Miguel Gonzalez has been on fire after the All-Star break, prompting many to wonder why, given the Chicago White Sox penchant for moving anyone with major league-level talent for prospects, he hadn’t been traded to a contending team. A few hours before the hard trade deadline, the White Sox traded him to the Texas Rangers for a prospect with some upside. Reynaldo Lopez has been reinstated from the DL and will take his place on the roster.
White Sox Trade Miguel Gonzalez
Since the break, Gonzalez has started nine games, covering 55 innings. His ERA during that time period, which included a brief DL stint, was an impressive 3.11 with a nearly 2:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He allowed 21 walks and recorded 40 strikeouts. He held opponents to a .252 batting average and surrendered only three home runs. That contrasts sharply with his early season numbers, when opponents batted .287 and launched 13 long balls. His strikeout-to-walk ratio was also higher; he gave up 26 free passes while striking out 45, to go with a whopping 5.15 ERA. Given that Texas is only four games out of the Wild Card race, bringing a hot pitcher into the fold seems like a wise choice.
White Sox Obtain Texas Prospect
In exchange for Gonzalez, the White Sox obtained a prospect with some upside. Ti’Quan Forbes, a 20-year-old third baseman playing at High-A Down East. Texas acquired Forbes via the MLB draft, taking him in the second round in 2014, straight out of high school in Columbia, MS. In 2017, Forbes posted a disappointing slash line of .234/.281/.344 over 130 games at both levels of A-ball. Couple that with a mind-boggling 128 strikeouts against 25 walks, and it’s obvious that he’s not on the fast track to Chicago.
Forbes Net Worth
Drafted as a shortstop, he has moved over to third base, where he has demonstrated some stellar defensive skills. He rated statistically as the South Atlantic League’s best defensive third baseman in 2016, making 16 errors in 108 games. He also has made 16 starts at shortstop this year, and was projected as a possible center fielder going into the draft. He has the strong arm required to manage any of those defensive locations.
From an offensive standpoint, Forbes has speed to burn. At 6’4″ and 180 pounds, he should start sending baseballs into the stratosphere, or at least over the wall at Guaranteed Rate Field. Given his wheels, extra base hits should be an important part of his offensive repertoire.
The most inspiring thing about his performance thus far is that he is known as a slow developer. At the time of the 2014 draft, it was expected that it would take him some time to get to the majors. His tools were intriguing enough that the team decided it would be worth the wait. With loaded farm system and few years before they anticipate being competitive at the MLB level, he just might be part of the mix.