Alexei Ramirez drove in 70 runs for the second consecutive season in 2011 despite being forced to move to the second spot in the batting order because of the struggles of Gordon Beckham.

Although Ramirez's batting average dipped 13 points to .269 and he hit three fewer home runs with 15, he actually hit more doubles (31-29) despite playing 23 consecutive games without one. He also was charged with four fewer errors at 16.

But if the Sox are at least to hold their ground in the American League Central with a blend of veterans looking to rebound and youngsters, they must have improvement from middle class players like Ramirez.