Nearly everyone expected the Detroit Tigers to run away with the American League Central this season. They had the star power, and nobody else in the division seemed to have the talent to stack up with them.
The thought heading into the season was the White Sox needed too many variables to go their way to be successful.
Well, they went their way.
Inexperienced manager Robin Ventura looked like a veteran. Chris Sale was one of the game's best starters in his first year as a starter. Adam Dunn bounced back from a horrid 2011. Jake Peavy was Jake Peavy again. Alex Rios and A.J. Pierzynski put up career numbers. All the young relievers pitched beyond their years.
It all added up to the White Sox being in first place for much of the season. But in the end, the Tigers surpassed them. And while the White Sox collapsed down the stretch and failed to reach the playoffs, they had a memorable ride in 2012 and finished with an 85-77 record, the 14th best record in baseball.
So with that in mind, we offer grades for every player, with an opportunity for readers to give their own assessment. Share your thoughts in the comments section.
Scott Powers is the Blackhawks beat reporter for ESPNChicago.com. He is an award-winning journalist and has been reporting on preps, colleges and pros for publications throughout the Midwest since 1997.