José Abreu laughed wondering if August was his favorite month.
The numbers make a strong argument.
Abreu has a .334/.389/.606 slant line with 58 doubles, 58 homers, 172 RBI, 146 runs and a .995 OPS in 219 career games in August.
The 58 circuits are 17 more than any other month (41 in May). His 172 RBI is 29 more (143 in May) and his .995 OPS is .152 higher (.843 in July).
His 172 RBI in August since 2014 is the most in the majors.
“I think it’s just the job because my body feels good,” Abreu said through an interpreter Thursday afternoon at Globe Life Field. “But at this time of the season, my body always feels good. I hope I can continue this in the future and still feel great and healthy like I did in August.
“There is no key for me, just work.”
He’s 5 for 16 with two home runs and six RBIs in the team’s first four games this month. To be fair, Abreu’s recent heartbreak started way earlier.
He’s reduced .374/.425/.568 with 12 doubles, five homers, 23 RBIs and 11 walks in his last 36 games. Abreu had 17 multi-hit performances during that streak, hitting safely in 32 of those games and reaching base safely in 34.
“I don’t know how I feel right now, but I will say I won’t get tired of working hard to get the results I want,” Abreu said.
Abreu, 35, came into Friday’s game against the Texas Rangers cutting .302/.383/.477 with 14 home runs and 55 RBIs this season.
“He’s a phenomenal hitter,” Sox first baseman and outfielder Andrew Vaughn said earlier this week. “Seriously one of the best in the league. Just to watch him go day in and day out. He struggled the first month of the year, and everyone is like ‘Wait, wait. That’s (Abreu). He going to come back. … He’s just doing his thing.
Abreu’s 135 weighted runs created plus (wRC+), according to fangraphs.com, ranks 11th in the American League. The stat estimates a player’s attacking contribution to the total number of runs and adjusts that number to account for external factors such as stadium and era. The major league average is 100 which means Abreu is 35% above.
Abreu leads the AL with 119 hits and leads the Sox in doubles (27, sixth in the AL), home runs, RBIs, walks (48), slugging and OPS (.860, eighth in the AL). The 48 steps are 13 short of his career high of 61 in 2021.
“He hits well and I hope he continues to do so because it helps the team,” left fielder Eloy Jiménez said earlier this week. ” He works hard. If you work hard, something like this will happen.
Sox manager Tony La Russa praised Abreu’s preparation.
“He was here, him, Eloy and (receiver Yasmani Grandal) out of the machine probably hit a hundred balls each,” La Russa said Thursday. “His work ethic and competitive spirit is as good as anyone I’ve come across. He’s tough, very, very tough.
Although Abreu spent most of the season at first base (83 games), he spent more time at the designated hitter position (20) than he did all of last season (18). He was productive in both roles, dropping 0.294/0.372/0.462 in 358 plate appearances while in No. 1 and 0.333/0.429/0.539 in 91 plate appearances as a DH.
“I think he knows it, (it) benefits him and benefits us,” La Russa said.
The Sox hope that continues as they attempt to reunite with the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Guardians in American League Central. The Sox entered Friday in third place, two games behind the division-leading Twins and one game behind the Guardians.
“We are a good team,” said Abreu. “We know that. Our focus has to be to try and stay healthy. If we stay healthy and stay on the pitch, we know we’re going to be good.
“Our mindset, let’s give it our all in these (57) games to see what happens. Let’s do our best. Let’s work hard together. We’ll see at the end. That’s our mindset right now. »