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South Side Sox 2021 Player of the Year: Carlos Rodón

With an artist’s touch, Los sculpted a career-defining year and created one of the most impressive comeback tales in recent memory. 

Carlos Rodón was our Player of the Year, by MVP/Cold Cats vote — and the final tally wasn’t even close.
Mitch Ransdell/South Side Sox

It was obvious, as another baseball sailed through the warm Arizona morning, that something had changed.

A pitcher who had been racked by repeated injury and surgery, and then ultimately dumped from the team’s roster the previous winter, was showing flashes of fiery brilliance on the mound. Carlos Rodón, who had been written off by fans and analysts alike, was about to embark on one of those baseball quests that hover on the edge of myth.

Thank the pitching gods that he did it with the White Sox.

Six months later, Rodón’s contributions to the team’s success are clearer than a mountain stream. A 2.37 ERA and 13-5 record should be enough to tell the tale, but a near-perfect game (OK, we’ll settle for the no-hitter) and All-Star showing round out the pantheon. This success had roots in many places, aside from Rodón’s personal motivation. Was it the magical touch of pitching wizard Ethan Katz? The wizened ramblings of skipper Tony La Russa? Ozzie Guillén’s forthcoming Emmy nomination?

Well, maybe a little of each.

Rodón has a wealth of talent, and it’s been a joy to see him help bring a division championship to the South Side. Despite the recent wear and tear, he deserves a moment in the postseason spotlight to bring his story to a triumphant end. But even if Los’ 2021 season ended right here, he’d have a lot to be proud of.

It’s a pleasure to add one more virtual trophy to his ever-growing pile: South Side Sox Player of the Year.

If you’re interested in seeing more of Mitch’s work, or if you’d like to purchase original drawings or prints, contact him via Twitter (@soxsketcher), Instagram (@southsidesharpie), or by e-mail at Thanks for supporting local artists!

2021 MVP: Final Tally

Carlos Rodón (100.0)
Lance Lynn (75.2)
Lucas Giolito (56.0)
Luis Robert (53.3)
Dylan Cease (39.1)
Tim Anderson (37.6)
Gavin Sheets (31.3)
Yasmani Grandal (31.0)
Reynaldo López (18.8)
Adam Engel (14.1)
Brian Goodwin (10.3)
Billy Hamilton (8.0)
Andrew Vaughn (7.2)
Jason and Steve (7.1)
Jimmy Lambert (6.9)
Ryan Burr (5.4)
Jake Burger (5.3)
Hannah LaMotta (5.0)
Danny Mendick (4.4)
Eloy Jiménez (3.5)
Rick Hahn (3.0)
Zach Hayes (2.6)
Anyone Who Watched All Nine Innings (2.5, 10 votes)
Seby Zavala (2.5, -5 votes)
Nick Madrigal (2.3)
Chrystal O’Keefe (2.1)
Bria Anderson (0.9)
Luis González (0.6)

First-place finisher Carlos Rodón made our ballot 24 times: 18 for MVP, six for Cold Cats.

2021 Cold Cat Bottom 10

César Hernández (-54.0)
Evan Marshall (-43.1)
Codi Heuer (-34.7)
Leury García (-32.3)
Liam Hendriks (-31.1)
Aaron Bummer (-30.0)
Craig Kimbrel (-28.0)
Matt Foster (-27.4)
Garrett Crochet (-26.5)
Adam Eaton (-25.4)
Dallas Keuchel (-22.6)
Yermín Mercedes (-18.9)
Jake Lamb (-18.6)
Yoán Moncada (-14.2)
José Abreu (-13.8)
Michael Kopech (-12.8)
No One (-12.7)
Ryan Tepera (-11.1)
Jonathan Stiever (-8.8)
Jace Fry (-8.5)
Zack Collins (-8.3)
Entire Team (-7.4)
Nick Williams (-6.1)
Yankees (-5.6)
José Ruiz (-5.0)
Matt Nagy (-4.6)
Sox Math Flub (-2.1)
Zack Burdi (-1.4)
Tony La Russa (-0.8)
Romy González (-0.4)
Mike Wright Jr. (-0.2)

Coldest Cat César Hernández made our ballot 26 times: seven for MVP, 19 for Cold Cats. Over a period of two months.

South Side Sox Players of the Week

Andrew Vaughn (week of March 9)
Andrew Vaughn (March 15)
Adam Engel (March 22)
Carlos Rodón (March 28)
Lucas Giolito (Cactus League MVP)
Yermín Mercedes (April 11)
Carlos Rodón (April 16)
Tim Anderson (April 23)
Michael Kopech (April 30)
Dylan Cease (May 7)
José Abreu (May 14)
Nick Madrigal (May 21)
José Abreu (May 28)
Lance Lynn (June 4)
Dylan Cease (June 12)
Carlos Rodón (June 19)
Yasmani Grandal (June 26)
Yasmani Grandal (July 2)
Jake Burger (July 11)
Lucas Giolito (July 24)
Andrew Vaughn (July 31)
Brian Goodwin (August 6)
Eloy Jiménez (August 14)
Tim Anderson (August 21)
Yoán Moncada (August 28)
Leury García (September 3)
Luis Robert (September 11)
Gavin Sheets (September 18)
Tim Anderson (September 25)
Lucas Giolito (October 3)