Once upon a time there was an up-and-coming outfielder with power, speed, a good glove, and a strong arm. This outfielder was always “a year away from breaking out” and each year he came up just short of that breakout season. The name of this outfielder? Alex Rios of course.
Any fan of the White Sox is familiar with the continuous frustration that Rios has brought to the team. Rios’ 2010 season was a glimpse of that player scouts had promised. He posted a batting average of .284 with 21 home runs and 88 runs batted in then followed that up with a 2011 season of .227/13/44. The struggling Adam Dunn amplified Rios’ poor performance.
2012 is a chance for both Dunn and Rios to start over and show the Sox and the AL Central what they can do. I know it’s Spring Training and every team has reasons to be optimistic and players that they think can “turn it around” so I’ll stop that talk there and get serious. Alex Rios will win American League MVP. Okay, sorry. If Rios gives the Sox .270/20/60 I will consider it a good season. His defense somewhat makes up for the terrible offense but it’s time for him to contribute.
His contract is too big to trade him so we’re stuck with him for a while. As much as I’d love to see an outfield of Dayan Viciedo, Alejandro De Aza, and Kosuke Fukudome (ugh), $12.5 million can’t sit on the bench. So step up your game, Alex! We need the good version of you this year.