs could try to retain Chavez and Strop, and Murphy could also be back (particularly given Addison Russell's suspension), as president of baseball operations Theo Epstein spoke highly of the second baseman's contributions after his acquisition from the Nationals.

Cincinnati Reds
Key free agents: RHP Matt Harvey

Cincinnati elected to keep Harvey at the non-waiver Trade Deadline instead of flipping him to a contender, and now face a decision about the right-hander, given that he has expressed openness to returning and the Reds will be seeking starting pitching depth this offseason. Outside of Harvey, the Reds don't have any key departures or options to worry about this winter, though Scooter Gennett and Billy Hamilton are due for free agency following the 2019 season.

Milwaukee Brewers
Key free agents: LHP Gio Gonzalez, OF Curtis Granderson, RHP Jeremy Jeffress (club option), LHP Dan Jennings, C Erik Kratz, RHPJordan Lyles (club option), LHP Wade Miley, 3B Mike Moustakas (mutual option), IF Eric Sogard, RHP Joakim Soria (club option)

The Brewers have most of their pitching depth locked up beyond this season, with Gonzalez, an in-season acquisition, and Miley, who was initially signed to a Minor League contract before the season, the only two starters set for free agency this offseason. Soria, a key piece of the Brewers' bullpen in their playoff run, has a $10 million team option for 2019, while closing option Jeffress has a much cheaper $3.175 million team option. The 38-year-old Kratz and 37-year-old Granderson are also bound for free agency. Given their security all over the roster, the Brewers are set to contend again in 2019 even if they don't make a big offseason splash.

Pittsburgh Pirates
Key free agents: IF/OF Josh Harrison (club option), IF Jung Ho Kang (club option), SS Jordy Mercer

After making a splash by trading for Chris Archer in 2018, the Pirates appear to be mostly set with their pitching staff but will be looking for a bat in the offseason, likely at shortstop, especially if they don't end up bringing Kang back after his late-season cameo. Even if they don't make a Manny Machado-sized splash at shortstop, the market is deep this offseason, with Jose Iglesias, Freddy Galvis and Adeiny Hechavarria among the names that will be in play. It seems unlikely that the Pirates will pick up Harrison's $10.5 million option.

St. Louis Cardinals
Key free agents: 1B Matt Adams, RHP Bud Norris, C Francisco Pena, RHP Tyson Ross

Adam Wainwright already avoided free agency by agreeing to a one-year deal to return for his 15th season with the Cardinals. Improving the bullpen to build around Jordan Hicks will be a priority for the Cardinals, especially with the departure of Norris, who provided stability at closer for much of the season. Though Adams likely won't be on the Cardinals' radar again, St. Louis is thought to be looking for an impact left-handed hitter, with needs at outfield and third base.

NL WEST

Arizona Diamondbacks
Key free agents: RHP Clay Buchholz, LHP Patrick Corbin, RHP Randall Delgado, 2B Daniel Descalso, LHP Jake Diekman, 3B Eduardo Escobar, 1B Paul Goldschmidt (club option), OF Jon Jay, C Jeff Mathis, OF A.J. Pollock, C Chris Stewart, OF Yasmany Tomas (player option)

The D-backs could lose two key contributors this winter, with Corbin and Pollock likely to exceed Arizona's price range, but Buchholz, Descalso and Mathis are strong candidates to return. Neither Goldschmidt nor Tomas is expected to hit the open market. The D-backs are sure to pick up Goldschmidt's $14.5 million club option for 2019, and Tomas will undoubtedly exercise his player options for '19-20, valued at $15.5 million next year and $17 million in '20, after spending all of '18 in the Minors.

Colorado Rockies
Key free agents: C Drew Butera, OF Carlos Gonzalez, OF Matt Holliday, 2B DJ LeMahieu, RHP Seunghwan Oh (club option), RHP Adam Ottavino, OF Gerardo Parra

The Rockies will have to decide whether they want to compete for LeMahieu this winter or if they're ready to turn the reins at second base over to one of their middle-infield prospects, Garrett Hampson and Brendan Rodgers. They also face decisions in the outfield, where Gonzalez, Parra and Holliday are impending free agents, and in the bullpen with Ottavino and Oh, who has a $2.5 million option for 2019 with a $250,000 buyout.

Los Angeles Dodgers
Key free agents: RHP John Axford, 2B Brian Dozier, C Yasmani Grandal, RHP Daniel Hudson, LHP Clayton Kershaw (opt out), SS Manny Machado, RHP Ryan Madson, LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu

Machado is among the headliners in this year's star-studded free agent class, and longtime Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw could add his name to the mix if he opts out of his contract. The Dodgers will try to retain Machado, whom they acquired from the Orioles at the non-waiver Trade Deadline, but they'll have stiff competition as he's likely to cash in for a big payday. The oft-injured Ryu posted a 1.97 ERA through 15 regular season starts in 2018 and pitched well in the playoffs to improve his stock heading into free agency.

San Diego Padres
Key free agents: C A.J. Ellis, SS Freddy Galvis

The Padres' 2018 roster will remain mostly intact with only Galvis and Ellis entering free agency, and both are candidates to return. Ellis is less likely to be re-signed, however, with young catchers Austin Hedges and Francisco Mejia in the mix. San Diego may also let Galvis walk if he wants a multi-year deal, with Fernando Tatis Jr. (San Diego's No. 1 prospect, per MLB Pipeline) nearing big league readiness and Luis Urias (San Diego's No. 4 prospect) likely to take over as the club's starting second baseman in 2019.

San Francisco Giants
Key free agents: OF Gregor Blanco, RHP Madison Bumgarner (club option), LHP Derek Holland, C Nick Hundley, RHP Mark Melancon (can opt out of his contract), OF Hunter Pence, 3B Pablo Sandoval

The Giants are expected to pick up Bumgarner's $12 million option, and Melancon is almost certainly staying put for the final two years of his four-year, $62 million deal, but the club will likely part ways with veterans Pence and Blanco. The Giants may try bring back Holland, who enjoyed a bounceback campaign and anchored an injury-riddled Giants rotation in 2018, and Hundley, who capably backed up Buster Posey.

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Baltimore Orioles
Key free agents: OF Adam Jones

The O's list has just one man on it, as they traded nearly every player on an expiring contract, including Manny Machado, Zach Britton and Brad Brach, during their 2018 roster purge. Baltimore would have dealt Jones as well, but he was unwilling to waive his 10-and-5 rights. Jones may be interested in returning, but he would likely need to accept a significantly reduced role as the Orioles look to the future.

Boston Red Sox
Key free agents: RHP Nathan Eovaldi, RHP Joe Kelly, RHP Craig Kimbrel, 2B Ian Kinsler, IF Eduardo Nunez (player option), 1B/OF Steve Pearce, 2B Brandon Phillips, LHP Drew Pomeranz, LHP David Price (can opt out of his contract), LHP Chris Sale (club option)

Even if the Red Sox pick up Chris Sale's $15 million club option for 2019, which they likely will, and David Price doesn't opt out of the four years and $127 million remaining on his contract, they still have a number of important players hitting free agency. Kimbrel is the biggest name among them, though it's unclear if Boston will be willing to hand out a big contract for a player who regressed some from '17 to '18 and was shaky in the playoffs. The Red Sox will probably look to re-sign Eovaldi, who excelled after joining the club in a July trade (3.33 ERA, 2.88 FIP).

New York Yankees
Key free agents: LHP Zach Britton, OF Brett Gardner (club option), LHP J.A. Happ, SS Adeiny Hechavarria, RHP Lance Lynn, OF Andrew McCutchen, RHP David Robertson, LHP CC Sabathia, 2B/OF Neil Walker

The Yankees have a busy offseason ahead of them, especially on the pitching side of the ledger. Even if prospect Justus Sheffield is ready to claim a rotation spot behind Luis Severino and Masahiro Tanaka, that still leaves two open starting jobs. Meanwhile, the Yankees' vaunted bullpen could lose two key pieces in Robertson and Britton. Gardner was New York's longest-tenured player in 2018, but the club may pass on his $12.5 million club option ($2 million buyout) after the veteran outfielder posted a .690 OPS this past season.

