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Abreu making positive strides in development

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KANSAS CITY -- Jose Abreu literally is the talk of the town in Chicago, but that sort of notoriety has not changed the professional approach shown by the White Sox first baseman.

"His maturity and professionalism haven't changed," manager Robin Ventura said. "We're not going to see a guy if he does get popular, it's not going to change who he is and how he goes about his business.

"He's a pretty grounded kid who just wants to be a good baseball player. He understands what he means for us, where he hits in the lineup, the responsibilities he has. We're very happy with where he's at right now and I expect him to get better just as the season goes along."

Ventura pointed out that Abreu's improvement will come when he starts seeing pitchers for the second and third time.

"Pitchers have the advantage right now. He's facing guys that are the best in the world and he hasn't seen them before," Ventura said. "The more you get to see, you get a chance to adjust. He's not going up there just swinging at anything. He has a pretty good approach and he's swinging at strikes. That's the biggest key."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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