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Jose Abreu 2021 Outlook


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MVP! MVP! 

I'm still surprised that Abreu took that beautiful hardware home this year, but his bat was loud and proud. This was the type of season Sox fans had expected more of as Abreu roared into the majors in 2014. 

Of course in fantasy, we want to know what a player will do going forward. The past sets the expectations for the future, but doesn't always predict it. 

So, what changed from 2019, where Abreu was solid .284/.330/.503 with 33 HR in 159 games to his Zeusian .317/.370/.617 with 19 HR in 60 games? His wRC+ was also a wild 167 (same as his rookie year). 

First, I do think there was the psychological benefit of having good hitters around him. There was less pressure for him to be the man, so ironically, he was the man. 

Objectively, he barreled up the ball more (14.3%, about 5% higher than his career average), which led to his lowest soft hit% of his career (13.2% vs his career average of 17%). In short, when he hit the ball, he was hitting with more authority, even though his exit velocity didn't really change. I think this is what led to his spike in BABIP which drove his excellent .317 average. His K% and BB% were relatively unchanged. 

I cant say what he changed to lead to this improvement. It looks like he was a little better at judging the strike zone. Ultimately, i believe that the harder hit balls were for real, so a .300 average or better wouldn't shock me next year. 

Now his prolific bombing? I think that will drop next year. He was on a great 52 HR pace last year, but he also had a career high (and just generally high) 32.8% HR/FB rate (career 20%) with no change in launch angle. The homer rate can't be explained away by looking at spray charts and expecting more homers to left or right. Oddly, he had his highest rate of his career of hitting balls to center. 

Ultimately, I think he will be a near top option for 1B in 2021, this has to do with the first base field, which is a little lacking overall. 

I'll project (based on a 162 game season):

.305/.360/.550 with 38 HR next year (155 games) That lineup projects to be better excellent, so he should reach 200 R+RBI with relative ease if he stays healthy. 

Draft wise I would put him as the #3 1B, with Freeman being the top dog, Bellinger as the #2. Although I could see those that are more risk adverse passing on Bellinger in hopes of grabbing Abreu on the next pass. 

The firstbase landscape in 2021 looks a little dicey. If you believe like I do that Jose can sustain most of that average (and the OBP with it) then he should be a target if you miss out on Freeman and are a little scared of Bellingers volatility. 

Here's to repeat success in 2021!

Edited by 2ndCitySox
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  • tonycpsu changed the title to Jose Abreu 2021 Outlook

He should have a solid year, ADP isn't too enticing but he's a rock solid option.  A lot of people probably dealt him last year in dynasty league or a prospect or a few.  Just goes to show you sometimes, that even a veteran at age 32 will give you more value in a dynasty league going forward than prospects sometimes There's some chance he's good until 40 like a Cruz or someone. I won't expect a repeat or him to be an MVP candidate in 21', but he's going to be solid.  Draft price is a little high for me, but likely not a bust pick.

 

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I like Steamer's projection but will give him more counting stats, so:  .272/.330 - 33 - 120 - 90 - 2

He's being drafted at #34 in the group of Arenado, Bogaerts, and Bregman.  No way I pass on Arenado or Bogaerts there.  Looking deeper, you can collect Olson at #88, Rizzo at #97, Goldschmidt at #101, Bohm at #102, Hoskins at #168, and Walker/Bell at #177/#178.  There's really good value in some of these picks, Rizzo and Hoskins especially.

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I won't bet on him hitting below .290ish again until it happens. Only time he's not been a big + in that cat is the year he was hurt and hit .265. Other than that his worst year was .284.

I think his career triple slash of .294/.350/.520 is a decent baseline. I love him a lot in that lineup. Number of guys that can touch .300-35-100-100 is pretty low, and for him it isn't even close to a ceiling. Two straight years leading the majors in RBI and still not old enough that I'm worried about an age-related slowdown. The price is high but there is so little risk that you get burned, and he could be top 10 in all of MLB in three cats. He'll be on a few of my teams next year.

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22 hours ago, En Votto Veritas said:

I like Steamer's projection but will give him more counting stats, so:  .272/.330 - 33 - 120 - 90 - 2

He's being drafted at #34 in the group of Arenado, Bogaerts, and Bregman.  No way I pass on Arenado or Bogaerts there.  Looking deeper, you can collect Olson at #88, Rizzo at #97, Goldschmidt at #101, Bohm at #102, Hoskins at #168, and Walker/Bell at #177/#178.  There's really good value in some of these picks, Rizzo and Hoskins especially.

 

This is the thing with Abreu, he is really good at HR / RBI, something that there are a ton of guys nowadays for. The main appeal for Abreu is that he can give you power with a decent average. But is the price worth that? Sure the saber stats under the hood can support a higher average in 2020, but it is a small sample. He does have a solid career average so its not like I am expecting him to be a .250 hitter, but if he hits .280 - .290 there isn't much separation between him and the guys mentioned above.

Overall, to me Abreu looks like a high floor player you can rely on for 30+HR and 200+ R/RBI. At his ADP, you are paying for that plus average or the increased power he showed in 2020. If he can keep the average and increase in power, he is a steal. If he loses both, you are overpaying but still getting a solid player. Personally, I will be more likely to pass and go for higher upside at this point in the draft, then stock up on power later on.

