Fletcher looking to make most of opportunity with White Sox

Not only was he trying to find playing time on a rising Diamondbacks team that made it to the World Series last season, Dominic Fletcher was buried on the depth chart.

An outfielder that proved he could hit over four minor-league seasons — the first with the Kane County Cougars — Fletcher was blocked at Arizona's big-league level by Corbin Carroll, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Joc Pederson, Alek Thomas and Pavin Smith.

Needless to say, Fletcher wasn't overly upset late last week when he was traded to the White Sox for minor-league starting pitcher Cristian Mena.

As he prepares to report to the Sox's spring training camp in Glendale, Ariz., the 26-year-old Fletcher has a good shot at emerging as the starting right fielder.

“Just the opportunity for me, I went from pretty much trying to earn a spot on the (Diamondbacks) as possibly a fourth or fifth outfielder to having a chance to compete for a spot,” Fletcher said Friday on a Zoom call. “That’s really exciting for me and my family and my career to be able to have that opportunity and we’re going to go out there and try to win.”

Mena was one of the White Sox's top pitching prospects, but new general manager Chris Getz felt like the trade was a good gamble.

“What stood out for Dominic Fletcher?” Getz asked. “Left-handed hitting outfielder. He can defend. He's got both offensive and defensive potential, and I say potential but he's performed and he's gone out and done that. High makeup kid, high energy, plays the game the right way. He can base-run, he can defend, he makes good decisions on a baseball field, he's got a really solid reputation.”

Fletcher, the younger brother of Braves infielder David Fletcher, made his major-league debut with Arizona last season. In two stints with the Diamondbacks, he hit .301/.350/.441 with 2 home runs and 14 RBI in 28 games.

“I was fortunate enough to get up there last year on a really good team,” Fletcher said. “I got to be around a lot of really good players and learn from the guys around me. But most of all, I think just seeing that it's the same game and knowing I have the ability to go play and play well in the big leagues, I think was really good for me.”

It sure looks like he's moving from a good team to a bad one, but Fletcher doesn't see it that way.

“As a player, you don’t really look at it as a rebuild,” he said. “I think we have a lot of good players on the field. You look through the roster, there’s plenty of talent to go out there and win. That’s something I’m big on. I like to win whatever I do, I like to go out there and compete.”

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