White Sox final grades for 2012

Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE - Presswire

The White Sox had a better than expected and ultimately disappointing season. Here are their final grades.

Another season has come and gone. The players have headed back to their homes and are anxiously awaiting the mail man to see their final grades for the 2012 season. Some are going to be proud and hang the report card on the refrigerator and some may throw it away so they don't have to show their mom. Lets get to it.

A.J. Pierzynski- .278/.326/.501, 27 HR, 78 RBI: Pierzynski hit so well this season that the rumor mill was churning that he was caught using PED's. It turned out to be a good old fashion salary drive. Pierzynski set his career highs in home runs, slugging percentage, OPS and tied his career high in RBI. He had a lot of trouble blocking pitches in the dirt, but made up for it by actually throwing a few runners out this year. If this was his last year in a White Sox uniform, it was a great one. Final Grade: A

Paul Konerko- .298/.371/.486, 26 HR, 75 RBI: Konerko struggled in the second half. He went from an OPS of .932 in the first half to .771 in the second. He was bad with the bases loaded, going 1-12 with an OPS of .298. His defense also tailed off badly this year. All that being said, he still nearly hit .300. He received an A at the midterm break and he is going to get a C- for the 2nd half. Final Grade: B-

Gordon Beckham- .234/.296/.371, 16 HR, 60 RBI: Beckham flashed some power in 2012 as he set his career high in homers. He also played very solid defense all year long as his arm was able to make plays that most second basemen aren't able to make. Unfortunately, his batting average and on-base percentage were pretty terrible. He did show some signs of coming around as he hit .250/.355/.438 in September and October. Hopefully he can build on that for next season. Final Grade: C

Alexei Ramirez- .265/.287/.364, 9 HR, 73 RBI, 20 SB: He only had two homers at the All Star break, so it was nice to see him hit seven afterwards. Other than that show of power his stats remained nearly the same. He had a nice July and August before fading in September. He still plays very nice defense and the 20 steals are a career high and he played in 158 games for the second straight season. I got chastised for D'ing him up in the first half. His power returned in the second half, which will give his final grade a boost. Final Grade: C-

Dayan Viciedo- .255/.300/.444, 25 HR, 78 RBI: The Tank's first season as a regular is in the books. He finished the season on a high note, hitting three homers in his last three games and got his OBP up to .300. When he gets one, he shows remarkable power, but his lack of plate discipline makes those times far and few between. He played fairly well on defense. I would have liked him to hit a little better, but we have to remember that he was only 23 years old this year. Final Grade: C

Alejandro De Aza- .281/.349/.410, 9 HR, 50 RBI, 26/38 SB: De Aza struggled in July, disappeared in August and played well when he got in the lineup in September. He dealt with a lot of nagging injuries in the second half and then was used strangely upon returning. A lot of times he was switched to left field with DeWayne Wise playing center. All in all though, he had a very solid year for the Sox. Final Grade: A-

Alex Rios- .304/.334/.516, 25 HR, 91 RBI, 23/29 SB: It is safe to say that Rios was the White Sox best offensive player in 2012. He set career highs in batting average, home runs, RBI and tied his career high in slugging percentage. When the rest of the team was falling apart down the stretch, Rios was busy OPS'ing .888. His defense was solid in right field after a terrible year in center last season. Final Grade: A+

Adam Dunn- .204/.333/.468, 41 HR, 96 RBI, 105 BB, 222 K's: While Dunn did well compared to what he did last season, he still had his second-worst season in 2012. His .204 average and .333 OBP should have been a little higher, and he only had 19 doubles. But this was more along the lines of what the Sox paid for. He's going to homer, he's going to walk and he's going to strike out. He did all of that in 2012. His production did slip in the second half though. Final Grade: B-

Kevin Youkilis- (White Sox stats) .236/.346/.425, 15 HR, 46 RBI: Youkilis was a God send to us when we first acquired him from Boston. He had a lot of big hits. Then the nagging injuries showed up and his production faltered. In September, he OPS'd .649 which was by far his worst month here. He still was light years ahead of the other guys we had at third base before we got here. Final Grade: B-

