There was *some* trade speculation surrounding Jose Abreu this offseason, and rightfully so. The dude is the White Sox last big trade chip on a team that is a year away from truly competing, and that doesn’t even begin to delve into a barren free agent market for power hitters.
With that said, nothing matriculated and Abreu is obviously still donning a batterman on his hat this spring. Which is great. There are so many young Latin players on the team and who better to help teach them the nuances of hitting than a Cuban who’s slashed .301/.359/.524 and averaged 31 dingers with 103 RBIs and a 139 wRC+ in his only 4 seasons in the league?
Jose Abreu is as consistent as any hitter in baseball. He’s not a great hitter per se, but a really, really solid and consistent one. Everyone knows what they’re going to get out of him. And apparently he’s taken to a leadership role as well by taking 20 year old potential superstar under his wing. LOVE IT. Coach him up and teach him to baseball like you, Jose.
WITH THAT SAID, I checked out the Sox workout on Saturday in Glendale. It was a really light practice, with only BP and infield work for a few hours. And ya know what? Abreu kinda pissed me off. For as good as a hitter as he is, he’s not that great of a first baseman. At all. He kinda stinks at it in fact. I’m not gonna rattle off a bunch of advanced stats to prove my point, but anyone with a set of eyeballs can tell you he’s at best average and poor at worst defensively, and on Saturday he was in no way, shape or form working to get better defensively. He was dicking around in the field, being lazy, throwing balls away, exhibiting poor footwork and NOT being a leader for the young guns. While that shit show was going down, I looked at Moncada about 40 feet to his right and he was taking ground balls and attacking practice like he was getting ready for game 7 of the World Series.
Long story short, practice like you play Jose. Gotta clean that shit up.
I elaborated on all of this on our first podcast of the 2018 season on Red Line Radio. Give it a listen – Carl goes in depth about his botching of the Yu Darvish scoop, we talked the dogshit 2017-18 free agent period, and talked a season preview. I’m down in Arizona for the next 4 weeks and will be getting a ton of video of the team now that spring training is officially underway and we’ll talk about it in depth on the show.