Fantasy Baseball: White Sox Jose Abreu sneaks into Top 10 1B Rankings

There’s a lot to like about the first base position as you prepare for your fantasy draft.

Feb 22, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu (79) poses for a photo during photo day at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Paul Goldschmidt is going among the first four picks and the likes of Chris DavisEdwin Encarnacion, Prince Fielder and Joey Votto are all going off boards in average of the first 17 picks.

If you don’t get one of the top first basemen and subsequently miss out on the likes of Freddie Freeman and others, I have good news for you in the form of Jose Abreu.

I’m a little higher on Abreu than most as I have him cracking my Top 10 first baseman in this week’s rankings.

That may sound a little crazy to be so high on an unknown, but I am convinced.

Abreu is likely the most difficult player to forecast for 2014.

There are certainly some concerns as we know that Abreu has power, doesn’t run all that well, and is limited to 1B/DH on the defensive spectrum. Some scouts that have voiced concerns about his bat speed, that he’ll have some contact issues.

However the White Sox have done a good job of scouting and unlike players that come over from other countries, we have seen Cuban imports in the past show that they are ready to handle big league pitching right off the bat.

I expect nothing short of a solid season from Abreu.

He put up some video game type numbers in Cuba, slugging .800 on a couple of occasions and while that doesn’t equate to MLB pitching, it should give some type of indication to his power upside.

According to Baseball America:

During the 2011-12 season, Abreu hit .394/.542/.837 with 35 home runs, 75 walks and 40 strikeouts in 71 games. Abreu led Serie Nacional in batting, OBP (by 63 points over Alfredo Despaigne), slugging (by 142 points over Despaigne). Abreu is an intelligent hitter without a lot of effort in in his swing and the power to hit 30-plus homers in a season. He has an unorthodox setup with a double toe tap in his stride, and some scouts consider his bat speed only fair, which they believe makes it hard for him to catch up to good velocity on the inner third of the plate. At the WBC, Abreu showed he could handle curveballs in the strike zone but he was prone to chasing sliders off the plate.

That displays both the positives and negatives of a guy who was tabbed “The Best Hitter you’ve never heard of.”

I project a .275 season with 27 HR and 90 RBI during his first go around in the majors. That’s enough to warrant Abreu a spot in my early Top 10.

The good news is that you don’t have to draft Abreu as a Top 10 first baseman. His ADP is currently 103.3 and 16 other first basemen are going ahead of him.

Draft him according to that, but you will get value in the eighth or ninth round by taking a chance on the unknown Abreu.

With that being said, let’s take a look at my Top 30 first basemen.

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Tags: Chicago White Sox Fantasy Baseball Fantasy Baseball Rankings Jose Abreu

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