When the MVP for the American League is announced I have no doubt who will win. Heck, if I could vote I would even vote for him myself. That would be Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera. Sorry Mike Trout and sabermetric fans. You win the Triple Crown you win MVP in my book.
However, this isn’t about the MVP of the American League. My question is who was the MVP for the Chicago White Sox?
It really falls between two players, Paul Konerko and Alex Rios. Both of these players were instrumental for the White Sox in 2012, and one of the reasons they were in first place for so long. Let’s dive into the numbers.
2012 was just another great season for Konerko. At 36 he batted .298 down two points from .300 in 2011. He hit 26 home runs and drove in 75 runs. He also had an on base percentage of .371. Oh, and Konerko was also an All-Star.
I think that if Konerko’s wrist was 100% he would have hit above .300 and would have had another 30 home run season. Let’s also not forget that Konerko had a .999 fielding percentage. How he wasn’t a finalist for the Gold Glove award is still beyond me.
Without Konerko the White Sox would have lost more games. Not just because of the offense that Konerko brings but also because of his defense. That isn’t a knock on Adam Dunn but Konerko is the better first baseman.
What about Rios? 2012 was a comeback season for Rios from where he was in 2011. He hit .304, drove in 91 runs and hit 25 home runs. His on base percentage was .334. Rios was snubbed and didn’t go to the All-Star game.
For you sabermetric junkies, his wins above replacement were 4.2, though for the record I don’t like to rely on that statistic too much. Defensively Rios had a .986 fielding percentage. Dunn said it himself “Without him (Rios) we would have lost more games.” I agree with Dunn.
Rios is the MVP for the White Sox in 2012 in my opinion. Though, I’m sure if you ask Konerko he would give a vote for Rios to be the MVP as well. I’m also quite certain that Rios will garner some MVP votes when the final vote tallies come out.
Look, Konerko had a great year; I’m not saying he didn’t. It’s just that Rios had a better year than Konerko this time around. Konerko is still a special player and one of my favorites.
If in 2013 we are talking about how great a year Rios and Konerko had that’s a good thing. I also want the discussion to be about postseason MVP this time around in 2013.
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