After belting two home runs in two games for the Chicago White Sox since his return from the disabled list, Jose Abreu became the second player since 1900 to have collected 17 home runs in his first 46 career games, per ESPN Stats & Info.
Abreu is matching the pace of Wally Berger, who became the first player to accomplish the feat in the 1930 season. During his rookie campaign, Berger totaled 38 long balls with 119 RBI and a .310 batting average. At 24 years old, Berger's pace was actually a bit quicker than Abreu's, as he needed just 42 games to get to 17 total home runs, per Baseball Reference.
Another Wally, Wally Joyner, gave Berger and Abreu a run for their money in 1986 but finished one shy, accumulating 16 homers during his first 46 games. Although Joyner made his only career All-Star Game that season, he finished with just 22 total home runs on the year. Joyner went on to hit 204 career home runs over 16 MLB seasons.
Although it's impossible to determine which Wally Jose Abreu will end up closer to in terms of career numbers, there's no denying that the rookie out of Cuba is making a significant impact in the middle of the White Sox's batting order. Despite missing 14 games during his stint on the DL due to an ankle injury, Abreu stands at third in the American League in homers, putting him on pace for 45 on the year. Even with the lost time, the 27-year-old is in the top 10 in the AL RBI standings, with 47 entering Wednesday.
Abreu's ankle didn't seem to bother him Tuesday, as his first-inning long ball off Dan Haren of the Los Angeles Dodgers was his second in as many days. The accomplishment made Abreu the third active player who has gone deep in back-to-back games as a visiting rookie at Dodger Stadium, per Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN.com). He joins Ryan Howard (2005) and Giancarlo Stanton (2010), both of whom went on to sustained success over the next several seasons.
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