Another day, more awards to announce, this time a double-dip of José Abreu as AL Player of the Month and Luis Robert as AL Rookie of the Month. It’s sort of crazy that two White Sox haven’t won two of the three monthly awards since 2014, when both were won by one player: Abreu!
Let’s hand the mic over to the White Sox:
JOSÉ ABREU NAMED AMERICAN LEAGUE PLAYER OF THE MONTH, AND LUIS ROBERT NAMED AL ROOKIE OF THE MONTH FOR JULY/AUGUST
CHICAGO – Chicago White Sox first baseman José Abreu has been named American League Player of the Month, and center fielder Luis Robert has been named AL Rookie of the Month for July/August. This marks Abreu’s third career Player of the Month honor, and is the first Rookie honor for Robert.
The last time the White Sox earned multiple monthly honors was 2014, when Abreu won Player and Rookie of the Month in April and July. Abreu also was named AL Rookie of the Month in June 2014. Robert is the Sox second consecutive AL Rookie of the Month winner following Eloy Jiménez in September 2019. The White Sox also have won two Player of the Week Awards this season: Abreu from August 17-23 and right-handed pitcher Lucas Giolito from August 24-30.
Abreu, 33, hit .315/.359/.636 with 10 doubles, 12 home runs, 32 RBIs, a .996 OPS, 12 multi-hit efforts and nine walks over 35 games in July and August. He hit safely in 27 games, including each of the last 14 through the end of August (and is currently on a 15-game hitting streak), and recorded eight multi-RBI efforts. Abreu’s 11 home runs in August were the second-most in the month in franchise history, behind Frank Thomas’ 13 in 2003.
Abreu homered in every game from August 21-23 at the Cubs, including two on August 21, three on August 22 and one on August 23. He set club records for home runs in a three-game series (six), homers in a two-game span from August 21-22 (five), and homering in four consecutive plate appearances from August 22-23. Abreu recorded eight total RBIs from August 21-22.
Abreu is batting .313/.357/.626 with 10 doubles, 12 home runs, a .983 OPS, 22 extra-base hits and 92 total bases in 36 games in 2020. He ranks among the 2020 AL leaders in hits (first), RBI (first), total bases (first), extra-base hits (second), home runs (tied for third), slugging percentage (fourth), OPS (fifth), multi-hit games (tied for sixth, 12), and average (seventh). He also ranks among the major league leaders in total bases (second), RBIs (tied for second), extra-base hits (tied for third) and home runs (tied for fourth).
Robert, 23, batted .298/.348/.612 with eight doubles, 10 home runs, 24 RBIs, 22 runs and four stolen bases over 33 games in July and August. He hit his first career game-ending home run on August 30 vs. Kansas City, becoming the fifth-youngest (23 years and 27 days old) White Sox to accomplish the feat. He is one of just three rookies in baseball to record a four-hit game (August 1 at the Royals) this season, joining teammate Nick Madrigal and Colorado’s Sam Hilliard.
Robert is tied for third among AL position players with a 1.6 fWAR in 2020. He is hitting .288/.338/.592 with eight doubles, 10 homers, 24 RBIs, a .930 OPS and 22 runs this season. Robert leads AL rookies in home runs, RBIs, doubles and slugging percentage, ranks second in runs scored, hits and average, is tied for second in steals (four), third in on-base percentage (.338) and fifth in walks (10).
Robert leads baseball with an average exit velocity of 108.9 mph on home runs (minimum 10 homers). He is tied for the major-league lead with five home runs with an exit velocity of 110.0-plus mph.
That last paragraph is just beastly. In his first season in the major leagues, Robert is hitting the ball as hard as anyone in the game. That’s why, when guys like Ricky Renteria or Abreu talk about how much better Robert can still get, I’m inclined to believe them.
Let’s see what September goodies the White Sox can grab!