This off-season, like all the others, hundreds of players have changed teams. Players like Robinson Cano have moved on and look to make a gigantic impact with their new clubs. But, this off-season the biggest addition may not only have switched teams, he switched leagues as well. Jose Dariel Abreu, a Cuban slugger, signed a six year $68 million contract with the Chicago White Sox this winter and he is expected to have an instant impact this season.
Over the past two seasons players like Yoenis Cespedes and Yasiel Puig who have come over from Cuba have become stars with their teams. Both of these players are five tool talents who can do it all on the field. While Abreu will not be as big of a talent in every phase of the game as the other two players, he may have the biggest power potential. Playing in Cuba, his power numbers were incredible. During the 2011-2012 season, Abreu batted .453 with 32 homeruns in just 293 plate appearances. He also showed off his power when he blasted three homeruns in the World Baseball Classic.
Even though he has yet to play a game in the big leagues, Abreu has limitless potential. Some scouts have even compared him to a young Miguel Cabrera. If he can even be close to the talent that Cabrera brings, the White Sox will be instantly better. This spring, Abreu has had a strong big league debut. He has hit .286 with three homeruns, ten strike outs and 12 RBIs in his first 56 at-bats. His numbers have impressed so much that he has moved in front of both Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko on the depth chart at first base.
Paul Konerko has had a great career with the White Sox at first base, but the addition of Abreu gives the team their biggest option for a slugger since Frank Thomas in the ’90s. Free agents often make big impacts with their new clubs. Jose Dariel Abreu is set to show the world that while he did not play in the majors last season, he is ready to take the White Sox lineup to a new level.
Statistics Provided by Baseball America