Tampa Bay Rays
Key free agents: OF Carlos Gomez, RHP Sergio Romo

Romo was an integral member of the Rays' pitching staff for much of the 2018 season, racking up 25 saves and making five appearances as an "opener." However, he recorded a 10.00 ERA in September and will be 36 years old on Opening Day in '19. The cost-conscious Rays may opt to move on and give an opportunity to a younger alternative. As for Gomez, the veteran outfielder is unlikely to be back after posting a .634 OPS over 118 games in 2018.

Toronto Blue Jays
Key free agents: RHP Tyler Clippard, RHP Marco Estrada, 1B Justin Smoak (club option), INF Yangervis Solarte (club option)

Much like Baltimore, Toronto dealt many impending free agents during the 2018 season, including Josh Donaldson, J.A. Happ, Steve Pearce, Curtis Granderson and John Axford. With Rowdy Tellez looking ready for an expanded role at first base, the Jays could pick up Smoak's reasonable $8 million club option and then trade the veteran this offseason. Estrada is likely gone after recording a 5.27 ERA with a 4.97 FIP in 61 starts over the past two years, as the Blue Jays can likely get similar production from a younger and cheaper pitcher.

AL CENTRAL

Chicago White Sox
Key free agents: RHP Jeanmar Gomez, RHP Miguel Gonzalez, RHP Nate Jones (club option), LHP Hector Santiago, RHP James Shields (club option)

The White Sox are close to emerging from their rebuild, and the club could look for more pitching help this offseason, since Michael Kopech is now sidelined for 2019 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. They have a $4.65 million option for Jones that they could exercise, but it seems unlikely that they'd exercise Shields' $16 million club option.

Cleveland Indians
Key free agents: RHP Cody Allen, OF Michael Brantley, OF Melky Cabrera, RHP Carlos Carrasco (club option), OF Lonnie Chisenhall, OF Rajai Davis, 3B Josh Donaldson, OF Brandon Guyer (club option), LHP Andrew Miller, LHP Oliver Perez, IF Adam Rosales, RHP Josh Tomlin

Miller headlines a productive crop of prospective free agents departing Cleveland this season, with outfield and the bullpen being the two areas that stand to be hit hardest by the departures. Allen, Brantley and Miller are eligible for the $17.9 million qualifying offer. The Indians do have some security in the bullpen with midseason acquisitions Brad Hand and Adam Cimber both controllable for several more seasons, but bolstering the relief corps will be an offseason priority for the Tribe, who got subpar seasons from both Allen and Miller in 2018. Outfield is also an area of need, especially if Brantley departs, with no clear-cut starter at any of the three spots entering the offseason.

Detroit Tigers
Key free agents: SS Jose Iglesias, LHP Francisco Liriano, C Jarrod Saltalamacchia

Iglesias, Liriano and the retiring Victor Martinez are the key departures for the rebuilding Tigers, who also dealt impending free agent Mike Fiers to the A's in August. The Tigers will likely be in the market for a shortstop, as they don't have an immediate heir lined up in the event of Iglesias' departure, and will likely look to add to the rotation.

Kansas City Royals
Key free agents: SS Alcides Escobar, RHP Jason Hammel (mutual option), RHP Wily Peralta (club option)

After trading Jon Jay, Lucas Duda, Kelvin Herrera and Mike Moustakas this season, the Royals figure to let Escobar walk, as Adalberto Mondesi is now their starting shortstop. The Royals will almost certainly pay a $2 million buyout to get Hammel off the books instead of exercising his $12 million mutual option for 2019, but they could bring back Peralta, their closer, on a cheaper $3 million team option, especially since they'll likely be looking for bullpen help this offseason.

Minnesota Twins
Key free agents: RHP Matt Belisle, 2B Logan Forsythe, C Chris Gimenez, 1B/DH Joe Mauer, 1B/DH Logan Morrison (club option), RHP Ervin Santana (club option)

The most pressing offseason question for the Twins will be at first base with the possible departure of Mauer to either free agency or retirement and Morrison's disappointing performance in 2018, after which the Twins are not expected to pick up his $8 million option for 2019. The departures of Forsythe, Brian Dozier (traded to Dodgers) and Eduardo Escobar (traded to D-backs) also leave openings in the middle infield for the Twins. The Twins need lots of help in the bullpen and could always use more starting depth, with Santana's option unlikely to be picked up.

AL WEST
Los Angeles Angels
Key free agents: RHP Jim Johnson, RHP Garrett Richards, RHP Junichi Tazawa, OF Chris Young, OF Eric Young Jr., RHP Blake Wood

The Angels will retain much of their core. Johnson will likely draw interest on the open market for clubs in need of dependable bullpen arms. Richards pitched well in 16 starts this season, but will be out of action until 2020 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Young also suffered a season-ending injury (labral tears in both hips) but is expected to be ready for Spring Training.

Houston Astros
Key free agents: DH Evan Gattis, UTIL Marwin Gonzalez, LHP Dallas Keuchel, C Martin Maldonado, RHP Charlie Morton, LHP Tony Sipp

Keuchel figures to be one of the most sought-after starting pitchers on the market this winter. The 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner has spent his entire career with the Astros, but could anchor another team's staff in 2019. Morton also figures to draw considerable interest coming off his first All-Star season at age 34. Maldonado will be part of a deep class of veteran backstops.

Oakland A's
Key free agents: LHP Brett Anderson, RHP Trevor Cahill, RHP Jeurys Familia, RHP Edwin Jackson, OF Matt Joyce, 2B Jed Lowrie, C Jonathan Lucroy

The A's looming free agents are headlined by a pair of veterans in Lucroy and Lowrie. Lucroy is more likely to return with Franklin Barreto ready to take over as Oakland's everyday second baseman. Joyce is likely the odd man out in a crowded A's outfield. It's unclear if the A's will try to retain any of their veteran starting pitchers.

Seattle Mariners
Key free agents: 2B Gordon Beckham, DH Nelson Cruz, LHP Zach Duke, RHP Hisashi Iwakuma, OF Cameron Maybin, RHP David Phelps, UTIL Andrew Romine, OF Denard Span (mutual option), RHP Adam Warren

Cruz represents the biggest free agent choice for the Mariners this winter. Both sides have expressed interest in a reunion, but Seattle must decide whether it wants to commit to a multi-year deal with the 38-year-old slugger or utilize that money elsewhere, with needs on the pitching staff and in center field. Span has a $12 million mutual option with a $4 million buyout. Iwakuma left the Mariners in September to pursue pitching opportunities in Japan.

Texas Rangers
Key free agents: SS Elvis Andrus (can opt out of his contract), 3B Adrian Beltre, C Robinson Chirinos (club option), RHP Bartolo Colon, RHP Doug Fister (club option), RHP Yovani Gallardo, LHP Matt Moore (club option), LHP Martin Perez (club option)

The Rangers are awaiting Beltre's decision on his baseball future, and if the third baseman opts to continue playing, they could re-sign him. Andrus could opt out of his contract, leaving four years and $58 million on the table, but is more likely to stay put. The Rangers will likely pick up Chirinos' option, and decline their options on Moore and Fister. Perez's option is for $7.5 million and it remains to be seen what Texas will do with the left-hander coming off a down year. Colon and Gallardo aren't expected to return.

Thomas Harrigan is an editor for MLB.com.

Do-Hyoung Park is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter at @dohyoungpark.

