The Chicago White Sox’s current first baseman made his Major League debut on Opening Day in 2014.
The 27-year-old rookie made an immediate impact for the White Sox and took the league by storm. In that first season, Jose Abreu batted .317 with 36 home runs, many of those coming with ease. He drove in 107 runs and amassed 35 doubles among his 176 total hits. He was selected to the All-Star team in that rookie season with less than half of a season on his resume. He would also win the American League Rookie of the Year award.
Fast forward to six years later. This past off-season. the team resigned Abreu to a three-year, $50 million contract through 2022.
The unofficial face of this franchise, in his six seasons in the big leagues, Abreu has three All-Star selections. He is a two-time Silver Slugger winner who has posted career totals of just over 1,000 hits, 179 home runs, and a career batting average of .293. He is a power hitter with the ability to play to the current situation when he steps into the batter’s box.
For a team that has gone through some lean years, they have weathered the storm and held on to Abreu despite several trade deadlines that the White Sox approached as sellers.
In 2020, the imposing 6-foot-3, 255-pound first baseman may finally have a supporting cast in the lineup to leave opposing pitchers no choice but to pitch to him. In past years, hurlers could pitch around him as he was the biggest threat in the lineup.
The 2020 White Sox added catcher Yasmani Grandal, outfielder Nomar Mazara, and power-hitting designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion. They also locked up standout third baseman Yoan Moncada, another Cuban import on this team who has been a great find.
Abreu is now 33 years old and although he still possesses a power bat, this may be his and the team’s best shot at making a run at a World Series title for quite some time.
If nothing else, Abreu has earned his spot in being mentioned among this storied franchise’s greats after just six seasons on the Southside of Chicago.