White Sox veteran first baseman has been steady force in the team’s lineup since his rookie year in 2014. Will 2018 be a MVP season for him?
Jose Abreu has been one of the most slept on players in MLB since his debut in 2014. Quietly, he has established himself as one of the more consistent hitters in all of baseball. In just four full seasons, Abreu already has 127 career home runs under his belt. However, his abilities are not limited to his power.
Abreu has recorded at least 100 RBIs in each of his four seasons thus far, and his batting average has never been below .290 at the conclusion of any season. Basically, he has been good for 25 home runs and 100 RBIs a season. Just as a reference, Bryce Harper has only posted two seasons out of his six that saw him record a .290 or higher average, 25 home runs, and 100 RBIs. He is also the guy who is expected to receive the largest contract of all time come this offseason.
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So why is Abreu overlooked? Personally, I believe it is because he is not flashy. He has a calm yet effective swing. He doesn’t absolutely crush balls out of the park, although he has the ability to tear the cover off the ball. Also, the topic of his team is inevitable in this debate. It’s not a secret the White Sox have not made much noise since his arrival in 2014, hence another very likely reason that Abreu is often forgotten.
With the consistent production Abreu has provided, why has his name not been a given in the discussion for Most Valuable Player? The award is not one that Abreu is a stranger to, however, as he has placed in the top 21 of voting in three of his four seasons. In fact, he merely missed the award in his rookie year of 2014 as he finished fourth in voting for the award. With that being said, his ability is obviously enough to put himself into consideration for the award. So now that the 2018 season is upon us, what chance does Abreu stand in the voting for this years award?
Obviously, Abreu will not only need to put up the numbers that he has proved that he can, but he has to go above and beyond that. Given that the American League has the presence of players such as Mike Trout, Giancarlo Stanton, Jose Altuve, and so on, Abreu will need to surpass the performance of these opponents. In fact, he will likely need to surpass them and then some, given that all of these players play for teams that will likely be playoff locks and that has a history in playing part in MVP voting.
In terms of what he has to provide for the team in order to put himself into strong consideration, he has to put this young team on his back. He has to propel the White Sox and cement himself as a serious hitting threat in the AL. They say hitting is contagious, and if true, the hope for the White Sox and Rick Renteria is that Abreu’s hitting can be contagious.
Abreu has triple crown ability. In terms of making an effort for the MVP, being among the leaders for each category would be crucial in his fight.