Jose Abreu has been very good this season for a White Sox club that only recently started to find its offensive potential.
The White Sox slugger has a .294/.368/.493 slash line with six home runs and 22 RBIs in 152 plate appearances. But here’s a scary thought: Abreu, who’s in the midst of his fourth 14-game hitting streak since the start of last season, thinks he can be better.
“I feel good right now,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “I like the pressure, I like to put pressure on me. …
“I know that I’m able to produce more than I’m doing right now, but I’m very confident that sooner than later that I’ll be in a good spot with my offense.”
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Last season, Abreu slugged an American League-high .581 en route to winning the AL Rookie of the Year award. So far the closest he has come to carrying the White Sox offense is a 34-plate appearance span from April 14-22 when he homered four times.
Manager Robin Ventura believes Abreu is capable of more but that’s the least of his worries.
“I think there is more there, I think he is a good hitter and I think he will have a fine year,” Ventura said. “If we’re worrying about him, we have a lot of problems because he’s a good hitter and he’s going to be in the middle of our lineup. I know he cares and works hard and all of that. For me, if that’s something we have to worry about we have big problems.”
Abreu is the only player in the majors with four hitting streaks of at least 14 games since the start of last season. Ventura said Abreu’s ability to stay inside of the ball on a swing is what makes him consistent.
“For the most part just his technique of being inside the baseball and being as strong as he is, to take an inside pitch and take it the other way, he gets balls through the infield and to the outfield that a lot of people can’t,” Ventura said. “It’s a gift and he’s one of the few that can do that. To be able to do that consistently, you’re going to get on base a lot, you’re going to get hits and it’s hard to pitch to you.”