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3 Chicago White Sox
Joe Lemire
March 31, 2008
"THEY COVERED THE LITTLE HOLES THEY HAD, BUT THERE ARE SOME GAPING ONES TO BE FILLED."
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March 31, 2008

3 Chicago White Sox

"THEY COVERED THE LITTLE HOLES THEY HAD, BUT THERE ARE SOME GAPING ONES TO BE FILLED."

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With his freewheeling approach at the plate and ability to play second base or the outfield, Cuban import Alexei Ramirez (left) has drawn comparisons to Alfonso Soriano of the crosstown Cubs. Truth is, Ramirez is a different type of player than Soriano; Ramirez has less speed and power but is a considerably better contact hitter (not to mention a better infielder). He deserves a place in the White Sox' everyday lineup. PECOTA, which based its projection on an analysis of previous Cuban émigrés to the majors, forecasts that Ramirez will hit .298 with 15 home runs and an .803 on-base plus slugging percentage--numbers that would put him among the better second basemen in the American League. At a cost of $4.75 million for four years, that's a pretty good bargain for Chicago.

THE NUMBERS

DON'T LIE

175

Difference in total runs scored by last season's White Sox (693) compared with the more productive '06 edition (868). Last year's club also suffered severe drops in batting average, .246 from .280 the year before, and homers, 190 from 236. Four spots in the Chicago order--second, third, seventh and eighth--each ranked in the bottom three in the majors in batting average.

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

THE LINEUP

PROJECTED ROSTER WITH 2007 STATISTICS

MANAGER OZZIE GUILLEN FIFTH SEASON WITH CHICAGO

New acquisition (R) Rookie B-T: Bats-throws *Cuban league stats

WHIP: Walks plus hits per inning pitched

PVR: Player Value Ranking (explanation on page 62)

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