White Sox: Would Jose Abreu Make Hall of Fame With Full MLB Career?

CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Jose Abreu
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 26: Jose Abreu /
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Well going back to his days in Cuba, as an 18-year-old slugger, Abreu hit .337 with an OPS of .961 with 11 home runs, 64 RBIs, and 105 hits in 84 games. From the time he was 16 to the time he left Cuba at the age of 26, he absolutely raked. He slashed .341 AVG / .456 OBP / .622 SLG. It’s easy to just combine both his Cuban League and MLB stats and see where that puts him in the conversation but the seasons are different and comparing the level of play is not an exact science. But the argument here is that from the time he was an 18-year-old ballplayer, he was maturing and coming into his own.

As a 21-year-old, he hit 19 home runs, followed by seasons with 30 home runs (age 22), 33 home runs (age 23), 35 home runs (age 24), and then 19 home runs (age 25). So while combining numbers wouldn’t be accurate, he can give slightly similar numbers to the ones he’s putting up now. For his future numbers, it’s easier. They are the numbers he averages per season that can be added to his career numbers. This is because the argument is if Abreu puts up the same numbers for an extended portion of the tail-end of his career, he is Hall of Fame material.

So let’s crunch the numbers. If Abreu had played in MLB from the age of 23 to the age of 37, combined with his totals of his actual MLB career, his basic stats would look like this:

  • Age 23: .295 AVG, 175 H, 20 HR, 80 RBI, 75 R
  • Age 24: .280 AVG, 165 H, 20 HR, 75 RBI, 65 R
  • Age 25: .290 AVG, 180 H, 25 HR, 85 RBI, 75 R
  • Age 26: .295 AVG, 185 H, 25 HR, 90 RBI, 80 R
  • Age 27-30: .301 AVG, 726 H, 124 HR, 410 RBI, 330 R
  • Age 31: .305 AVG, 190 H, 30 HR, 100 RBI, 95 R
  • Age 32: .300 AVG, 190 H, 35 HR, 105 RBI, 90 R
  • Age 33: .295 AVG, 185 H, 30 HR, 100 RBI, 90 R
  • Age 34: .300 AVG, 190 H, 30 HR, 95 RBI, 85 R
  • Age 35: .290 AVG, 180 H, 30 HR, 95 RBI, 85 R
  • Age 36: .300 AVG, 185 H, 25 HR, 95 RBI, 80 R
  • Age 37: .290 AVG, 175 H, 25 HR, 90 RBI, 80 R

These numbers might look like they’ve been plucked right out of the thin air but let me explain first. Assuming Abreu arrived at age 23, with playing six or seven years in Cuba, Abreu would have come into the league with the same eye for contact with just a little less firepower. If you need evidence, his combined batting average over 14 seasons both here and in Cuba is .322. He finished his 2010-11 season (at the age of 23) with a .453 batting average. So the case can be made for Abreu to have a very productive first four years in the majors while continuing to build his strength for the long ball. There is also a slight dip in decline for a sophomore slump.