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Abreu focused on health, helping White Sox contend

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CHICAGO -- Jose Abreu isn't buying into the hype.

Sure, the White Sox first baseman has heard talk about a potential All-Star appearance in his first Major League season. He also gets immediately mentioned with Yankees hurler Masahiro Tanaka and Houston outfielder George Springer when 2014 American League Rookie of the Year discussions begin.

But in keeping with a humble style he has shown since arriving with the White Sox, Abreu has his full attention placed elsewhere.

"I don't really think about those things," said Abreu through interpreter and White Sox manager of cultural development Lino Diaz. "I just think about being healthy all the time. I think about being healthy every day and being able to help the team.

"That's the biggest thing with me. You know, the other part, those are the things that are great, but they are out there and it's too early to be thinking about those things."

The statistics pretty much speak for themselves where Abreu is concerned. He has served as a driving force behind the club's somewhat unexpected push to AL Central contention and leads all rookies in homers, RBIs, slugging percentage, runs scored and OPS. Springer ranks second in all of those categories, except for his third-place standing in runs scored.

Tanaka, meanwhile, leads all rookie hurlers in wins and strikeouts. He tops the AL with his 2.02 ERA, while Abreu leads in slugging percentage. Abreu's humble nature not only impresses his teammates but those whom he has gone deep against in competition.

"See, I love the way the carries himself. He just goes about his business," said Detroit manager Brad Ausmus. "He's not flashy. He does his job. I mean, he's been impressive."

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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