Paul Konerko Already Getting 2011 AL MVP Consideration



Chicago White Sox first baseman and team captain Paul Konerko is starting the 2011 season where he ended 2010, as a cornerstone of the team and offensive juggernaut.

Last week, Konerko was named co-American League Player of the Week with Cleveland’s Asdrubal Cabrera.

After clubbing two homers in Sunday game against the Tampa Rays, Konerko finished the week hitting .417 with three home runs and eight RBI in six games. At that point, he was tied for the AL lead in home runs and RBI, ranked second in slugging percentage (.833) and ranked third in average.

Konerko also drove in a run in each of the Sox first seven games of the season, breaking the club record of five, which he previously shared with Carlos Lee.

While two weeks into the season is not nearly enough to begin discussions about who should receive AL MVP consideration, Konerko’s name will be in the mix should his early season ,success continue. In 2010, he was fifth in voting for AL MVP after hitting .312 with 39 homers and 111 RBI.

This past offseason, the White Sox signed Konerko to a three-year, $37.5 million deal, less than he was rumored to have been offered by several other teams including the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Baltimore Orioles.

While conventional wisdom would say no, Konerko’s success the last few seasons begs the question: Do some hitters get better with age?

As Hawk Harrelson said during a recent broadcast: “Last season Konerko appears to have learned how to become a complete hitter.”

Statistics support that statement as well. Konerko’s on-base percentage has improved the last three seasons: 2008 (.344 OBP), 2009 (.353 OBP), 2010 (.393. OBP).

On opening day, Konerko entered his 13th year with the White Sox, and he ranks second all-time for the White Sox with 358 homers, 1,127 RBI, 335 doubles, .505 slugging percentage and .863 OPS.

He also has 9 career grand slams.

Most impressive about Konerko is his selfless attitude. He structured his contract so the White Sox could afford to sign Adam Dunn and took less than his market value on two occasions, to hopefully now finish his career with the White Sox. So in addition to the chants of “Paulie, Paulie” this year at U.S. Cellular Field, be prepared to add “MVP, MVP” to the repertoire.

Lets practice! Konerko’s walk-up theme “Harvester of Sorrow” by Metallica blares.

“Now batting, first baseman, #14 Paul Konerko!”


Be prepared. It could happen.


Speak Your Mind