With all of the time spent by Chicago White Sox fans, and writers alike speculating and anticipating what the 2016 season will bring over the past few months, it is nice to have a few certainties in life. Like surely in the morning the sun will rise, and then it will set in the evening. We can count on that to happen on a regular basis, no speculation needed right? Another thing we can rest easy knowing, is that Jose Abreu is going to mash the baseball in 2016. In just two seasons in Major League Baseball Abreu has produced significantly, as well as being named the 2014 Rookie of the Year, 2014 Silver Slugger for first basemen, and an All-Star representative during that same season.
Abreu slugged 36 HR/ 107 RBI, and 30 HR/101 RBI in 2014 and 2015 respectively, becoming only the second player in Major League Baseball history to being his career by posting back to back seasons with 30+ home runs and 100+ RBIs. Impressive company for Abreu considering that the only other player to accomplish that feat before was the future Hall of Famer Albert Pujols.
Abreu has been the solid rock in the middle of the White Sox lineup over the past two years, with little to no protection around him. Not to mention the fact that Abreu has been the most consistent offensive player in the White Sox lineup all the while, prior to this winter he hadn’t been able to see his family who is back in his home country of Cuba. Abreu has handled the transition to America, and Major League Baseball beautifully amid some incredibly difficult circumstances thus far.
This winter Abreu was finally able to go back to his home country of Cuba, with the help of the Major League Baseball Players Association and see his family. That has to provide Abreu with some relief and piece of mind at the minimal heading into this season.
Given the additions of Todd Frazier, Brett Lawrie, and the duo behind the plate of Avila/Navarro it is a very reasonable expectation to believe that not only will Abreu continue his production from the past two seasons, he will surpass it in 2016. With the protection that the White Sox have put around him in the lineup, it is very possible that Abreu is primed for him best offensive season yet this year.
While Abreu was not considered to be a Gold Glove Award type defender when he entered the league in 2014, he has been surprisingly good at first base. He ranked in the top five in range factor per game in both 2014, and 2015 respectively. Over his first two seasons he has just 17 errors in 2,068 chances, netting him a very respectable .992 FLD% to this point in his short career.
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The 29 year-old Cuban slugger Jose Abreu heads into his third Major League Baseball season with the White Sox, and you can rest easy on the idea that he will experience the same success that he did in both 2014 and 2015, if not better than those two seasons with all of the new pieces around him in the lineup. I have provided a table with Abreu’s offensive statistics over his first two seasons for your viewing pleasure below.