Chicago White Sox: 3 players who surprisingly stepped up big time

(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images) /
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Chicago White Sox, Carlos Rodon
(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images) /

Carlos Rodon

Carlos Rodon was magnificent for the Chicago White Sox this season.

Carlos Rodon always had the stuff to be a great pitcher but it just never materialized for him in Chicago. After having his career derailed by injuries, the White Sox non-tendered him then pulled him off the scrap heap over the offseason for cheap.

The former first-round pick had to fight for a job in spring training. He wasn’t even guaranteed a spot in the starting rotation. He beat out Reynaldo Lopez and never looked back. Rodon posted the lowest ERA of his career with a 2.37 mark.

Opponents hit just .189 off of him and he carried a 0.96 WHIP. He was tied for first on the White Sox with 13 wins and was third on the team with 185 strikeouts. The highlight of the season came when Rodon twirled a no-hitter against Cleveland in April and came just two outs shy of a perfect game.

This season, Rodón also passed Billy Pierce for the third-most career double-digit strikeout efforts by a left-handed pitcher in White Sox franchise history. Pierce has his number retired by the White Sox and is one of the all-time greats so, Rodon is in some good company.

The southpaw also tied the record for the most games in a season with 10 plus strikeouts and two or fewer hits allowed since 1901. He had five such games this season. Only five other pitchers have accomplished this feat.

His efforts were rewarded with his first All-Star selection. Rodon’s stuff was electric all season long. His fastball reached triple digits and his slider was devasting. He did get slowed down by injuries late in the season but gutted it out and emptied the tank during the playoffs.

Rodon played a major role in making the White Sox starting rotation one of the best in the big leagues. Hopefully, all of these guys can make major contributions to the White Sox in 2022 and beyond.

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