DETROIT — White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu isn’t a stats guy. He measures his success during a season by what his mother thinks.
Earlier this month, Abreu became the fourth player in Sox history with 30-plus homers and 100 or more RBI in four seasons, joining Frank Thomas, Paul Konerko and Magglio Ordonez. After Friday night’s 10-1 win over the Tigers at Comerica Park, he’s hitting .279 with 33 home runs and a career-high 119 RBI — which had him in a three-way tie for first in the majors for RBI entering the game.
He’s on pace for 127 RBI this season and could become the first Sox player since Dick Allen in 1972 to finish as the American League RBI leader.
That would be another reminder for Abreu that his hard work is paying off. But he leaves that kind of evaluating to his mom, Daysi Correa.
“What stat matters most? I would say all of them,” Abreu said through a translator. “But at the end of the season, when I sit down with my mom and we talk about the season, if she’s happy with the numbers I put in every category, then I’m happy, too.”
Mom’s favorite stat?
“Games played,” he said with a laugh.
Correa texts him daily. Sometimes she’s generous with her praise, but more times than not, she’s critical of his mistakes.
“When she knows that I’m passing through a rough patch, she tries to not get too hard on me,” Abreu said. “But she figures out a way to let me know she’s not happy and the things I need to know.”
Correa has had little to criticize this season as Abreu, 32, has been consistent at the plate, bolstering his case for why the Sox should re-sign him after the season. It has been well-documented that he wants to stay with the Sox.
“The difference has been, this year I’ve been hungrier, with more desire,” he said. “Just playing hard. Trying to help the team win. Trying to do better every day.”
Rookie Zack Collins is on a roll. He hit an RBI double in the second inning Friday to give the Sox a 1-0 lead. That came after he finished the Sox-Twins series with home runs in two consecutive games.
Before Wednesday, Collins was 5-for-31 (.161) with 13 strikeouts in 10 games since his September call-up. Manager Rick Renteria likes what he’s seen since.
“[He’s] being a little more aggressive in the zone,” Renteria said. “He’s holding his own here right now. . . . There are things we’re still working on that have to improve, but all-in-all, he doesn’t seem to be necessarily overwhelmed.”
Talk the talk
Asked who’s the best trash talker on the Sox, Abreu pointed to shortstop Tim Anderson sitting across from him.
“He’s funny,” Abreu said. “He’s a very good teammate, and he’s one of those guys I’d like to have around me for a long time.”