CHICAGO -- The overall disappointment connected to the 2011 White Sox season already has been discussed at great length.
But just because the team came up well short of its goals doesn't mean the group was without individual success. Three of those talented performers are being recognized as tops on the White Sox, selected by MLB.com
Paul Konerko has been chosen as White Sox Performer of the Year. Mark Buehrle earned the White Sox Pitcher of the Year, and Sergio Santos received the nod as White Sox Breakout Player.
Konerko, who was one of the three finalists for the Marvin Miller Man of the Year honor as part of the Players Choice Awards, topped the White Sox with his .300 average, 31 homers and 105 RBIs, not to mention his .388 on-base percentage and .517 slugging percentage. The captain took part in his fifth All-Star Game, voted in as part of the American League All-Star Final Vote, while producing his fifth season with at least 30 homers and 100 RBIs. He also picked up his 2,000th career hit.
All of these numbers were accomplished while Konerko played through pain over the final two months of the season, after taking an Andrew Miller fastball in the left calf/left knee area during a home game against Boston on July 31.
Buehrle currently stands as one of the top free-agent starting pitchers, with the 32-year-old making his first foray into the open market. In regard to his regular season showing, it was business as usual for Buehrle by posting an 11th straight season with at least 200 innings pitched, 30 starts made and double-digit victories recorded. He made his franchise-record ninth Opening Day start, tied a franchise-record with 18 straight starts during which he allowed three runs or less and added a Major League record 24th career Interleague win.
Even as his career endurance totals grew, Buehrle's results didn't drop. The southpaw finished with a 13-9 record and 3.51 ERA over his 31 trips to the mound and 205 1/3 innings.
Santos carved out a niche as a solid reliever during the 2010 campaign, in just his second professional season as a pitcher. In 2011, Santos took a step up into the White Sox closer's role and responded with 30 saves in 36 attempts to become the eighth pitcher in franchise history to reach 30 saves.
His 92 strikeouts ranked second among AL relievers, while he was third in strikeouts per nine innings at 13.14. The 3.55 ERA put together by Santos and .181 opponents' average against over 63 games included a Major League record 25 consecutive scoreless road appearances to start a season, breaking Mariano Rivera's mark of 24 from 2005.
This breakout effort for Santos was followed by a new deal with the White Sox worth $8.25 million over three years, with club options for 2015-17.
Next up on the awards list is national recognition from the BBWAA, starting with Rookies of the Year on Nov. 14. Although reliever Chris Sale had an outstanding first full year with the White Sox, posting a 2.79 ERA and 79 strikeouts over 71 innings, the southpaw doesn't figure to finish high up in the voting. Konerko also could receive votes for the AL Most Valuable Player.
For a third straight year, Buehrle took home an AL Rawlings Gold Glove award for pitchers and was the recipient of his third straight Fielding Bible award for the top defensive pitcher in all of baseball. A.J. Pierzynski was in the final three for the Gold Glove at catcher, but Baltimore's Matt Wieters was the recipient.
Cy Young Award
Manager of Year
Rawlings Gold Glove
Tony La Russa
1981, 1985, 1988
1991, 1993-94, 2000
1958-1962, 1968, 1970
1991-93, 1996, 1998
This Year in Baseball
MLB.com team awards
Ozzie Guillen (Manager)
Player of the Year
Paul Konerko, 2011
Neal Cotts (Setup Man)
Pitcher of the Year
Mark Buehrle, 2011
Orlando Cabrera (Defensive Player)
Breakout Player of the Year
Sergio Santos, 2011
Dewayne Wise (Play)
Mark Buehrle (Performance)
Mark Buehrle (Play)
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.