2018 Outlook: He tends to be overlooked as a member of a rebuilding White Sox team. Abreu has not only adapted well to the U.S. game but has quietly become one of the most consistent players in fantasy baseball. He's one of three players in history to bat at least .290 with 25-plus homers and 100-plus RBIs in each of his first four big league seasons, joining Joe DiMaggio and Albert Pujols, and he did it while improving his contact rate in each of those years. Abreu also possessed balanced home/road splits, which bodes well should the team decide to trade him midseason. He might not -- and should not -- be one of the top players on your draft board, but he's one of the safest available selections after the top names are gone.
2018 Outlook: Colome's 47 saves paced all major leaguers by six, but his strikeout rate plummeted from 31.4 to 20.6 percent, resulting in a bloated 4.36 FIP. While that suggests he was supremely lucky to have the kind of ninth-inning success that he did, bear in mind that his greater reliance upon a cutter last year -- he threw them 65.3 percent of the time -- showed a distinct attempt to go for ground balls and weaker contact, rather than an overpowering approach. The greater concern is that Colome, as the closer for a rebuilding Rays team, is one of the top candidates for a trade, meaning he could see his saves turn into holds if dealt. He's a worthwhile No. 2 option for a fantasy team, but he's not without risk.
2018 Outlook: Though we had to wait through a half-season in the minors and another month-plus of his adapting to the big leagues, Moncada showed promise last September, with .276/.349/.469 slash rates and five home runs in his final 24 games. Though he wasn't given the green light on the base paths as often as he was in the minors, he still possesses the raw speed to swipe 20-plus bags annually with experience. Moncada's biggest weakness is his penchant for strikeouts, as his 32.0 percent whiff rate in the majors last season puts him at batting-average risk, for those who value it in Rotisserie formats. He'll be a streaky performer, but one with legitimate 20/20 potential from the middle infield.
2018 Outlook: Garcia's 2017: True breakthrough, or luck-driven aberration? In defense of the former, he made significant strides in terms of his contact rate, posting a career-best 78.6 percent mark (counting only his full big-league years), and boosted his well-hit average by nearly 40 points, to .191. Outlining the latter, he posted the majors' highest BABIP (.392), fueled in large part by an unsustainable .367 mark merely on ground balls (highest of any player during the nine-year span for which our internal pitch-tracking tool covers), and he had the majors' seventh-highest chase rate (38.9 percent) and third-highest swinging-strike rate (17.3 percent), extending his reputation as a free swinger. The answer probably lies in between, as Garcia is highly unlikely to maintain a .300-plus batting average, but as a 26-year-old, he's in his prime years and might be able to maintain his decent power. He's a worthwhile fourth or fifth rotisserie mixed-league outfielder, though he's more of a marginal pick in points-based leagues due to his so-so walk totals.
2018 Outlook: Anderson is a player with significantly more value in Rotisserie than points-based or sabermetrically inclined fantasy leagues, as he couples good speed with decent pop but brings little else to the table. He's one of the most free-swinging hitters in baseball, which is to his detriment in the latter scoring formats. His 2.1 percent walk rate last season was lowest in the majors, and he showed a troubling tendency to chase breaking balls low and away and out of the strike zone. Anderson is capable enough against left-handed pitchers (.321/.333/.478 rates in 2017) to provide double-digit homers and steals yet again, but he's likely to be a streaky performer better used when the matchups are right.
2018 Outlook: Despite splitting time with Caleb Joseph in the second half while battling lower-body injuries in 2017, Castillo set career highs in home runs (20), average (.282) and runs (44) in just 365 plate appearances, his fewest since 2012. Those numbers validated the notion that the 30-year-old is one of baseball's better offensive backstops, with hard-hit rates of 38 percent or higher each of the past three seasons supporting his homer production and elevated BABIPs. Although Castillo hasn't logged more than 113 games in any of his five full seasons, he's likely to earn a larger workload -- health permitting -- in 2018 after inking a two-year, $15 million deal with the White Sox over the winter. The departure from Baltimore comes with a downgrade in supporting cast, but an uptick in at-bats along with the likelihood that he assumes a more prominent lineup spot translates to a net improvement in Castillo's fantasy outlook.
2018 Outlook: In his second crack at the bigs during the final six months of last season, Giolito showed promise, going 5-for-7 in quality starts with a 2.38 ERA and 0.95 WHIP. It was backed, however, by weak peripherals and a fastball that had lost some velocity, things that are of concern as he enters his first full year in the majors. Giolito did miss bats in Triple-A ball, whiffing 25.2 percent of hitters he faced in his final 16 starts for Charlotte preceding his recall, and his 11.4 percent swinging-strike rate (30th-best among qualifiers in those final six weeks) suggests he might've been unlucky in the strikeout department. There's real promise here, just invest more heavily in dynasty than redraft leagues, as he might take only annual, incremental steps.
