Top of the Order to Ya
White Sox manager Rick Renteria announced that he planned on having Tim Anderson lead off and Yoan Moncada bat second in Spring Training.
This situation is fine if Anderson hits like he did last season. However, he would need to replicate a .399 BABIP, meaning regression is most likely in the cards for him. He can still outperform his projections this season because of his speed and power, so time will tell.
Ideally, the leadoff man for the White Sox should be Yasmani Grandal Edwin Encarnacion, as both have displayed the ability to boost their OBP by walking. Make no mistake, Tim Anderson is the most exciting player on the White Sox. He put the team on the map and has already left his mark on the MLB and off the field. When it comes to lineup construction, however, he is better suited for third, sixth or seventh in the order.
As for Moncada, second is the perfect spot for him in this lineup. He is the best player and will continue to be the best player on the team. He also mentioned last week that he’d prefer to bat second in the order.
Why not keep the guy happy? Hell, if Anderson is hitting well, it’s worth it to give the guy a shot at leadoff. Nothing should be set in stone this year. The Sox have many more weapons to rearrange in the lineup. There’s no need to grandfather anyone into a slot in the order if they do not deserve it.