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Was listening to a pod w/ Eno Sarris talking about O-Swing % and aging curves.  They were a bit concerned w/ Abreu's O-Swing % and the fact he will be 34 going into this year.  I believe they were suggesting Abreu could see another uptick in his K-rate, as he is likely to start chasing more pitches out of the zone.  That could limit his average, which may be why Depth Charts & Steamer have him projected at .272.

Still wouldn't be a drag on your average at .272, just a heads up for people expecting him to hit .300 again.

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4 hours ago, 89Topps said:

Was listening to a pod w/ Eno Sarris talking about O-Swing % and aging curves.  They were a bit concerned w/ Abreu's O-Swing % and the fact he will be 34 going into this year.  I believe they were suggesting Abreu could see another uptick in his K-rate, as he is likely to start chasing more pitches out of the zone.  That could limit his average, which may be why Depth Charts & Steamer have him projected at .272.

Still wouldn't be a drag on your average at .272, just a heads up for people expecting him to hit .300 again.

His O-swing% dropped in 2020 though. 

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3 hours ago, 2ndCitySox said:

His O-swing% dropped in 2020 though. 

I think it was still pretty high though. I think it had to do with guys who chase start to REALLY chase when they get to a certain age. I'll see if I can find more on it.

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10 minutes ago, 89Topps said:

I think it was still pretty high though. I think it had to do with guys who chase start to REALLY chase when they get to a certain age. I'll see if I can find more on it.

Yes true, it went up in 2018, was the same in 2019, and dropped slightly in 2020 (but still higher that pre-2018) 

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On 12/23/2020 at 5:37 PM, 2ndCitySox said:

Yes true, it went up in 2018, was the same in 2019, and dropped slightly in 2020 (but still higher that pre-2018) 

 

So, I relistened to the podcast. They were saying O-Contact plummets around age 28. So they were listing some older guys with fairly high O-swing rates. He was one of the later guys they mentioned and, at age 33, he's probably already seen that decline anyway.

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  • 1 month later...
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I dunno, here's another angle showing how much Dozier had to veer off course to avoid Grandal, and how that didn't give him much time to see the oncoming freight train.  This looks like an unfortunate series of events rather than any particular player's fault.

abreu.gif

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Posted (edited)

not the first time dozier has done this.... and dozier is 100% at fault be an athlete make a juke have some peripheral vision [...]

https://mtv.mtvnimages.com/uri/mgid:file:http:shared:mtv.com/news/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Text-fall-into-fountain.gif?quality=.8&height=202&width=359

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7 minutes ago, colepenhagen said:

and dozier is 100% at fault be an athlete make a juke have some peripheral vision

Dozier is a corner infielder, not a running back.  Was "Make a Juke" in the Director's Cut of those old Tom Emansky videos?

He had to avoid a 6' 1" 235lb (without equipment) catcher veering straight into his path, and then in a split second see Abreu coming straight at him.  Watch it in real speed and tell me how many MLB players have that level of agility.

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Just now, tonycpsu said:

Dozier is a corner infielder, not a running back.  Was "Make a Juke" in the Director's Cut of those old Tom Emansky videos?

He had to avoid a 6' 1" 235lb (without equipment) catcher veering straight into his path, and then in a split second see Abreu coming straight at him.  Watch it in real speed and tell me how many MLB players have that level of agility.

ur wrong here. dont care what you say hes not even close to full speed hes a couple steps out of the boxes and slides of the catcher. he looks like an idiot putting his head down running with no awareness. majority of athletes avoid that or dont do something so dumb 

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26 minutes ago, tonycpsu said:

 ... unfortunate series of events ...

 

I agree with Lemony Snicket.  

There's like a fraction of second between avoiding the catcher and Abreu wandering right into his path.  

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I know it's not the popular opinion, but I think Abreu is at best equally at fault and possible even more at fault than Dozier.  Yes, Dozier is a borderline idiot for running with his head down in that situation, but honestly Abreu shouldn't have even been there.  I know he's trying to make the play, but unless Grandal tripped and fell out of the box, lost a shoe, and his glove fell off, it's his ball.  It wasn't hit that far from home plate, so I'm not exactly sure why Abreu thought Grandal wasn't going to be able to get it.

At the end of the day, it's more or less just unfortunate, especially since Abreu was red hot and offense this season is at an extreme premium.  I'm glad he's relatively ok though, so it shouldn't be anything long term.

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Dozier is clearly a little butthurt about hitting a pop up and is not looking where he is running, it's his responsibility to avoid fielders trying to make a play on the ball. I'm sorry but you simply don't know baseball if you think this is anyone's fault but Doziers

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Just now, stay_woke said:

Dozier is clearly a little butthurt about hitting a pop up and is not looking where he is running, it's his responsibility to avoid fielders trying to make a play on the ball. I'm sorry but you simply don't know baseball if you think this is anyone's fault but Doziers

Or it was just a freak accident and arguing over who’s to blame is about as pointless as it can get on these forums.

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