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Astros: Abreu Haters Need to Catch Up

Folks, this article may come across as snarky. I apologize for that upfront. I am frustrated that so many in this fan base can simultaneously:

  • Hammer Jose Abreu

  • Excessively praise Corey Julks

  • DEMAND Mauricio Dubon play daily

  • Hate on Jeremy Pena

All four of these players are basically playing at the same level offensively. One just listening to social media would NEVER know that, however. My suggestion for the Abreu haters is this- Catch Up!

I keep seeing people blast Jose Abreu. Why? Because his season is still terrible at -1.0 WAR right? Jose Abreu had a HORRIBLE first two months. He had a good June and an above average July.

Abreu by month

Yes, his season is not great at 81 wRC+. As a reminder, Yuli hit 85 wRC+ last year, and half of this fan base DEMANDED he come back. Since June he has been an above average hitter. Showing this in the Total Bat Index model here:

Abreu Bat Impact

The fan base's reaction and over the top hatred of Abreu is completely unwarranted and basically exposes them as uniformed. No, Abreu has not performed to the $19.5M contract that he was signed to, but he has been above league average in the past two months. He is VERY LIKELY to be better by the end of this year than Gurriel was last year.

I have showed similar data before to the xwOBA data below to describe early on Abreu was having an issue against breaking pitches (sliders, curves) and off-speed pitches. In June, he seemed to return to career norms breaking pitches. In a small sample size in July, Abreu seemed to solve off-speed pitches. Let's hope he can get going against both.

For those eager to point out that the first four games in August have been terrible for Abreu, it is FOUR GAMES- 17 PA. Today- 8/5- is also his first day off since 6/23. Perhaps, the manager should play the 24-yr old catcher who can play first base AT first base some more.

Abreu pitches by month

You and I might not like that we are locked into Abreu at age 36. I do not expect that to change anytime soon. Let's hope he can remain above average and even better.

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