- Bruce Levine, Chicago baseball beat reporter
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CHICAGO -- White Sox outfielder Alex Rios is on pace to accomplish something that has been done only once in franchise history. Rios is working toward becoming just the second player in Sox history to reach 100 RBIs while also posting at least 20 home runs, 20 stolen bases and 30 doubles in a season. (Magglio Ordonez last accomplished the feat in 2001.)
Rios also is on pace to easily surpass his career highs in home runs (24) and RBIs (88). The 31-year-old outfielder could become the third player in team history Sunday to have 20 home runs, 20 doubles and 20 steals in a season.
Although Adam Dunn is the obvious favorite for the Comeback Player of the Year award in the American League, Rios is at least in the same conversation after hitting .227 with 13 home runs and 44 RBIs in a failed 2011 campaign.
Numbers are a difficult way to gauge the impact of a player, but in the case of Rios, he has played Gold Glove defense and hit in the clutch all season. The fact that Rios has hit .358 with runners in scoring position puts him in the upper AL MVP candidates.
“I have been comfortable all season," Rios said. "Coming into spring training they told me I was going back to right field and staying there. That was the biggest difference for me, I felt a nice comfort zone from that point on."
Rios has the fifth best batting average in the league since May 23 at .320.
"We don’t worry about numbers around here," Rios said. “We concern ourselves with winning ballgames and being good teammates."
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