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Here's what happened in Wednesday's AFL action

MLB.com

Here's a team-by-team breakdown of how all 30 teams' prospects fared in Arizona Fall League action on Wednesday:

Gameday: Peoria 7, Surprise 2 | Mesa 1, Salt River 6 | Glendale 2, Scottsdale 1

Here's a team-by-team breakdown of how all 30 teams' prospects fared in Arizona Fall League action on Wednesday:

Gameday: Peoria 7, Surprise 2 | Mesa 1, Salt River 6 | Glendale 2, Scottsdale 1

AL East

Blue Jays (Surprise)
Blue Jays top prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (No. 1 overall) posted his second non-multi-hit performance during the Fall League season as he went 1-for-4 with a single. The 19-year-old phenom is hitting .538 with five doubles and nine RBIs and has hit safely in all six of his games. No. 9 Cavan Biggio went 0-for-4 with a walk and also recorded an outfield assist when he helped double a runner off first base in the seventh inning. Right-hander Jackson McClelland pitched around three walks to complete two hitless innings in relief. He's posted four hitless frames between two appearances.

Orioles (Glendale)
Orioles pitching prospects Chris Lee and Tyler Erwin had near opposite nights on the mound. Lee struck out four over four scoreless innings and Erwin walked three, while only recording one out. Tanner Chleborad also threw in the game and fired one scoreless frame. Martin Cervenka entered the game as a pinch hitter and finished 0-for-2.

2018 Arizona Fall League rosters

Rays (Peoria)
Rays No. 17 prospect Joe McCarthy scored a run and walked three times out of the No. 3 spot in the lineup. Brandon Lawson allowed one earned run on two hits and two walks with three strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings of relief.

Red Sox (Mesa)
Bobby Dalbec, the Red Sox No. 6 prospect, went 0-for-4, while Josh Ockimey (No. 10) didn't fare much better, finishing 1-for-4. Esteban Quiroz also went 0-for-4 and is now hitting .250. Josh Taylor got the start, but had a rough go of it as he gave up three hits in two innings. Taylor gave up three runs, but onle one was earned.

Yankees (Scottsdale)
Yankees prospects struggled offensively as Thairo Estrada (Yankees No. 16), Estevan Florial (No. 2) and Steven Sensley went 1-for-11.

AL Central

Indians (Glendale)
Yu Change, the Indians No. 6 prospect, Li-Jen Chu and Connor Marabell went 1-for-13. Rob Kaminsky struck out two and retired all four batters he faced.

Royals (Surprise)
No Royals prospects played on Wednesday.

Tigers (Mesa)
Tigers No. 8 prospect Daz Cameron went 0-for-3, while Jake Rogers (No. 12) picked up a single and went 1-for-3. Daniel Woodrow also went 1-for-2 with an RBI. A trio of Tigers pitching prospects were also in action as Sandy Baez (No. 26), Eduardo Jimenez and John Schreiber all threw for the Solar Sox. Baez threw a scoreless 1 1/3 innings, while Jimenez and Schreiber combined to give up three runs (two earned) in 2 2/3 innings. 

Twins (Salt River)
No Twins prospects played on Wednesday.

White Sox (Glendale)
White Sox No. 17 prospect Zack Burdi struck out two while retiring the side in order. Danny Dopico was stuck with a hard-luck loss, but performed well as he gave up an unearned run and fanned three in 1 2/3 innings. Luis Alexander Basabe (No. 9) raised his average to .273 with a 2-for-4 night. Laz Rivera went 1-for-4 and scored a run.

AL West

A's (Salt River)
Luis Barrera went 1-for-4 and scored a run.

Angels (Mesa)
Angels No. 4 prospect Jahmai Jones had a tough night at the plate, finishing 1-for-4 with a trio of strikeouts. Jones is now hitting .250 in the Fall League.

Astros (Scottsdale)
Ronnie Dawson went 0-for-4.

Mariners (Peoria)
Mariners No. 9 prospect Wyatt Mills (1 1/3 innings pitched, one walk, one strikeout) and David McKay (one inning, one walk, two strikeouts) both made scoreless appearances out of the bullpen. Catcher Joe DeCarlo scored a run and walked three times as part of an 0-for-2 showing.

Rangers (Surprise)
Saguaros starter Tai Tiedemann could not escape the first inning, as he allowed three earned runs on three hits and two walks while recording only two outs. Demarcus Evans, the Minors' strikeouts-per-nine-innings leader (16.6) among relievers in '18, fanned three batters but allowed two earned runs on two hits and two walks in his lone relief inning. Rangers No. 15 prospect C.D. Pelham scuffled as well, giving up one earned run on one hit and three walks. Third baseman Charles Leblanc went 0-for-4 with a strikeout.

NL East

Braves (Peoria)
Braves No. 6 prospect Cristian Pache (No. 68 overall) went 2-for-5 with two singles and two RBIs, while outfielder Izzy Wilson tallied his first Fall League double to finish 2-for-4 with a run and a stolen base. Javelinas shortstop Ray-Patrick Didder went 0-for-3 out of the leadoff spot, but he drew three walks and stole two bases.

Marlins (Salt River)
Marlins No. 16 prospect Jordan Yamamoto put together a stron performance for the second time in as many Fall League starts. The right-hander gave up one run on two hits and struck out six over three innings. Tommy Eveld, Chad Smith and Kyle Keller also took the mound and each threw a scoreless inning. Keller struck out the side. Offensively, Monte Harrison (No. 1) drove in a pair of runs with RBI singles, finishing 2-for-3 and Brian Miller went 1-for-4. More »

Video: Yamamoto on Outing, Coming back from Injury, Statue

Mets (Scottsdale)
Mets No. 2 prospect Peter Alonso went 0-for-3, but did drive in the winning run when he drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the 11th. Andres Gimenez (No. 1) entered the game as a pinch-runner and scored the winning run on Alonso's walk. Gerson Bautista gave up one run on one hit in 1/3 of an inning. More »

Nationals (Mesa)
Nationals No. 2 prospect Carter Kieboom went 0-for-3, but also scored a run. Meanwhile, Daniel Johnson (No. 7) and Jake Noll both went 0-for-4.

Phillies (Scottsdale)
Austin Listi drew a walk in his only plate appearance, while Darik Hall went 1-for-3 and Arquimedes Gamboa (Phillies No. 11) went 1-for-4. Luke Leftwich gave up one hit, but also struck out the side in his inning of work.

NL Central

Brewers (Peoria)
Brewers No. 1 prospect Keston Hiura (No. 30 overall) recorded his Fall League-leading 16th RBI -- a total he's amassed in only six games -- as he went 1-for-5. First baseman Weston Wilson went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and committed an error, his third in two games this fall.

Cardinals (Surprise)
Cardinals No. 30 prospect Connor Jones allowed one earned run on three hits in 2 1/3 innings of relief, striking out four. Shortstop Tommy Edman and catcher Jeremy Martinez each went 1-for-4 in a game that the Saguaros mustered only five hits. Second baseman Andy Young's double was the club's only extra-base hit, and he also walked twice and scored a run. Lane Thomas went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.

Cubs (Mesa)
Cubs No. 6 prospect Nico Hoerner went 1-for-4, while Manuel Rondon threw two scoreless innings. He didn't yield a hit, but walked two and struck out two.

Pirates (Surprise)
Pirates No. 8 prospect Bryan Reynolds went 0-for-1 with two walks and a first-inning sacrifice fly that put Surprise on the board. Will Craig singled and struck out twice in a 1-for-4 performance. 6-foot-6 righty Geoff Hartlieb was sharp out of the Saguaros' bullpen as he racked up four strikeouts across two scoreless innings.

Reds (Scottsdale)
Reds' No. 3 prospect Taylor Trammell drove in Scottsdale's first run, but that was the extent of his night as he went 1-for-4 with an RBI. Alfredo Rodriguez (No. 23) went 0-for-4. A trio of Reds pitching prospects also got in the game as Ty Boyles, Alex Powers and Wyatt Strahan finished the game with a combined 3 2/3 scoreless innings.

NL West

D-backs (Salt River)
D-backs' No. 5 prospect Daulton Varsho reached base in all four of his trips to the plate. Varsho went 2-for-2 with two RBIs and also drew a pair of walks. Jazz Chisholm (No. 3) went 1-for-5, but made some nice plays in the field and Dominic Miroglio went 0-for-4.

Dodgers (Glendale)
Andre Scrubb gave up one run on two hits in an inning. Cody Thomas went 0-for-3 and drew a walk.

