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Abreu already a leader in White Sox clubhouse

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CHICAGO -- Jose Abreu entered Friday's contest sitting first in the American League in RBIs, tied for second in homers and ranking fifth in batting average. Abreu would become the first rookie in Major League history to finish in the top five of all three Triple Crown categories, and the fifth White Sox player to accomplish such a feat, joining Joe Jackson (1920), Dick Allen (1972), Frank Thomas (1994) and Albert Belle (1998) per STATS, LLC.

The last rookie to finish in the top 10 of all three Triple Crown categories was Mike Piazza for the Dodgers in 1993. Minnesota's Tony Oliva did the same in 1964 as the last AL rookie.

Beyond the numbers, Abreu quickly has asserted himself as a White Sox leader.

"He's very coachable, and the easiest part for him is he just wants to play. He wants to be good," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "He's a leader. He understands what he means to our team and our organization. He takes care of himself and comes ready to play every day.

"That's the biggest thing, whether he can fully speak English and understand it, he does understand what he means. And that's the biggest part. He's a leader. He will be the leader of our team -- it's that simple."

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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