Saturday, April 26, 2014

Abreu's Awesome Start

Abreu is tearing it up in his American debut (ESPN SweetSpot Blog)
When Cuban sensation Jose Abreu signed a six-year, $68 million deal with the Chicago White Sox last winter, we knew he was going to be good. I'm just don't think anyone expected him to be this good. 

After capping last night's three-hit, six-RBI performance with a walk-off grand slam that lifted the Chicago to a 9-6 win over the Tampa Bay Rays, Abreu became the first rookie in major league history to hit nine home runs before the end of April. The 27-year old first baseman now holds a tie of the major leagues in home runs (with a resurgent Albert Pujols), RBI (with Giancarlo Stanton and Chris Colabello), total bases (Pujols again), and extra base hits (with Josh Donaldson). He's also slugging .632, the fourth-highest mark in baseball behind Troy Tulowitzki, Charlie Blackmon, and Pujols.

I know I'm not breaking any new ground here, but it sure looks like he's the real deal, folks. Baseball's next big thing has arrived.

Abreu, who already has three multi-homer games on the young season, has come out swinging for the fences. He's already struck out 25 times in 24 games, and when he does make contact 40 percent of the time he hits it in the air. Nearly a third of his fly balls have left the yard, an unsustainable pace, but with the homer-friendly Cell as his home park he might be able to keep it up for a little longer.

With five home runs and 13 RBI in his past six games, Abreu can't get much hotter. His sizzling start is a big reason why the White Sox are in second place in the AL Central entering play today, and why they've scored the most runs in baseball thus far. It goes without saying that if Abreu can continue to power Chicago's offense, he'll be a lock for AL Rookie of the Year and serious MVP consideration.

But for now, let's see if he can continue adding to his impressive spring numbers. His 27 RBI are tied with Pujols for the most by a rookie in April. So if you've got nothing better to do on a Saturday night, you might as well check-in on Abreu's at-bats. He might just make history.

1 comment:

  1. I like to think of Jose Abreu as the part of "the perfect player" that Ichiro Suzuki doesn't cover; raw power. Think about it. Ichiro can throw to prevent stealing while swiping more than his own share of free sacks, field(10 Gold Gloves), and hit good enough to win a batting title or two, while Abreu is sending baseballs out of stadiums and then some. The two both came from overseas where nobody could stop them at age 27, and just repeated the process here. I think the two are uniquely different yet similar.