Alex Rios is no rookie and he wasn’t one going into last season. What he was though, was a steady outfielder that suddenly popped onto the MVP scene with a career season. His .304 batting average and .804 OPS were right up there with the best performances of his career. The 25 homers and 91 RBI were both career bests. How does Rios follow up the year of his career? By having a great spring, only to go get plunked in the same elbow twice in one game.
That didn’t happen in a spring training game though, it happened in a World Baseball Classic game between Rios’ native Puerto Rico and Spain. It looked to be more of an irritant than something to worry about in the injury department. Still, that is what you fear when one of your big guns goes to the classic. Assuming all things are fine with the elbow, Rios still appears to be on track for a good follow-up season.
He has had limited time in spring games of course due to the WBC, but when he was playing he racked up a .455 batting average. It’s anyone’s guess how well that will continue after the Classic but let’s just say that he appears to be confident that he will have another great season. For the Chicago White Sox, there is no reason to expect anything different. If he stays healthy he could have a few years of the kind of numbers that landed him 15th in MVP voting a year ago.