The Chicago White Sox had a manager with no experience and some stars coming off awful seasons (Jake Peavy, Alex Rios and Adam Dunn), so expectations were not to high for the Pale Hose at the start of the 2012 season. But, they played well through August, before fading and just missing the playoffs. They finished in 2nd place in the A.L. Central with a 85-77 record, 3 games behind the Tigers. Here is a look at the players that made the biggest impacts in my opinion in 2012:
TEAM MVP: Alex Rios: 31-year old righty swinging Alex Rios did it all for the White Sox in 2012. He ran the bases well, played good defense and he ripped the ball with his bat. Rios played in 157 games for the White Sox last year and he was 184 of 605 (.304 avg, .850 OPS) with 93 runs scored, 25 homers, 91 RBIs and 23 stolen bases.
BEST PITCHER: Chris Sale: 23-year old lefty starting pitcher Chris Sale was outstanding for the most part in 2012. He pitched in 30 games (29 starts) for the White Sox last year and he was 17-8 with a 3.05 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. Sale only gave up 167 hits and 51 walks while whiffing 192 batters in 192 innings for the White Sox and those are pretty impressive numbers.
BIGGEST SURPRISE: A.J. Pierzynski : 35-year old lefty swinging catcher A.J. Pierzynski had another good season, but what was surprising was his new found power stroke. He played in 135 games last year for the White Sox and he was 133 of 479 (.278 avg, .827 OPS) with 68 runs scored, 27 homers and 77 RBIs.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Philip Humber: 29-year old righty threw a perfect game on April 21st against the Mariners, giving the White Sox high hopes. But the roof caved in for him then. Humber pitched in 26 games (16 starts) for the White Sox last year and he was 5-5 with a 6.44 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. Humber gave up 113 hits (23 homers) and 44 walks while whiffing 85 batters in only 102 innings. He is going to have a hard time winning a spot in the White Sox’ rotation next spring.