Rankings: Is Jose Abreu the top 1st baseman in the division?

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2. Jose Abreu (Chicago White Sox)

May 9, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu (79) hits a single RBI against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the fourth inning at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Debut: March 31, 2014
Age: 28 years old
Team Record (2014): 73-89

A look at last season:

Jose Abreu had one of the best rookie seasons on record in ’14, with the first baseman setting rookie records, plus he was named AL Player of the Month on more than one occasion in ’14.

Abreu led the majors in slugging percentage at .581 and OPS+ at 169 on his way to ROY honors, an All-Star selection, a Silver Slugger award and a fourth-place finish in the AL MVP voting.

Not bad at all for the Cuban export, and this was just his first season in the big leagues. You could say the White Sox hit the lottery with this signing last offseason.

Other numbers for the “face of the White Sox” included: 36 home runs, 35 doubles, two triples and 80 runs in 556 at-bats. Abreu also batted an amazing .317, with an on-base percentage of .383, not to mention his .964 OPS.

Abreu did strike out 131 times, but with those above numbers, that is a tradeoff that can be accepted.

2015 Baseball Prospectus Projections:

This upcoming season, Abreu is being projected by BP to have a .295 batting average with a .360 OBP and .528 SLG, which I (and many others) believe are low projections. Add that with projections of 63 runs, 23 doubles, two triples, 23 home runs and 74 RBIs, and it makes these projections just downright incorrect and not even close.

That’s OK, though … there is a system to the madness, and Abreu will most likely outplay these numbers by a good margin in 2015.

What are your thoughts on the Abreu projections?

They Said It:

The following quote is from ESPN Chicago:

"“I have to be a complete player, and I can’t work less and still be that. I have the same mentality, it doesn’t matter who will be on the team. I just prepare myself to be successful and 100-percent on the field.” – Abreu in an ESPN Chicago interview in January."

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