Giants (Scottsdale)
Giants No. 10 prospect Heath Quinn, C.J. Hinojosa (No. 28) and Matt Winn struggled at the plate and combined for a 1-for-12 night. Melvin Adon (No. 19) and Garrett Williams (No. 20) fared much better on the mound. Williams, who started for the Scorpions, gave up three hits over four scoreless innings while Adon followed him and struck out four in two perfect frames.

Padres (Peoria)
Padres No. 23 prospect Hudson Potts connected on his first Fall League homer, a three-run shot with two outs in the first inning that put the Javelinas ahead for good. He went 2-for-5 and also stole a base. Toolsy outfielder Buddy Reed (No. 13) paced the offense with his 3-for-5 showing from the bottom of the lineup. He scored a team-high two runs and stole two bases. Peoria starter Miguel Diaz allowed one earned run on two hits over four innings to earn the win, and fireballer Dauris Valdez closed it out with a scoreless ninth. More »

Video: Hudson Potts discusses his homer, Buddy Reed

Rockies (Salt River)
Tyler Nevin, the Rockies No. 11 prospect, upped his AFL RBI total to seven as he finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs. On the mound, Jesus Tinoco (No. 20) and Mitch Horacek combined for three scoreless innings.

Prospect Hamilton learning from tough games

Yielding grand slam to Kipnis a valuable teaching experience
MLB.com

CHICAGO -- White Sox No. 16 prospect Ian Hamilton notched his first career Major League strikeout in his second big league appearance on Sept. 3 against the Tigers' Victor Reyes.

Hamilton's first career victory came on Sept. 25 at home against the Indians after Daniel Palka's walk-off single followed exactly one pitch thrown by the 23-year-old right-hander.

CHICAGO -- White Sox No. 16 prospect Ian Hamilton notched his first career Major League strikeout in his second big league appearance on Sept. 3 against the Tigers' Victor Reyes.

Hamilton's first career victory came on Sept. 25 at home against the Indians after Daniel Palka's walk-off single followed exactly one pitch thrown by the 23-year-old right-hander.

But the biggest moment of Hamilton's debut season came on Sept. 19 at Progressive Field, when Jason Kipnis hit a walk-off grand slam and erased a 1-0 White Sox lead during Hamilton's first save opportunity. Rather, it might have been the greatest teaching experience.

Video: Must C Clutch: Kipnis gets hit 1,000 on walk-off slam

"That's what I'll probably remember until next season," said Hamilton with a wry smile during a recent interview.

"I definitely learned, 'Don't just throw a changeup right down the middle of the plate, especially to a veteran hitter,'" Hamilton continued. "But I've learned that you don't want to feel like that again. Kind of looking back on that, if I had to redo it again, I would probably step off, take an extra second and go back into it. I'm not mad about any of that. Just kind of a learning experience."

Over 10 appearances during the 2018 campaign, Hamilton posted a 4.50 ERA with five strikeouts and two walks in eight innings. The 11th-round pick out of Washington State in the 2016 Draft gained valuable high-leverage experience beyond Kipnis' infamous connection.

Some in the organization have talked about Hamilton as a late-inning hurler, if not a closer, of the future. And pitching with the game on the line is the only thing Hamilton has dreamed about since he picked up a baseball.

Video: BOS@CWS: Hamilton pitches scoreless inning in debut

"Oh, yeah. I love that," said Hamilton of closing. "That's one of the best positions in baseball. Almost in play pretty much every day.

"It's like being in that situation, it's a different feel, going into the game like that, knowing it's one to three runs compared to just coming in in the middle of the game. You still get an adrenaline rush, but it's a way different feel."

Hamilton's jump to the Majors on Aug. 31 completed his single-season rise from Double-A Birmingham to Triple-A Charlotte, where he recorded a combined 22 saves, a 1.74 ERA and 62 strikeouts against 16 walks in 51 2/3 innings. Hamilton figures to break camp with the White Sox in 2019 and be part of the immediate late-innings mix.

If Hamilton lands in the closer's role he craves, the right-hander will have that Kipnis walk-off grand slam stored away as part of his development process.

"I've learned you have to make pitches and you have to really be locked in, like every single day you come in," Hamilton said. "Your number can get called pretty much any day, any time. So just being like more prepared for the game, pretty much.

"Being young, you want to see how you handle anything. I'd love to come out on top of that, but at the same time it's like, now I know what that feels like, being the lowest part of that and if I get in that situation again, I kind of have that insight, kind of now I know what I should do."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox, Ian Hamilton

Every club's best individual playoff performance

From MadBum to Mr. October, these runs went down in franchise lore
MLB.com

One of the many joys of baseball's postseason is how one player can make such an outsized difference. There's no better time for a player to go on a hot streak than in the playoffs, when he's able to carry his team for a whole series -- maybe even to a championship. Baseball is a game of ebbs and flows, of zeniths and nadirs, and everyone wants to break out and have a heater in October.

With that in mind, we look at the greatest postseason runs by a player on each of baseball's 30 teams. These are the sort of streaks that make legends in their hometowns ... the sort of runs we'll talk about forever.

One of the many joys of baseball's postseason is how one player can make such an outsized difference. There's no better time for a player to go on a hot streak than in the playoffs, when he's able to carry his team for a whole series -- maybe even to a championship. Baseball is a game of ebbs and flows, of zeniths and nadirs, and everyone wants to break out and have a heater in October.

With that in mind, we look at the greatest postseason runs by a player on each of baseball's 30 teams. These are the sort of streaks that make legends in their hometowns ... the sort of runs we'll talk about forever.

Note: We're sticking to the divisional era here, which goes back to 1969, and is the dawn of the modern postseason.

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Blue Jays: Paul Molitor, 1993
.447/.527/.851, World Series MVP
Everyone remembers the Joe Carter homer, but Molitor was a monster that whole postseason for the Blue Jays at the age of 37. He was terrific back in 1982 for the Brewers, too.

Orioles: Brooks Robinson, 1970
.485/.471/.788, World Series MVP
This was, of course, the same World Series in which he made the ridiculous play at third base … though with Robinson, it's always a question of which ridiculous play.

Video: #WeKnowPostseason: Robinson's Play

Rays: James Shields, 2008
2-2, 25 IP, 2.88 ERA
This is where the "Big Game James" nickname came from, even if it maybe lasted a year or two longer than it should have.

Red Sox: David Ortiz, 2004
.400/.515/.764, ALCS MVP
It's rather difficult, all told, to figure out which Ortiz postseason to pick: He had an OPS over 1.204 in October for all three of the Red Sox championship teams he played for.

Video: 2004 ALCS Gm7: Ortiz's homer gives Red Sox early lead

Yankees: Reggie Jackson, 1978
.417/.511/.806
The highest qualified OPS by Yankees are, in fact, 2018 Aaron Judge and 2006 Derek Jeter ... but how do you not pick Mr. October?

AL CENTRAL

Indians: Orel Hershiser, 1995
4-1, 35 1/3 IP, 1.53 ERA, ALCS MVP
The season with the other Indians' World Series loss -- no, the other one -- featured vintage Hershiser ... and he split a couple of duels with Greg Maddux in the World Series, too.

Royals: Danny Jackson, 1985
2-1, 26 IP, 1.04 ERA
Bret Saberhagen is remembered as the hero of this Royals team -- along with Don Denkinger, of course -- but Jackson was actually the best pitcher for the Royals that postseason.

Tigers: Alan Trammell, 1984
.419/.500/.806, World Series MVP
Trammell put the perfect capper on the Tigers' dream season. This was a quiet argument for Trammell's Hall of Fame candidacy.

Twins: Jack Morris, 1991
4-0, 36 1/3 IP, 2.23 ERA, World Series MVP
Speaking of the Hall of Fame ... this postseason is almost certainly why Morris currently has a plaque in Cooperstown.

Video: 1991 WS Gm7: Morris' 10-inning shutout

White Sox: Jermaine Dye, 2005
.311/.415/.444, World Series MVP
Several White Sox players had a higher OPS than Dye that postseason -- including Joe Crede, Scott Podsednik and Paul Konerko -- but you've got to go with the World Series MVP.

