Originally posted on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 5/2/12

CHICAGO - JUNE 12: First Baseman Paul Konerko #14 of the Chicago White Sox hits a single off of pitcher Al Leiter #22 of the New York Mets during the MLB game at Comiskey Park in Chicago, Illinois on June 12, 2002. The White Sox defeated the Mets 2-1. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Suffice it to say that the Chicago White Sox surprised pretty much everyone this April. As I’ve said before, it doesn’t look like they will become the awful 95-loss team that analysts predicted. Going into May, their record of 12-11 has them vying for first place in the AL Central.

It is true that the Sox were in contention last year before the Detroit Tigers got red-hot, but this 2012 team already has me feeling better than last season. Our consistently good players continue to be…well, consistently good. Add that to the fact that several other players are enjoying a much needed rebound and you have a team that could be atop the division at the All-Star Break.

The Good

Paul Konerko

If I’m going to talk about what’s going right for the White Sox, obviously the team captain will headline this category. Not to sound like a broken record, but Konerko continues to be an absolute beast. Recently named AL Player of the Week, Konerko has been simply crushing the ball. During the beginning of a season when many players enjoy bloated stats, Konerko is still batting .369 with 5 HR and 16 RBIs. In this respect, he continues to set himself apart from the rest of the pack. Hopefully those RBIs increase as the rest of the lineup finds its groove.

Peavy starting out strong

Jake Peavy

The former Cy Young winner looks like a new man this season. Due to a string of injuries, he’s been lackluster to say the least since his acquisition in 2009. However, having already thrown two complete games this year, Peavy possesses a 1.67 ERA along with a very impressive 33:5 strikeout to walk ratio. Also positive to note is he has only allowed one home run in 37 innings of work, which demonstrates his excellent control of the zone. If this continues, the Sox rotation could end up being one of the best in the league.

The Bad

Brent Morel and Gordon Beckham

I’ve grouped these two players together because they’re in the relatively same predicament. They’re each extremely strong defensive players that are having major problems at the plate. In fact, it is their stellar defense that may be the only thing keeping them in the lineup. They each have batting averages below .200 and only have 7 RBIs between the two of them. Hats off to Robin Ventura for being supportive and standing by his players, but if their numbers don’t improve in a few weeks, you can be sure that utility player Brent Lillibridge will be seeing some more action. Admittedly, I’ve never been on the Gordon Beckham bandwagon, but I desperately want to be proven wrong. It would be great to have another franchise player in an infield that already has the sure glove of Alexei Ramirez.

On the Rebound?

Alex Rios

After only having 44 RBIs in the 2011 campaign, Rios already has nine to go along with his .295 BA. Obviously it is still somewhat early and his numbers could easily go down, but Rios has really been shining this year in key spots. It is nice to see him make the occasional contribution despite still being in the bottom half of the lineup.

Adam Dunn

Don’t look now, but Dunn’s bat is actually driving in runs. His 16 RBIs and 5 homers ties him with Paul Konerko. Yes, it would be nice to have him strikeout a bit less and to have the average rise some more, but let’s not be unreasonable here. The key thing is that there is noticeable improvement. He is taking pitches he would have swung at last season and he is making much better contact. Dunn’s bat is essential to a White Sox playoff run. If he can stay productive, then the 1…2…3… punch of Dunn, Konerko, and Pierzynski will be very dangerous to opposing pitchers.

All this being said, the Sox are looking ahead to May. 21 of the 29 games this month are against division opponents. Games against division rivals are always important, but the Sox have had problems these last few years winning these contests. Fortunately, they are 5-1 this year against their American League counterparts and if that continues, the Southsiders could easily be 4 or 5 games in first by the time June rolls around.

Five most anticipated September MLB call-ups
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Lochte to be summoned to appear in Rio, charged with making false report

Carlos Ruiz traded to Dodgers

Ezekiel Elliott reportedly arrived at training camp overweight

Olympian auctions off medal to help young cancer patient

Report: Dodgers have turned down lowball offers for Puig


Jason Pierre-Paul’s lawsuit against Adam Schefter, ESPN will proceed

The Rock, Vin Diesel to settle 'rivalry' at WrestleMania 33?

Report: Browns trade former No. 6 overall pick Mingo to Pats

Harden organizing players-only minicamp with Rockets

Raiders file trademark applications for ‘Las Vegas Raiders’

U.S. Soccer hands Solo six month suspension for Olympic comments

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

A look at 2016 college football conference changes

The 20 best boxing movies ever

Will Perriman help Ravens find elusive WR success?

Jay Bouwmeester’s selection to Team Canada’s World Cup roster is a head-scratcher

Five MLB players with a lot to lose down the stretch

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies

Bruce Arians on sideline video use: 'It helps bad coaches'

Hard not to be cynical about LeBron's 'Cleveland Hustles'

Familiar faces that won't be seen in the NFL this year

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 20 best boxing movies of all time

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for fast food

What you need to know about the Champions League draw

Can the San Francisco Giants bust their teamwide slump?

A look at 2016 college football conference changes

Can Perriman's return help Ravens find oft-elusive WR success?

One Gotta Go: NFL legends bring the hate for our favorite football movies

Hard not to be cynical about LeBron James' 'Cleveland Hustles'

Ranking the uniforms of the NFL from worst to best

Familiar faces that won't be seen in the NFL this year

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker