Chicago White Sox gambled and won with Jose Abreu

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 25: Jose Abreu
CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 25: Jose Abreu /

Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu has shown tremendous consistency in his short career, thus far, on the south side.

Back in October of 2013, the Chicago White Sox gambled when they signed Jose Abreu to a six-year deal worth $68 million–an astronomical amount of money spent on a player with no major-league experience. But the White Sox saw something they liked in the first baseman, and they jumped on the opportunity to add him to the long and illustrious list of Cuban players in the organization’s history.

Eye-opening, jaw-dropping talent was evident right from the beginning, which effectively silenced Abreu’s critics on whether or not he would be able to adjust to the higher quality of competition in the MLB.

Nearing the end of his fourth season on the south side, Abreu continues to show us all that he was worth every penny the organization spent. In each of his first three seasons, Abreu racked up 100 or more RBI with at least 25 home runs. Just as impressive, Abreu has finished each season with a batting average of .290 or higher.

Chicago White Sox
Chicago White Sox /

Chicago White Sox

Questions of longevity were also delivered to their final resting place when the highly-skilled power hitter laced up his cleats for at least 145 games in each of his first three seasons.

In his career on the south side, Abreu has a batting average of .300, while racking up 118 home runs and 390 RBI heading into Tuesday night’s game against the Cleveland Indians on September 5.

As his fourth season winds down, Abreu continues to demonstrate his worth, both as a player and as a mentor to some of the most highly anticipated, up-and-coming players on the south side, including Yoan Moncada and Reynaldo Lopez.

Prior to Tuesday night’s game against the tribe, Abreu has hit 27 home runs and added 82 RBI, with a batting average of .300.

But perhaps the most important moment for the power-hitting first baseman in his career, to this point, came when Lopez looked uncomfortable on the mound during his start against the Texas Rangers on August 17. With an apparent injury, Abreu embraced the role of being a mentor and leader when he projected his opinion on the long-term future of the younger players.

One can speculate as to what might have happened to Lopez if Abreu hadn’t called manager Ricky Renteria back to the mound that night. The south siders and the young right-hander could have faced a much more daunting and unsettling reality if he chose to keep quiet.

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Abreu has been an ideal investment from day one. Steady production from behind the plate is more and more obvious as each season progresses. With an astounding baseball IQ, coupled with immense leadership abilities, Abreu has done everything the Sox have asked of him. He’s been everything they’ve needed him to be.

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