Jul 31, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu (79) during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu is the best White Sox hitter to come around in years.
Let’s face it, even though he has struggled some in the home run department since the All-Star break, he is still among the league leaders in run production.
With the season stall having just under two months remaining, let’s take a look at how he stacks up statistically in the American League’s best.
Abreu leads the American League in home runs with 31, even though he spent a 15-game stint on the disabled list. He is actually the leader in all of baseball. The closest player to him is Nelson Cruz of the Baltimore Orioles (AL team) who has 29.
Abreu leads the American League with 86, as well as all of baseball. The closest player to him is Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers (AL team) at 84.
Cabrera has 84, and he has a decent chance of catching Abreu due to the fact that he has a better supporting cast. Therefore it gives him better protection, and also more men to drive in.
OPS (On Base % + Slugging %)
Abreu leads the AL in this category, at .973. Considering he has spent a lot of time learning the league and new pitchers, it shows that his ability to adjust is excellent.
There is only one player in the majors with a higher OPS than Abreu, that being Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies. His OPS is 1.035, and his OPS is helped by the thin air of Colorado, but I wouldn’t say that Tulowitzki is having a lesser year the Abreu.
Remember, Tolowitzki still has to play half his games on the road. Plus the fact that the fences at Coors Field’s are deep, especially in left. Not to mention the humidor that they use for the baseballs there.
Batting average and On Base Percentage
While Abreu’s batting average has improved from .260 on June 1 to .302 (before Saturday’s game). That is a .42 point increase, and a lot of that has been due to three factors.
One, is the fact that he has probably settled into living in a new country. The second is the fact that he is seeing pitchers now for the second go-around and third is the weather is finally warmer.
It is much easier to hit when it is warmer, therefore his average increased.
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One of the few stats that are not impressive for Abreu is OBP. It sits right now at .362, which isn’t really terrible, however it is only .59 points above his batting average. That means he isn’t taking many walks (31 all year), which he needs to do more of.
Overall, looking at his numbers he is a legit big-time run producer.
With New York Yankees rookie pitcher Masahiro Tanaka being down with an injury for an extended period of time, Abreu should be all but a lock to win the AL Rookie of the Year.
Great things are to come from Abreu, even greater than what we have seen already.
(Stats are from espn.com and fangraphs.com).