AL Central final report card grades
College Contributor Network
To accompany my AL East report cards, I give to you the AL Central version of how I think each team did in the 2015 campaign.
Chicago White Sox
For the White Sox, actual quantitative math was used in deciding their grade. Jose Abreu and Chris Sale received A's on their report cards, but baseball is a team sport. It's a season-killing issue when one offensive player and one pitcher lead your team in each relevant category.
To be a Cleveland bandwagon fan is like recording a Modern Family re-run on USA. Except I still do it. Just like the 2013 campaign, the Indians were so close to being a success story. They missed the playoffs by three games and finished just five games out of the division pennant behind the Tigers and Royals.
Big things in the offseason for Cleveland will be the defense and a few small gaps in the lineup, but the AL Central will be one of the closest division races next year.
To be honest, this was the best, most consistent team in baseball for the entire year. 2015 will be Detroit's to lose because the team can hit, and oh boy can they pitch.
As no surprise, the Tigers had the second best offensive club behind the Angels with hitters like Victor Martinez, Ian Kinsler, and Miggy leading the charge. Detroit limped into a division pennant, but the 2015 Tigers are now stacked. Hopefully, Verlander can put together a bounce back year.
Kansas City Royals
This team. Name me Kansas City's starting lineup at the beginning of the year. Give me the lineup for the team at the trade deadline. Obviously the team didn't come away with a title, but the A+ is well deserved. KC electrified the sports world for the entire playoffs, and got in by the hairs on their chinny chin chins.
Who would've thought that at the beginning of the year Kauffman Stadium would be the site of Game 7 of the Fall Classic. The Royals almost coached themselves through the playoffs (Ned Yost... c'mon) and give Kansas City fans an offseason to be interested in for once.
Except for the All-Star Game, this city's baseball culture was flat out dull. It's almost as if the team didn't know that they could go to the postseason and win a trophy if they played well. The club did improve slightly, winning four more games than last year, but that really shouldn't turn any heads.
The small market factor does seem to hurt the Twins by not being able to play quality baseball with other AL powerhouses, but division neighbor Kansas City showed us how worthy that excuse can be. The pitching is a glaring issue as the team gave up the second-most runs in the majors and was much of the same in every other relevant pitching category.
Andrew Morris is a sophomore at Syracuse University. People refer to him in the third person and he has an everlasting love for Orange, Major League Baseball, the St. Louis Cardinals, Oakland A's, Golden State Warriors, and Indianapolis Colts. Follow him on Twitter: @Andrewmo123