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Mitch Ransdell/South Side Sox

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South Side Sox 2023 Player of the Year: Luis Robert Jr.

La Pantera sprinted out to a lead this summer, then lapped the field

This is the third year of a collaboration that centers around SSS readership’s MVP and Cold Cat game polls and culminates in our staff artist, Mitch Ransdell, crafting original art to celebrate each winner.

We’ve named 84 MVPs from 2021-23, and Mitch has drawn original art for approximately 80 of those winners. It’s an enormous task, a wonderful achievement, and is appreciated deeply. And on top of that, every week Mitch pens a short essay to accompany his art, work that is routinely among the most creative writing we have on site.

For those of you new to the process, (nearly) every game we post a poll asking you to select your best (MVP) and worst (Cold Cat) players of the game. Unlike true MVP voting, however, when a player makes a Cold Cats list, it counts against his MVP total, and vice-versa. (For example, this year Elvis Andrus earned MVP points in 17 polls and Cold Cats points in 19 polls to arrive at a total of 4.1 MVP points; the negative votes were subtracted from his positive ones.)

Often the names on the ballot can be oddball ones, or even include SSS writers or readers. It’s all in good fun, but over the course of a season it’s pretty clear an MVP will rise to the top.

And rise he did in 2023, as Luis Robert Jr. won in runaway fashion. If Lucas Giolito hadn’t been traded (and continued pitching well in the stretch for the Sox — big if), he could have made a run at Robert and almost certainly would have narrowed the gap between MVP and runner-up. But it was not to be.

There’s not much left to say about our all-everything center fielder, whose 5.0 WAR towered over any other White Sox player on the season; not necessarily a record gap in WAR, but an uncommon one.

Dylan Cease, who finished in fourth place this season, won the 2022 MVP in handy fashion (51.9 points over Johnny Cueto) and also won his 10th weekly award this past September, the most of any player in our three-year survey.

Carlos Rodón was our inaugural winner in 2021, by 24.8 points over Lance Lynn.

So here is our list of final-season stats, including expanded leaderboards (and loserboards) that will include players who left the White Sox organization during 2023 (we expunge those players from the running list in-season).

2023 South Side Sox Players of the Week

Oscar Colás (February 25-March 2)
Andrew Vaughn (March 3-8)
Carlos Pérez (March 9-16)
Oscar Colás (March 17-22)
Cactus League MVP: Oscar Colás
Dylan Cease (March 30-April 5)
Luis Robert Jr. (April 6-12)
Lucas Giolito (April 13-20)
Jake Burger (April 21-27)
Lucas Giolito (April 28- May 4)
Hanser Alberto (May 5-11)
Luis Robert Jr. (May 12-18)
Michael Kopech (May 19-25)
Liam Hendriks (May 26-31)
Andrew Benintendi (June 1-8)
Lucas Giolito (June 9-14)
Zach Remillard (June 15-22)
Luis Robert Jr. (June 23-29)
Lance Lynn (June 30-July 6)
Andrew Benintendi (July 7-21)
Jake Burger (July 22-27)
Jesse Scholtens (July 28-August 3)
Andrew Vaughn (August 4-10)
Dylan Cease (August 11-17) (no art/essay)
The Fans for Enduring This Torture (August 18-23) (no art/essay)
Luis Robert Jr. (August 24-30)
No One (September 1-10)
Dylan Cease (September 11-20)
Touki Toussaint (September 21-October 1)

Most Players of the Week Honors, 2023

Luis Robert Jr. (4)
Dylan Cease (3)
Andrew Benintendi/Jake Burger/Oscar Colás/Andrew Vaughn (2)

