Saturday, September 28, 2013

Who will be manning first base when Konerko retires

Paul Konerko has been the White Sox starting first baseman since 1999 and he has been a great player on the Sox and a potential Hall of Fame. This season he has been hinting at retirement all season and said there is a "50-50" chance he returns next season and that raises a bigger question: Who will succeed Paulie?

The White Sox have a 1B in their AA team named Dan Black who is 25 years old. He hit .290 in AA Birmingham with 17 homers and 83 RBIs. He took 91 walks (leading the league) which is extremely impressive in the minor leagues. He had the 7th highest OPS, 8th in runs scored, 7th in doubles, 3rd in OPB, and 7th in homers. On the defensive side he had 7 errors for a .991 fielding percentage in 92 defensive games at 1B.

Another possibility for the White Sox is Andy Wilkins who is 24 and split time between Charlotte and Birmingham and hit 17 homers combined between the 2 of them (10 in AA and 7 in AAA). His numbers were down in AAA (.265/.312/.423) compared to AA (.288/.386/.477).  On the defensive side he made only 6 errors all year in 81 defensive games at 1B.

My prediction is that if Konerko retires this offseason Andy Wilkin will take the spot and Dan Black will play in AAA and then make the jump as a September call up if Wilkin struggles. If Konerko doesn't retire and 2014 is his last season then I think Black will be the starter if he does well in AAA.

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