Jose Abreu has already established himself as one of the best players in White Sox history. The numbers show he is in the converstation with some of the games best offensively as well.
Since entering the league in Abreu has piled up accolades. He won Rookie of the Year in 2014, been named to three All-Star teams, won three Silver Slugger Awards, led the league in RBIs twice, and was named 2020 American League MVP.
In 2017 he became the first player in White Sox history and just the tenth in MLB history to start his career with four straight 25 plus home run seasons. He is in the conversation for one of the most prolific offensive machines in the MLB today.
But Abreu doesn’t seem to get the respect he deserves outside of Chicago. One of baseball’s best players over the past decade has been Nolan Arenado. Arenado has made six All-Star teams, won four Silver Slugger Awards, nine Gold Glove Awards, and five Platinum Glove Awards. He has been the standard of excellence at third base.
In 2021 MLB Network released their Top 100 players in the game right now. Abreu ranked 31st. Meanwhile, Nolan Arendao ranked 13th. The previous year Abreu came in at 97th while Arendo cracked the Top 10 and number nine.
However, the numbers show the two are much more comparable than people think.
Jay Cuda posted an enlightening stat on Twitter, illustrating just how good Abreu has been. Through Abreu’s first 1,000 games, his offensive numbers have rivaled Nolan Arenado through his first 1,000 career games.
Jose Abreu=Nolan Arenado
Their first 1,000 career games are almost the same pic.twitter.com/30QNIQ5QEM
— Jay Cuda (@JayCuda) December 11, 2021
Each player batted .293. Abreu’s OBP is .350, a slight tick higher than Arenado’s .348 mark. Arenado has the edge in home runs with 217 compared to Abreu’s total of 206. However, some of that can be attributed to playing in Denver’s high altitude where the ball flies out of the ballpark. Abreu has 238 doubles, Arenado has 246. Abreu racked up 704 RBIs while Arendao has 712. Basically, they are the same player offensively. It should also be noted Abreu played with very little lineup protection throughout his career.
However, while the offense numbers are equal they are not the same player. The biggest difference between the two players is their defense. Arenado is an elite defender at third base while Abreu struggled at first to start his career. He has been steadily improving each year and turned himself into an above-average defender but there is still a large gap between Arenado and himself. Another thing to note is that Abreu entered the league when he was 27 years old so he was a much more refined player.
But there is no denying that when it comes to offense Abreu is one of the best in the business. Add his rapidly improving defense and it’s time to put some respect on his name. The gap between Jose Abreu and Nolan Arenado is closer than people think.