The Chicago White Sox saw glimpses of brilliance last season when centerfielder Alejandro De Aza played when the team was out of the race. I saw so much in Alejandro De Aza that I said he would be the best player on the Chicago White Sox this season. At the time, I really didn’t know how much faith I had in my prediction considering Alejandro De Aza was a little bit lucky last season. His .404 BABIP and 9.7 UZR in 2011 concerned me most about Alejandro De Aza heading into 2012. I knew I was flirting with fire with my prediction. But after seeing Alejandro De Aza through the first week in May, let me just say I told you so.
Alejandro De Aza is something the Chicago White Sox haven’t had since the great Ray Durham, and that is a legitimate leadoff hitter. If you want to include the one good season Scott Podsednik had in 2005, I’ll let it slide because he was an integral part during that magical World Series run. But outside of that, we have seen the likes of Juan Pierre and DeWayne Wise. Gross.
Not counting Alejandro De Aza’s 2-4 performance tonight against the Cleveland Indians, he was only trailing Paul Konerko in terms of fWAR at 1.1. While I am slowly moving away from WAR when I am evaluating a player, I still believe it has some value when you discuss players like Alejandro De Aza. You can’t really put a value on his defense and running abilities but at least WAR tries to. Even without looking at it sabermetrically, Alejandro De Aza is still one of the better player on the Chicago White Sox, possibly even the American League as a whole. Alejandro De Aza ranks near the top in runs, hits, walks, and stolen bases, further proving why he is one of the better leadoff hitters in the game.
The White Sox found a gem in Alejando De Aza. He truly is De Awesome.
Bryan is a featured writer for Rant Sports. Although he concentrates mostly on the game of baseball, you can find him covering things all over the Rant Sports Network.