Is .300/30/100 attainable for Jose Abreu?
Will Jose Abreu hit .300, 30 home runs, and 100 RBI’s for the second straight year?
After tonight’s game, he has a legitimate shot. Abreu enters today with a batting average of .296 with 24 home runs and 78 RBIs. The Chicago White Sox have 36 games remaining and that certainly sounds like enough time to reach those numbers again. With the power he possesses, there is always the potential of a hot streak coming.
But, it’s not quite as simple as that.
Here are some factors that could hurt Abreu.
Now that the calendar is about the flip to September, expect to see some cooler nights at MLB parks. While there will still be warm afternoons and evenings, the ball will not fly the way it did during the summer months.
However, Abreu is a player that has shown in the past the ability to drive a ball no matter what the weather is. Still with that said, don’t expect the ball to keep carrying as well as it did on some of those 95 degree days.
With no real protection for Abreu, it makes it very likely that pitchers will pitch around him in key situations. I don’t think he is going to get many good pitches to hit, even if Melky Cabrera is hitting behind him (second best hitter on the team). Abreu is the lone hitter in the White Sox lineup that can really do damage on a consistent basis, meaning he is the one player pitchers will try to avoid.
Considering the fact that the Chicago White Sox are not realistically in the playoff hunt, it could mean a lot of the players just play out the string toward the end. A long baseball season is draining, especially for those players that are bothered by nagging injuries (soreness, etc). When a team is not playing meaningful baseball, it is unlikely that the players will do anything but audition for roles in 2016.
For the White Sox, players may not be as concerned with the team as they will themselves. What I am talking about is the fact that players may stop trying to do the little things, like hitting to the right side with no outs and a runner on second. At this time of the year, their own personal goal will be to pull the ball (if right-handed) and drive both the runner and themselves in just to make themselves look better to another team.
While this may not be the case with all of the White Sox players, don’t be surprised to see this from the ones who’s 2016 status is up in the air.
Overall, statistically speaking it is likely that Abreu reaches at least two of the three plateaus (batting average being a potential obstacle). Abreu only needs six home runs to reach 30, and that could very easily happen. The 23 RBIs could be a bit more difficult though. His high total for RBIs in a month is only 19.
If he can do it, it would be one of the few bright spots in an otherwise lost season.