Is Bobby Abreu Slowing Down?

Is the sky blue? Does a bear shit in the woods? Was David Lee Roth better than Sammy Hagar? Of course Bobby Abreu is slowing down. He was born in 1974, Abreu will celebrate his 37th birthday during Spring Training. I’m more referring to his bat and that .255 Batting Average he posted in 2010. Some people will look at Abreu’s .296 BABIP (nearly 50 points below his .343 career average) and expect a better season better from him in 2011, but I think you’d be wise to pull a LL Cool J and don’t call it a comeback. Abreu has been an underrated player the past couple seasons, but I think those days have come to an end.

Let’s take a look at how Abreu faded as the year wore on:


Line Drive Percentage Abreu’s 16.6% LD% was the cause for his below average Batting Average of Balls In Play. It wasn’t “bad luck”, the .296 BABIP was self inflicted. If Abreu doesn’t get the LD% back up, his BABIP and Batting Average will continue to suffer. Considering the only other time his LD% dipped below 20% was in 2009 (19.4% in ’09, 22.1% career average), the case for Abreu’s deterioration becomes stronger.

Strikeout Percentage You can see Abreu’s K% rising as the season wore on. I’m not buying the 17.8% July K%, it was coupled with his worst Swinging Strike % so you would think the K% would be much worse. His 23.0% K% in 2010 was the fourth-worst K% he has posted in a full season since 1998. When you see his O-Swing% and O-Contact% numbers at all-time highs, you begin to worry about future swings and misses.

Swinging Strike Percentage It appears Abreu’s season took a turn for the worse in June. Four straight months of SwStr% numbers that were worse than his season average.

Bobby Abreu is old, he’s coming off a season where he posted his worst LD%, BABIP, Batting Average and OPS and we don’t have much reason to expect a bounce back season. We may data that supports further deterioration in 2011. I can’t speak of Bobby Abreu’s value until we have some relevant ADP data, but it’s very likely I will say, “Peace out” to “El Comedulce” in 2011 fantasy baseball drafts. 

2010 .255 AVG, 88 Runs, 20 HR, 78 RBI, 24 SB
Bill James .268 AVG, 96 Runs , 19 HR, 94 RBI, 23 SB
MDS .251 AVG, 89 Runs, 17 HR, 73 RBI, 22 SB