2021 WHITE SOX PLAYER REVIEW: LIAM HENDRIKS

My alphabetical review of the 2021 White Sox continues with a look at LIAM HENDRIKS:

*His 38 saves in 2021 are tied for sixth on the Sox single-season list and the most ever by a pitcher in his first year with the club

*Hendriks averaged 14.32 strikeouts per nine innings in 2021, which was the highest output by any pitcher in Sox history with at least 70 innings and the 14th highest mark overall

*Hendriks led the American League with 38 saves for the 2021 Sox. He became the first Sox pitcher to do that since Bobby Thigpen posted an MLB-record 57 saves in 1990.

*The only other Sox to lead the A.L. in saves in the save era (since 1969) are Terry Forster (1974) and Goose Gossage (1975).

*White Sox relievers to poll Cy Yoing votes: Hendriks 8th in 2021; Keith Foulke 10th in 1999; Roberto Hernandez 6th in 1996; Thigpen 4th in 1990; Gossage 6th in 1975

*Hendriks was named American League Reliever of the Month for Sept./Oct. He is the only Sox pitcher to win the award (he also won it in May)

*Hendriks was the first Sox pitcher to earn an All-Star Game save since Virgil Trucks in 1954 (1st since the save became an official stat since 1969)

*NEXT: Cesar Hernandez

2021 WHITE SOX PLAYER REVIEW: BILLY HAMILTON

My alphabetical review of the 2021 White Sox continues with a look at BILLY HAMILTON:

*Hamilton was successful on all nine of his stolen base attempts for the 2021 White Sox.

He joins Tim Raines (13-for-13 in 1994), Tony Bernazard (11-for-11 in 1982) and Dewayne Wise (9-for-9 in 2008) as the only Sox to post a 1.000 stole-base success rate with at least nine attempts in a season.

*Hamilton, Oscar Gamble (1985), Mark Ryal (1985) and Jarrod Dyson (2020) are the only Sox to wear 0.

*Hamilton made an amazing catch, prompting this tweet from the Nerd: https://twitter.com/soxnerd/status/1412842600034414594?s=21

Next: Liam Hendriks

2021 WHITE SOX PLAYER REVIEW: YASMANI GRANDAL

My alphabetical recap of each member of the 2021 White Sox continues with a look at the fascinating season of YASMANI GRANDAL:

*No player with at least 375 plate appearances in a season (since 1900) had a higher on-base percentage and lower batting average than Grandal’s .420 and .240 in 2021

*Grandal set a Sox record for catchers with a .420 on-base percentage in 2021

*Grandal used the fewest plate appearances to post a 20-homer season for the White Sox in 2021

*Grandal’s 23 homers were the most ever by a Sox switch-hitting catcher and tied for the fourth-most by any Sox catcher

*Grandal’s 31 homers with the Sox are one more than the total of every other switch-hitting catcher in team history

*In 2021, Grandal became the first Sox player with more walks (87) than strikeouts (82) with at least 87 walks since Frank Thomas in 1999 (87/66) … Grandal is the only catcher in Sox history to accomplish this feat

*Grandal’s 87 walks in 2021 were a Sox record for catchers

*Grandal’s eight RBI on Aug. 27 tied a club record and were the most ever by a Sox catcher

*Grandal is the only catcher to lead the Sox in walks in consecutive seasons (2020 and 2021)

*His .446 on-base percentage with two outs was the highest by a Sox player (minimum 100 plate appearances) since Frank Thomas’ .475 in 2004

Next: Billy Hamilton

A @SOXNERD LOOK AT THE NEW GUY — KENDALL GRAVEMAN

Here’s a look — @soxnerd style — at impending signee pitcher Kendall Graveman:

*The right-hander will join the Sox after going 1-0 with a 1.64 ERA in the postseason for the 2021 Astros. Included in that run were three outings against the Sox in the American League Division Series where he logged a 3.00 ERA

*Graveman ranked fifth in the American League in opponent batting average (.180), third in
opponent OPS (.536), third in ERA (1.77) and 12th in WHIP (0.98) for the Astros and Mariners in 2021.

*Graveman’s eighth and ninth inning numbers in 2021 are a little concerning considering he won’t be the closer and in light of the Craig Kimbrel debacle.

Kimbrel, one of the greatest closers ever, joined the White Sox in 2021 with a 2.35 career ERA in the eighth inning. Good? Yes but it’s not even close to the dominating numbers he posted in the ninth throughout his career. The Sox would have taken that 2.35 ERA. Kimbrel posted a 4.42 ERA in the eighth in 2021.

Graveman’s eighth-inning ERA (3.12 in 27 games) was over two runs higher than his ninth-inning ERA (1.02 in 18 appearances) in 2021.

The good news here, though, is that Graveman’s 2021 ERA in the seventh was a nifty 0.96 in 12 outings.

*This will mark the second consecutive year the Sox plucked a reliever from the team that ousted them in the postseason. Last year the Sox got closer Liam Hendriks after he finished them off for Oakland in the first round of the playoffs

*Graveman wore No. 31 for Houston last season. That won’t fly in Chicago because Hendriks wears 31.

*Graveman will be the first Mississippi State product to play for the Sox since pitcher Matt Ginter in 2003. … His teammates at MSU included Adam Frazier, Hunter Renfroe and Brandon Woodruff.

*Graveman spent a majority of his first few seasons as a starter. Between 2014 and 2018 all but five of his 83 appearances were starts. He made 78 consecutive starts between 2015 and 2018.

*Graveman’s only shutout came at Guaranteed Rate Field.

On Aug. 19, 2016, Graveman faced one over the minimum in the A’s 9-0 win over the on-the-brink of tearing it down White Sox.

Making his 45th start (54th appearance), Graveman yielded singles to Jose Abreu in the second and Adam Eaton in the seventh. Both hits led off innings and both runners were erased on line drive double plays.

Facing a lineup that featured the likes of Todd Frazier, Tim Anderson, Melky Cabrera and Justin Morneau, Graveman struck out five with no walks while throwing 69 of his 98 pitches for strikes.

That was the last of Graveman’s three career complete games.

*The switch to the pen has been career-changing for Graveman. After going 23-31 with a 4.26 ERA as starter, the soon-to-be 31-year old has gone 6-2 with a 2.17 ERA and 10 saves in 67 relief outings.

As a reliever, Graveman has allowed just 45 hits in 70.2 innings with 70 strikeouts and 23 walks. Hitters are slashing just .184/.274/.261 against Graveman when he comes out of the pen.

*Other Graveman starter highlights: Oakland’s Opening Day starter in 2017 and 2018 … Joined Kenny Rogers (1998) and Todd Burns (1988) as the only Oakland pitchers to go unbeaten at home with five-or-more decisions

*Graveman hails from Alexander City, Ala. The only other big leaguer from the town in eastern Alabama is outfielder-first baseman Johnny Watwood, who began his six-year career with four seasons with the Sox from 1929 to 1932

*Graveman had 10 saves for the Mariners before being dealt to Houston this season. He entered with no saves as a pro or in college.

*Graveman made just two minor league appearances in the Cubs’ system in 2019 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2018. The Cubs signed Graveman knowing that he was on the mend but they allowed him to become a free agent on Nov. 4, 2019.

The surgery meant that Graveman once went 807 days (May 11, 2018 to July 27, 2020) between Major League appearances.

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