For the longest time, it appeared that
But I’d suggest
I'm not trying to diminish Dunn's numbers or contributions. I haven't forgotten his terrific start, not am I ignoring how his every swing in April and May seemed to turn a game for a White Sox team that was turning into a contender.
But start to finish, with the bat and glove, Rios has been the Sox’s best player. I don’t know if he has been more valuable than
While Rios' 24 homers can't compete with Dunn's 39 this season, he is only three RBIs behind Dunn (90-87) and tops him in batting average by a large margin (.301-.210) and on-base-plus-slugging percentage by a smaller difference (.853-.827).
Everywhere you look, the White Sox No. 5 hitter has had the type of season that warrants a piece of hardware after last year's .227-13-44 faceplant.
Heading into Thursday night’s game against the vexing
What else do you want?
Oh yeah, defense. The Sox right fielder has played well most of the time and outstanding at others.
Overall, his 4.1 wins above replacement topped the Sox and tied him for 11thin the AL.
Rios always seems to be doing something important, and that was just Monday and Tuesday.
His hard slide against Detroit broke up a double play and allowed the tying and winning runs to score.
Next day, his solo homer beat the Royals in Kansas City.
The Sox had to beat those teams to continue their drive to win the division. Rios made sure they did.
Rios deserves something. Comeback Player of the Year might be it.