The 2013 season has mercifully come to a close. I don't remember a season this bad, because there hasn't been a season this bad in my 33 years on the planet. Most of the blame lays with the positional players and the grades will reflect that.
Tyler Flowers - .195/.247/.355, 10 HR, 24 RBI. Flowers failed miserably in his big opportunity. Like Eminem once said, you get one shot. Unfortunately for Flowers, he came out and hit .195. His home runs and walks that were supposed to make up the difference for his poor batting average came far and few between. He lost his job to Josh Phegley and then lost the season about a month early to a shoulder injury. While Flowers may be in the conversation at catcher next season, his chance at being the unquestioned everyday starter is gone. Final Grade: F
Paul Konerko - .244/.313/.355, 12 HR, 54 RBI. When the end comes, it comes quick. I witnessed it in 2001 with one of my all-time favorites in Harold Baines. Konerko, who is a favorite for many, many Sox fans, went through it this season. His power disappeared. His range in the field was gone long ago. While Paulie might not want to call it a career, it is better to go out on your own terms than sit around and wait for a contract that isn't coming. Final Grade: F
Gordon Beckham - .267/.322/.372, 5 HR, 24 RBI. At midseason, Beckham was hitting .335 and it looked like he may finally turned the corner with the bat, even though his power was missing. In the second half, though, he hit .216/.297/.319. Any progress he seemed to be making went out the window. Back in January, I wrote that it was now or never for Beckham. I don't think he did enough to ease my concerns back then. If I'm Rick Hahn, he's out. Unfortunately, I'm not and Beckham is apparently being groomed to be the "leader" in the post-Konerko era. Maybe that will work out. He does do a good job down at second base, but Leury Garcia can do that for a whole lot less. Final Grade: C-
Conor Gillaspie - .245/.305/.390, 13 HR, 40 RBI. Gillaspie did a serviceable job in his rookie season. He wasn't supposed to play the most games at third base for the White Sox this year, but Jeff Keppinger proved to be inept and Gillaspie was thrown out there. He was OK. I'm not at all convinced that he is the answer at third base for next season, but unlike Flowers, at least Gillaspie didn't make me throw up. Final Grade: C-
Alexei Ramirez - .284/.313/.380, 6 HR, 48 RBI, 30 SB. Ramirez caught a lot of heat from White Sox fans this season, mainly due to his untimely errors. As the smoke clears, Ramirez is still one of the better shortstops in baseball. He plays very good defense and hit .284 with 39 doubles and 30 stolen bases. There aren't too many shortstops that can put up numbers like that. He also played in 158 games for the third straight season. Final Grade: B
Dayan Viciedo - .265/.304/.426, 14 HR, 56 RBI. A lot of Sox fans are ready to write off Viciedo. I nearly got there myself. It is no secret he is a favorite of mine, but even I started growing tired of him. I failed him for his first half effort. In the second half, though, Viciedo hit .291/.327/.466. It wasn't all against left-handed pitching either, as he was more successful against righties this season. He salvaged himself a passing grade and probably another half of a season as a White Sox regular. Next season, it will be do or die for the Tank. Final Grade: D+
Alejandro De Aza - .264/.323/.405, 17 HR, 62 RBI, 20 SB. De Aza is another whipping boy for Sox fans. A lot of it is well deserved as De Aza really played stupid all season long. He wasn't very good out in center field and his baserunning was really silly. He didn't look foolish in the batters box though, as he was able to put up competent numbers out of the leadoff spot, so at least there was something there. Final Grade: C-
Alex Rios - .277/.328/.421, 12 HR, 55 RBI, 26 SB. Rios fell off after his hot first two months of 2013 and was not traded at the July 31 deadline. He was moved after the deadline to the Rangers, where he has gone on to do some damage. However, as the trade rumors swirled around like a stiff April breeze, Rios fell flat. The White Sox were unable to get a nice deal for him and instead settled on Leury Garcia and salary relief. Good for Rios for still being moveable, but unfortunately, he wasn't good enough to bring back anything better than a utilityman. Final Grade: C
Adam Dunn - .219/.320/.442, 34 HR, 86 RBI. The good news is Dunn recorded his best batting average as a member of the White Sox. The bad news is he still only hit .219. Couple that with a drop in walks and power and it is just another bad season for the Donkey. On the other hand, at least he was able to find the seats every once in a while which is far more than I can say for most of his teammates. Dunn led the White Sox with 49 extra-base hits. I remember when Albert Belle hit 49 home runs, but I digress. Dunn makes too much money to trade him unless the Sox pick up a sizable portion of the contract, which they are unwilling to do. So I suppose we'll have to see him next year. Final Grade: D+
Jeff Keppinger - .253/.283/.317, 4 HR, 40 RBI. He was brought in to play third base and he stunk. He moved to second when Gordon Beckham got injured and he stunk some more. He stunk on defense. He stunk with the bat. His batting eye stunk and even though he stunk a little less in August, he still stunk. His season stunk. The signing stunk. Final Grade: F
Josh Phegley: .206/.223/.299, 4 HR, 22 RBI. After Tyler Flowers proved to be out of his league, Josh Phegley got a shot. He had been tearing up Triple-A and deserved an opportunity. He got one, and after hitting three homers in his first eight games, he only hit one more on the season. Phegley also proved to be ineffective. He was just a rookie and will be in the conversation next year, but he is far from a lock, especially as a starter. He wasn't good in his extended tryout. Final Grade: F
Jordan Danks - .231/.313/.369, 5 HR, 12 RBI, 7 SB. Danks was better than I expected him to be in his 179 plate appearances, which isn't saying a whole bunch since I didn't expect much. He showed some pop at times and played a decent outfield. He isn't an embarrassment as a fourth outfielder. Final Grade: C
Avisail Garcia - .304/.327/.447. I was excited when Garcia came to the Sox as the big piece in the Jake Peavy deal. He impressed me last season on the Tigers, and I was excited to finally get a young player that could hit the ball. He didn't let me down. He looked like the most complete offensive player on the roster in his time here. He also is fast for a big guy. The thought of him growing into his enormous power gives me something to look forward to for the winter. Final Grade: A
Marcus Semien - .261/.268/.406, 2 HR, 7 RBI. Semien rode a great minor-league season into 71 big-league plate appearances. He didn't embarrass himself in those PAs either. I like his swing and think he may be a member of the 2014 infield in April. Where? I'm not sure. It isn't like our infield is that hard to crack. Final Grade: Incomplete at MLB level, but what a nice surprise for us this year.
Leury Garcia - .204/.259/.224, 1 RBI, 6 SB. The return for Alex Rios is really fast and has a good glove. If only he could hit. Final Grade: Incomplete
Bryan Anderson, Miguel Gonzalez - The September call-ups got some Major League time in. Good for them. Bad for us. Grade: Incomplete
For Hector Gimenez, Casper Wells, Dewayne Wise, Tyler Greene, Blake Tekotte, Brent Morel and Angel Sanchez you can read about them in the midterm report.
Robin Ventura - Yes, the roster wasn't good. The manager can't control that. The fact that the clubhouse was comfortable and happy through a season worse than any I've ever witnessed though, isn't exactly a feather in his cap either. I was unimpressed with his managerial decisions and his lackadaisical attitude. Final Grade: F