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White Sox Tue Apr 29 2014

Abreu Off to Special Start for White Sox

Sox_200.pngJose Abreu is awesome. That is all.

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OK, that's not all. Abreu has been the best power hitter in the game this season. He's the top producer on an offense that leads the league in runs scored. He's headlining a White Sox team that is, surprisingly, full of feel-good stories.

Though it's still very early not just in his Sox career but also in the season, Abreu has drawn some comparisons to Albert Pujols (really, just google "Abreu" and "Pujols"). That's some high praise. He's doing everything that baseball experts predicted he could do.

Abreu had an exceptional first month. He's hit 10 home runs and 31 RBIs, both league-leading (and rookie record) figures, and he has a .962 OPS. His isolated power is .369 and his home run to fly ball ratio is 26.3 percent, both phenomenal numbers. Nine of his ten home runs have been no-doubters. It's not like he's just taking job squad pitchers deep; he's hit home runs off of Justin Verlander and David Price.

If Abreu's not hitting a homer, he's hitting it hard somewhere else. He's taking it into the gaps, and even his fly outs routinely take outfielders all the way to the warning track. Check out his spray chart. He'll pull grounders, but otherwise he's putting balls all over the field.

Maybe most importantly, Abreu worked out of a 1-for-25 slump that brought his numbers back to earth a little. It was easy to get a little worried when he wasn't hitting, but he got out of it. Inside pitches give him trouble, and he still has to get used to major league off-speed stuff, but these really seem like minor quibbles right now. He'll be fine.

How about the White Sox having an impact player in the lineup? Last year, the biggest addition for the Sox was Josh Phegley, which is hilarious in retrospect. Now they have Abreu, who's just entering his prime, penciled in everyday. Not only will this win the Sox games (he already has a 1.0 WAR), but it gives fans even more reason to watch the team and head out to the ballpark.

It's possible that Abreu keeps up his fantastic hitting, that he and the White Sox keep getting the buzz from around the league, that more people come to Sox Park to see him live, that the Sox keep up their .500 pace and that Abreu takes the torch from Paul Konerko and becomes this generation's seminal White Sox position player.

Is that getting carried away? A little, right? Whatever. The fact remains, Jose Abreu is still awesome. That's a good enough take away for now.

 

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