Jonah Keri profile on a guy who I’ve been kind of amazed hasn’t gotten more attention: Jose Abreu.
A .453 batting average; .597 on-base percentage; .986 slugging percentage. Thirty-three homers and 93 runs batted in … in 212 at-bats.
Miguel Cabrera was the best hitter in Major League Baseball in 2011. Jose Abreu, even after adjusting his numbers to reflect A-ball competition, blew Cabrera out of the water.
“I don’t know that I’d name him the ‘best hitter in the world’ based on a 60-game performance,” said Davenport. “But yes, I’d say there’s a chance.”
Oakland and other teams agree that Abreu isn’t nearly the all-around athlete that someone like Cespedes is. He’s a first baseman at best and maybe a DH if and when he makes the big leagues. He doesn’t run well. His body is not exactly chiseled. His stats have been inflated somewhat by intentional walks (a league-leading 32 in 2009-10, and 21 last season) and hit-by-pitches (30 in 2009-10, 21 last season, though Abreu might have an easier time sustaining high HBP numbers than league-leading intentional walk totals in the majors). Even Abreu’s hit tool, while playable, might not be superstar-level.
“Is he Barry Bonds? No,” Forst said. “If you do a comprehensive survey of the clubs, they’d say he is not the best hitter on the planet.”
“There are legitimate comparisons to Ryan Howard.”