Early power outage not a concern for Abreu

White Sox slugger says 'the extra bases are going to come'

May 15th, 2016

NEW YORK -- Jose Abreu has never considered himself a power hitter, even though he hit a combined 66 homers and 69 doubles over his first two years with the White Sox.

So his early 2016 power outage, with five homers and six doubles over his first 144 at-bats, doesn't worry the White Sox first baseman.

"No doubt about it," said Abreu through White Sox interpreter and Spanish language broadcaster Billy Russo. "Once the balls start dropping and my swing starts getting hot or in shape, the extra bases are going to come. I'm very confident. That's something that's going to happen.

"I've been feeling very good. Some days the results aren't there, but I've been feeling very good."

Abreu started slowly this season, with a .229/.303/.354 April slash line that was easily pushed aside because of the team's standing atop the American League Central. But manager Robin Ventura notices a difference in his top offensive force, and Abreu's .292/.386/.521 line over his first 12 games in May backs up those words.

"As far as swinging the bat, going the other way, hard contact," Ventura said. "Even in Texas he was swinging the bat pretty good. Hit one that could have been a homer before the storm came in.

"He just has to continue to stay with it. We know what he can do. We don't look at it like a guy is getting older and losing pop. People are pitching him different. Once the lineup gets more consistent, it's going to happen."

The White Sox offense pretty much relied on Abreu producing during his first two years with the team. In fact, where would the White Sox ongoing reshaping process stand if Abreu didn't join the team via a six-year, $68 million deal prior to the '14 campaign?

But this season has been a bit different as far as expectations on offense for Abreu. While the attack hasn't clicked on a daily basis from top to bottom, there are certainly more options from one through nine. That balance gives Abreu greater peace of mind and has been a contributing factor to the South Siders' success.

"That's one of the best things we have this year," Abreu said. "That's one of the biggest differences we have this year in comparison with the last two years. We enjoy that because every day it's someone different. It's not that we are just depending on one guy.

"Every day can be me, Todd Frazier or one of the other guys. Every day is somebody else, and that's good because we are a team and we want to win as a team. If you see how the good teams have success, they have success because they are playing like a team. It's not just one guy."