White Sox veteran All-Star first baseman enjoying a solid start to the second half after a tough end to first half of the season.
White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu didn’t have a good ending to his first half of the 2018 season. Although he was a starter in the All-Star Game, Abreu was hitting just .253 on July 15.
The veteran first baseman was experiencing one of the longer slumps in his career before the All-Star Break. Abreu didn’t look like he was worthy of starting the All-Star Game as he finished June hitting .212 and had just seven hits in July before the Midsummer Classic.
Despite the sluggish end to his first half of the season, Abreu has gotten off to a torrid start in the second half. Abreu helped the White Sox to a 6-5 victory over the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday with a two-run home run. The 31-year-old owns a slash line of .323/.385/.646 in 25 games thus far to go along with eight home runs and 21 RBIs.
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Abreu has put himself back into the chase for history at the end of this season with his second-half resurgence. During his first four seasons in the Majors, Abreu has finished each season with 25 or more home runs and 100 or more RBIs. With his recent hot streak, Abreu can possibly end 2018 with another season equivalent to his previous four campaigns.
The only other players to accomplish a similar feat as Abreu in their first four MLB seasons are Joe DiMaggio and Albert Pujols. The Sox have 42 games remaining which give Abreu time to get 27 more RBIs and four more home runs. With his offensive output on Wednesday going 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBIs, Abreu has 21 total home runs with 73 RBI and a .268 batting average.
Abreu has been a consistent offensive presence for the Sox since arriving as a 26-year-old rookie from Cuba in 2014. It’s a shame that he hasn’t played for a contending team on the South Side since his arrival. The Sox did a poor job of surrounding their core players with talent before their current rebuild and Abreu could be playing elsewhere when this team contends again.
If the Sox are smart, they should finally give Abreu his much-deserved contract extension this upcoming offseason. Abreu could be the veteran this team needs to reach the postseason. He’s a leader in the clubhouse and has been good for the Sox on the field. Abreu’s last season in a Sox uniform shouldn’t be in 2019. His recent good play shows he can still contribute for this organization offensively.