Paul Konerko had a great season for a struggling 2011 White Sox team. The veteran first baseman hit 31 home runs and drove in 105 while posting a .300 batting average. If it weren’t for Konerko the Sox probably wouldn’t have had the season they did. He was good enough to keep us afloat for the long haul. If the Sox want to stay competitive in 2012 Konerko can’t afford to slow down.
I’ve gone over the miserable seasons of Adam Dunn and Alex Rios, and I will again when I get to them in a few weeks, so I won’t mention them too much in this post. Konerko essentially made up for their performances by nearly repeating his 2010 season (39/111/.312). Imagine how good the 2011 Sox would’ve been if Rios and Dunn had just been a little bit better. That’s in the past, now, so we have the future to look forward to.
If Konerko can have another 30/100/.290-.300 season then offensively the Sox should be able to hold on again. The Tigers and the Twins haven’t done much to get better – if anything the Twins have lost some talent. Unfortunately, so have the Sox. The depth chart is a mess right now and it won’t look much better by the time Opening Day rolls around. Konerko needs to put up some Konerko-like numbers if the Sox want a chance to stay at the top of the division.
I’ll give Paulie’s 2011 season a 7 out of 10. He needs to give us at least a 6 in 2012 for me to be comfortable.