AL WEST

Angels: Francisco Rodriguez, 2002
5-1, 18 2/3 IP, 1.93 ERA
Back when there were more rigid bullpen roles, K-Rod was deployed liberally and devastatingly in 2002, back when he was 20 years old.

Astros: Carlos Beltran, 2004
.435/.536/1.022
Cardinals fans will be having nightmares about 2004 Carlos Beltran for decades to come ... and they won that series.

Video: 2004 NLCS Gm4: Beltran hits eighth homer of playoffs

Athletics: Dave Stewart, 1989
4-0, 32 IP, 2.25 ERA, World Series MVP
Stewart had a career 2.77 postseason ERA in 133 innings ... he would actually win the ALCS MVP the very next season, too.

Mariners: Ken Griffey Jr., 1995
.364/.442/.818
Jay Buhner was just as good as The Kid in 1995 ... but Griffey is Griffey.

Rangers: Juan Gonzalez, 1996
.438/.526/1.375
The Rangers actually lost this Division Series in four games, but good heavens, was Juan Gone ever a monster, hitting five homers in four games.

Video: 1996 ALDS Gm4: Juan Gonzalez's fifth home run of ALDS

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Braves: John Smoltz, 1996
4-1, 38 IP, 0.95 ERA
You could also go with Greg Maddux's 1995 run -- since the Braves won the World Series that year, after all -- and you wouldn't be wrong.

Marlins: Josh Beckett, 2003
2-2, 42 2/3 IP, 2.11 ERA, World Series MVP
After the Yankees and Red Sox had their first of two epic postseason battles, Beckett was happy to pick up the pieces in the World Series.

Video: WS Gm6: Beckett shuts out Yanks as Marlins win series

Mets: Bobby Ojeda, 1986
2-0, 27 IP, 2.33 ERA
Of all the great Mets starters on that team, it was Ojeda who had the best postseason.

Nationals: Stephen Strasburg, 2017
1-1, 14 IP, 0.00 ERA
Since we're excluding the Expos -- if we weren't, Steve Rogers in 1981 would be the obvious answer here -- we must dig into the gruesome land of the Nationals' postseason failures. Strasburg has the ultimate Nationals playoff line: 0 earned runs, 1 loss.

Video: WSH@CHC Gm4: Strasburg K's 12 over seven scoreless

Phillies: Cliff Lee, 2009
4-0, 40 1/3 IP, 1.56 ERA
Cole Hamels had the World Series MVP in '08, but Lee was actually better, in five more innings.

NL CENTRAL

Brewers: Ryan Braun, 2011
.405/.468/.714
This postseason performance feels like a lifetime ago, but it's one the Brewers sure would appreciate a repeat of.

Cardinals: David Freese, 2011
.397/.465/.794, NLCS MVP, World Series MVP
Freese actually struggled in the NLDS this season ... though he ended up making up for it.

Video: Must C Comeback: Freese's triple ties it up in ninth

Cubs: Jon Lester, 2016
3-1, 35 2/3 IP, 2.02 ERA, NLCS co-MVP
Lester still feels like the postseason starter Cubs fans trust most, and probably always will.

Pirates: Willie Stargell, 1979
.415/.435/.927, NLCS MVP, World Series MVP
He also shared the regular-season MVP Award this year, pulling off the rare trifecta.

Reds: Johnny Bench, 1976
.444/.464/.926, World Series MVP
Bench was as dominant as the Reds were in this matter-of-fact World Series sweep.

NL WEST

D-backs: Curt Schilling, 2001
4-0, 48 1/3 IP, 1.12 ERA, World Series co-MVP
Randy Johnson's line this exact 2001 postseason: 5-1, 41 1/3 IP, 1.52 ERA. That is ... difficult to beat.

Video: WS2001 Gm4: Schilling comes up clutch on short rest

Dodgers: Hershiser, 1988
3-0, 1 SV, 42 2/3 IP, 1.05 ERA, NLCS MVP, World Series MVP
Hershiser is the only pitcher to be on this list twice ... and how could he not be?

Giants: Madison Bumgarner, 2014
4-1, 1 SV, 52 2/3 IP, 1.03 ERA, NLCS MVP, World Series MVP
This is an obvious pick, but at this point I'd like to remind you that Barry Bonds put up a .356/.581/.978 in 2002.

Video: WS2014 Gm7: Bumgarner sets postseason innings record

Padres: Sterling Hitchcock, 1998
3-0, 22 IP, 1.23 ERA, NLCS MVP
He gave up only one earned run in six innings in his lone World Series start ... not that it did the Padres much good.

Rockies: Kaz Matsui, 2007
.304/.347/.500
It was a strange postseason for the Rockies in 2007, but if you forget the World Series happened altogether, it was a glorious one.

Will Leitch is a columnist for MLB.com.

Pipeline names White Sox Prospects of the Year

MLB.com

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- With the amazing results produced by right-handed pitcher Dylan Cease and outfielder Eloy Jimenez during the 2018 season, they really deserve their own separate stories to extol their virtues and list all their accolades.

But much like their situation soon to play out in Chicago, Cease and Jimenez share the spotlight in this instance as the MLB Pipeline Pitching and Hitting Prospects of the Year within the White Sox organization. It doesn't make the individual praise any less.

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- With the amazing results produced by right-handed pitcher Dylan Cease and outfielder Eloy Jimenez during the 2018 season, they really deserve their own separate stories to extol their virtues and list all their accolades.

But much like their situation soon to play out in Chicago, Cease and Jimenez share the spotlight in this instance as the MLB Pipeline Pitching and Hitting Prospects of the Year within the White Sox organization. It doesn't make the individual praise any less.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

"He definitely has big league stuff," said catcher Zack Collins of Cease, with the two working together at Double-A Birmingham in '18. "I don't care who is up at the plate. I don't care if it's Mike Trout. Just what he was showing was incredible. He's pumping 98 in there and then throwing 86-mph changeups 3-2. It was like, it was just incredible."

"I would say if there's one player who took the greatest strides, it would be Dylan Cease," said White Sox director of player development Chris Getz.

Each team's Hitting and Pitching Prospects of the Year were chosen by the MLB Pipeline staff. To receive consideration, players must have spent at least half the year in the Minors and appeared on the team's Top 30 Prospects list.

Numerous candidates for these awards stood out for the White Sox during Year 2 of their much-ballyhooed rebuild. But Cease and Jimenez emerged as the clear-cut choices.

Cease, the No. 25 prospect overall and No. 3 for the White Sox, was named MLB Pipeline Pitcher of the Year overall. He finished 12-2 with a 2.40 ERA over 23 starts combined for Class A Advanced Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham, striking out 160 over a career-high 124 innings pitched with an opponents' average of .189. In 10 starts for the Barons, Cease posted a 3-0 record with a 1.72 ERA and 78 strikeouts in 52 1/3 innings.

Video: Cease named Pipeline Pitcher of the Year

Jimenez, the top White Sox prospect and No. 3 prospect in the game, featured a combined .337 average with 22 home runs, 28 doubles, 75 RBIs and a .961 OPS during stops at Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte. His Charlotte numbers were off the charts, with a .355 average, .996 OPS, 12 homers and 33 RBIs.

Jimenez didn't get a Major League callup in September, with the White Sox wanting him to continue focusing on defense and fine-tuning his complete and immense skillset.

"His motivation to be great is going to make him great," said White Sox outfield/baserunning coordinator Aaron Rowand of Jimenez. "Obviously, the talent level is through the roof. But there's been a lot of guys who have a ton of talent but don't have the drive to be great.

"A lot of them make it and play in the big leagues and whatnot, but you look at them and go like, 'There could have been a lot more there.' I don't think that's going to be the case with Eloy. Eloy is driven. He wants to be great in all aspects of his game. I know he's going to go home and get his offseason program and workouts and stuff in and come back with the mission of making that team."

