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posted: 2/28/2014 5:18 AM

Sox fans hoping Abreu is worth his contract

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  • Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu has a $68 million contract that comes with a lot of pressure for a 27-year-old rookie.

      Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu has a $68 million contract that comes with a lot of pressure for a 27-year-old rookie.
    Associated Press

 
By Mike North
The Rebel Inside

According to Chicago White Sox brass, staff and local media reports, 27-year-old first baseman Jose Abreu is the next "big thing."

While playing in Cuba he put up huge numbers, and then in the World Baseball Classic he hit .360 and played great.

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White Sox executive vice president Kenny Williams fell in love with him, and the Sox gave Abreu a $68 million, six-year contract.

While the White Sox have promoted this guy like he's Babe Ruth, scouts around the league are somewhat varied with his assessment.

On the low end, I have him hitting .260 with 25 to 30 home runs. Hey, I hope it's a lot higher, but I do know watching Abreu will be a focus for me on this underwhelming team.

McDermott a top 10 player:

Creighton's Doug McDermott is the lead dog for college Player of the Year, but strangely some draft boards don't have him in the top 10.

The 6-foot-8, 220-pound swing man shoots 50 percent from the field, 40 percent from three-point, and 90 percent from the free-throw line. His team is 13-2 in Big East play and 23-4 overall.

Not too shabby.

He's also the son of Creighton head coach Greg McDermott, giving him some good knowledge of the game.

Is it possible he is being stereotyped because he's a white player? Do you think another player with these stats would be in a top 5 guy?

All of a sudden he's being tagged as an average defender who isn't that athletic. Those are code words in my world. If you go back in time, the same type of things were said about a guy named Larry Bird. There were detractors galore, and some thought he wouldn't last three years in the NBA.

But what did Bird do? As a rookie he took the Boston Celtics to a 63-win season -- 32 more than the year before.

I'm not saying McDermott will be anything close to Bird, but I think we're looking at a 12- to 15-year solid player.

2-peat for Hawks:

With the second half of the Chicago Blackhawks' season starting, Canadian gold-medal winner Jonathan Toews is ready to go.

I'm on record saying the Blackhawks will win back-to-back Stanley Cups, which is a very tough task. The last hockey franchise to win back-to-back Stanley Cup championships is an old nemesis, the Detroit Red Wings, who did it in 1997 and 1998.

Good luck guys -- I believe you can do it again.

Program notes:

Follow me on Twitter@ north2north, and listen to Fox Sports Daybreak with Andy Furman and myself from 5-8 a.m. Monday through Friday on Fox Sports radio. Catch my show from 7-11 a.m. Sundays, and check me out on iHeart radio or Foxsportsradio.com.

• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at dailyherald.com. For more, visit northtonorth.com.

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