Jacob May making his presence known

Jacob May making his presence known

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Jacob May has a great understanding of his role offensively if he was able to break camp as the White Sox center fielder.

"Get on base, anyway possible," May said. "Walk, getting on with an error, anything I can do to get on base, cause a little havoc and I can get in scoring position for the big guys like Jose Abreu and Todd Frazier.

"My bat is ready. It's getting better day by day. With anything, you have to prove you are going to stay consistent throughout the full season. Stay consistent day-in and day-out. I've put in a lot of work this offseason and am just honing in my craft. I can hold my own up there in the Major Leagues hitting-wise."

May, 25, begins his fifth season in the White Sox organization. He's considered to have Major League defensive skills and the same on the basepaths, with his hitting the lone thing in question.

As he mentioned above, the switch-hitting May focused on that aspect this past offseason by working on getting in a strong base with his legs, his bat path and staying short and consistent to the ball. It's about repetition and working daily to develop muscle memory needed throughout the season, staying in a strong position to hit. That work seems to be paying off, as May knocked out four hits during Saturday's 13-7 loss to the Dodgers, falling a home run short of the cycle.

This roster chance for May has arisen due to Charlie Tilson's setback in relation to a right foot stress reaction he suffered during Spring Training rehab work from tearing his left hamstring last season. May knows about injuries, having been sidelined by a bruised right pinky finger in 2014, a concussion in 2015 after colliding with shortstop Tim Anderson and a pair of abdominal strains in '16.

"I don't wish that on anyone," said May of Tilson. "So, I wish him the best and I hope he gets healthy soon. But yeah, that's the name of the game. It's a business and unfortunately that's how it is -- a lot of opportunities due to someone's downfall or injury.

"You want to come into every season as strong and healthy as you can. Injuries are something that are a part of the game. You do your best to try to avoid those and you take care of yourself in the weight and training room. But sometimes it's something that's inevitable. Everything is meant for a reason. You have to bear with them and continue to push forward."

Giving May a chance at the season's outset would allow the White Sox to see how he fits into their young core as part of the rebuild.

"So much talent in this locker room, it's unbelievable," May said. "Anderson, Yoan Moncada, Michael Kopech, Zack Burdi, Adam Engel, Charlie. It's fun to be a part of it and hopefully for a long time. You can feel the atmosphere is a little different in this camp than last. It's an exciting, bright future."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.