Tyler Flowers- .213/.296/.412, 7 HR, 13 RBI: Flowers didn't get as much playing time as I thought he would because Pierzynski started hot and stayed hot through most of the year. When Flowers did get in, he showed some power and the ability to throw out runners. That is what you want from your back-up catcher. With A.J.'s free agency, we really don't have an idea if Flowers can be a regular catcher, but we might find out. He had a much better second half, as he hit .253/.333/.507. Final Grade: B-

DeWayne Wise- (White Sox stats), .258/.295/.405, 5 HR, 22 RBI, 12/16 SB: Wise got a lot of playing time after coming to the White Sox and did better than expected with it. He filled in for De Aza, Dunn and Viciedo and accumulated 176 plate appearances over 45 games. Should he have batted third during that time? Probably not. That isn't his fault though. Final Grade: B-

Orlando Hudson- (White Sox stats), .197/.262/.307, 2 HR, 17 RBI: The O-Dogg came over to fill the hole left by Brent Morel at third base. He couldn't do it and was replaced by Kevin Youkilis. He disappeared for the most part after that. He will struggle finding work for 2013. Final Grade: F

Jordan Danks- .224/.280/.284, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3/4 SB: Danks made his one home run count as it was a walk-off against the A's, but he didn't get any consistent playing time and didn't really show he deserved any. He played o.k. defense and was 3/4 in stealing bases, so he might make for a decent 5th outfielder. Final Grade: D-

Incompletes on offense:

Dan Johnson- .364/.548/.818 in 31 plate appearances.

Ray Olmedo- .244/.244/.293 in 42 plate appearances.

Jose Lopez- .217/.250/.261 in 24 plate appearances.

Hector Gimenez- .455/.455/.455 in 11 plate appearances.

Pitching:

Jake Peavy- 219 IP, 11-12, 3.37 ERA, 194 K: We finally got a full season out of Jake Peavy and he pitched well. It didn't show up in the win/loss column because the White Sox squandered many of his good starts. He did slow down over the second half with an ERA of 4.00, but that had to be expected as he reached 200 innings (heck, 175 innings) for the first time since 2007. With a little luck, he has 17 wins. Final Grade: A-

Chris Sale- 192 IP, 17-8, 3.05 ERA, 192 K: Sale's first season in the rotation was a success. He did show signs of fatigue in the second half though. His second half ERA was 4.03, which was a result of the ball leaving the yard (14 homers allowed in the second half, compared to only 5 in the first). He also pitched much better at home. He still battled through though and completed an entire season in the rotation. It looks like he could be the ace of the Sox staff for years to come. Final Grade: A

Gavin Floyd- 168 IP, 12-11, 4.29 ERA, 144 K: Floyd was pretty solid in the second half, posting a 3.88 ERA. He cut down on the long ball, only allowing five homers after the break as compared to 17 prior to it. As always, Floyd is a streaky pitcher. Sometimes he looks untouchable and others he looks awful. He recorded his first winning season since 2008. Final Grade: C+

Jose Quintana- 136 IP, 6-6, 3.76 ERA, 81 K: Quintana was great in the first half. He struggled in the second half though, putting up a 5.01 ERA after the all-star break. His control wasn't nearly as good late in the season, both in the zone and out of it. He walked more batters and gave up more long balls. He still filled in for John Danks quite nicely and deserved to win a few games that he ended up losing. Final Grade: B-

Philip Humber- 102 IP, 5-5, 6.44 ERA, 85 K: After Humber threw his perfect game, he fell apart. He struggled, then went on the disabled list, then came back and struggled some more, then lost his spot in the rotation and then disappeared in the bullpen. His second half ERA was 7.27. Thanks for that sunny day in Seattle Phil. Final Grade: F

Francisco Liriano- (White Sox stats), 56.2 IP, 3-2, 5.40 ERA, 58 K: Coop couldn't fix him. Liriano started out strong, going 4-1 over his first five starts with wins over the Angels, Blue Jays and Yankees. Unfortunately, he coudln't go more than five innings after that. His high pitch counts and lack of control got him into trouble and he was removed early every time accept for once (Sept. 15 vs. Twins). He failed to steady the rotation. Final Grade: D

Hector Santiago- 70.1 IP, 4-1, 3.33 ERA, 79 strikeouts: Santiago started the year as the closer, moved to mop up duty, went to the minors to stretch out, came back and flipped between starting and relieving and ended up making a couple of big starts for the White Sox in 2012. He started four september games and did fairly well in the starts. He didn't go very deep into games due to both pitch count issues and his tendency to have a full count on most every hitter, but he showed he could start at the big league level. Final Grade: C+

