Major League Baseball announced Sunday the rosters of All-Stars who will be attending the 83rd MLB All-Star Game in Kansas City, and for the Chicago White Sox and their fans, it is a far cry from last season, when only one All-Star was selected to play for the American League.
The White Sox will be represented by Chris Sale, Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn. Pitcher Jake Peavy is also eligible to be an All-Star, as he is a candidate for MLB's Final Vote.
In 2011, the White Sox sent only Carlos Quentin initially, and Paul Konerko would later follow after becoming an All-Star via the Final Vote.
With the White Sox currently sitting atop the AL Central division, it could be argued that more White Sox players should have become All-Stars this season, most notably A.J. Pierzynski and Alex Rios.
While many pundits weren't buying the notion of the White Sox as 2012 playoff contenders, many of the "ifs" on the team have actually come to fruition, with the White Sox currently holding a run differential of plus-42, which is 79 runs better than the second place Cleveland Indians.
The White Sox have received contributions from most of their roster, with some familiar names chipping in, along with some new ones. Alex Rios and Adam Dunn have bounced back in a huge way in 2012, while Paul Konerko has continued producing at a high level, well into his mid-30s.
Rookies Addison Reed and Nate Jones have shored up the White Sox's new-look bullpen, while veterans Jesse Crain and Matt Thornton have remained steady.
The White Sox starting rotation has been bolstered by the return to form of Jake Peavy. Peavy, along with Chris Sale, have put the White Sox in a position to win almost every time they've taken the mound in 2012. Both starters have combined for a stellar 23 quality starts in 30 games. With disappointing seasons from John Danks, Gavin Floyd and Philip Humber, Peavy and Sale's contributions have been very important.
Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn have combined to make pitchers think before giving in to the intimidating 3-4 duo. With Alejandro De Aza and his solid .362 on-base percentage setting the table, and Rios, Pierzynski and Dayan Viciedo offering protection for Konerko and Dunn, the White Sox have been able to make up for any pitching deficiencies.
With the White Sox still in first place, and the announcement of their All-Star representatives coming Sunday, let's take a look at how the White Sox All-Stars, and potential All-Star Jake Peavy, earned their well-deserved recognition.