Chicago White Sox: What’s on their 2022 post-lockout to-do list

Aug 12, 2021; Dyersville, Iowa, USA; Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson (7) reacts after hitting a two-run home run in the ninth inning to defeat the New York Yankees at Field of Dreams. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 12, 2021; Dyersville, Iowa, USA; Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson (7) reacts after hitting a two-run home run in the ninth inning to defeat the New York Yankees at Field of Dreams. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports /
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(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

The Chicago White Sox should give Give Yermin Mercedes another shot

At this point, everyone knows who Yermin Mercedes is. Affectionately called “The Yerminator,” Mercedes exploded onto the scene in 2021 at 28 years old and took Major League Baseball by force.

Yermin Mercedes is the first MLB player in the modern era to begin a season with eight straight hits. This is a feat that is difficult to truly comprehend, especially when the player is a rookie and is brand new to MLB. The big catcher won an AL Player of the Week award in early April and then won the MLB Rookie of the Month award that month as well thanks in part to his insane .415/.455/.659 slash line.

Mercedes is a young and fun player full of swagger that looks a lot like Carlos Gomez back in his day. Gomez was always having fun on the field, whether it was interacting with fans mid-game or swinging completely out of his batting helmet and falling over. Yermin Mercedes is an electric player and played his way into the hearts of everyone around the majors. Everyone, that is, except for his manager Tony La Russa.

On May 17, Yermin Mercedes hit a home run on a 3-0 count while the Sox had an 11-run lead over the Twins. Minnesota had their version of Mercedes, utility man Willians Astudillo, on the mound. White Sox manager Tony La Russa publicly criticized Mercedes for breaking an “unwritten rule” in baseball.

From that day forward, Mercedes’ performance began to dip and never quite recovered. In May, his slash-line was .221/.292/.326 and ultimately dropped down to .159/.221/.190 in June. The White Sox ended up sending him down to the minor leagues after their game on June 30 and the Yerminator was not seen again in the majors in 2021. While playing for the White Sox’s Triple-A affiliate, Mercedes hit 11 home runs in 59 games, slugging .464 and playing below-average defense at both catcher and first base.

Mercedes profiles as a designated hitter and that is exactly where the 2022 Chicago White Sox could use him. A catcher by trade, Mercedes has experience at both infield corners in the minors but has never been a plus-defender. Let bygones be bygones and see what the Yerminator is truly capable of when handed a full-time role for an entire season.