GLENDALE, Ariz. (CBS) — There were more home runs hit last year than any other season in Major League Baseball history – nearly 700 more.
And the White Sox are expecting to hit a lot of homers this year.
Last year, the White Sox ranked 25th in baseball with only 182 dingers. But Edwin Encarnación is going to help bring that number up.
Encarnación hit 34 homers last year, and the “new look” Sox lineup that he is part of could be scary. They have seven guys who hit 18 or more homers last year.
Encarnación is 37 years old, but he’s still getting it done.
“First of all, you’ve got to have the talent, and we have the talent here on this team,” Encarnación said. “This team made remember the team that we had in 2015 with the Blue Jays, so a lot of young talent.”
“He’s a huge piece of an impact player for us in terms of offense – certainly a guy that’s been around as long as he’s been, and you try and find ways to make sure that you can manage keeping him as fit as possible,” said White Sox Manager Rick Renteria. “I think that he’s obviously going to play a huge role for us.”
Also at Sox camp, Danny Mendick is trying to force his way onto the roster. He hit .308 with two homers in a September call-up last year.
Now, he is competing with Nick Madrigal and Luery Garcia at second base.
“That’s the best part about baseball though, you know what I mean? Like, you want the best of the best out there, and I think Nicky would agree that the competition is what drives both of us, and at the end of the day, you know, we’re both trying to win it for the White Sox,” Mendick said.
He continued: “I try to look at myself as a well versatile player. I want to go out there and play all positions when the White Sox need. I think last year was great, and it was a good statement for me, but that was last year, you know, and I’ve got to do it this year. I’m excited, I’m ready to go, and I can’t wait for the season to roll around.”
The White Sox take on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Camelback Ranch on Saturday.