Pittsburgh is expected to call up Jose Tabata for today’s game against the Washington Strasburgs. Tabata has quietly put together a nice season at Triple-A for the Indianapolis Indians in the International League. He hit .308 with 42 Runs, 3 HR, 19 RBI and 25 SB in 53 games, his 25 SB leads the league. Obviously Tabata is not a power play, but he should be useful in most leagues. So what should we expect from the once prized Yankee prospect?
Steals Tabata doesn’t offer much for Home Runs. He scored a 33 in the power department at theBaseballCube and has 29 career minor league HR in 484 games. What Tabata does offer is speed. He stole 106 bases in 484 career minor league games, which would equate to 35 steals in a 162 game season. He has picked up the pace this year stealing 25 bases in 53 games, which would equate to 76 steals in 162 games. He has wheels. MinorLeagueSplits has his career minor league Batting Average at .297 and his career minor league On Base Percentage at .365, so we know the guy has a good eye and can get on base.
Projection To get a feel what for Tabata can do for us in terms of Batting Average, we need to bust out some K%, BABIP and HR projections. In AAA this year, he was rocking a 16% K%, .374 BABIP and 3 Home Runs. Making the jump to the majors, his K% will likely climb to 20-24%, his BABIP will fall to .330-.350 and the Home Runs will continue to remain low. This leads me to believe he will hit between .275-.285 with an OBP around .335. The Pirates have 104 games remaining on their schedule so Tabata has the potential to steal 20 bases and hit a couple Home Runs while giving us a useful Batting Average.