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South Side Sox 2021 Player of the Week (ending June 26): Yasmani Grandal

The Yazmanian Devil waves away White Sox woes amid midseason doldrums

Mitch Ransdell/South Side Sox

Yasmani Grandal gets on base.

When he’s not standing on first, as he has nearly 60 times following walks this season, Yaz can usually be found being mobbed by the White Sox bench after a clutch hit or walk-off bomb. Increasingly over the last month of baseball, Grandal has become a hometown favorite.

Not bad for a guy hitting .177.

Now, Grandal’s bizarre statistics have been analyzed and whispered about at all levels of baseball. Drunks preach in the bleachers about his .389 OBP. Sports-suited broadcasters in the ESPN offices (who at least have noticed that the White Sox exist) marvel at his batter’s eye, which has netted him twice the number of walks as he earned last year in the same number of at-bats.

Something has definitely changed since 2020, when Yaz was platooning the catcher’s roost with James McCann. It may be that he feels a greater sense of responsibility — and a larger leadership role — since taking young catcher Zack Collins under his wing. More likely, and more abstractly, he’s melded into the South Side mentality.

Yasmani Grandal is scrappy, clutch, and clever: He’ll do whatever it takes to get on base, or bring the next man home.

And as we enter the stretch into the All-Star Game, every swing, run, and win will count more than ever against Central Division rivals. Yaz is happy to lead the way.

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2021 MVP Standings

Carlos Rodón (74.7)
Lance Lynn (51.0)
Dallas Keuchel (25.4)
Dylan Cease (20.4)
Lucas Giolito (20.0)
Michael Kopech (19.3)
Andrew Vaughn (13.5)
Billy Hamilton (12.7)
Luis Robert (11.8)
Brian Goodwin (11.3)

2021 Cold Cat Standings

Leury García (-36.6)
Evan Marshall (-34.6)
Adam Eaton (-24.7)
Yermín Mercedes (-21.7)
Matt Foster (-21.0)
Codi Heuer (-19.9)
Garrett Crochet (-16.0)
Yoán Moncada (-15.3)
José Abreu (-14.8)
Aaron Bummer (-14.6)

Both Yermín Mercedes and José Abreu have manned the top MVP and Cold Cats lists this season ... both heading in the wrong direction ...

South Side Sox Writer Standings