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José Abreu named Sporting News MLB Player of the Year

October 15, 2020

CHICAGO – White Sox first baseman José Abreu has been chosen as the 2020 Sporting News Major League Baseball Player of the Year. Abreu received the support of participating players across MLB. Abreu joins Frank Thomas (1993) and Early Wynn (1959) as the only White Sox to be named MLB

CHICAGO – White Sox first baseman José Abreu has been chosen as the 2020 Sporting News Major League Baseball Player of the Year. Abreu received the support of participating players across MLB.

Abreu joins Frank Thomas (1993) and Early Wynn (1959) as the only White Sox to be named MLB Player of the Year by Sporting News.

Abreu, 33, hit .317/.370/.617 (76-240) with 15 doubles, 19 home runs, 60 RBI. 148 total bases, 34 extra-base hits and 21 multihit efforts in 60 games this season, his seventh with the White Sox. He is looking to join Thomas (1993-94), Dick Allen (1972) and Nellie Fox (1959) as the only Sox to win American League MVP honors. The only Cuban natives to be named AL MVP are Minnesota’s Zoilo Versalles (1965) and Oakland’s José Canseco (1988).

“I am honored to be recognized with this award as this is very special to me, my family and the White Sox organization,” said Abreu. “I want to thank God and everybody who voted for me. This award really means a lot to me and is humbling because it comes from my fellow players. I never think about awards and my goal is always to do the best I can to help my teammates and the Chicago White Sox, and of course to make my mom and family proud. To get this recognition is a surprise and one that make me feel very happy.”

“This is the first of what should be a number of deserving awards for José following his 2020 season,” said Rick Hahn, White Sox senior vice president/general manager. “Despite the unprecedented circumstances of the season, José set the tone for our club day after day with his preparation and performance. He was a dominant force in our lineup and deserves recognition from across the baseball world.”

Abreu led the AL in hits, RBI, slugging percentage, total bases and extra-base hits, tied for the lead in multihit efforts and WAR and ranked second in home runs. He was the only player to rank in the Top 5 of the following categories in the AL: hits, RBI, slugging percentage, extra-base hits, total bases, home runs, average (4th) and OPS (5th, .987). Abreu, who led the league in RBI in 2019, became the first player to lead the AL in RBI in consecutive seasons since Boston’s David Ortiz in 2005-06.

Abreu became just the fourth player in major-league history to lead the AL in hits and RBI, joining Jim Rice (1979), Carl Yastrzemski (1967) and Lou Gehrig (1931). He also is the first qualifying player to record as many RBI as games played in a season since the Cubs' Sammy Sosa (160) and Cleveland's Juan González (140) in 2001. Abreu helped lead the White Sox to their first postseason appearance since 2008, going 4-14 (.286) with a double, home run and two RBI in three games of the AL Wild Card Series at Oakland.

He previously was recognized by Sporting News as the Rookie of the Year and an All-Star in 2014. Abreu also has been named a finalist for the 2020 Hank Aaron Award, given to the outstanding offensive performer during the regular season in each league.