He was an excellent hitter from day one, hitting .317/.383/.581 with 36 home runs and 107 runs batted in.
That season, he had an outstanding 167 weighted Runs Created Plus, or wRC+.
The wRC+ stat allows us to determine how much better or worse than average a specific player performs.
Since 100 is considered average, Abreu was 67 percent better than his peers that year.
He has had an amazingly consistent career to this point, as he has always been an above-average hitter judging by wRC+.
In fact, his career wRC+ is 133, which is very impressive to be fair.
He peaked in the 2020 shortened season, batting .317/.370/.617 with 19 homers and 60 RBI in 60 games.
His wRC+ was 166.
Abreu drove in an average of one run per game, which is bonkers.
The fact that he was the American League MVP of the 2020 season because of that performance have led some to suggest he is overrated as a first baseman and as a slugger.
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) November 12, 2020
Is that the case, though?
Is Jose Abreu overrated?
Here are three reasons why he is not.
3. Winning The MVP Wasn’t His Fault
Some observers and fans like to bring up the fact that Abreu shouldn’t have been the 2020 AL MVP to say he is overrated.
But the majority of the people tend not to overrate him: for example, no one thinks he is better than Freddie Freeman or anything like that.
And while there is a reasonable argument that Jose Ramirez deserved to win the MVP last year, that has no impact on who Abreu is as a player.
He had a fantastic 2020 campaign and was deserving of recognition.
It’s not his fault voters decided to give him the MVP award.
2. He Has Been Amazingly Consistent Even In His 30s
One of the best Abreu stats is that he has always been an above-average offensive performer ever since he entered the league.
He is one of the league’s best and most consistent performers from the first base position.
His lowest wRC+ has been 114, which means that in his worst season with the Sox, in 2018, he still was 14 percent better than the average.
As far as run-producers in the AL, Abreu is always in the conversation for the best and most consistent.
He has 209 home runs in eight seasons, two of which aren’t ‘full’ campaigns (2020 and the current one).
1. He Does His Job To Perfection
Abreu is a middle-of-the-order run producer with the ability to hit for average, power, and take walks.
However, he gets paid to produce runs, and he does that and then some.
— Ryan McGuffey (@RyanMcGuffey) August 23, 2020
Abreu has 719 RBI in 1018 career games, an awesome ratio that justifies every penny.
He has always flirted with 60-70 extra base hits per season, and while this year hasn’t gone as well as last (.252/.335/.466 with 11 homers), he still has 48 RBI in 57 games.
He gets paid to drive in runs, and he does his job to perfection.
He is not overrated at all: he is legit, and his career is under-appreciated.