Jose Abreu wins American League Outstanding Player award, becoming only 3rd White Sox player to earn the honor

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Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu runs the bases after hitting a solo home run during the ninth inning against the Cubs at Wrigley Field on Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020. - Armando L. Sanchez / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS

CHICAGO — Jose Abreu earned the ultimate respect of his peers Thursday as the Chicago White Sox first baseman was named the American League Outstanding Player in the 2020 Players Choice Awards.

Abreu, 33, joins Frank Thomas (1993-94) and Jermaine Dye (2006) as the only Sox players to win the award.

Abreu batted .317 with 15 doubles, 19 home runs, 60 RBIs, and 34 extra-base hits in 60 games this season. He is under strong consideration to earn AL Most Valuable Player honors by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, which will announce the winner on Nov. 12. Thomas (1993-94), Dick Allen (1972) and Nellie Fox (1959) are the only Sox players to win AL MVP honors.

“It is always special to be recognized by my fellow players across the league,” Abreu said in a statement. “I want to thank everyone who voted for me and appreciates my respect for the game. But as I have said, my ultimate goal remains to help win a championship for the Chicago White Sox. That would be my greatest accomplishment and one that would make my family the proudest.”

Abreu led the league in hits, RBIs, slugging percentage, total bases and extra-base hits. He was the only player to finish in the top five in the AL in hits, RBIs, slugging percentage, extra-base hits, total bases, home runs, batting average (4th) and OPS (5th, .987). Abreu became the first player to lead the AL in RBIs in consecutive seasons since David Ortiz in 2005-06.

Abreu became the fourth player in major league history to lead the league in hits and RBIs, joining Jim Rice (1979), Carl Yastrzemski (1967) and Lou Gehrig (1931). Abreu also is the first qualifying player to record as many RBIs as games played in a season since the Cubs’ Sammy Sosa (160) and the Cleveland Indians’ Juan Gonzalez (140) in 2001.

Abreu, who was named The Sporting News Major League Baseball Player of the Year, also is a finalist for the 2020 Hank Aaron Award, given to the top offensive performer during the regular season in each league.

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