Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Astros First Baseman Averaging Less Than Jersey Number

Houston Astros first baseman José Abreu, once one of the best hitters in baseball, has a batting average lower than his jersey number.

No batter has had a worse start to the season than Abreu. The Astros first baseman has just four hits in 65 plate appearances nearly a month into the season. Abreu, who wears the No. 79, is batting .068/.138/.085 with a career-high 26.2% strikeout percentage.

Less than a month after winning the World Series in 2022, the Astros signed free agent José Abreu to a three-year, $58.5 million contract. After nine years with the Chicago White Sox, Abreu entered free agency following a season where he slashed .304/.378/.446. The two-time American League RBI leader had long been one of the best middle-of-the-order run producers in baseball. Lesser known for his homers, Houston pursued the former MVP because he was an elite contact hitter capable of driving in runs.

José Abreu Has Lower Batting Average Than Jersey Number

However, the veteran slugger has struggled in an Astros uniform. The 37-year-old began his Astros career with a 10-game hit streak before finishing the season with a line of .237/.296/.383. Abreu struggled with a back injury for much of the season and seemed to turn a corner after a 10-day stint on the injured list. He averaged .248 with 29 hits, eight homers, and 34 RBI in the final 31 games of the season. Astros general manager Dana Brown has said Houston will continue to give Abreu playing time to “see if he can get hot” like he did late last season. Brown also said if the veteran doesn’t show signs of improvement, they’ll have to “circle back and make some decisions.”

After winning the AL West in six of the last seven seasons, Houston now sits dead last in the division. The Astros have had an injury problem that has plagued their rotation with several key starters on the injured list. Houston lost several relievers to free agency in the off-season who pitched nearly 185 innings of relief combined last season.

Players who start off a season slowly are often scrutinized because terrible starts are more noticeable than mid-season struggles. As Brown noted, teams are often wary about overreacting to a small sample in April. However, given Abreu’s disappointing season last year, his struggles in year two seem to be magnified. 

“He’s scuffling right now and I think he knows it. It’s wearing on him. I’m sure it’s wearing on our hitting coaches,” Brown said. “The frustration mounts but ultimately, hopefully, he can turn this thing around.”


Photo Credit: © Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports


More Posts

Send Us A Message