Watching Derek Jeter tie and pass Nap Lajoie in last night's Yankees vs White Sox game made me think about our captain, counting stats and our beloved White Sox. Also your mind begins to wander after watching 5 hours of pitching changes, people walking around the pitchers mound and talking about Ragu.
Paul Konerko probably won't end his career with 3000 hits. He definitely won't have 347 stolen bases. And I'm guessing the Sox won't win 4 World Series over the rest of Kong's career.
But he could end his career pretty close to being the best White Sox player (in a pure counting numbers sense) of all time. For this exercise I want to present to you.
1. Paulie's current numbers.
2. Paulie's White Sox career average after you add in the ZIPs numbers for the rest of the season
3. What Paulie would have after 4 years more years of putting up said career average numbers
4. The current White Sox leader.
I picked 4 more years because Paulie's 36, and 40 is a good round number for him to retire at. I also believe that Paulie could have 4 more solid years left for the Sox.
Current: 2147 (4th all time)
Projected: 2746 (2nd all time)
White Sox Leader: Luke Appling (2749)
Ok, wow, that's ironic, because I pick 4 so he got to 40. And he ends up 3 hits short of Luke Appling. Ok, so now do I think Paulie can put up 153 hits a year over the next 4? If he stays healthy, yes. I'm pretty sure he can get Luke and pass him for the all time lead. The concussion scares me a little but the way he's come back to play definitely eases my mind.
Current: 378 (3rd all time)
Projected: 494 (1st all time)
White Sox Leader: Frank Thomas (447)
Paulie's getting this record. Despite his speed, he consistently hits the ball off the walls and into the gaps for doubles. 27 doubles a year doesn't seem like much and he'll probably end up with that many this season.
Who am I kidding. Paulie has 8 for his career. He'll be lucky to end up with 10.
Current: 409 (2nd all time)
Projected: 535 (1st all time)
White Sox Leader: Thomas (448)
Well. This is a stat I really didn't need to look up (except to do Paulie's projected number). Big Frank is going to lose his record in 2014 should Paul not get traded or seriously injured. 500 is going to get got. Do I think 535 is possible? Maybe. Paul will finish his career in the top 20 and maybe pass Frank's 521.
Runs Batted In
Current: 1289 (2nd all time)
Projected: 1684 (1st all time)
White Sox Leader: Thomas (1465)
Another leader board number Frank will be surpassed in. 2014 is going to be a tough year for those of us who grew up idolizing Frank, as he'll get inducted into the Hall and be simultaneously being passed by Konerko as the White Sox leader. 94 seems like a lot for Paul to average over the next 4 years, but 80-85 is going to happen and 1600 RBI will be passed.
Current: 30.9 (13th all time)
Projected: ~41 (7th all time)
White Sox Leader: Appling (84.7)
This is the only stat the Robin will have over Paulie at the end of his career (Robin: 42.4 fWAR with the Sox). This is tough to project, so I'll just leave it here.
Other stats Paul would lead if he continues he career average:
Games Played, Plate Appearances (and At Bats), Strike Outs and GIDP (he already leads these)
In my opinion Frank will always be the greatest White Sox player of all time, but Paul Konerko is really giving him a run for his money. Maybe Paulie can come up with Kong's Kölsch once his career is over to market to the highbrow beer drinkers like myself.
Thanks to Fangraphs for allowing me to look up these numbers. No thanks to Google for not having any picture of Jeter and Konerko together to put in this article.