With each home run Jose Abreu hits this year, the White Sox broadcast teams are giving us an update on where he is on the all-time home run list for the White Sox. He is getting pretty high up that list, just passing Bill Melton for eighth with 155. There is a pretty good chance Abreu will pass Jermaine Dye by year’s end who sits with 164. After that, who knows? He may be gone as a free agent. I hope not, but it isn’t a certainty that Jose Abreu will be back next season.
Hearing all of the home run talk made me curious about where Jose stands in other categories on the White Sox leader boards. It’s pretty impressive. He’s only in his sixth season with the club and yet he is in the top ten in the aforementioned home runs, slugging percentage, and OPS. He’s in the top twenty of batting average and offensive WAR and knocking on the door of the top twenty in many other categories including total bases, doubles and RBI.
If Abreu makes it an even decade in a White Sox uniform, he could eclipse such team greats as Ray Durham, Lance Johnson and even Harold Baines. It might take some doing though. If last year is prologue, Abreu is on the down side of his career. that doesn’t mean he’s playing poorly, but years like 2014 or 2015 are probably not in the offing. However, he did only play in 128 games last year. A full 2019 will help his numbers especially in light of history.
As far as beyond 2019, I hope the White Sox find a way for him to stay on the south side. If I’m not mistaken, there aren’t a lot of first basemen in the pipeline. Considering how the free agent market has been, I wouldn’t be surprised if Abreu takes a sure deal as opposed to taking his chances on the open market. He might also want to stick around for 2020 and beyond. He’s had to endure some pretty rough seasons. Even if he isn’t the centerpiece of a contending team, he could still be an impact player, both on the field and in the clubhouse.
As the White Sox come home this week and the weather finally gives us a break, let’s hope we can get out to the G. If you do, take a minute to appreciate how good Jose Abreu has been for his entire White Sox career. This could be the final season, best not to take it for granted.