Twenty-nine games. That is how many games it took for the Chicago White Sox' Jose Abreu to announce his presence within the league. Yet, perhaps because of the team that he plays for or the fact that he is still just a rookie, he is not quite a household name one month into the season. Abreu, however, should now be added to that list as the season goes into the month of May and beyond. But, what can be expected of the power-hitting first basemen going forward?
In his first month as a big-leaguer, Abreu set the Major League record for home runs (10) and RBIs (32) ever by a rookie in the month of April. In addition to that, he is currently leading two-thirds of the Major League Triple Crown. Can he possibly keep up this pace for the rest of the season?
An advantage that is working for Abreu is that he does play his home games in a hitter-friendly park. U.S. Cellular Field is a jet stream during the summer months. The Chicago weather has been ugly for much of April so to be able to get off to this kind of a start is impressive in its own right. The White Sox also boast the top two average hitters in the AL in Alexei Ramirez (.351) and Dayan Viciedo (.348). Anyone who predicted that is likely lying.
Abreu also has displayed an approach at the plate to where he can hit to all fields with power. That is a trait seen in few players and will certainly carry him to big things as the season and his career move forward. Abreu was named American League Rookie of the Month and Player of the Month for April. In the month of May, he has already knocked out two more home runs for the Sox.
Comparing Abreu's 10-32-.270 April numbers to the two-time reigning MVP and former Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera is eye-popping. After the first month, Cabrera's line reads 2-15-.277. Abreu is certainly a major contender for the AL Rookie of the Year award if he can continue at just a fraction of this current pace. Could he also join Ichiro Suzuki and Fred Lynn as the only players to win both the Rookie of the Year and MVP award in the same season?
With the success of Cuban players such as Yasiel Puig and Yoenis Cespedes out west, it is a treat to see someone like Abreu bring that type of talent to the Midwest area. If he is able to keep up this kind of production and continue to develop, it will not only be great for the White Sox, but for the city of Chicago as well. There is a lot of baseball still to be played, and still plenty of time to get to know Jose Abreu.
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