Chicago White Sox rookie first baseman Jose Abreu has been one of the best stories of the 2014 season. Despite some injury issues that cost him a significant chunk of time, Abreu sits near the top of the American League in home runs, leading some to believe that he would be considered as a member of the AL’s team for the 2014 Home Run Derby. However, it appears that Abreu would rather stay on the sidelines for the event.
Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times brings the story:
“Home Run Derby is not something I’m too crazy about. It’s a good thing but I am not really interested or looking forward to. I really wouldn’t want to do it. I did it in Cuba several times and I wasn’t much into it.”
“The first thing it does is affect you mentally. You go out and try to hit home runs. I’m not a guy who tries to hit homers. I let them come when they come .. sometimes it messes with your mechanics.”
In less than 300 plate appearances as a 27-year-old rookie, Abreu has 22 home runs, but it also isn’t difficult to see why he may want to pass. First, the reference to swing mechanics is a familiar refrain that has been used by players to escape the Derby, but more than that, Abreu has already battled injury problems, and he has been the best home run hitter in Cuba for nearly a decade.