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KenWo's Corner- Midterm Grades

Since this is the final KenWo's Corner of the first half, it is time to turn in my midterm grades for our 2011 Chicago White Sox.  What grades do you take issue with? 

Paul Konerko- .319/.390/.569 22 Homers 65 RBI's: Konerko had a great season last year and earned himself another hefty contract, which worried me going into this year.  However, Konerko has kept up his pace of last year, earned an All Star berth and if the Sox could get on a run, might garner some MVP votes.  Midterm Grade: A+

Gordon Beckham- .241/.303/.352, 7 Homers 24 RBI: Again I thought that Beckham was going to have a big year and again he failed to live up to the hype.  He has played really sharp defense at 2nd base though. It is time we lower our expectations on offense. Midterm Grade: C

Alexei Ramirez- .272/.330/.406, 8 Homers 38 RBI: Ramirez started out pretty well this year, which is a sharp contrast to his previous seasons.  His eye has gotten much better as he has drawn 28 walks this year.  The defense has usually been very good, with a few lapses in focus.  I expect more power production.  He has been cold lately.  Midterm Grade: B-

Brent Morel- .248/.264/.299, 1 Homer 15 RBI: Morel has done a pretty credible job on defense so far this year, which has helped clear up the black hole that has been there since Joe Crede hurt his back.  However, I can't live with an OPS of .563.  That is unacceptable.  He has come through with some big hits this year and he doesn't strike out all too often.  Midterm Grade: D

A.J. Pierzynski- .295/.330/.382, 3 Homers 28 RBI: I would like to see more power coming from Pierzynski, but his batting average is .295.  On a team that you rarely find anyone over .250, he gets big credit for that.  On defense, he has done a very good job blocking pitches in the dirt, but Cecil Fielder could swipe multiple bases on him.  Midterm Grade: B

Adam Dunn- .164/.296/.313, 9 Homers 34 RBI: Our biggest free agent pickup since Albert Belle has proven to be a major bust in the first half of the season.  I wouldn't be happy if he was hitting .214- which would be 50(!) points higher than where he is now.  Many people were mentioning at Sox Fest that he could possibly hit 45-50 homers this year.  I'll be shocked if he makes it to 25.  115 strikeouts in 262 at bats. Midterm Grade: F

Juan Pierre- .266/.325/.312, 1 Homer 23 RBI, 13/23 SBs: Pierre's speed has fallen off mightily since last season as he is barely above a 50% success ratio.  He has knocked in a lot of key runs lately, which puts him only 11 RBI's behind Dunn.  His late inning defense has cost the Sox multiple games.  Midterm Grade: D

Alex Rios- .214/.263/.313, 6 Homers 21 RBI, 6/11 SBs: Rios has been a terrible disappointment after his good season last year.  He hasn't hit for average or power and has only stolen 6 bags after 31 last season.  His defense has been ok in center, but not good enough to save him.  Midterm Grade: F

Carlos Quentin- .254/.355/.512, 17 Homers 50 RBI: He has some big extra base hit numbers when you throw in his 25 doubles, but he still remains way too streaky for my liking.  His defense hasn't been terrible this year which is nice and he still is getting on base at a good clip.  Look for Quentin on Tuesday in the All Star Game.  Midterm Grade: B

Ramon Castro- .227/.292/.439, 4 Homers, 10 RBI: Castro doesn't get regular playing time at all, as he only has 66 at bats on the season, but when he does play he isn't afraid to take the ball out of the yard as he has more home runs than Pierzynski does.  I'd like to see a little bit more of him.  Midterm Grade- B-

Mark Teahen- .221/.309/.349, 3 Homers 9 RBI: Teahen spent some time on the DL and has only recorded 86 at bats, but has produced very well when called upon to pinch hit.  His defense is still terrible and he strikes out an awful lot.  Midterm Grade- C

Omar Vizquel- .269/.299/.328, 0 Homers 8 RBI: Omar will still pick up a single every now and then, but anything more offensively than that is just  a dream at this point.  Defensively, according to the old eye test, he has seemingly lost a few steps at each position.  He still will make the routine plays though.  Midterm Grade: C-

Brent Lillibridge- .256/.345/.471, 7 Homers 15 RBI's:  Lillibridge played the best baseball of his career in the first half and showed off his very good power early in the year.  He also has played extremely well defensively and has great versatility.  However, he is like your in-laws.  If you see him once in a while he isn't bad, but if you see him everyday you begin to despise him. Even still, he has outproduced more than the most generous prognosticator would have predicted him for.  Midterm Grade- A-

Dallas McPherson/Lastings Milledge- Midterm Grade- Incomplete: Neither man was up long enough to matter.

