Following up: José Abreu, Luis Robert win American League’s monthly honors

You know what they say: You have to be the Player of the Week before you can be Player of the Month.

Or maybe you don’t, but José Abreu knocked out both regardless. After winning the American League’s weekly honor for his body of work from Aug. 17-23, Major League Baseball announced that Abreu took home the award for the July/August portion of the season.

Abreu was all over the leaderboards for the month, with finishes the following categories:

  • Home runs: 12 (second)
  • RBIs: 32 (second)
  • Slugging percentage: .664 (second)
  • Batting average: .321 (third)
  • wOBA: .426 (third)
  • Runs: 23 (seventh)

He also finished sixth in FanGraphs’ WAR valuation at 1.4, and of the players above him, only Nelson Cruz has a more thorough body of work at the plate. Cruz, of course, is limited to DH. Abreu is actually playing a good first base.

Alongside Abreu, Luis Robert took home the American League’s Rookie of the Month Award for July/August. It’s going to be a two-way race between Robert and Seattle’s Kyle Lewis for Rookie of the Year, and good luck picking a favorite:


Lewis’ superior plate discipline gives him a better chance at buoying his numbers amid a downturn, but Robert’s combination of power and defense makes him more likely to capture the imagination while producing.

* * * * * * * * *

There’s an ulterior motive to this post — I basically wanted to highlight the article about Carl Skanberg’s sketched scorecards on, which drew national attention when Lucas Giolito did the same for his no-hitter.

As the players celebrated on the field and fans partied at home, it was time for Carl Skanberg to get to work.

Skanberg is a lifelong White Sox fan who has a long history of covering the team’s exploits through his comics work. After losing his job right before the pandemic hit, the veteran cartoonist decided to devote his summer to his favorite team full-time: creating custom sketchbook scorecards for each White Sox game with a fun, nostalgia-tinged cover and full game comic to go along with the play-by-play.

Giolito’s masterful moment was precisely what he was hoping for.

And here’s what that looked like:

(Jose Abreu portrait by Carl Skanberg, of course)

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Jim Margalus
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

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It’ll feel a little unfair to Robert if Lewis wins because he played 18 games last season. In a regular year, that’s minuscule, but it’s almost 30% of a 2020 season worth of extra experience. Alas, I suppose the White Sox have no one to blame but themselves for that…

Thankfully, they are heading in opposite directions. Since Aug. 23, Robert’s OPS has jumped about 70 points while Lewis’s has fallen about 100 points. I suspect Robert will continue to be streaky, but I think the award is Robert’s to lose.


Lewis’s exit velocity and hard hit rate are below average, so his high BABIP is likely a mirage. He has outperformed his xwOBA by about 20 points, while Robert has underperformed his (higher) xwOBA by a similar amount.

Lewis only has two doubles, which may also suggest that his relatively high home run rate won’t last.

Robert leads outfielders in out above average and I believe in DRS as well.

On the other hand Lewis’s plate discipline is way better, although Roberts’ has been improving.


Sorry to hear about Carl losing his job but big congrats on the national attention. I’ve loved the scorecard sketches. Have they been featured during the broadcast yet?


Nothing against Kyle Lewis, he’s still a great young player, but he has been a bit lucky this year. His hit tool isn’t as good as what it’s seemed so far this year. His BABIP is currently over .400. His current xba is .271 compared to Robert’s .286.

At the end of the year, its the results that matter and not if they were “lucky” or sustainable, but I think it does bode well for Robert to maintain better over the next month vs Lewis.

As Cirensica

Skanberg’s scorecards are really magical. So artistically wee-done, and with a pinch of fun. I can stare at them for minutes.


Abreu’s been looking extremely good defensively, too bad the 1B Positional Adjustment is outdated by like 10+ years.

Top 8 WAR for position players on B-Ref looking pretty good: