Chicago White Sox 1st Qtr Report Card: Position Players

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As Chicago White Sox trade rumors become more frequent than talk of LeBron James signing with the Chicago Bulls, it’s time to hand out first quarter grades to the Chicago White Sox.

As May draws to a close, the major league baseball season is 25% over.  Perhaps these grades will inspire our players to get a passing grade. Maybe they can optimize summer school, instead of continuing to “be schooled” by teams with worse records.

That’s right Sox fans, parent\teacher conferences are in session and first quarter report cards have been issued.  Sorry Sox position players, no bell curve will be used in this classroom.

By:  Soxman

SOXMAN AND SOXGIRL

Alex Rios: A+

Rios appears to have completely put his disastrous 2009 behind him, making Kenny Williams look like a genius in acquiring him for pretty much nothing.  His .931 OPS, 9HRs, 14SBs and stellar defense pretty much says it all.

Paul Konerko: A

Paulie’s team-leading .951 OPS, and 14 HRs are the second most in major league baseball. He also leads the team in RBIs and offers a steady glove at first base.  The free agent- to-be is driving up his monetary (and trade) value with every fence clearing blast.

Andruw Jones: B

Entering 2010, Jones was the student everyone wrote off, out to prove “he can do it.”  Battling his way into a semi-regular role, Jones has returned to the player he always has been- a lower average, high power, high strikeout hitter with good speed and defense.   Is a .240 BA, 9HR, 20 RBI, 7SBs and 32Ks in 121 ABs proof enough for you?  As most White Sox fans expected nothing from Jones going into 2010, he has been one of the few pleasant surprises thus far.

Juan Pierre: C

In early May, Pierre was failing miserably, but he’s really turned things on as of late, raising his batting average to .259.  His on-base percentage is horrible for a lead-off hitter (.312), but his 18SBs are tied for first in the majors.  Only 6 of Pierre’s 48 hits have gone for extra bases this season yet he remains one of the toughest hitters to strike out, whiffing only 7% of the time.  With a little more throttle in the on-base area, his grade could improve.

Mark Kotsay: C

Kotsay’s best days are clearly behind him, yet in 94 ABs he’s managed to hit just as many HRs as Carlos Quentin and Gordon Beckham combined (5).  Kotsay also has a perfect fielding percentage splitting time in the outfield and at 1B.  His .223 batting average is 57 points below his career mark, and about 54 points below his last two seasons.  Otherwise, he’s performed well as a bench player.

alexei che

Alexei Ramirez: D

Ramirez usually dials things up in the warmer months, so there is hope to see improvement here before mid-term report cards are issued.  Still, his reputation as a slick fielder is quickly diminishing, with seven errors already on the season, making some believe he would have been better off remaining at 2nd base.  His anemic .273 OBP HAS TO improve.  Still, his .245 BA and 20 RBIs make him the 4th best hitter statistically. That last fact is rather disheartening.

Mark Teahen: D-

A super utility player in his last year with the Royals, Teahen aptly filled in at several positions while producing .271, 12HR, 50RBI, 8 SBs.  Banking on an exceptional career batting average at “the Cell,” Kenny Williams traded for him, signed him to a multi-year extension and awarded him the full-time job at third base.  He’s currently hitting 26 points below his career batting average (.268), leads the team in errors (8) and has the worst fielding percentage among regulars (.925).  He’s on pace to hit 8-10 HRs.

Carlos Quentin: F

Quentin is perhaps one of the most frustrating players to set expectations on.  He had any MVP-worthy 2008 before breaking his wrist.  In 2009 he battled through a heel injury to club 21 HRs and post a .236 BA in just 351 ABs.  Most believed his injury was the reason for the low BA, and once healthy, he would surely reclaim superstar status.  In 2010, he was happy to “finally” be healthy.  So how do you explain the .211 BA and 4 HRs in 142ABs?  His defense has been solid in right field.  However, following him since college, I expect much more.  With his intense competitive fire, and obsessive-compulsive focus on hitting, he’s the best bet of the currently failing students to turn things around.

A.J. Pierzynski: F

Ignore the fact that A.J. is hitting 68 points below his career average, his pitching staff is struggling, and there are rumors of his June departure from Chicago.  He hasn’t even been involved in one controversial call all season!  Unacceptable.  Luckily, he’ll have a chance to redeem himself in six games against the Cubs.  Or will he?

Gordon Beckham: F

Beckham is the prodigy who skipped two grades, got straight A’s, placed in all honors classes, assigned several key extra curricular activities, and now struggles massively.  Yes, there is such a thing as pushing a kid too hard.  Changing positions three times in less than a year, being used in every promotion the Sox have while being asked to build on his successful rookie campaign is exactly that.  A .191 batting average and one homerun in 150 ABs, despite solid defense at 2B shows that it might be time to cut Beckham’s extra curriculars and allow him more time to just be a student.

Omar Vizquel: F

Most people expected him not to hit, and they haven’t been let down.  While his defense has been great, he’s slowed on the base paths tremendously and his success is tied directly to the development of Alexei Ramirez…and we all know how that’s going.

Jayson Nix: F

He’s only had 25ABs on the season and had he done anything offensively in any of his starts, the man he replaced, Beckham would likely be tutored at AAA right now.  Even as a bench player, he’s fallen way short of expectations thus far.

The bell is ringing, class dismissed for this session. Up next:  Pitchers

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Comments

  1. Sox fans: lots of good feedback to my yahoo e-mail on this article. Where are the comments here? Make it happen! High five- SM

  2. paulmbanks says:

    I wholeheartedly concur!

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