Age doesn’t always make things better, especially in sports. There a few exceptions to that rule about age. Those would be a good bottle of wine, and Paul Konerko.
Since 2010, Konerko has been named an All-Star in three straight years. He has consistently batted over .300. The exception to this is 2012 when he batted .298, his batting average dipping below .300 due to an injury to his wrist.
While 2012 wasn’t Konerkos best year it was still really good. Let’s dig deeper into the numbers. In 2012 Konerko hit 26 home runs, his lowest total since 2008. He also drove in 75 runs, again his lowest total since 2008. How do the numbers in 2012 stand out compared to 2008?
First off in 2008 Konerko only played in 122 games that year. In 2012 he played in 144. Second, Konerko probably would have hit more home runs if it wasn’t for the bone chip that was floating in his wrist.
In the first half of 2012, Konerko was one of the hottest hitters in the American League. He also was seeing the ball better.
He also cut down on his strikeouts. He only struck out 83 times which is low for him. In 2011 he struck out 89 times. In 2010, the year that he was fifth in MVP voting he struck out 110 times. Konerko seems to be seeing the ball better then he has before.
Konerko has become a fixture at first base for the Chicago White Sox. He should be named as a Gold Glove winner or a fielding bible winner at first. He only made one error all year long. He also had 60 assists.
Konerko’s fielding numbers would be even better and rank even higher in the American League if he played more games there. He only played 105. That was because he sat out some games due to that wrist injury. He also played more games as the DH due to the injury. Robin Ventura also wanted to give Adam Dunn some playing time at first base.
I don’t know how much longer Konerko is going to play. He will be 37 next season and has accomplished a lot already. He doesn’t have to keep playing to try and get the elusive championship. He got that in 2005.
Until Konerko decides to hang up his cleats, White Sox fans should enjoy him. There aren’t many players who come around as often as Konerko does.
Like a good bottle of wine he is getting better and better, savor it.
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