In fact, Rios predicted that in one year from that point, his rough start with the White Sox would be nothing but a distant memory. On Monday afternoon, one day before White Sox position players were scheduled to report, Rios could bask in the afterglow of his dead-on prognostication.
Rios hit .284 with 21 home runs, 84 RBIs and 34 stolen bases last year. The talented veteran never had any doubt that a return to his normal career numbers was coming, especially being more comfortable with the South Siders in his first full season.
"I just knew what I could do," Rios said. "When you're confident of the things you can do, a lot of good things can happen. I don't try to be a superstar or a mega-superstar. I know what I can do and don't try to do things. I just try to keep it simple and go with the flow."
When asked if he was entering the prime of his career, Rios smiled and said his body and mind were both in good places. Rios also didn't care where he hits in this loaded lineup.
"We're the team to beat," Rios said. "We're going to give a hard time to a lot of people out there."