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Classic show thrusts Quintana into spotlight

MLB.com provides a comprehensive list of facts on the talented Sox hurler
MLB.com @scottmerkin

SURPRISE, Arizona -- Here are a few facts about Jose Quintana, who hurled 5 2/3 no-hit innings for Colombia during Team USA's 3-2 victory in 10 innings Friday night at their opening 2017 World Baseball Classic contest of Pool C in Miami.

Some facts are known, some will be new to people. Some should be known, but still will be new to people.

SURPRISE, Arizona -- Here are a few facts about Jose Quintana, who hurled 5 2/3 no-hit innings for Colombia during Team USA's 3-2 victory in 10 innings Friday night at their opening 2017 World Baseball Classic contest of Pool C in Miami.

Some facts are known, some will be new to people. Some should be known, but still will be new to people.

• His 96 quality starts since 2012 rank behind only David Price (113) and former teammate Chris Sale (109) in regard to American League left-handers during that time frame.

Video: Renteria on Rodon's progress, Quintana in the Classic

• Quintana's 13-12 record posted in '16 marked the southpaw's second winning mark with the White Sox. His ERA of 3.41 nicely balances out a career ledger of 46-46.

• Soccer was his desired sport as a young man in Colombia, a sport still ranking No. 1 in his country per Quintana. But all the teams were full when he went to sign up, so he joined baseball.

• White Sox scouts Daraka Shaheed and Joe Siers recommended the White Sox sign him as a Minor League free agent in November 2011 after the Yankees didn't make room for him on their 40-man. New York might have Quintana again at some point, but it should be a far costlier price.

• All of Quintana's interviews are done in English, with very rare help from interpreter Billy Russo, simply to clarify a question. Quintana taught himself the language.

Video: COL@USA: Quintana on start, Colombia's tough loss

• Although he's fairly sure of his left-handedness, Quintana throws that way for a reason. The only glove used with his friends when they were young was for a left-hander.

• His delivery is described as "nearly flawless" by pitching coach Don Cooper, which allows him to hit all quadrants of the zone with seeming ease.

• Nobody has more no-decisions than him since '12, a total reaching 60 if Friday's effort was factored.

Maybe it's these no-decisions sapping Quintana of some national attention. Maybe it's pitching alongside perennial Cy Young candidate Sale for five years.

"Here's the deal. @jose_quintana24 is a really good pitcher. And an even better teammate. And an even better person," tweeted one-time teammate Zach Duke from his Twitter account @zach_duke, after Quintana's World Baseball Classic performance.

Long-time veterans such as Paul Konerko and Adam Dunn went out of their way to praise Quintana. Robin Ventura, Quintana's lone big league manager until this season, spoke of him almost like a family member.

Video: COL@USA: Quintana shows impressive extension

It's of little wonder Quintana, with four years and approximately $36 million left on his deal, stands as the top starting-pitcher target for contenders. It's of equally little wonder that if White Sox general manager Rick Hahn can't obtain pretty much the exact haul he wants for Quintana in this ongoing rebuild, then he'll be happy to keep him at the top of the rotation.

He's the game's best pitcher people are finally finding out about.

"I haven't been in this game very long," White Sox starter Carlos Rodon said. "But he's one of the best teammates I've had."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Read his blog, Merk's Works, follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin, on Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox, Jose Quintana