2018 Outlook: After a trio of disappointing seasons in Triple-A ball, which expired his minor league options, Davidson was wedged into the White Sox's 2017 Opening Day roster, where he continued to exhibit the same all-or-nothing approach. He hit a pro-best 26 home runs, but his 37.2 percent strikeout rate was also a pro high and, in fact, was the second-highest such rate among major leaguers with at least 400 trips to the plate. Though Davidson walked more often in the minors than he did with the 2017 White Sox (4.3 percent), the fact that he has been this style of hitter for a few years now suggests there isn't a lot of room for statistical improvement. He'll again fill in at the corner infield spots and DH, and he is more of an AL-only than mixed-league pick, with a steeper downside in points-based leagues due to his free-swinging ways.
2018 Outlook: After undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2014, Jones' 2017 campaign was cut short via surgery to reposition the ulnar nerve in his throwing arm. Prior to the setback, Jones was recapturing the form he displayed in 2016, when he was one of the better setup men in the league. Before the arm injuries, Jones required back surgery, so even if he pitches well in the spring, he's a risky long-term investment, especially at 32 years old. The White Sox signed Joakim Soria to close, but ostensibly to build up trade value to help their rebuilding efforts. If Jones reestablishes himself as an effective setup man, he could inherit the ninth-inning duties during the second half.
2018 Outlook: Despite two so-so seasons in Triple-A ball, Delmonico was summoned by the White Sox Aug. 1, following Melky Cabrera's trade to the Royals, holding his own as a starter rotating between left field and designated hitter. As he did in the minors, Delmonico hit for power against pitchers of either handedness, and he flashed some of the better plate-discipline metrics of any hitter during the season's final two months, en route to nine home runs and .220 isolated power. He'll probably start at either position again in 2018, as the White Sox await some of their higher-ceiling prospects, and in the team's power-friendly ballpark, he could be one of the sneakier points-based-league sleepers.
2018 Outlook: Keith Law's No. 2 pitching prospect entering the season, Kopech will in all likelihood make his way to Chicago and Guaranteed Rate Field sometime this summer. Armed with a mid-90s fastball that he can reach back and dial up to 100-plus mph, the right-hander posted a 2.88 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and 31.3 percent strikeout rate in 25 starts combined between Double- and Triple-A last season. Kopech's weaknesses, however, include a high walk rate (11.8 percent during that same time span), created largely by early inconsistency with his delivery as well as his still-developing secondary pitches, a slider and changeup. He'll probably overpower big-league hitters upon his arrival, meaning that strikeouts will drive his value, but expect him to require an adjustment period that might mean a true breakthrough won't come until 2019 or beyond. Kopech is a top dynasty-league prospect and a worthy stash in redraft leagues with deep benches.
2018 Outlook: Where have all the strikeouts gone? Lopez posted a 25.4 percent strikeout rate in 22 starts at Triple-A Charlotte last season, but that number fell to just 14.5 percent over eight big-league starts. To his credit, Lopez did shave his walk rate to 6.8 percent from 11 percent in a similar sample with Washington in 2016. Still just 24, he throws his fastball in the mid-90s, but the secondary pitches need to come along if Lopez is going to improve against lefties (.338 wOBA last season) and sustain success his second and third time through opposing lineups. He should get close to a full season in the White Sox rotation, but his chances for a full breakout seem slim given what he has shown so far at the highest level. Lopez should be viewed as a lottery ticket in most traditional formats.
2018 Outlook: Nova's first half of 2017 wasn't a far cry from his performance in 2016 following his trade to the Pirates, as he went 13-for-18 in quality starts with a 3.21 ERA and 1.09 WHIP, again making his pitching coach, Ray Searage, look like a genius. Nova's luck began to turn for the worse, thereafter, and his pitch-to-contact approach resulted in a 5.83 ERA and 1.61 WHIP that made him unusable in fantasy leagues. He should still have utility when he faces weaker offenses and/or works in pitching-friendly parks, but those who select him as anything more than an NL-only fifth or sixth starter should know that means a lot of homework.
2018 Outlook: Though Rodon's 2017 flashed the occasional glimpse of his future front-of-a-staff potential, it was bookended by two serious injuries: Left biceps bursitis which cost him the first two-and-a-half months, then September arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder to remove dead tissue, an injury that requires a six-to-eight month timetable. That makes him a virtual lock for a DL stint to begin 2018, perhaps delaying his return until as late as June, and it casts doubt on his fantasy appeal for the season as a whole. When healthy, Rodon flashes a filthy slider that rates among the best of them, fueling what was a 25.6 percent strikeout rate in his 12 starts last season. That potential makes him a worthy DL stash if your league affords you the room, but he's more of a late-round AL-only pick than a mixed-league factor.
2018 Outlook: One of two primary competitors for the White Sox's starting center field job, Garcia brings more to the fantasy baseball table than fellow competitor Adam Engel. Garcia is a bit of a free swinger, which could make him streaky if he emerges, though his history of 20-plus stolen base totals in the minor leagues makes him a useful contributor in the category in AL-only formats.