There's little doubt that as SoxFest ends and February begins, Brent Lillibridge is the favorite to win the second base job on the South Side.
Yes there is. In fact, there's much doubt that Lillibridge will win the position over the Sox's first round pick from 2008, Gordon Beckman. Ozzie just came out at Sox Fest and said the guy is probably going to have to switch over to second base (from shortstop) because Alexei Ramirez is his SS of the foreseeable future. Beckman, by many insider accounts, is destined to follow in Evan Longoria's footsteps. Far be it from me to endorse Ryan Zimmermaning a player instead of letting him develop and harness his skills in the minors, but that doesn't change the realities of Ozzie Guillen's poor management.
But that doesn't mean the White Sox don't still think a lot of Chris Getz, who figures to be the main competition for Lillibridge.
Him and Gordon Beckham.
However, there is a sleeper in this battle who's been mostly forgotten since Lillibridge arrived from Atlanta in the Javy Vazquez deal,
Gordon Beckham? The guy who 670 AM The Score spent a whole week lobbying Ozzie & Kenny to call up in August?
though it doesn't mean GM Kenny Williams has forgotten Jayson Nix.
The 26-year-old Nix is a former Colorado first rounder whose filthy uniform and solid defense fits the Sox' style like a glove.
With a career line of .260/.325/.415 (in the minors), Nix will perfectly fit in perfectly with the Sox's style of not being good at baseball, circa 2007.
This is a player who was supposedly ruled out of the Olympics in Beijing after he was hit above the eye attempting to bunt a pitch thrown at his head, during a game vs. Cuba.Where most chicken-shit "men" would avoid a baseball thrown at their head, cowardly taking the pitch for a ball, Jayson Nix has the testicles to stare that pitch down, face-to-face, and take a strikeout to the head like a man.
Nix had a 2-inch gash above his left eyebrow, penetrating to his skull, requiring interior and exterior stitching, and microsurgery for multiple lacerations.
Due to the swelling, he was forced to sleep at a 45-degree angle in his bed with eyes bandaged, as doctors monitored the blood massing behind his left eye.Once pronounced finished for the Games, Nix played eight days after the incident and helped Team USA capture the bronze medal game against Japan.
Jayson Nix is a fucking GRINDER. His ability to recover from injury is only second to Claire Bennett. It doesn't matter that he had only 3 plate appearances in the Olympics. He single handedly earned his bronze medal.
"If it were up to Jayson, he would have been back in three days," said former Cubs trainer John Fierro, who was the Team USA medic in China. "The best way to put it is you wish you had 24 more like him.
"You better kill him if you go after him because he'll be back for more."
Jayson Nix is the Rambo of Second Basemen. It doesn't matter that he was cut from the Rockies for posting a sub-.400 OPS in 2008. Jayson Nix will fucking kill you.
Fierro also saw Nix win the MVP of the World Cup when the U.S. upset Cuba for the gold medal in 2007, on a roster that included Evan Longoria and a couple other monster prospects.
"You can't help but love this kid," Fierro said. "He's a leader, he's tough, and he's respectful. He just wants you to plug him in and let him play.
"He's got a hockey mentality. What else can I say? He's a hockey guy on spikes."
Jayson Nix will fucking kill you. He's a hockey player. You know who else is a hockey player who kills people? Jason Voorhees. Coincidence?
After missing six games with that eye injury, and returning against Japan, Nix went 1-for-4 with a walk and a run. Defensively, he made a play deep in the hole to his right, and turned 2 double plays.
"Guys like him, that kind of grinder, he's the kind of dirty such-and-such you want to see succeed,'' Williams said. "They just want it more than anyone else.
Jayson Nix is 26 and has a career minor league OPS of .740. If that's not the definition of potential, I don't know what is.
Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, on the talented Alexei Ramirez: "When you see this kid play shortstop, you will forget Ozzie Guillen ever played shortstop for the White Sox."
In his 16 year career, Ozzie Guillen posted a .264/.287/.338 slash line (.625 OPS) -- some of the worst offensive numbers in the history of baseball. NOTHING, not even Jose Reyes hitting 100 HRs, will ever make anyone forget how truly terrible he was at baseball.
Ozzie Guillen, on fans' fascination with home runs: "I hope it changes. I wish we could tell the guy in the scoreboard to set the fireworks off when someone hits a triple or moves a runner from second to third."
Let's also celebrate bunting, not dropping routine catches and trying really hard while we're at it.