José Abreu named American League Most Valuable Player
CHICAGO – Chicago White Sox first baseman José Abreu has been named American League Most Valuable Player as voted by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Abreu, 33, received 374 points (21 first-place votes) to outdistance second-place finisher Jose Ramirez of Cleveland (303 points). He becomes the fourth player in White Sox history (fifth time) to win the award, joining Frank Thomas (1993-94), Dick Allen (1972) and Nellie Fox (1959), and he joins Minnesota's Zoilo Versalles (1965) and Oakland's José Canseco (1988) as the only natives of Cuba to receive the honor. Abreu is the 28th player in major-league history to win both Rookie of the Year (2014) and MVP honors.
Abreu batted .317/.370/.617 (76-240) with 15 doubles, 19 home runs and 60 RBI in 60 games this season as he won his third career Silver Slugger award (also 2014 and 2018), tying Carlton Fisk for the second-highest total in Sox history behind Thomas (four). He led the AL in hits, RBI, slugging percentage, total bases (148) and extra-base hits (34), tied for the lead in multihit efforts (21) and WAR (2.9), ranked second in home runs, fourth in average, and fifth in OPS (.987). Abreu was the only player to rank among the AL Top 5 in hits, RBI, slugging percentage, extra-base hits, total bases, home runs, average and OPS.
“First and foremost, I want to thank God for this blessing. It is very special to win this award and even more doing it this year with all the adversities and challenges we faced. I feel extremely honored and humbled. I’ve worked hard for this, and even though I don’t focus on winning awards, getting this one just feels like a recognition to all the work, all the effort I’ve been doing during my whole career to get to this point. Now, my mom can really say that she has an MVP as a son, and she can keep saying that I am her MVP.
“This award is for my family, for Jerry (Reinsdorf) and the Chicago White Sox organization who gave me the opportunity to play in the big leagues and made my mom’s dream come true. To the fans and to all my coaches, teammates and everyone who has helped me and supported me, this is for you too. Thank you also to all the writers who voted for me.”
Abreu became the first player to lead the AL in RBI in consecutive seasons since Boston’s David Ortiz in 2005-06, and the fourth player in history to lead the AL in hits and RBI, joining Jim Rice (1979), Carl Yastrzemski (1967) and Lou Gehrig (1931). He also was 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.
Abreu already has been chosen as The Sporting News Major League Baseball Player of the Year and Players Choice AL Outstanding Player, and is a finalist for the 2020 Hank Aaron Award.