Chris Sale is the 2010 draft pick who made it to the Big Leagues faster than any other. Sale, who was hardly even recruited out of high school and ended up at Florida Gulf Coast College, needed just 11 minor league games before making his debut with the White Sox.
Sale is a 6’6″, 170 pound southpaw in need of a Las Vegas all-you-can-eat buffet. His fastball hits 94 with tremendous sink that generates a lot of ground ball outs. Sale throws a good slurve that is lights out against lefties and he has an average changeup at this point. The gangly southpaw doesn’t hurt himself with free tickets; he walked just 1 in 6.1 innings with Chicago last year so his WHIP will be low.
With Bobby Jenks now in Boston, the White Sox closing gig belongs to 34-year-old Matt Thornton. The southpaw was absolutely dominant in 2010, holding opponents to a measly .191 batting average while registering a gaudy 12.02 strikeouts per 9 IP’s. When Jenks was shut down due to injury in September, Thornton was quite successful as the club’s fill-in stopper, posting a 2.70 ERA and converting on all three of his save opportunities.
The veteran Thornton is expected to perform well in his new closer’s role thus moving Sale to the role of setup lefty. That being said, if Thornton were to fail, Sale would be ready to step in to reap the fantasy baseball save rewards.
2011 Fantasy Baseball Projection: Chris Sale — Chris Sale should be considered a solid sleeper in your 2011 fantasy baseball draft. While he is unlikely to get many saves in 2011, Sale should be considered in deeper fantasy baseball leagues and those leagues that count holds. Look for Sale to log at least 65 appearances with 7 wins, 5 saves, and a 2.50 ERA and 1.10 WHIP.