Sep 20, 2014; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu (79) singles during the first inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Rookie Jose Abreu has become the first Chicago White Sox player since 1974 to lead the majors in slugging percentage.
Sep 27, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu (79) high fives shortstop Alexei Ramirez (10) after he hits a two-run home run in the first inning of their game against the Kansas City Royals at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports
Dick Allen was the last White Sox batter to lead the majors in slugging percentage in ’74 at .563.
Here are some Top 10 White Sox slugging leaders since Allen was first in ’74 (SLG, Year, MLB Rank):
• Paul Konerko (.584, 2010, 7th)
• Carlos Quentin (.571, 2008, 6th)
• Jermaine Dye (.622, 2006, 5th)
• Jim Thome (.598, 2006, 8th)
• Magglio Ordonez (.597, 2002, 8th)
• Frank Thomas (.625, 2000, 10th), (.611, 1997, 5th), (.626, 1996, 7th), (.606, 1995, 5th), (.729, 1994, 2nd), (.607, 1993, 4th), (.536, 1992, 6th), (.553, 1991, 4th)
• Albert Belle (.655, 1998, 2nd)
• Harold Baines (.541, 1984, 2nd)
• Carlton Fisk (.518, 1983, 8th)
The best slugging percentage in franchise history was Thomas’ .729 in 1994. Abreu’s MLB-best mark in ’14 is 15th best in franchise history.
Here is a little more on Abreu’s ’14 season:
The White Sox first baseman, Abreu was second in the majors in OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging) at .964. First in OPS was Martinez at .974.
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Abreu and Trout tied in home runs with 36 each, fourth-best in the majors, and Abreu was fifth in the majors with 107 RBIs in 145 games.
The White Sox slugger was also in the Top 5 in MLB in intentional walks with 15, fifth most this season. He was second in total bases with 323, trailing only Trout with 338.
In XBH, which is the total number of doubles, triples and home runs by a player, Abreu was fourth in the majors with 73 total.
With this being the first year of seeing MLB pitching, Abreu is a lock to win the AL Rookie of the Year.
Being the first White Sox batter to lead the majors in slugging in 40 years is a remarkable feat, considering some of the batters the White Sox have had in that span, including a Hall of Famer in Frank Thomas, and White Sox legend Paul Konerko, who just wrapped up his career Sunday.
The future is very bright for Abreu, and he was the best signing of any team this past offseason. I believe Abreu is just scratching the surface with his talent.
Hopefully next season Abreu will be used to the 162-game schedule, as he trailed off near the end of the regular season.
It was a great season by Abreu, and hopefully there are more to come.