Commentary

2012 White Sox report card

Check out our 2012 grades, then share yours for each player on the team

Updated: October 5, 2012, 4:53 PM ET
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com

Nearly everyone expected the Detroit Tigers to run away with the American League Central this season. They had the star power, and nobody else in the division seemed to have the talent to stack up with them.

The Chicago White Sox proved otherwise.

The thought heading into the season was the White Sox needed too many variables to go their way to be successful.

Well, they went their way.

Inexperienced manager Robin Ventura looked like a veteran. Chris Sale was one of the game's best starters in his first year as a starter. Adam Dunn bounced back from a horrid 2011. Jake Peavy was Jake Peavy again. Alex Rios and A.J. Pierzynski put up career numbers. All the young relievers pitched beyond their years.

It all added up to the White Sox being in first place for much of the season. But in the end, the Tigers surpassed them. And while the White Sox collapsed down the stretch and failed to reach the playoffs, they had a memorable ride in 2012 and finished with an 85-77 record, the 14th best record in baseball.

So with that in mind, we offer grades for every player, with an opportunity for readers to give their own assessment. Share your thoughts in the comments section.

A.J. Pierzynski, C

Powers: Career numbers (27 homers, 77 RBIs) should lead to a sizeable new contract for Pierzynski. But will it be with the White Sox? Grade: A

Grade Pierzynski

  •  
    84%
  •  
    14%
  •  
    1%
  •  
    0%
  •  
    1%

(Total votes: 2,075)

Tyler Flowers, C

Powers: Continues to get it done behind the plate, but his offensive numbers (.213 average) have to improve if he is to be Pierzynski's replacement. Grade: C

Grade Flowers

  •  
    1%
  •  
    17%
  •  
    55%
  •  
    23%
  •  
    4%

(Total votes: 1,963)

Paul Konerko, 1B

Powers: Was at one time the American League's top hitter and gradually declined to his season-ending .298 average. September was a tough month for him. Grade: B+

Grade Konerko

  •  
    35%
  •  
    53%
  •  
    10%
  •  
    1%
  •  
    1%

(Total votes: 2,026)

Adam Dunn, DH

Powers: He's far from where you'd like him to be with a .204 average and 222 strikeouts, but you can live with those numbers in a season with 41 home runs, 96 RBIs and 105 walks. Grade: B

Grade Dunn

  •  
    21%
  •  
    53%
  •  
    21%
  •  
    4%
  •  
    1%

(Total votes: 1,993)

Gordon Beckham, 2B

Powers: Still lacking the average (.236) and on-base percentage (.296), but his defense, 16 homers and 60 RBIs put him among the AL's top second basemen. Grade: C+

Grade Beckham

  •  
    1%
  •  
    24%
  •  
    50%
  •  
    21%
  •  
    4%

(Total votes: 1,940)

Alexei Ramirez, SS

Powers: No one was better defensively or in the clutch for the White Sox this season. He hit .337 with 57 RBIs with runners in scoring position and had a team-best 2.3 defensive WAR. Needs to be a more consistent hitter. Grade: B

Grade Ramirez

  •  
    8%
  •  
    55%
  •  
    32%
  •  
    4%
  •  
    1%

(Total votes: 1,915)

Kevin Youkilis, 3B

Powers: His average didn't improve much after his trade from Boston, but he was the perfect spark the White Sox needed when acquired in June. Had 15 homers, 46 RBIs and a .346 on-base percentage in 80 games. Grade: B

Grade Youkilis

  •  
    15%
  •  
    54%
  •  
    27%
  •  
    3%
  •  
    1%

(Total votes: 1,870)

Alex Rios, CF

Powers: Rios was the team's offensive MVP this season. He had a .304 average with 37 doubles, eight triples, 25 home runs, 91 RBIs and 23 stolen bases. He had a team-best 3.6 offensive WAR. Grade: A

Grade Rios

  •  
    92%
  •  
    6%
  •  
    1%
  •  
    0%
  •  
    1%

(Total votes: 1,880)

Alejandro De Aza, OF

Powers: Was pretty consistent as a leadoff hitter all season long, hitting .281 with 81 runs, 50 RBIs and a .349 on-base percentage. Dunn called him the best leadoff hitter he's ever played with. Grade: B+

Grade De Aza

  •  
    45%
  •  
    47%
  •  
    6%
  •  
    0%
  •  
    2%

(Total votes: 1,844)

Dayan Viciedo, RF/1B

Powers: Viciedo was another youngster (23 years old) who performed beyond expectations this season, finishing with 25 homers and 78 RBIs. But the season wore on him. Grade: C+

Grade Viciedo

  •  
    3%
  •  
    53%
  •  
    38%
  •  
    5%
  •  
    1%

(Total votes: 1,768)

Orlando Hudson, 3B

Powers: Hudson gave third base a try and just couldn't get it done after playing the middle infield his entire career. Grade: D

Grade Hudson

  •  
    1%
  •  
    1%
  •  
    14%
  •  
    43%
  •  
    41%

(Total votes: 1,754)

Dewayne Wise, CF

Powers: Another quality in-season pickup by Ken Williams. He made major contributions in August. Grade: C+

Grade Wise

  •  
    10%
  •  
    51%
  •  
    31%
  •  
    5%
  •  
    3%

(Total votes: 1,763)

Chris Sale, RP

Powers: Sale was the team's pitching MVP and was one of the best starters in all of baseball, putting himself in the AL Cy Young discussion. Finished 17-11 with a 3.05 ERA, 51 walks and 192 strikeouts in 192 innings. Grade: A

Grade Sale

  •  
    95%
  •  
    4%
  •  
    0%
  •  
    0%
  •  
    1%

(Total votes: 1,787)

