Not only is the 2019 season officially over after the Washington Nationals won the World Series, but so is this baseball decade. Some of you probably do not remember most of the players for the White Sox in the 2010s (I mean, who can blame you, though), but some rose above the rest.
This thought exercise is inspired by a relatively recent Effectively Wild podcast from FanGraphs with hosts Meg Rowley (FanGraphs managing editor), Ben Lindbergh (writer at The Ringer and author), and Sam Miller (writer at ESPN). They guessed the top five hitters and pitchers of this decade in terms of fWAR, and then checked to see if their guesses were correct. Now, since South Side Hit Pen is of course a White Sox site, we are going to come at this with a Sox angle. We will be creating our own White Sox lineup of the decade (2010-19).
Now, I have to warn you, it is not pretty, and the White Sox record over the decade should tell you why.
The Sox as a team only had two winning records, in 2010 and 2012. Their overall record was 743-876. They never went to the playoffs, obviously, the first time the Sox missed the playoffs for an entire decade since the 1970s. The Sox only had 13 different players selected to the All-Star game (Chris Sale’s multiple selections only count as one), seven hitters and six pitchers.
The big theme of the decade, maybe besides mediocrity and then the rebuild, was honoring White Sox past. The Sox had eight former employees get into the Hall of Fame: Robert Alomar (2011), Ron Santo (2012), Frank Thomas (2014), Tony La Russa (2014), Ken Griffey Jr. (2016), Tim Raines (2017), Frank Thomas (2018), and Harold Baines (2019). A great group of guys, but most from a distant White Sox past. The organization retired a few numbers to help boost some meager attendance as well. Thomas (No. 35, 2010), Paul Konerko (No. 14, 2015), and Mark Buerhle (No. 56, 2017). Again, those honors don’t just remind fans of how successful the distant past was, but how utterly bad the recent past is. So, as you will see, this is not a great group of players to choose from for an All-Decade lineup.
I implore you all to try and create a lineup yourself before looking at the polls. When I did this, I found that I couldn’t even remember a lot of players from 2010-13, even some of the better ones. But if not, or when you are done, choose which player(s) you think had the highest fWAR for the White Sox at each position in the polls below.