Chicago White Sox: 1 biggest surprise of spring training so far

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The White Sox are still projected for an average finish even with all the hype surrounding the team in 2021.

The Chicago White Sox finally broke a decade-plus postseason drought in 2020. The team lost in the Wild Card round and hopes are high heading into 2021.

That is why it is so bizarre to still see the White Sox picked to finish third in the American League Central, according to Baseball Prospectus’ PECOTA projections. An 82-80 projection may not be what fans have in mind given all the excitement surrounding the club.

White Sox dealing with middling expectations

To be fair, PECOTA projections are not a definitive answer for what will actually happen. But White Sox fans still have to be confused as to why the team is picked to finish several games behind the Cleveland Indians in the standings.

The lack of real success since winning the World Series in 2005 likely plays a big part in this. Wipe away the 2020 season and the White Sox had two finishes above .500 since 2008.

Another factor in place is Tony La Russa taking over as the new manager. How is he going to mesh with a young, fun core of talent? The doomsday scenario is him clashing with the personalities. However, he knew the job he was taking so he should be a bit more relaxed.

This team has a core of talent that looks great on paper, but has yet to produce real results. Jose Abreu, Tim Anderson, Luis Robert, Eloy Jimenez, and Lucas Giolito, among several others, look like a core that should be contending for a World Series. But the projections have not swayed since they debuted in February.

Fans in Chicago may already be considering the White Sox to be real World Series contenders. Meanwhile, PECOTA has them struggling to reach the .500 mark. That disparity remains a huge surprise and all the team can do is get to work and ignore any negative projections.

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