Jake Peavy, SP

Powers: Peavy resembled his old self this season. He should have had a better record than 11-12, but the team's offense seem to disappear whenever he pitched. He had a 3.37 ERA. Grade: B+

Grade Peavy

  •  
    48%
  •  
    42%
  •  
    8%
  •  
    1%
  •  
    1%

(Total votes: 1,767)

Gavin Floyd, SP

Powers: Inconsistency and an elbow injury led to a rocky year for Floyd. Pitched some of his best games in the final season's final weeks. Grade: C

Grade Floyd

  •  
    0%
  •  
    13%
  •  
    57%
  •  
    26%
  •  
    4%

(Total votes: 1,721)

Jose Quintana, SP

Powers: Quintana had an incredible year considering he was never expected to be in the majors this season. He was 6-6 with a 3.76 ERA in 136 1/3 innings. Grade: B

Grade Quintana

  •  
    25%
  •  
    59%
  •  
    14%
  •  
    1%
  •  
    1%

(Total votes: 1,685)

John Danks, SP

Powers: Danks' season was cut short due to a shoulder injury. When he did pitch, it wasn't what you expected from the team's Opening Day starter with a 5.70 ERA in nine starts. Grade: F

Grade Danks

  •  
    1%
  •  
    1%
  •  
    5%
  •  
    20%
  •  
    73%

(Total votes: 1,648)

Addison Reed, RP

Powers: Reed may be the team's closer of the future. He was great at times with 29 saves and a 4.75 ERA. Grade: C+

Grade Reed

  •  
    6%
  •  
    43%
  •  
    37%
  •  
    12%
  •  
    2%

(Total votes: 1,658)

Nate Jones, RP

Powers: He was the team's bullpen MVP despite being a rookie. He had a 2.39 ERA in 65 appearances. He allowed one run in September. Grade: A

Grade Jones

  •  
    70%
  •  
    24%
  •  
    3%
  •  
    1%
  •  
    2%

(Total votes: 1,563)

Matt Thornton, RP

Powers: He ranked among the top 20 pitchers in baseball with 74 appearances. He had good and bad streaks and finished with a 3.46 ERA, a team-best 26 holds and a bullpen-worst 10 losses. Grade: C

Grade Thornton

  •  
    1%
  •  
    26%
  •  
    41%
  •  
    23%
  •  
    9%

(Total votes: 1,588)

Brett Myers, RP

Powers: Acquired in a trade in July, Myers proved to be another reliable arm in the bullpen and had a 3.12 ERA in 35 appearances for the White Sox. Grade: B

Grade Myers

  •  
    7%
  •  
    55%
  •  
    30%
  •  
    6%
  •  
    2%

(Total votes: 1,552)

Hector Santiago, RP

Powers: Santiago was a closer, a starter and did everything else in between. He could find himself in the rotation next season. Grade: C

Grade Santiago

  •  
    4%
  •  
    43%
  •  
    45%
  •  
    7%
  •  
    1%

(Total votes: 1,464)

Jesse Crain, RP

Powers: Injuries resulted in a bumpy season, but was still one of the more reliable arms out of the bullpen. He had a 2.44 ERA in 51 appearances. Grade: B+

Grade Crain

  •  
    15%
  •  
    56%
  •  
    23%
  •  
    3%
  •  
    3%

(Total votes: 1,454)

Philip Humber, SP

Powers: No one had a stranger season than Humber, who threw a perfect game, but also finished with a 6.44 ERA. Grade: D

Grade Omogrosso

  •  
    1%
  •  
    3%
  •  
    18%
  •  
    45%
  •  
    33%

(Total votes: 1,518)

Donnie Veal, RP

Powers: Proved in September he could be one of baseball's most dominant lefty-on-lefty specialists. Lefties notched three hits in 32 at-bats against him this season. Grade: B+

Grade Veal

  •  
    37%
  •  
    45%
  •  
    15%
  •  
    1%
  •  
    2%

(Total votes: 1,382)

Francisco Liriano, SP

Powers: This was one of the few in-season acquisitions that didn't pan out for the White Sox. He had a 5.40 ERA for them. Grade: D-

Grade Liriano

  •  
    1%
  •  
    4%
  •  
    24%
  •  
    39%
  •  
    32%

(Total votes: 1,493)

Brian Omogrosso, RP

Powers: Looked a lot more comfortable when called back up in September. He was used 11 times and had a 1.93 ERA in September and could make the team out of spring training next season. Grade: B

Grade Omogrosso

  •  
    1%
  •  
    3%
  •  
    18%
  •  
    45%
  •  
    33%

(Total votes: 1,518)

Robin Ventura

Powers: Ventura exceeded everyone's expectations this season. His consistent and steady demeanor did wonders for this team after last year's drama-filled year with Ozzie Guillen as manager. He still has things to learn, but it was a good start for someone the White Sox hope will be around for years to come. Grade: B+

Grade Ventura

  •  
    62%
  •  
    31%
  •  
    4%
  •  
    1%
  •  
    2%

(Total votes: 1,658)

Kenny Williams, GM

Powers: Everything seemed to click for Williams this year. His past acquisitions (Peavy and Dunn) finally produced, some of the organization's home-grown talent (Sale, Reed, Jones) made an impact. He was smart and aggressive with deals (Youkilis, Myers) during the season and his surprise hiring of Ventura worked out. Not making the playoffs is on him, too. Grade: B+

Grade Williams

  •  
    44%
  •  
    40%
  •  
    11%
  •  
    2%
  •  
    3%

(Total votes: 1,611)


Scott Powers is a general reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.

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