The White Sox rebuild is no stranger to a good player story that the fans can rally behind during the dark times. For example, look at when Nicky Delmonico fully beat his Adderall addiction and made his Major League debut for the team back in 2017. Remember back to 2018? Daniel Palka became the clear-cut fan favorite when the slugger clubbed 27 home runs and began “Palkamania.” Last year was no different when we saw a 25-year-old from Rochester, New York get the call to the big leagues.
Danny Mendick made his debut on September 3rd, 2019. The real story, however, isn’t the debut. It’s how he got there.
Mendick was drafted in the 22nd round of the 2015 Major League Baseball amateur draft out of the University of Massachusetts Lowell as a 20-year old, where he had a stellar two-year stint. The 5-foot-10, 180-pound shortstop was a 2015 America East First Team All-Conference member. He then grinded his way through almost six full minor league seasons before he saw the big leagues last summer, always getting high marks for his coachability and his makeup as a hardworking player when moving through the White Sox farm system. He was always willing to do anything to make his dreams come true.
He finally saw that hard work pay off last September. Although used sparingly by Ricky Renteria, Mendick posted an impressive and inspiring .308/.325/.462 slash-line with two home runs and four RBIs in just 40 plate appearances. That performance has left some White Sox fans to wonder if Mendick will open up next season as the team’s starting second baseman while we await the debut of top prospect Nick Madrigal.
Although I do think Madrigal is the next great second baseman for this franchise, I also believe there is a spot for Danny Mendick on the next White Sox championship team. There is something to be said for a guy who has had nothing handed to him in his baseball life. Both Delmonico and Palka had been highlighted in their respective organizations’ top prospect lists, but Mendick has always been undervalued by those rankings. That finally changed this year when he was featured as the team’s 26th best prospect by MLB Pipeline. He plays with the attitude desired by the fans from the South Side of Chicago. He works hard, he never gives up, and he is always willing to do anything to beat his competition.
So I pose to you, the fans. Couldn’t you get used to seeing this from Danny Mendick more?