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Midterm grades for the 2013 White Sox offense

Things don't look pretty for this group of class clowns.

Gordon Beckham and Alexei Ramirez have earned the top grades for the offense at the midterm of 2013.
Gordon Beckham and Alexei Ramirez have earned the top grades for the offense at the midterm of 2013.

The All-Star break is here, so it is time to issue out the midterm grades. In years past, I've done it all in one post. Unfortunately, this year I have two different classes. I have an honors class (the pitchers) and a remedial class (the offense). I've found in my days as an educator, it is always best to get the bad news out of the way first. With that in mind, we will start with the position players.

Tyler Flowers- .205/.255/.365, 8 HR, 22 RBI - In one of Rick Hahn's first moves as GM, he made the move to let A.J. Pierzynski walk in free agency to the Texas Rangers on a one-year deal in order to give Flowers a shot at the everyday job. Things couldn't have worked out worse for Flowers. After hitting a couple of home runs in the first series, everything has fallen apart. His average is low, his walks are low, his power is not what some thought it might be and Josh Phegley put together a monster first half in Triple-A. While Flowers is still in the mix at catcher, Phegley has since been called up and has done well in his first eight games in the Majors. Flowers finds himself back to the bench in a time-share scenerio. Midterm Grade: F

Paul Konerko- .249/.314/.368, 7 HR, 30 RBI- Konerko struggled in the second half of last season and those struggles have continued in 2013. His average is down, his power is down and he has had a rough time staying on the field this year. All good things must come to an end, and from the looks of things, the end is near for Konerko. Midterm Grade: F

Gordon Beckham- .335/.357/.443, 2 HR, 13 RBI- Beckham missed a chunk of time with a broken bone in his hand, but in the 44 games he's appeared in, his hitting has been solid. One thing that is worrisome is his lack of power, but that tends to happen with injuries to the hands and wrists. He has been solid on defense, other than a few boneheaded plays and is one of the brighter spots on the offense. Midterm Grade: B

Alexei Ramirez- .286/.311/.381, 1 HR, 21 RBI, 20 SB- Ramirez has been a lightning rod for some White Sox fans this season. His power is way down and the days of him hitting 20 home runs are long gone, but he is still managing to hit in the .280's. He also leads the team with 24 doubles and 20 stolen bases. On defense, he has made some critical errors at critical times, but for the most part he is still very solid with the leather. When the smoke clears, if I have a shortstop that can hit above .280 with 35 doubles and 35 steals while playing solid defense, I take it every time. Midterm Grade: B

Conor Gillaspie- .248/.311/.382, 7 HR, 23 RBI- Gillaspie came out of the gate strong, but has since fallen back with the lumber to below average. He has played pretty solid defense and has come up with some big hits. He also is outplaying Jeff Keppinger and puts another left handed bat in the lineup. He is an improvement over the pre-Kevin Youkilis crowd of last season, and has turned out to be somewhat of a nice Spring Training find for Hahn, if only because he is better than the alternatives. Midterm Grade: C

Adam Dunn- .213/.317/.474, 24 HR, 60 RBI- After starting out disgustingly miserable, Dunn has turned things around as the Sox have fallen further and further out of contention. He leads the team in home runs and walks, which is what he is paid to do. Still, his game is flawed. There are way too many strikeouts and way too many cold streaks for my liking. However, if he can have a nice July, I can dream that the Sox will find someone to take him. For now though, at least he hits the ball out of the park once in a while. Midterm Grade: C

Dayan Viciedo- .246/.288/.397, 7 HR, 28 RBI - Every teacher has a student that they like. That is Viciedo to me. When he makes solid contact, it is more solid than anyone else on the team. Unfortunately, those times have been reduced to in batting practice because he doesn't do it very often in the game. He has had some short periods where he has looked good at the plate, but they are much too short. After some major struggles in left to start the season, he has been passable out there the past month or so, and his arm is still a highlight reel waiting to happen, but this was supposed to be the year that the Tank busted out. It hasn't happened. Maybe some tough love will turn it around. Midterm Grade: F

Alejandro De Aza- .271/.327/.439, 12 HR, 44 RBI, 10 SB - He has kind of taken over for what Viciedo was supposed to be. A guy that can hit for some power and maintain an average that is respectable, while playing below average defense. De Aza has been a nice find since he was acquired a few years ago and this year his power stroke is starting to come around. Unfortunately, he has been pretty awful on defense and his lapses on the bases are glaring. Twelve homers and 44 RBI out of the leadoff position on a club like this is still pretty impressive and that saves him. Midterm Grade: C+

Alex Rios- .270/.326/.429, 11 HR, 40 RBI, 19 SB- Rios was the only Major League hitter in the lineup the first two months of the season. However, as the Sox fell in the standings and the likelihood that he would be moved increased, his on-field play has decreased. He has been in a slump for a little over a month now, and it would behoove the Sox if he could put it back together before the deadline. He still is a player that is probably headed to a 20 HR/ 30 SB season and he is near the top of the league in outfield assists. Midterm Grade: B-

Jeff Keppinger- .246/.274/.294, 2 HR, 25 RBI- Keppinger was the bane of my existence when I found out he was signed to a three-year deal and he hasn't done anything to change my feelings on him. While he is a little less difficult to watch when he doesn't play everyday, he is still not very good. He needed a massive hot streak to get him to where he is at now, which is nowhere. He isn't good on defense, either. Midterm Grade: F

Hector Gimenez- .191/.275/.338, 2 HR, 10 RBI- I liked him, but he still has to produce. He didn't even produce enough to stay on this club. Midterm Grade: F

DeWayne Wise- .234/.258/.328, 1 HR, 3 RBI- It has gotten to the point that the Sox are making up injuries for him to allow him to stay with the club. I read an article about the "White Sox Family" in this season's yearbook and Wise is included in it. I fully expect him to be part of the organization going forward, but his time on the active roster is just about up. Midterm Grade: F

Tyler Greene- .222/.263/.352, 1 HR, 3 RBI- It is pretty bad when Greene has the best OPS of all of your bench players. Unfortunately for Tyler, he couldn't catch the ball. The only real thing he contributed to the Sox were some creepy stares. Midterm Grade: F

Casper Wells- .184/.231/.204, 0 HR, 1 RBI- I'm still trying to figure out why he is still on the team. Maybe it is for his pitching. Midterm Grade: F

Josh Phegley- .241/.233/.586, 3 HR, 9 RBI- Phegley hit well in Triple-A and got the call up to the bigs. In his eight games he has three home runs and nine RBI. That is pretty impressive. He also has sweet hair. I need to see more before I give a grade. Midterm Grade: Incomplete

Jordan Danks, Brent Morel, Blake Tekotte and Angel Sanchez have also appeared in games for the Sox. I'm not impressed with any of them, but I suppose none have played enough to get a real grade either. Midterm Grade: Incomplete

That is a whole lot of F's. If this were a real classroom, my administrators would be looking at me as a reason why my class is struggling so badly. I wonder if that is the way Jeff Manto feels?