In addition to their three All-Stars and two high-profile snubs, the White Sox have a component equally instrumental to their first-half success.

That would be Alex Rios, whose revival has made his teammates better as well as invigorated his career.

"He'd done a 180-degree turn," said one scout who initially was skeptical of the Sox's acquisition of Rios in August of 2009. "He's no longer trying to hit with his hands so low."