Video: Eloy Jimenez is ranked the No. 3 prospect by MLB.com

Yoan Moncada and Alec Hansen won these individual White Sox awards for the 2017 season. Cease and Jimenez can revel in their past season's accomplishments while looking toward a Major League arrival.

"It's nice to dream about and definitely through the grind you need something to keep you a little motivated and going," said Cease, concerning the Major Leagues after taking part in the White Sox's four-day mini-camp at Camelback Ranch this week. "I'll think about it. I'll prepare for it, but at the end of the day it's not my main focus. I've got to control what I can control.

"I try not to have huge expectations. It's more of I'm trying to figure out what to do in this moment to be the best pitcher I can be. I know that I have a lot of ability and potential, so for me it was just about what I can do to enhance that and see where it takes me."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox, Dylan Cease, Eloy Jimenez

Here's what happened in Tuesday's AFL action

MLB.com

Here's a team-by-team breakdown of how all 30 teams' prospects fared in Arizona Fall League action on Tuesday:

• Gameday: Salt River 2, Mesa 1 | Scottsdale 6, Glendale 1 | Surprise 8, Peoria 16

Here's a team-by-team breakdown of how all 30 teams' prospects fared in Arizona Fall League action on Tuesday:

• Gameday: Salt River 2, Mesa 1 | Scottsdale 6, Glendale 1 | Surprise 8, Peoria 16

AL East

Blue Jays (Surprise)
No. 1 overall prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. continued to rake, going 3-for-4 with a double, three RBIs and a walk for Surprise. Guerrero also stole his first base of the Fall League season. Santiago Espinal (Blue Jays' No. 22 prospect) went 0-for-3 with two walks, a run scored and a stolen base. Zach Jackson allowed three runs on one hit and two walks with one strikeout in two-thirds of an inning of relief.

2018 Arizona Fall League rosters

Orioles (Glendale)
Martin Cervenka went 1-for-3 with a double and a walk for Glendale. Steve Wilkerson went 1-for-4 from the leadoff spot.

Rays (Peoria)
Rays No. 9 prospect Lucius Fox went 2-for-5 with an RBI, a walk and two runs scored out of the leadoff spot for Peoria. Phoenix Sanders tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief, allowing one hit and two walks with one strikeout.

Red Sox (Mesa)
Red Sox No. 6 prospect Bobby Dalbec drove in a run, his fifth AFL RBI, as part of a 2-for-3 night.

Yankees (Glendale)
Yankees No. 2 prospect Estevan Florial went 0-for-3 with a walk and scored Glendale's lone run. Steven Sensley went 0-for-3 with a walk. Matt Wivinis tossed two scoreless innings of relief, allowing one hit and one walk with one strikeout. Hobie Harris allowed one run on one hit and one walk in one inning of relief.

AL Central

Indians (Glendale)
Indians No. 6 prospect Yu Chang went 1-for-4 with a single for Glendale. Connor Marabell went 0-for-4. Dalbert Siri pitched a scoreless inning of relief, issuing one walk.

Royals (Peoria)
Royals No. 2 prospect Khalil Lee went 2-for-5 with a two-run homer, his first long ball of the Fall League season, and a double for Surprise. Nick Heath went 3-for-4 with two walks, two runs scored and three stolen bases out of the leadoff spot. Meibrys Viloria went 0-for-4 with a walk.

Tigers (Mesa)
Tigers No. 14 prospect Gregory Soto got the start for Mesa and gave up one run on five hits over four innings. Daniel Pinero went 1-for-3.

Twins (Salt River)
Twins No. 18 prospect Travis Blankenhorn drew a walk, but was otherwise 0-for-3. Adam Bray threw an inning in relief and gave up one run on two hits. Hector Lujan fared a bit better as he threw a frame and retired the side in order. Devin Smeltzer took the mound next and gave up one hit in a scoreless inning.

White Sox (Glendale)
White Sox No. 9 prospect Luis Alexander Basabe went 1-for-4 with a single for Glendale. Zach Thompson allowed three unearned runs on two hits in an inning of relief. Luis Robert (No. 4) got the day off.

AL West

A's (Mesa)
Athletics No. 30 prospect Skye Bolt put together a strong night at the plate as he went 2-for-4 with a triple. Eli White (No. 18) went 0-for-2.

Angels (Mesa)
Angels No. 4 prospect Jahmai Jones went hitless (0-for-4), while Daniel Procopio threw two scoreless innings and gave up two hits.

Astros (Scottsdale)
Astros No. 2 prospect Forrest Whitley tossed four innings and notched his first win of the Fall League season for Scottsdale. The right-hander allowed one unearned run on two hits and a walk, striking out six. Ronnie Dawson went 1-for-4 with an RBI double. Drew Ferguson went 0-for-3 with an RBI. Erasmo Pinales tossed a scoreless inning, walking two and striking out one. More »

Video: Forrest Whitley on great start in Fall League

Mariners (Peoria)
Mariners No. 20 prospect Ian Miller hit a go-ahead, three-run home run for Peoria, finishing 1-for-3 with three RBIs, two walks and two runs scored. Evan White (No. 2) went 1-for-5 with two RBIs and a walk. Chris Mariscal went 3-for-5 with a triple, two RBIs and two runs scored. Matt Walker allowed three runs on one hit and three walks in one-third of an inning. More »

Video: Ian Miller on his homer, win in Fall League

Rangers (Surprise)
Yanio Perez went 2-for-6 with two RBIs out of the cleanup spot for Surprise. Julio Pablo Martinez (Rangers' No. 2 prospect) went 1-for-4 with two walks, a run scored and a stolen base. Joe Barlow struck out the only batter he faced in relief.

NL East

Braves (Peoria)
Braves No. 12 prospect Kyle Muller notched his first win of the Fall League season for Peoria, tossing two scoreless innings of relief. He allowed one hit and one walk while striking out three. Cristian Pache (No. 6) went 3-for-6 with two doubles and two runs scored out of the cleanup spot. Braxton Davidson went 1-for-2 with three walks and three runs scored.

Marlins (Salt River)
Marlins No. 26 prospect Bryson Brigman picked up a pair of his and went 2-for-4 out of the leadoff spot for Salt River. Brian Miller (No. 11) also got a hit and finished 1-for-3. Monte Harrison (No. 1) went 0-for-3, but reached once via a walk.

Mets (Scottsdale)
Mets No. 2 prospect Peter Alonso hit his second home run of the Fall League season for Scottsdale. He also doubled, drove in two runs and scored a pair, finishing 2-for-3. Ali Sanchez (No. 25) started at catcher and went 0-for-4. Matt Blackham pitched a perfect sixth inning and Joe Zanghi pitched a perfect seventh, each notching a strikeout.

Nationals (Salt River)
Nationals No. 23 prospect Luis Reyes tossed five scoreless innings of two-hit ball while giving up just two walks and striking out three. Reyes, who arguably has the best stuff in Washington's system but has struggled with command, also struck out three. Tres Barrera (No. 15) went 2-for-4.

Phillies (Scottsdale)
Phillies No. 11 prospect Arquimedes Gamboa went 1-for-2 with two walks and a run scored for Scottsdale. Luke Williams went 0-for-3 with a walk, an RBI and a run scored.

NL Central

Brewers (Peoria)
Brewers No. 1 prospect Keston Hiura (No. 30 overall) had a huge day for Peoria, going 3-for-5 with a home run, a triple, five RBIs, a walk and two runs scored. Hiura also made a nice defensive play during the sixth inning, using his glove to scoop a ground ball to first base for an out. Trent Grisham (Milwaukee's No. 19) went 0-for-3 with an RBI, two walks and a run scored. Mario Feliciano (No. 23) started at catcher and went 0-for-1. Bubba Derby got the start and allowed four runs on seven hits and three walks with three strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings.

Cardinals (Surprise)
Evan Kruczynski started for Surprise, tossing 3 2/3 scoreless innings with three hits allowed, three walks and three strikeouts. Conner Greene (Cardinals' No. 27 prospect) took the loss, allowing six runs on five hits and two walks in two-thirds of an inning of relief. Will Latcham allowed five runs on three hits and three walks in one-third of an inning of relief.