Philip Humber- 8-5, 3.10 ERA, 65 K's: Humber has been the model of consistency for the White Sox and is very deserving of an all star nod if the need for an extra pitcher arrives.  He has only 1 bad start this year, it just so happens to be his last one.  At the beginning of the year I thought it would be only a matter of time before he was slapped back into reality, now I am shocked when he has a poor outing.  Midterm Grade: A+

Mark Buehrle- 6-5, 3.66 ERA, 57 K's: Buehrle has been there for the Sox since day one.  He has had a few rocky outings, but none that have been really awful.  He's been very consistent and has kept us in most games he has pitched this year.  Midterm Grade: A

Edwin Jackson- 5-7, 4.30 ERA, 92 K's: Jackson frustrates me.  He has all of the talent in the world, but for the most part has been just mediocre.  He will have a good outing, followed by an outing where he has 100 pitches in the 5th inning.  He hasn't gotten on much of a roll yet.  Midterm Grade: C

Gavin Floyd- 6-9, 4.59 ERA, 80 K's: Floyd is another guy with all of the tools that seemingly can't put it all together for an extended period of time.  He avoided his usual April awfulness, but hasn't been very good recently.  Midterm Grade: C

John Danks- 3-8, 4.21 ERA, 65 K's: Danks got virtually no run support early on, and then hit a bit of a rough patch.  He started to turn things around and then got hurt.  His record is worse than it should be.  Midterm Grade: C+

Jake Peavy- 4-2, 4.83 ERA, 40 K's: Peavy has battled through setbacks and new injuries to post a 4-2 record this year.  He struggled in his last outing, but has been fairly solid the rest of the time.  He hasn't been the most reliable pitcher in Sox history.  Midterm Grade: C

Sergio Santos- 3.07 ERA, 18/21 saves: Santos was a savior to the bullpen in the early part of the season.  He has had a couple of games where he really struggled, but other than those few outings he has been dominating.  Midterm Grade: A

Jesse Crain- 4-2, 2.50 ERA: Crain has formed a strong 1-2 punch with Santos in the late innings.  He has been consistently good the entire season.  Midterm Grade: A+

Matt Thornton- 3.45 ERA, 3/7 Saves: Thornton was dreadful in the early part of the season, some of his own doing and some of his defense sabotaging him.  He wasn't able to handle the closer role, but when he got moved back into this normal setup role he has been dominant again.  Midterm Grade: B

Chris Sale- 3.47 ERA, 2/3 Saves: Sale started out slow and eventually was moved to low leverage situations.  He has also turned it around of late though and has shown signs of how he pitched at the end of last season.  Midterm Grade: B

Will Ohman- 4.39 ERA: After struggling on the first road trip, Ohman really came around and became the most reliable lefty for a little while.  Thornton and Sale have been on track lately though, moving Ohman back into cleaning up messes. Midterm Grade: B-

Tony Pena- 6.20 ERA: Pena was awful and then got hurt.  Midterm Grade: F

Brian Bruney, Jeff Gray, Hector Santiago: All three men have done a very good job in their opportunities. Grey has moved on, but Bruney looks like he might be able to give the Sox another good arm from the right side.  Santiago has basically been un-hittable in his 2 appearances. Midterm Grades: A

Lucas Harrell: Only appeared in 3 games and wasn't impressive.  Midterm Grade: Incomplete

Ozzie Guillen: Between his loyalty to players who don't deserve it, to his ridiculous batting orders, he has really dropped the ball offensively.  Sometimes I think he leaves the starters in too long, but he has gotten his bullpen in order which was a major problem at the beginning of the year.  I also question his bunting and pinch running tactics. He also needs to do a better job of managing Jake Peavy. The Manager has to take a lot of the blame for an underperforming team.  Midterm Grade: D

Kenny Williams: His major acquisitions have been busts.  Why Dayan Viciedo is still in the minors is anybody's guess.  Williams is the G.M. of this team and needs to do something instead of keep the status quo.  Humber has been a nice find, but this was supposed to be a big year for the Sox and it has been quite an underperforming, unimpressive group thus far.  Midterm Grade: F

* Your official South Side Sox All Star outfield has been chosen.  Jose Bautista, Curtis Granderson and Carlos Quentin get the nod in the A.L and Ryan Braun, Matt Kemp and Andrew McCutchen all line up for the outfield.  Here are the batting orders that I have put together based on our selections: 
1. Curtis Granderson CF  .271  25   62
2. Michael Young       DH  .326   8   59
3. Jose Bautista          RF   .329  29  61
4. Paul Konerko          1B   .318  22  65
5. Adrian Beltre           3B   .272  17  68
6. Carlos Quentin        LF   .254  17  50
7. Robinson Cano      2B   .297  15  56
8. Alexei Ramirez       SS   .271   8   38
9.  Joe Mauer                 C  .252    0     9
1. Andrew McCutchen CF   .291  13  49
2. Matt Kemp                  RF  .319  22  66
3. Joey Votto                  1B  .321  13  53
4. Prince Fielder            DH .302  22  72
5. Ryan Braun                LF  .320  16  62
6. Troy Tulowitzki          SS  .270  17  57
7. Brian McCann             C  .313  14  48
8. Rickie Weeks             2B  .276  17  39
9. Ryan Zimmerman      3B  .252   4   15


Have a great All Star break.