In the link above are clips from the first half of the first season in Major League Baseball for Jose Abreu. It is already the best single first season a Chicago White Sox player has had and it is now creeping up the list of greatest seasons any White Sox player has had.
News dropped yesterday afternoon of Abreu being named American League Player and Rookie of the Month for July, the second time he’s been given the twin honors in the same month.
Just know one thing about this most recent news, as relayed by the Sox in their press release about Abreu’s latest honors — only Frank Thomas (1994 and 1996) and Albert Belle (1998) have been named Player of the Month twice in one season as White Sox and no one in franchise history has been named Rookie of the Month more than once.
The 27-year-old Abreu’s numbers from July: batted .374 (37-99) with 11 doubles, six home runs, 19 RBI, a .432 on-base percentage and .667 slugging percentage in 25 games while leading the AL in average, doubles, slugging percentage, OPS (1.099), extra-base hits (17) and total bases (66) and hitting safely in 24 of 25 games during the month.
Abreu is also the first rookie in major-league history to be named Player of the Month twice in one season and the fourth player to be named Rookie of the month three or more times, joining Ichiro Suzuki (four in 2001), Mike Trout (four in 2012) and Jason Bay (three in 2004).
Read more in the link above about his accomplishments. I’ve already come too close to outright dictating a press release than I feel comfortable with. Why is that the case? There’s really nothing to add that the numbers can’t show you — that’s what baseball is about, the numbers — you produce the way that Abreu is producing and you make the most noise a new arrival into MLB has made since the current de-facto best player in the game, Mike Trout of the Angels.
Now Trout is still doing his thing very much, his mix of consistent hitting and exquisite fielding can’t be matched, but at the plate Abreu is beating him in average, home runs, RBI, slugging and OPS.
For the first time since the heyday of the Big Hurt the Sox have the best hitter in baseball and he’s starting to crowd the whole best player in the game thing as well. Whether or not the team fades in the wild card race, there is a reason to come out to 35th and Shields for the remainder of the year. Don’t sleep Chicago, this is historic now.