Throughout his career, defending American League MVP, José Abreu has been a model of consistency when it comes to production at the plate, averaging 20 home runs and 100-plus RBIs in every full 162-game season he has played but one.
Now in his eighth year with the Chicago White Sox, Abreu has also been an RBI machine throughout his career as well. He’s flashing that so far this season, with 40 so far this year in 42 games.
That’s almost an RBI per game, which sounds crazy, until you realize he did just that last year, with 60 RBIs in 60 games en route to winning the AL MVP.
Four of Abreu’s 40 this season came in 8-3 White Sox victory over the Cardinals on Tuesday night, a game in which he went 2-for-5 with a home run as well.
Tuesday marked Abreu’s third game with four or more RBIs, and his 10th multi-RBI game of the season as well. Understandably, the White Sox have better results when their veteran slugger is driving in runs, winning all but one of his 10 multi-RBI games — a May 23 contest against the Yankees they only lost by a run.
It has been said before that as Tim Anderson goes, so go the White Sox. But the same could be said about Abreu. Who over the last two years has become known as not only a great slugger, but a Gold Glove-caliber first baseman as well? Abreu’s 287 putouts are 12th among all first baseman in baseball right now, his 26 double tied for ninth. And Abreu’s defense isn’t just measured in actual stats, but what you don’t see on the stat sheet, like making a stretch on a throw from one of his fellow infielders to get an out and save one or more possible runs from scoring.
Splits and big hits.— MLB (@MLB) May 26, 2021
The 2020 AL MVP can do it all. pic.twitter.com/PYB20E0Xxh
And all of that on-field production might pale compared to Abreu’s leadership in the clubhouse. Pito is the key component on the White Sox, the most important glue on this very young team.
Abreu is showing that with him, Yoán Moncada and Anderson — heck, even Yermín Mercedes if he keeps his numbers up — this is a team that not only has legitimate World Series possibilities, but three or four players being in the conversation for AL MVP.