MLB

White Sox rookie back to hitting homers after being disabled

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You probably are familiar with Jose Abreu by now. On Monday night, after just over two weeks on the disabled list with an ankle injury, he returned to hit his 16th homer, still tied for third in the majors, off two-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw.

That's all because the the 27-year-old Cuban import hit 10 homers in his “rookie” month of April, joining fellow Cuban import Yasiel Puig as the two players who have won league American League Player and Rookie of the Month.

Like Puig last season, only with less flair, you should really be paying attention. Because this isn't Brady Anderson. This is real.

"He's a good player right now, and for the future, you're always hesitant to say he can get so much better because he's got off to such a great start, but there's things he's going to learn that are going to make him better," White Sox manager Robin Ventura told ESPNChicago after the award was announced.

To measure that, it's key to look at how truly good Abreu's month was historically.

His 32 RBIs were, well, historic.

Two players have ever had more in their first 29 games, Mandy Brooks (1925) and Jim Greengrass (1952-53). He's tied for third with Joe DiMaggio (1936), Ted Williams (1939) and Albert Pujols (2001). Pretty good company.

His 10 homers were tied for a White Sox franchise record through 29 games with Zeke Bonura (1934) and the most in an MLB debut since Chris Davis in 2008.

The combination, leading baseball in both homers and RBIs through the first month of a rookie season, was the first time that's been done since Minnesota's Kent Hrbek did it in 1982 with eight home runs and 22 RBIs. The last White Sox player to lead the league in both in any month was Roy Sievers in July 1960.

So, he's in great historical company. He was good right away, but many guys are good right away and then the other side adjusts. They figure out what he can't hit and keep throwing it.

"I think he's going to learn in certain situations that they're going to pitch around him," Ventura told ESPN.com. "Eventually he's going to learn what pitchers are trying to do and probably be a little more selective and not swing at as many pitches. But as far as he potential, sky's the limit for him. You hope he continues to improve and get better at little things."

One thing about Abreu is that he's shown he can hit though tough pitches far too. Really far. We'll see how that progresses.

But we can compare his first month overall to some of the best in recent memory.

The standard is now Puig from last season, when he was called up to the Los Angeles Dodgers and seemed to change the teams overall fortunes immediately.

Puig hit .436 with 19 runs scored, seven home runs, 16 RBIs, a .467 on-base percentage and .713 slugging.

Yoenis Cespedes hit .250 with eight runs scored, five homers, 19 RBIs, and .476 slugging in 2012.

Mike Trout hit .324 with 21 runs, five homers, 16 RBIs, a .385 on-base percentage and .556 sluggin in 2012.

Albert Pujols hit .370 with 18 runs, eight homers, 27 RBIs, a .431 on-base percentage and .739 slugging in 2001.

By comparison, Abreu was at .270 with 20 runs, 10 homers, 32 RBIs, a .336 on-base percentage and .617 slugging through April.

All that means, for starters, he was worth every cent he was paid by the White Sox. And that's a lot of cents.

He signed a six-year, $68 million contact in October that was the richest contract in years and dollars that the team has ever signed.

"I thank the Lord to be able to achieve this and it's obviously something that makes me happy," Abreu said through an interpreter to ESPN.com. ""And I'm thanking my teammates as well. It's a great thing. I'm very humbled to get that honor."

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Topics:
Chicago White Sox
Los Angeles Dodgers
MLB

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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