There's a lot of excitement around Jose Abreu right now, as there should be. Seven home runs is a lot of home runs to hit in one's first month in major league baseball, and Abreu has a week left to work with. His two blasts in Detroit have all been fine examples of where all the money went--both were bombs over the 420-foot sign in Comerica Park's center field; a place where even in the day of every player having home run power, people simply do not hit the ball out of.
Abreu has been one of the biggest, and certainly most exciting reasons the Sox have been padding their lead as the most productive offense in the league despite not having Avisail Garcia, Adam Eaton, and now, Conor Gillaspie.
The big man's chasing issues have finally crested his strikeout rate over 20%, but simply everything puts wood on goes for extra bases right now. 14 of his 22 hits thus far have been doubles or better, and two of those non-doubles were infield singles.
Hawk was very excited about Abreu annihilating Drew Smyly's 90 mph fastball that cut inside a bit, but it actually fell into an early comfort zone for his power. Low and inside allows him to drop the bathead and keep his hands inside without as much work and quickness, whereas if he can turn-and-burn on a ball up in his kitchen it will be a new skill.
Like any human being, Abreu has fared best against stuff out and over the plate, and given how much he'll chase off the outer edge, he may keep cultivating mistake pitches on the outer-half and live a decent existence on them. The battle for the inside part of the plate has yet to truly materialize with Jose, mercilessly punishing everything he does make contact with is a good start.
Speaking of punishing everything he touches, Marcus Semien clocked his third go-ahead home run of the season, capping off a surprisingly powerful 100-plate appearance stretch that saw him post a .160 ISO.
Gordon Beckham has been activated for Thursday and Semien's time leading the league in plate appearances is likely at an end. While seemingly miscast as a leadoff man in Adam Eaton's absence, Semien brought an element tot he Sox attack they may not realize how much they were enjoying until it's gone. Semien has been seeing a healthy 4.23 pitches per plate appearance thus far. True to form, Semien's three home runs have come in the seventh, sixth and fifth pitches of his at-bat respectively.
Even when he failed, Semien made it look like a professional battle and while "getting into the bullpen" might be an overplayed value these days, it certainly is how the tide turned Wednesday night.