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Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu went 2-for-4 with a home run and two runs scored in the first game of a doubleheader Monday.
While his 2-for-8 day at the dish overall doesn’t pop off the page, his solo shot off Minnesota Twins reliever Nik Turley in the bottom of the fifth inning made him the first player in franchise history to begin his career with four straight 25-homer seasons, per ESPN Stats & Info.
While Abreu may not have lived up to the superstar status expected of him when he arrived from Cuba in 2014, the 30-year-old slugger did earn American League Rookie of the Year Honors with 36 homers in his first professional campaign. He’s consistently produced for the White Sox in the last four seasons as well, cracking 30 home runs in 2015 and 25 last season, all while maintaining at least a .290 batting average each season.
Abreu’s rookie campaign drew him the most notoriety, earning an All-Star nomination and taking home a Silver Slugger in addition to his Rookie of the Year recognition. However, it’s worth noting that the White Sox haven’t finished above fourth place in the AL Central in any of the last five seasons.
A lack of talent surrounding Abreu has likely played a role in his deflated numbers. However, there’s nothing disappointing to his career thus far, having topped 100 RBI in each of his first three seasons (Abreu has 77 this season and is on pace to finish with 101). He’s certainly earned the six-year, $68 million contract and $10 million signing bonus the White Sox handed him in 2013, though it hasn’t resulted in much success for the franchise itself.
Abreu remains under team control through the 2019 campaign, and the team’s additions of prospects Yoan Moncada—who was recently recalled—and Eloy Jimenez point to a promising future for the White Sox. A question is whether or not Abreu will remain in Chicago long enough to see that potential become reality.