Chicago White Sox: 2021 grade for the entire season
The Chicago White Sox had a very interesting season in 2021. There were some ups and there were some downs but they played better than they had in any recent year. The rebuild was over in 2020 when they made the playoffs for the first time since 2008 but they still had a long way to go.
They came into this year with winning the division on their mind. Beyond that, it was a team that believed they had what it took to make a run. Of course, the 93-69 record was awesome with all things considered but it would have been better if not for some unfortunate circumstances. They won the division as they wanted but didn’t make a deep run in the postseason.
Unfortunate circumstances actually came in the form of some bad injuries. Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert, Adam Engel, Yasmani Grandal, and Nick Madrigal were all out for a very long time. Tim Anderson, Carlos Rodon, Michael Kopech, and Lance Lynn all had short-term injuries as well so it was tough to field a full roster most of the year.
Luckily, they were able to overcome injuries throughout the year. Rick Hahn did a good job filling in holes with depth players like Jake Lamb, Billy Hamilton, and Brian Goodwin. Tony La Russa was good at using those guys to his advantage as well which helped the team play mostly well.
There were some rookies that came in and made an impact in addition to the depth veterans. Guys like Andrew Vaughn, Gavin Sheets, Yermin Mercedes, and Jake Burger amongst others all stood in and played very well when it was their turn. The future of this team is bright with some of these guys.
One of the team’s biggest strengths was its pitching. Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn, Carlos Rodon, Dylan Cease, Dallas Keuchel, and Reynaldo Lopez mostly made up the rotation and it was a very good group. Studs like Liam Hendriks, Aaron Bummer, Michael Kopech, and Garrett Crochet made major impacts in the bullpen as well to form a very good staff.
The core players were important. We mentioned some of the injured players but when Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert, Yasmani Grandal, Tim Anderson, Jose Abreu, and Yoan Moncada were all on the field at the same time, the White Sox were very hard to beat. There were some mistakes made throughout the year but this was a very hard team to play against.
The Chicago White Sox were a very good baseball team in the year 2021.
2021 Final Grade: A
The White Sox deserve an A. They made the postseason in consecutive years for the first time in franchise history. They won 93 games in a season that saw them have a depleted roster for most of it. They were never able to get in a rhythm offensively as much as we would have liked but they were good enough to be an elite team.
Things didn’t go well in the playoffs but that is the difference between an A and an A+ season. Only one team has an A+ season each year but the White Sox had nothing short of an awesome year. It was another stepping stone in a long-term plan.
The Chicago White Sox is going to be a great baseball team again in 2022. The Detroit Tigers are going to take a step forward in the division but it is hard to see them being as good as the Sox. Another 90+ win season is on the horizon with the hopes of eventually winning the World Series. A few more solid additions after the lockout would really help that cause. 2021 was a big step towards long-term success with a lot of these players.