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Monday, May 30, 2016

FANTASY BASEBALL CRISIS POINT: JOSE ABREU 1B CHICAGO WHITE SOX

When it came to prospective first round fantasy baseball draft picks for the 2016 season, one of the more safer options appeared to be Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu.  The Cuban slugger was the model of consistency in his first two major league seasons, hitting 36 and 30 home runs, while also batting .317 and .290.  Flat in his prime at the age of 29, Abreu should have been a very low maintenance draft pick.  Fast forward to present day and needless to say the numbers have fallend short of expectations concerning Abreu and he went into MOnday's action wiht the following digits:

.247
6 HR
27 RBI
19 R
0 BS

Obviously Abreu's average is down more than a little and the home runs is slipping as well.  Abreu is not a base stealer and only scored a modest amount of runs so he has to make his fantasy baseball money in the power and average categories.  Starting with the average, the K rate and walk rate are both within their normal Abreu ranges so BABIP is where some of the issues lie.  Right now Abreu has a slghtly unlucky .287 BABIP but since .300 is average, that is not a gross number.  Instead what we did was look at Abreu's BABIP his first two years which came in at .356 and .333.  Both numbers were well into the lucky range and that is why the average has slipped this season for Abreu.  What is interesting is that guys with above-average speed ususally can beat the BABIP curve.  Abreu has little to no speed so we have to think his BABIP's the first two years were not repeatable.  That could spell trouble for Abreu going forward with his average as he simply doesn't have the speed to continue beating the BABIP curve.  As far as the other numbers, Abreu's power runs hot and cold so he should be able to start sending baseballs out at a high clip as the weather warms.  While 30 could be tough since he is behind the pace with two months down the drain, it would not surprise me in the least if Abreu gets there with 100 RBI and 80 runs.  Ultimately the batting average is where the issues lie and we will get our answer over the summer.  Either Abreu also has a knack to beat the BABIP curve or he is more of a mediocre average guy then he was his first two seasons. 


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