Players of the Week, All-Time

2023 Top 32 MVP Standings (min. 5 points)

Luis Robert Jr. (89.1)
Lucas Giolito (68.0)
Zach Remillard (50.5)
Touki Toussaint (41.7)
Dylan Cease (36.0)
Gavin Sheets (34.3)
Seby Zavala (29.8)
Andrew Vaughn (29.1)
Andrew Benintendi (25.3)
Eloy Jiménez (24.2)
Romy González (22.4)
Fans Who Stayed Up for the Game (16.8)
Jesse Scholtens (14.9)
Oscar Colás (14.3)
Edgar Navarro (11.1)
No One (10.0)
Melissa Sage-Bollenbach (9.2)
Jake Burger (9.1)
Carlos Pérez (9.1)
Liam Hendriks (8.9)
Fans Who Actually Stuck it Out to the End (7.3)
Hannah’s Dad and His Friend Chad Who Got to Sit in a Suite and Eat Free Food (7.3)
Pitch Clock (6.8)
Gregory Santos (6.7)
Lance Lynn (6.3)
Garrett Crochet (6.2)
Malachi Hayes (6.1)
Sell the Team chant (6.1)
Billy Hamilton (5.8)
Lenyn Sosa (5.8)
A’s Reverse Boycott (5.5)
José Ureña (5.4)

On the strength of a final, 10-day push, Touki Toussaint finished third overall among 2023 White Sox MVPs. Eloy Jiménez made a huge jump back on the list with a strong final two weeks, earning 10 more points to take him from Off the Board to eighth.

2023 Top 30 Cold Cat Standings (min. 5 points)

Tim Anderson (-125.5)
Yasmani Grandal (-43.1)
Joe Kelly (-38.9)
Aaron Bummer (-36.7)
Yoán Moncada (-31.6)
Keynan Middleton (-30.3)
Kendall Graveman (-27.6)
Reynaldo López (-15.5)
Korey Lee (-13.5)
Alex Colomé (-11.8)
Bryan Shaw (-10.7)
White Sox Offense (-10.0)
Declan Cronin (-9.8)
Pedro Grifol (-9.3)
White Sox in General (-9.2)
Jake Marisnick (-8.9)
Jimmy Lambert (-8.8)
José Ruiz (-8.3)
Everyone. Seriously, Everyone (-8.1)
Jerry Reinsdorf (-8.0)
Tristan Stivors (-7.9)
Eddie Rodriguez (-7.7)
Nick Avila (-7.2)
The Entire Organization (-7.1)
AppleTV (-6.4)
Chip on the White Sox Shoulder From March (-5.8)
Closed-Door Meeting That Didn’t Matter (-5.8)
Why Are You Making Me Choose Just One? (-5.7)
Michael Massey, breaks up Kopech’s Gem (-5.6)
Davis Martin (-5.5)

Those wanting to hang hopes on Tim Anderson have a strong finish to 2023 were disappointed, and that showed in the polling; in the last 10 days of the season, TA “added” more than 20% of his season total in Cold Cats points, to win out this award by a stunning 82.4. Worse, he has been trending downward from the outset, going from 37.6 MVP points in 2021 to -23.8 on the Cold Cats list in 2022, to this year’s abominable total.

Writer Standings

Jacki Krestel may have backed into it, but Brett Ballantini’s choke on September 29 handed he the coverage crown. Yes, just two writers, responsible for not even 5% of total coverage on the year, ended 2023 with winning records.

Also notable was Joe Resis’ utter free-fall in the second half; he was solidly in first place well into the season — and then just never won again, with losing streaks of 11 and 12 games (the latter being the longest of the season) to finish 2023. Melissa Sage-Bollenbach, on the other hand, crawled out of the basement and finished “just” fourth from last place by season’s end.

Overall, our coverage winning percentage of .368 translates to a 59-103 season, which sadly isn’t that far off of the mark from the real team.

And now, for the first time, coverage records for the last two-plus seasons (the start of 2021 was not tallied):

Colleen Sullivan benefits at least in part for leaving us just when the gettin’ got bad. And strangely, for three years now, Hannah LaMotta has never had a winning or losing streak of more than four games.

Finally, bully to Chrystal O’Keefe, our coverage stalwart, who’s not only clocked in the most coverage over the past three seasons, but almost triple what anyone else has done.

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!

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