Chicago White Sox: 9 players nominated for All-MLB team
Award season is upon us and the Chicago White Sox are racking up the accolades. Dallas Keuchel was named a Gold Glove winner while Liam Hendriks was named Mariano Rivera Reliever of the year. Lance Lynn was also named as one of the three American League Cy Young finalists.
The recognition did not stop there. The MLB announced their nominees for the 2021 All-MLB Team. The Chicago White Sox had not one, not two, but nine nominees! This should come as no surprise. The White Sox were one of the best teams in the American League despite being hampered with injuries throughout the season.
Jose Abreu was nominated at first base. The 2020 AL MVP hit .261 with 30 home runs, 117 RBIs, 1 stolen base, and a .831 OPS. Abreu admitted this was the toughest season of his major league career. Before the season even started, he contracted COVID-19.
During the year, he was constantly being pelted with pitches and had to battle multiple injuries throughout the season. These injuries include a nasty collision with Hunter Dozier and being drilling in the knee with a pitch. Despite the adversity, Abreu was his usual reliable self. His defense was stellar and he continued to produce in the middle of the lineup.
The White Sox’s next nominee was Tim Anderson at shortstop. He was named an All-Star for the first time in his career. For the third consecutive season, he hit above .300. Anderson batted .309 with 17 home runs, 61 RBIs, 18 stolen bases, and a .806 OPS.
The White Sox offense relied heavily on Anderson at the top of the order. Their numbers took a significant nose dive when he was out of the lineup. He also happened to be one of the White Sox best clutch hitters throughout the season.
He hit the biggest home run of the entire. With the baseball world watching, he belted a walk-off blast to beat the New York Yankees in the inaugural Field of Dreams game. He also hit two home runs in the White Sox division-clinching game in September.
Yoan Moncada got a nomination at thrid base. Moncada flashed the leather all-season a the hot corner while consistently finding ways to get on base. Moncada hit .263 with 14 home runs, 61 RBIs, 3 stolen bases, and posted a .786 OPS. Moncada tied a franchise record for eight straight games with both a walk and a hit. Frank Thomas is one of the five players to ever accomplish that feat in a White Sox uniform.
Despite missing a large chunk of the season with a knee injury Yasmani Grandal still earned a nomination at catcher. He was the White Sox best homerun hitter this season, hitting 23 home runs in 93 games. He batted .240 with 62 RBIs and a whopping .940 OPS.
That OPS is the highest amongst all the catchers that were nominated. Grandal drew 87 walks, giving him a 31.2% walk rate. He will likely lose out to division rival Salvador Perez who put up one of the best offensive seasons for a catcher in MLB history but that shouldn’t minimize the season that Grandal put together.
The Chicago White Sox had pitchers and hitters contributing to their success.
The White Sox also had three starting pitchers nominated in Lance Lynn, Dylan Cease, and Carlos Rodon. Lance Lynn, who is a Cy Young nominee as well, was also named an All-Star. He was the White Sox’s most reliable starter in 2021, posting an 11-6 record, 2.61 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and 176 strikeouts.
Lynn’s highlight of the season came in Milwaukee when the White Sox were playing a nationally televised game on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. Lynn drove in a pair of runs with an RBI single and pitched six innings of one-run ball en route to a 3-1 White Sox victory. He also tossed a shutout during the White Sox home opener.
Carlos Rodon is coming off the best season of his MLB career. He joined Lynn in the All-Star game. In April, he threw the franchise’s 20th no-hitter against the Cleveland Indians and came just two outs shy of a perfect game. He finished the year with a 13-5 record to go along with a 2.31 ERA, .096 WHIP, and 185 strikeouts.
Meanwhile, Dylan Cease led the White Sox pitching staff with 226 strikeouts. His 226 strikeouts are the third most amongst American League starting pitchers who were nominated. Cease showed great strides in his development, posting a 3.91 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, and a 13-7 record.
Rounding out the nine White Sox players nominated are two members of the bullpen, Liam Hendriks and Craig Kimbrel. Liam Hendriks led the American League with 38 saves. He finished the year with a 2.54 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, and 14.32 K/9. He was also named an American League All-Star and won AL reliever of the month two times.
Craig Kimbrel was acquired by the White Sox at the trade deadline. His nomination speaks more to how dominant he was with the Cubs than his performance on the Southside. He posted a 2.26 ERA despite being abysmal with the White Sox. The future Hall of Famer also racked up 24 saves, a 0.91 WHIP, and 15.08 K/9.
Fans can vote once every 24 hours for the players that they believe deserves this honor. Voting ends Friday, November 19th at 5 pm ET. The All-MLB teams will be announced on MLB Network later this month.