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Astros: Is Jose Abreu Done?

Updated: Apr 10

Uncover the truth about Astros' Jose Abreu in 2024. Is he done? Dive deep into pitch-by-pitch data and performance analysis.

It is only 33 PA into the 2024 season, but the Astros fan base has had it with Jose Abreu.

I wrote this when Abreu was signed in an otherwise very hopeful and very positive take on the Abreu signing despite my worries over the cost.

I want to be clear. I did not include Abreu in my targets intentionally. I did NOT want a 36-yr old who is a marginal fielder. We have been living through that for the past three years, but let me be clear. Abreu is a much better hitter with MASSIVELY more power than Gurriel. My concern is how will this hold up in his age 36, 37, and 38 year old years.

I said I did not believe the Abreu projections. [Meaning that the projections were too high.] I think that was too simplistic. After digging into this deeply, I actually like the deal IF (and this is the biggest issue) the Astros can keep Abreu healthy, productive, and in the lineup. Since he has been one of the most durable players for the past four years, perhaps my big concern is exaggerated.

Given the production the Astros have had from first base in 2022, this deal is a MASSIVE upgrade for 2023. It will likely be less and less of an upgrade in 2024 and 2025, but by then some other positions may be producing more"

There is a misconception in the Astros fan base about Abreu in 2023. Many just dismiss the entire season as terrible. That does not meet with the facts.

Abreu was terrible before 5/28. He was GOOD after.

Is this simply a sample size issue or is it bigger than that? Possibly, but let's look at this data that we were able to look at last year and have some hope it would get better. What does that data say now?

Abreu marginally raised the production from 1B in 2023 over 2022. The worry was and is would Abreu lose the battle with Father Time in 2023, 2024, or 2025.

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Early in the 2023 season and several times after I detailed concerns with Abreu and then showed how subsequently Abreu was getting better.

Here is a comparison of where Abreu sits relative to where he was at this point last year and where he finished the season.

Abreu Data

Let me give you the pitch-by-pitch data.

Here is the early 2023 data (thru 4/7/23):

2023 early season Abreu Pitch Data

Abreu was struggling early vs. Sliders, Curveballs, and Changeups; BUT he was hitting 4-Seam Fastballs, Sinkers, and Cutters.

Here is how Abreu completed 2023 by pitch type:

2023 Season Abreu Pitch Data

Abreu got better vs Sliders and Changeups. He struggled all year vs. Curveballs. Abreu was good to great vs. 4-Seam Fastballs, Sinkers, and Cutters.

This year the pitch data is FAR WORSE:

2024 Abreu Pitch Data
  • Abreu is terrible vs. 4-Seam Fastballs but there is hope with a decent Exit Velocity.

  • Abreu is terrible vs. Sinkers and unable to elevate them. (-17.8 LA)

  • Abreu is terrible vs. Sliders and not getting EV and is massively popping up. (71.6 EV, 57.5% LA)

  • Abreu may be OK vs. Cutters but is still not getting EV

  • Abreu is terrible vs. Changeups

The data is bad nearly universally on all pitches this year. THIS is the real concern.

Again, all of this could be a sample size issue. I will monitor this. He is 37-years old, and this happens to some players in their upper 30s.

Let's compare Abreu over the past six years with 2024.

Abreu Data

It may be more effective to see this visually.

Abreu Charts

It's brutal. Abreu has lost MASSIVE exit velocity, he can't pull the ball. and he is hitting the ball hard less than half of what he has been in his career.

I'm not saying he can't get better or fix what is wrong. SOMETHING is wrong. His launch angle is terrible.

Launch Angle

Astros fans, unless we get much better-looking data soon, Jose Abreu may be done.

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1 Comment

Good stuff as always. So if we don’t see signs of life in the next 2-3 months or so, he could be done. If he is, who in your opinion are the Astros’ best options at 1B?

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