Cubs (Mesa)
Cubs No. 16 prospect D.J. Wilson was 0-for-4, as was Jhonny Pereda. Bailey Clark fired two perfect innings and struck out a pair in the process.

Pirates (Surprise)
Pirates No. 5 prospect Cole Tucker went 1-for-3 with two walks, an RBI and a run scored for Surprise. Bryan Reynolds (No. 9) went 0-for-3 with two walks, a run scored and a stolen base. Blake Weiman tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings of relief, allowing two hits and striking out one. Matt Eckelman allowed two runs on two hits and one walk in one inning of relief.

Reds (Scottsdale)
Reds prospects Taylor Trammell (No. 3) and Shed Long (No. 8) each notched a single for Scottsdale. Alfredo Rodriguez went 2-for-4 with a run scored, while Trammell also scored a run. Ty Boyles tossed a scoreless inning of relief, allowing one hit and striking out two.

NL West

D-backs (Salt River)
Pavin Smith, the D-backs' No. 4 prospect, went 1-for-4, but the hit was a go-ahead single in the top of the ninth. Drew Ellis (No. 9) went 0-for-4.

Dodgers (Glendale)
Ben Holmes started for Glendale and allowed two runs on four hits and one walk with three strikeouts. It was Holmes' first loss of the Fall League season. Errol Robinson (Dodgers' No. 20 prospect) went 0-for-3. Jared Walker went 0-for-3 with a walk.

Giants (Scottsdale)
Chase Johnson tossed a scoreless inning of relief for Scottsdale, allowing one hit and one walk.

Padres (Peoria)
Padres No. 25 prospect Austin Allen entered as a pinch-hitter for Peoria and went 2-for-2 with an RBI, a walk and two runs scored. Travis Radke allowed one run on two hits and three walks with four strikeouts in 1 2/3 innings of relief.

Rockies (Salt River)
Josh Fuentes went 1-for-4 at the plate, while Sam Hilliard, the Rockies No. 9 prospect, went 2-for-4 and continued his fast start in the AFL. Justin Lawrence (No. 17) picked up the save and struck out two in his inning of work. More »

Madrigal getting reps at shortstop at instructs

No. 4 overall pick among prospects impressing in Arizona
MLB.com

When the White Sox selected Nick Madrigal with the No. 4 overall pick in June, they had every intention of giving the Oregon State second baseman every chance to show that he could play shortstop. They still do. But that opportunity never materialized during his pro debut, when he played 39 games at second base and just one at short.

Instructional league is a perfect setting for giving players exposure to multiple positions, and Madrigal concentrated on playing shortstop in Chicago's program, which opened Sept. 20 and will run through Oct. 17 at its training base in Glendale, Ariz. The White Sox sent Madrigal home 10 days early -- by design, because he had a grueling year that included a broken left wrist and a College World Series championship with the Beavers -- and farm director Chris Getz said the organization was pleased with what it saw.

When the White Sox selected Nick Madrigal with the No. 4 overall pick in June, they had every intention of giving the Oregon State second baseman every chance to show that he could play shortstop. They still do. But that opportunity never materialized during his pro debut, when he played 39 games at second base and just one at short.

Instructional league is a perfect setting for giving players exposure to multiple positions, and Madrigal concentrated on playing shortstop in Chicago's program, which opened Sept. 20 and will run through Oct. 17 at its training base in Glendale, Ariz. The White Sox sent Madrigal home 10 days early -- by design, because he had a grueling year that included a broken left wrist and a College World Series championship with the Beavers -- and farm director Chris Getz said the organization was pleased with what it saw.

"We got a lengthier look at him at shortstop, and he was impressive," Getz said. "He'll play some more shortstop next year. He's a pure plus defender at second base. He can be a Gold Glover there. Now we know he can play shortstop based on what we saw during instructional league, and that makes him even more valuable.

"He has good hands, he has good feet, and he has enough arm. He can be at least an average shortstop, maybe a little better than that."

Madrigal played some shortstop early in his career at Oregon State before settling at second base in deference to Cadyn Grenier, arguably the best defensive shortstop in the 2018 college class and a supplemental first-round choice by the Orioles. Getz said that because Madrigal had such a draining final college season, the White Sox decided not to have him worry about trying a new position while also acclimating to pro ball and getting pushed to Class A Advanced Winston-Salem.

Video: CLE@CWS: First round pick Madrigal joins Sox booth

Regardless of where he winds up defensively, there's little question that Madrigal will hit. The consensus best pure hitter in the 2018 Draft class, he repeatedly barrels the ball from the right side of the plate. After batting .361 with a minuscule 5 percent strikeout rate in three years with the Beavers, he hit .303 with a 3 percent whiff rate in his pro debut.

Madrigal also offers plus speed and good instincts on the bases. He makes contact so easily that he'll have to develop more patience to draw a healthy amount of walks, though the main concern about him offensively is how much pop he'll generate. He won't be a slugger at 5-foot-7 and 165 pounds, but he has a quick bat and gap power that didn't translate in his debut, during which he slugged .348.

Besides Madrigal, the White Sox also landed two other college players who entered 2018 with first-round aspirations. Oklahoma outfielder Steele Walker, who signed for a well over-slot $2 million in the second round, might have been the second-best pure hitter in college baseball behind Madrigal. Konnor Pilkington, who became the system's best lefty pitching prospect when he turned pro as a third-rounder, has the makings of a solid three-pitch repertoire and a durable frame.

While neither Walker (.209/.271/.342 in 44 games) nor Pilkington (7.07 ERA in 14 innings) had a banner pro debut, Chicago doesn't think any radical changes are in order. The White Sox love Walker's left-handed swing, approach and makeup, and he has spent instructional league trying to regain his rhythm at the plate. Pilkington, who already has an advanced changeup, has focused on adding life to his low-90s fastball and sharpening his curveball.

A couple of later-round selections have stood out in Glendale. Outfielder Cabera Weaver, a seventh-rounder from South Gwinnett High School in Georgia, has impressed with his quick-twitch athleticism, speed and strength. Michigan prep third baseman Bryce Bush, who turned down a Vanderbilt scholarship to sign for an above-slot $290,000 in the 33rd round, has continued to rake after hitting .309/.396/.453 in his debut.

"Bush definitely has strength, and he has a good approach for a young kid," Getz said. "He's been working on playing third base, with his footwork and the accuracy of his throws to first base. He has looked good."

Jim Callis is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @jimcallisMLB on Twitter. Listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast.

Chicago White Sox

Each team's greatest postseason moment

The most memorable October event of the divisional era for every club
MLB.com

There are just four teams remaining in this year's postseason, but every fan, even those of the Mariners (the team with the longest postseason drought, now up to 17 seasons), can relate to what it feels like to be in the playoffs. The late nights, the constant tension, the stakes so high you can barely breathe ... and when something wonderful happens, the release and the pure, unbridled jubilation.

With that in mind, we take a look at the greatest postseason moments of the division era. Even if your team isn't a postseason team, you can remember your great October moments … and if it is, you can dream of maybe having another one this month that's even better.

There are just four teams remaining in this year's postseason, but every fan, even those of the Mariners (the team with the longest postseason drought, now up to 17 seasons), can relate to what it feels like to be in the playoffs. The late nights, the constant tension, the stakes so high you can barely breathe ... and when something wonderful happens, the release and the pure, unbridled jubilation.

With that in mind, we take a look at the greatest postseason moments of the division era. Even if your team isn't a postseason team, you can remember your great October moments … and if it is, you can dream of maybe having another one this month that's even better.

(For the purpose of this exercise, we are going back to 1969, which is the start of divisional play and the birth of the postseason as we know it.)

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Blue Jays: Joe Carter's World Series walk-off, Oct. 23, 1993
The Blue Jays might not have that many postseason moments, but the greatness of this one more than makes up for that. Runner-up: Jose Bautista's ALDS Game 5 bat flip, Oct. 14, 2015.