Nate Jones- 71.2 IP, 2.39 ERA, 8-0, 65 K: Jones did a hell of a job after I decided he was the worst pitcher I ever saw in a spring training game. He became the go-to guy when the starters all had issues towards the end of the year and did well. He ended up vulturing 8 wins. Final Grade: A

Addison Reed- 55 IP, 4.75 ERA, 3-2, 29/33 Saves (88%): Reed struggled in the second half with a 5.63 ERA. It seemed he always had a runner on base against him and his WHIP was 1.54 in the second half. He eventually started coming in with one out already recorded in the ninth for a two-out save. However, he still only blew 4 saves and had a good percentage with 88% of games saved. He wasn't always easy to watch but got the job done more times than not. Final Grade: C+

Matt Thornton- 65 IP, 4-10, 3.46 ERA, 53 K: Thornton struggled at times throughout 2012. Ten losses as a reliever is quite a bit. He recorded his lowest K/9 rate (7.3) of his career, but also had his lowest BB/9 (2.4) of his career. He had his share of struggles, but more times than not he did his job. Final Grade: B

Jesse Crain- 48 IP, 2-3, 2.44 ERA, 60 K's: Crain had a very solid year out of the White Sox bullpen after he overcame his early season injuries. He had a career high 11.3 K/9 and a WHIP of 1.08. He was the most consistent member of the bullpen. Final Grade: A-

Brett Myers- (White Sox stats) 34.2 IP, 3-4, 3.12 ERA, 21 K: Myers was brought in at the trade deadline because the White Sox needed a veteran. At the time, Jesse Crain was out due to injury and the only non-rookie was Thornton. Myers did a very good job settling the bullpen when he first got here. He did give up some costly homeruns. Final Grade: B

Dylan Axelrod- 51 IP, 2-2, 5.47 ERA, 40 K: Axelrod made seven spot starts for the White Sox and pitched well in three of them and only got roughed up bad in two of them. He wasn't very sharp when brought in out of the bullpen. He did a remarkable job in Baltimore when he defeated the Orioles on August 29th. Final Grade: C

Donnie Veal- 13 IP, 1.38 ERA, 1 save, 19 K: Veal did a great job out of the pen in limited times. He was mostly used as a LOOGY and only gave up 3 hits in 32 at bats to lefties. Righties didn't do much either as the batting line against him was .111/.184/.178. He retired Prince Fielder with ease on multiple occasions. Final Grade: A

Leyson Septimo- 14.1 IP, 5.02 ERA, 0-2, 14 K: Unlike Veal, Septimo couldn't get the job done against lefties as he gave up three home runs to them. Final Grade: D

Brian Omogrosso- 21 IP, 2.57 ERA, 18 K: Omogrosso did ok in his limited action. He got better late in the season, when he was used in situations that mattered. He threw 5 1/3 scoreless innings in the final homestand of the season. I would have gave him an incomplete, but I graded Veal and Septimo who had less innings than Omogrosso did. Final Grade: B

DeWayne Wise- 1 IP, 0.00 ERA: Wise entered a blowout and pitched better than Jose Quintana and Philip Humber in the game. Final Grade: A+

Incomplete for pitchers:

Jhan Marinez- 2.2 IP, 0.00

Duente Heath- 2 IP, 4.50

Management:

Kenny Williams and Front Office: When a gaping hole opened up, he filled them. Brent Morel and Orlando Hudson at third base? Go get Kevin Youkilis for nothing. All-Rookie bullpen? Get Brett Myers for nothing. Need for a backup outfielder? Get DeWayne Wise. Need a starter? Get Francisco Liriano. Ok, 3 out of 4 isn't bad. Final Grade: A

Robin Ventura and Staff: Ventura did a nice job all season long, but his managing fell short in September. It was an odd use of the bullpen, DeWayne Wise and poor pinch hitting decisions. The offense disappeared down the stretch, as did the starting pitching. Overall it was a successful first season for Ventura. Final Grade: B-

Here are the midterm grades if you care to read back.

What did you disagree with? Where was I spot on?

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