Now, before all the fame goes to Jose Abreu’s head, he should know that this is a regional cover, not national. Those poor bastards in New York and California will be stuck with some other asshole on their Sports Illustrated this week. They will not get to experience the tingling sensation that comes with holding Jose Abreu in your hands.
I can certainly understand why Abreu is getting so much attention, as he was just named the Rookie of the Month and Player of the Month for April, the first time in the history of the awards that a rookie has done that in April. They usually need time to adjust.
And Abreu will have to adjust. As awesome as he’s been, he’s far from perfect. He’s got a strikeout rate of 24.8%, which is higher than the MLB rate of 20.6%. He’s also got a swinging strike rate of 27.1%, a number that is a lot higher than the MLB rate of 16.3%. If these trends continue, we should probably expect a slump at some point this season. Especially since his walk rate (6.9%) and amount of pitches seen per plate appearance (3.72) are both below league average as well.
Now, maybe it’s because he’s been trying to do too much the last few weeks, as the White Sox offense has cooled down. Whatever the case is, it’s his power that has masked some of these problems for many.
Nobody pays much attention to your strikeout rate or walk rate — or a BABIP of .250, which is also low –when you’re leading the AL with a slugging percentage of .608, and have an OPS of .925. Not to mention the 12 homers and 35 RBI, which are still two of the most important stats a power hitter can have in the eyes of many baseball observers.
He’s not perfect, and he might not even be the best first baseman in the city of Chicago right now, but he’s done some awesome things in his first month, and he was one of the big free agent signings in baseball over the winter. One that most baseball fans had never seen.
So when you combine all of these things what you get is a player that ends up on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Here’s hoping he gets a national cover someday.
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