Video: 93 WS, GM 6, PHI@TOR: Joe Carter touches them all

Orioles: Brooks Robinson's incredible play, 1970 World Series, Oct. 10, 1970
The best part about this play, which might be the greatest defensive play in World Series history, is how surprised the umpire looks. Even he can't believe what he just saw. Runner-up: David McNally's grand slam, World Series Game 3, Oct. 13, 1970.

Rays: First and only World Series trip clinched, Oct. 19, 2008
A decade ago, and still pretty jaw-dropping that all this happened. Runner-up: Grant Balfour strikes out Ken Griffey Jr. to clinch the first ALDS victory, Oct. 6, 2008.

Red Sox: First World Series title since 1918, Oct. 27, 2004
You might remember when this happened. (It's when lifelong Red Sox fans Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore got on television.) Runner-up: David Ortiz's ALCS grand slam vs. the Tigers sent a cop joyous in the bullpen and turns the series around on Oct. 13, 2013.

Video: Must C Classic: Red Sox win first WS since 1918

Yankees: Reggie Jackson's three homers in 1977 World Series
There's a reason no one else gets to be called "Mr. October." Runner-up: Mr. November -- Derek Jeter's World Series Game 5 walk-off homer on Nov. 1, 2001.

Video: 1977 WS Gm6: Reggie becomes Mr. October

AL CENTRAL

Indians: Eddie Murray's walk-off, Game 3, 1995 World Series, Oct. 24, 1995
It was Cleveland's first World Series game in 41 years, and ended with a Hall of Famer sending the crowd into euphorics. Runner-up: Rajai Davis' home run off Aroldis Chapman, 2016 World Series, Nov. 2, 2016

Royals: Royals win 2015 World Series, Nov. 1, 2015
It was a magical season and a magical World Series that just seems more improbable each year that goes by. Runner-up: The Don Denkinger play, and aftermath, 1985 World Series, Oct. 26, 1985.

Tigers: Magglio Ordonez sends Tigers to World Series, Oct. 14, 2006
The sounds that crowd makes the minute the bat meets the ball still gives you chills 12 years later. Runner-up: Kirk Gibson's Game 5 homer, 1984 World Series.

Twins: Kirby Puckett's Game 6 walk-off, 1991 World Series, Oct. 26, 1991
The original "We Will See You Tomorrow Night." Runner-up: Twins win 1987 World Series, their first in Minnesota, Oct. 25, 1987.

Video: Must C Classic: Puckett crushes a walk-off homer

White Sox: White Sox win 2005 World Series, Oct. 26, 2015
A game that was razor-tight, in a series that was much closer than anyone remembers. Runner-up: Scott Podsednik's Game 2 walk-off, Oct. 23, 2015.

AL WEST

Angels: Scott Spiezio's homer, Game 6, 2002 World Series, Oct. 26, 2002
The most Rally Monkey of all the Rally Monkey moments, his three-run clout cued the rally from a 5-0 deficit. Runner-up: Troy Percival gets last out to win 2002 World Series, Oct. 27, 2002.

Astros: Charlie Morton finishes the Dodgers off, 2017 World Series, Nov. 1, 2017
This was so long ago you might not remember it, but trust me, it was wonderful. Runner-up: Chris Burke sends everybody home after 18 innings, 2005 NLDS.

Video: WS2017 Gm7: Morton induces groundout to close out WS

Athletics: Eck closes out the 1989 World Series, October 28, 1989
When in doubt, go with the Hall of Famer closing out a series for an all-time great team. Runner-up: Joe Rudi's amazing catch, World Series Game 2, Oct. 14, 1973.

Mariners: Ken Griffey Jr. slides home to win the 1995 ALDS, Oct. 8, 1995
Basically, everything wonderful about the history of Mariners baseball, happening in one play. Runner-up: Mariners win most recent postseason series, 2001 ALDS over Cleveland.

Video: Griffey slides home to clinch the ALDS in 1995

Rangers: Neftali Feliz sends Texas to its first World Series, 2010 ALCS, Oct. 22, 2010
Over the hated Yankees, no less. Runner-up: Josh Hamilton's 2011 World Series Game 6 homer, which was this close to being one of the greatest baseball moments of recent memory.

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Braves: Only World Series win in Atlanta, Oct. 28, 1995
It still seems amazing that this is the only one they ever got. Runner-up: The Sid Bream Slide, Oct. 14, 1992.

Marlins: Edgar Renteria's walk-off to win 1997 World Series, Oct. 26, 1997
Poor Cleveland. Runner-up: The Bartman play, and all that followed, 2003 NLCS.

Video: WS1997 Gm7: Fish win first WS on Renteria's walk-off

Mets: Mookie Wilson reaches base, Ray Knight scores, Mets win on Bill Buckner's error, Game 6, 1986 World Series, Oct. 25, 1986
A Mets comeback for the ages. Runner-up: Miracle Mets win 1969 World Series.

Video: 1986 World Series, Game 6: Red Sox at Mets

Nationals: Jayson Werth's 2012 NLDS walk-off, Oct. 11, 2012
After this, the Nats lost the series. But for the moment, it was great. Runner-up: Strasburg fans 12 to extend last year's NLDS.

Phillies: Brad Lidge gets the last out of a long game, 2008 World Series, Oct. 27, 2008
It took a couple of days for this game to actually finish, but no Phillies fan would ever complain. Runner-up: Roy Halladay's no-hitter, 2010 NLDS against Cincinnati.

NL CENTRAL

Brewers: Paul Molitor's inside-the-park homer, 1982 ALCS, Oct. 6, 1982
Runner-up: Nyjer Morgan's walk-off over Arizona in 2011 NLDS, particularly when called by Bob Uecker.

Cardinals: David Freese's triple to tie 2011 World Series Game 6, Oct. 27, 2011
The walk-off homer in the 11th gets more air time, but this was truly one of the most insane hits in World Series history. Runner-up: Ozzie Smith's 1985 NLCS homer off Tom Niedenfuer, the "Go Crazy, Folks" moment.

Video: WS2011 Gm6: Freese saves the Cards with a huge triple

Cubs: History in 2016
This was … not a tough call. Runner-up: Kyle Schwarber's shot atop the Wrigley scoreboard, Game 4, 2015 NLDS.

Video: Cubs win first World Series title in 108 years

Pirates: Willie Stargell's homer, 1979 World Series, Game 7, Oct. 17, 1979
And to do it in such beautiful threadsRunner-up: Pirates fans scare Johnny Cueto into dropping the ball, 2013 NL Wild Card Game at PNC Park.

Reds: Big Red Machine wins a Fall Classic for the ages, Oct. 22, 1975
It's only East Coast Bias that makes you think of Carlton Fisk when you think of this series. Runner-up: Reds sweep heavily favored A's in 1990 World Series.

NL WEST

D-backs: Luis Gonzalez off Mariano Rivera, 2001 World Series, Nov. 4, 2001
Ah, the perils of playing the infield in … Runner-up: Tony Womack's hit in 2001 NLDS.

Video: Must C Classic: Gonzalez walks off, wins World Series

Dodgers: Kirk Gibson pulls himself around the bases, 1988 World Series
Runner-up: Juan Uribe's 2013 go-ahead homer in Game 4 NLDS against Atlanta.

Video: Must C Classic: Gibson's 1988 WS walk-off home run

Giants: First World Series win in San Francisco, 2010 World Series, Nov. 1, 2010
Edgar Renteria hit .412 with two homers and six RBIs and the city got its first celebration. Runner-up: Madison Bumgarner's dominance in 2014 World Series.

Padres: Tony Gwynn's bad hop double, 1984 NLCS, Game 5, Oct. 7, 1984
The biggest hit of Gwynn's career was a bizarre one, but it got the job done. Runner-up: Padres finish off Braves to win 1998 NLCS.

Rockies: The Holliday slide, Oct. 1, 2007
He touched the plate … well, eventually. Maybe not technically the postseason either, but it came after Game 162. Runner-up: Rockies sweep D-backs to reach 2007 World Series.

Will Leitch is a columnist for MLB.com.