After telling you a couple days ago what to love and hate about the AL East, I’m back, this time to talk about the AL Central. This division has one of the best teams in baseball, and also, and this is a little known fact, four other Major League Baseball teams. No matter how mediocre the division, I have promised to give you a thing to love and a thing to hate about each MLB team, so here we go.
Chicago White Sox
Thing to Love: Prospects
Eloy Jimenez and Yoan Moncada have the tools to be superstars. Michael Kopech throws absolute gas and sometimes fights people. They may not be much fun to watch now, but could be in a year or two.
Thing to Hate: Pitching Staff
Their number one starter is James Shields. He’s a great guy to start your season, provided that your season is taking place in 2011. Last year Shields went 6-19 with a 5.85 ERA. The saddest part is he’s a pretty logical choice to start opening day. So they’ve got that going for them.
Thing to Love: Most things
Francisco Lindor. The Klubot. Andrew “Filthmonster” Miller. Even Michael Brantley and Jose Ramirez can get people excited. This team has tons of fun players to watch, and they are led by Terry Francona, one of the most lovable managers in baseball history. I hate to say this (partly, but not entirely, because of Noah Gross) but I kinda love the Indians.
Thing to Hate: Edwin Encarnacion’s stupid parrot thing when he hits a home run
Just run the bases you dork. When you hit one to the moon, you don’t need to take your home run trot looking like an action figure whose arm got stuck.
Thing to Love: Jose Iglesias
This dude is constantly doing filthy stuff on defense. He’s also started to hit a little bit, but as long as he keeps making ridiculous plays, then I don’t care if he hits .150.
Thing to Hate: No more Jim Leyland
I know it’s been a few years, but I’m still not over it. It helps that they have business-casual Santa Claus Ron Gardenhire as manager and the GOAT of arguing Lloyd McClendon as hitting coach, but no one can ever replace that 80-pound, 110-year-old, beautifully-mustached baseball genius.
Kansas City Royals
Thing to Love: Salvador Perez
He hit 27 home runs last year, which is very good for a catcher. More importantly, he plays unbelievable defense behind the plate. He is an elite framer and throws people out from his knees. If you like good catching defense, just watch Salvy and thank me later.
Thing to Hate: Wasted potential
After winning the 2015 World Series with a young, team-controlled core, the Royals looked set up to dominate the AL for years. Instead, the core has either faded or left Kansas City, and the Royals haven’t made the playoffs or finished above third since their championship. Come on guys.
Thing to Love: Byron Buxton
Miguel Sano and Brian Dozier rake, and Joe Mauer is still ok but Buxton is next-level electrifying. He can fly on the basepaths, and played Gold Glove defense, by making tons of highlight-reel plays. I love watching this guy, and if you don’t, there’s a high percentage chance I hate you.
Thing to Hate: Bullpen
Fernando Rodney is their closer. The 41-year-old, 4.23-ERA-having, incredibly-over-the-hill Fernando Rodney. To be honest, I don’t know much about this team, and I couldn’t think of a super hateable thing, so I just chose a glaring weakness. If you’re a fan of the Twins, you’ll probably hate this bullpen; if you’re just a baseball fan, you probably just don’t care or may be depressed by it. I’ll do better with other teams, I promise.