Abreu earns second AL Player of Month honor
White Sox slugger also named Junior Circuit's top rookie for July
CHICAGO -- On Monday, the record-setting Jose Abreu was named the American League Player and Rookie of the Month -- again.
Abreu has won the league rookie honors every month this season except May, when he went on the 15-day disabled list with an ankle injury.
He took both honors in April. This second sweep makes him the first rookie in Major League history to win the Player of the Month award twice in one season, and the fourth to be named Rookie of the Month three times or more.
"I don't really like to talk about myself a lot, but I am surprised," Abreu said through interpreter and White Sox coach Lino Diaz. "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."
In July, Abreu led the AL in batting average (.374), doubles (11), slugging percentage (.667), extra-base hits (17) and times on base (48).
He also put together a career-best 21-game hitting streak, the AL's longest this season. That was also the longest for the White Sox since Carlos Lee hit in 28 straight games in 2004.
"There is a limit of what guys are going to hit, statistically," said manager Robin Ventura. "But within the game of driving in runs and things like that, he's pretty good, and he's going to continue to get better at that in-game stuff."
Abreu drew more walks and had a higher on-base percentage in July than in any month prior, an indication that pitchers are working around him. He said that the biggest adjustment he's made since the start of the season has been patience at the plate.
"I really don't know the adjustments that [pitchers] made on me, I just know that I concentrate on myself," Abreu said. "I concentrate on my strength when I go there. I'm sure they're making adjustments and things like that, but I try to stay with what I do good."
Added Ventura: "He hasn't had too many at-bats of going after stuff out of the zone. Early he was swinging pretty good, and then he went through a period of trying to do too much, hitting too many homers and swinging at a lot of pitches. If you look at his at-bats over the last month, he's been pretty spot on."