Saturday, April 1 2023
Jose Abreu Mets treated art November 2022

Jose Abreu Mets treated art November 2022

The Mets‘ struggles at DH during the 2022 season are well-documented.

There was the failure of J.D. Davis to hit for much power, which led to his trade to the San Francisco Giants, where he had a late-season resurgence.

There was the failure of Dominic Smith to hit for any power (he hit zero home runs), as he slashed .194/.276/.284 in 58 games before being sent down to Triple-A Syracuse and becoming a likely non-tender this offseason.

The Mets helped themselves by trading for lefty-hitting Daniel Vogelbach a few weeks before the trade deadline, and Vogelbach performed relatively well as the long end of the DH platoon. But his limitations on the bases and in the field hampered the Mets a bit.

Darin Ruf was another story entirely, as he failed to hit a single home run after being acquired at the deadline for four players. And Ruf’s shortcomings led the Mets to turn to Mark Vientos and eventually Francisco Alvarez as DH options.

With a glaring need at the DH spot, should the Mets turn to free agent Jose Abreu?


With the Mets having so many holes to fill in their starting rotation and bullpen — and perhaps in the outfield if they lose Brandon Nimmo — it’s fair to wonder if the addition of a high-priced DH would be prudent.

The term “high-priced” being used here is relative, though. In its annual free agent predictions, MLB Trade Rumors guessed that Abreu would receive a two-year deal for $40 million. Twenty million dollars annually for just two seasons isn’t a lot for the Mets. But would they go that high in light of all the other needs listed above?

One other concern is Abreu’s home run output, which dipped precipitously in 2022.

Abreu hit a career-low 15 home runs in 2022 over 157 games after hitting 30 in 152 games in 2021 and crushing 19 in just 60 games during the shortened 2020 season. Over his nine-year career, Abreu has averaged 31 homers per 162 games, has slugged 30 or more on five occasions, and (before 2022) had hit 25 or more in each season where he played at least 130 games.

Jose AbreuJose Abreu

Jose Abreu

How much of a concern should Abreu’s low home run total from 2022 be?

His fly ball rate (24 percent) was a bit above his career average, but his home run percentage (2.2 percent) was by far the lowest he’s had during a career where his home run percentage has averaged 4.4 percent. But it should be noted that Abreu continued to spread the ball to all fields, and that his hard hit rate (51.9 percent) was better in 2022 than it was in 2021.

But a look deeper into his numbers reveals that Abreu’s launch angle in 2022 was a career-low 8.0 after being 10.4 in 2021, 10.9 in 2020, and 10.9 in 2019, so that helps explain the dip in balls leaving the park. But fixing his launch angle would hopefully be correctible going forward.

When discussing Abreu and other possible Mets DH fits like J.D. Martinez, it needs to be noted that they do have internal options, including Vogelbach. But it can be argued that Vogelbach is better suited as a bench bat and bit player.

Vientos could also be an option, but he is still unproven. The same goes for Alvarez, who could very well be on the Mets’ Opening Day roster, but also can’t be counted on just yet — despite his massive upside and enormous power potential.


Even with Abreu’s home run power dipping in 2022, he was still one of the best hitters in baseball, and was an on-base machine.

Abreu slashed 304/.378/.446 while striking out just 110 times. And the 40 doubles he crushed helped offset the drop in home run power. Those 40 doubles were the second-highest total of Abreu’s career, behind only the 43 he hit in 2017.

Jose AbreuJose Abreu

Jose Abreu

Meanwhile, Abreu punished the ball when he made contact. His hard hit percentage was in the 97th percentile, his average exit velocity was in the 93rd percentile, and his max exit velocity was in the 89th percentile. And Abreu was among the best in baseball when it came to xBA (98th percentile), xwOBA (96th percentile), and xSLG (92nd percentile).

Abreu was also above average in strikeout rate, barrel percentage, walk rate, and whiff percentage.

And as a right-hander, Abreu did plenty of damage against both left-handed and right-handed pitchers in 2022.

In 137 plate appearances against left-handers, Abreu hit .294/.387/.471.

In 542 plate appearances against right-handers, he hit .307/.376/.440.

For his career, Abreu has slashed .305/.377/.548 against lefties and .288/.347/.494 against righties. So while he’ll mash lefties a bit more, he’s always been a serious threat against both lefties and righties.

Jose AbreuJose Abreu

Jose Abreu

It should be noted that while Abreu would likely be a DH most of the time for the Mets, he has been used primarily as a first baseman by the Chicago White Sox during his career, starting 1,069 games there — including 128 in 2022.

And Abreu is a solid defensive first baseman who was in the 63rd percentile last season in Outs Above Average.

The above means that if the Mets signed Abreu, they would have the option of using him at first base to spell Pete Alonso. And if Alonso were to miss time, Abreu could slide in as the starter at first base.


Despite Abreu’s age (he’ll turn 36 before Opening Day) and the drop in home run output this past season, he remains one of the most dangerous hitters in the game.

And the Mets really don’t have anyone they can rely on to be their DH.

It’s possible the Mets will allocate most of their resources elsewhere — especially if Jacob deGrom re-signs or they ink a star like Trea Turner.

But if the Mets’ other additions are more on the margins, and the biggest free agent they sign (after bringing back Edwin Diaz) is Nimmo, Abreu should be a top target.

Source: Yahoo Sports


Why Kobe, LeBron and other U.S. stars have been drawn to the World Cup


The Clippers may go after Pacers center Myles Turner

Check Also

Pro Sports Media

Trending Now

Dan Plesac thinks Cubs will be most improved MLB team in 2023

Plesac thinks Cubs will be most improved MLB team in 2023 originally appeared on NBC Sports Chicago The Chicago Cubs opened the season with a decisive win over the Milwaukee Brewers. Not bad considering predictions had the Brewers winning the division and the Cubs finishing third. But there is a lot of baseball left to […]

Read More

MLB power rankings: Defending World Series champion Astros open season ranked No. 1

The Houston Astros have a tall task ahead of them. No team has won back-to-back World Series titles since the New York Yankees in 1998-2000. Then again, no American League team has reached the League Championship Series six consecutive years like the Astros, either. So, not surprisingly, the Astros open the 2023 major league season […]

Read More

Ranking all-time best drivers from Virginia ahead of Richmond race

Bob Pockrass FOX NASCAR Insider The NASCAR Cup Series is set for its Virginia swing, first at Richmond, then Bristol (across the border from Virginia in Tennessee), followed by Martinsville. That’s two races in the state and one within a stone’s throw away.  Virginia has a rich history in racing, but there are fewer current […]

Read More