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Abreu on Eloy, Robert: 'They are going to be MVPs'

/ by Vinnie Duber
Presented By Nationwide Insurance Agent Jeff Vukovich
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We know Eloy Jiménez has designs on winning an MVP award in his career.

We know Luis Robert gets daily rave reviews for the kind of otherworldly talent that he is.

But here's a vote of confidence from a member of the MVP club that the two Chicago White Sox youngsters need to clear off some space on their respective mantles.

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"I know that I have two MVPs with me," José Abreu said Wednesday through team interpreter Billy Russo. "They are going to be MVPs, Luis and Eloy. They are going to be MVP players."

Unless Abreu makes a surprise turn as a baseball writer once his illustrious career is over, he won't have a say in whether that prediction comes true. But he's likely to have as much impact as anyone on the young duo's continued development into potential MVP candidates.

Jiménez and Robert have followed in the footsteps of Yoán Moncada as star pupils in the José Abreu Mentorship Program, tagging along with the reigning American League MVP and soaking up everything they can from the leader of this first-place White Sox team. Completely understanding of the hard-working nature that has sent Abreu to his status as one of the game's great players, they've looked at him as more than just a role model, describing him as a father figure.

 

Abreu reciprocates, of course. He was in constant contact with both guys during their rehabs, which Jiménez has repeatedly described as a tough time, considering he wasn't around his teammates.

"They're my kids," Abreu said while Jiménez and Robert jokingly dropped in on his pregame media session, making funny faces and laughing. "They are always messing around. That's why they're here, that's why you can see them there, just messing around."

Jiménez and Robert have goofing around down pat, as any White Sox fan can see on a nightly basis. But they've taken plenty from Abreu and turned themselves into two of the more dangerous hitters around. Both have raked upon their returns from months-long injury absences, bringing the kind of middle-of-the-order thunder the White Sox anticipated they would.

While high praise from teammates is nothing new — you'll remember Jiménez calling Robert the next Mike Trout and Michael Kopech referring to Jiménez as this generation's Babe Ruth — Abreu has had a front-row seat to their daily work to improve. And unsurprisingly, he likes what he sees.

Of course Abreu, who will remind you at every turn how much the White Sox organization means to him, would be happy to do nothing but guide these two immense talents into the forces they're already becoming. But he's getting something out of the deal, too. With Jiménez hitting behind him in the lineup, and Robert hitting either behind or setting the table in front, Abreu has flourished. It's no shock that his ongoing hot streak came right around the time these two returned to the lineup.

In the month of August, Abreu slashed an insane .330/.382/.661, with 10 homers and 25 RBIs. He leads the world in the latter category and could find himself the AL RBI king for the third consecutive season.

Jiménez made "Thanks, Cubs" famous with his epic game-winning homer in 2019. Abreu has put a new spin on it: "Thanks, Eloy."

"Everybody on this team is trying to improve and trying to find ways to get better. I don't doubt I've done it with the help of the whole team," Abreu said. "Having my oldest son here with me, Eloy, of course, is a blessing, and that made things easier. With Luis, we just laugh about all the shenanigans he does."

So dad and sons are having a blast blasting balls out of Guaranteed Rate Field and blasting the opposition.

Right now, they're a heck of a middle-of-the-order trio for a White Sox team chasing a championship and could fire up the offense to match what's been to this point a dominant starting rotation, fueling a lengthy October run.

 

But those chases are planned for far into the future, too, with Jiménez and Robert the recipients of long-term contracts, before either played in a big league game, in consecutive offseasons. Jiménez is under team control through the 2026 season, Robert through the 2027 campaign.

While Abreu is showing no signs of slowing down as he ages, who knows if he'll keep playing till he's 40. He could.

But whether he does or not, he's sure to be watching what his MVP-caliber sons are doing years from now.

He thinks he'll be watching them post MVP seasons for future White Sox contenders.

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