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Another award-winning month for White Sox rookie Abreu

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Aug 05 2014 09:47:21 AM CDT
Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox, April 2014

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

CHICAGO -

Another month, another award for White Sox rookie first baseman Jose Abreu.

Abreu was named the American League's Player of the Month and Rookie of the Month for July on Monday -- awards he's already won multiple times this season.

It's the second time the Cuban-born 27-year-old has won the AL's player of the month designation, his third monthly AL rookie honor and is the second time he's won both for the same month of work.

"It's not surprising," Chicago manager Robin Ventura said Monday, prior to Abreu going 2-for-3 with two RBIs in the White Sox's 5-3 win in a rain-shortened game against the Texas Rangers. "You're happy for him. He's had a great month and he gets rewarded for it. The kind of teammate he is makes it better. Guys are happy for him."

According to the White Sox, Abreu is the first rookie in major league history to win a league's player of the month honor twice. He hit .374 with 11 doubles, six home runs and 19 RBIs in July with a .432 on-base percentage and a .667 slugging percentage (1.099 OPS). He also hit safely in 24 of 25 games, with parts of two long hitting streaks included in those games.

"I don't really like to talk about myself a lot but I am surprised," said Abreu, who just had a career-high hitting streak stopped at 21 games this past weekend. "I wasn't expecting to have all this success and definitely all these awards. But, you know, I am very thankful to God that happened. I just continue to go about my day the same way and continue to work on my routines."

During the month of July, Abreu also raised his batting average to the .300 plateau from the .270s. Following the game Monday, he's hitting .300 and still leads the AL with 31 home runs.

"Every day I feel more comfortable, and I'm able to concentrate a lot better," Abreu said. "(That) allows me to continue to compete for the team, which is what we're here for."

Abreu said he watches video of himself from the previous game every morning, along with video of the starting pitcher he's likely to face that day. The work off the field has helped quite a bit, but Abreu's advanced approach and raw talent have taken most of baseball by surprise.

"I don't know that anyone really envisions this," Ventura said. "When you saw and heard the ball coming off his bat (in spring training), you (understood) his power and things like that. You probably allowed for a little more inconsistency going through your first year of seeing pitchers and knowing the type of pitchers you'll see every day are pretty dang good. You don't really envision the numbers you're seeing, but once you see him, it can make sense."

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