From BR Bullpen
Bob Kelly Abreu
(El Come Dulce)
- Bats Left, Throws Right
- Height 6' 0", Weight 200 lb.
- Debut September 1, 1996
- Final Game October 2, 2012
- Born March 11, 1974 in Maracay, Aragua, Venezuela
 Biographical Information
Bobby Abreu is a veteran major leaguer who has a good lifetime batting average, great on-base percentage, good slugging percentage, steals some bases, and has good range in right field. Three of the most similar players to Abreu, based on the similarity scores method for his age through 2007, are Pedro Guerrero, Larry Doby, and Magglio Ordonez.
He was signed by the Houston Astros in 1990 and was with the organization until 1997. Bobby topped the Pacific Coast League in triples two years in a row at Tucson in 1995 and 1996. In the offseason he was drafted by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays with the sixth pick in the expansion draft. Abreu never played for the Devil Rays though because before the draft the Devil Rays and Phillies worked out a deal. If the Devil Rays picked Abreu, the Phillies would send shortstop Kevin Stocker to them. Stocker never panned out mostly due to injuries. But Abreu has two 30/30 seasons - he was also the first Phillie ever to accomplish a 30-30 season - and has 7 consecutive 20/20 seasons.
Abreu really just started becoming popular after starting in the 2005 All-Star Game and winning the Home Run Derby with a record 41 total home runs, with a record 24 coming in the 1st round. He beat Tigers' catcher Ivan Rodriguez in the finals.
Abreu is one of the most gifted players in the major leagues. He has power, speed and a superb batting eye. He prefers hitting third in the lineup instead of leadoff, despite a consistent .400 on-base percentage. Abreu has never been endeared to Philadelphia Phillies fans because he often takes called third strikes, especially in clutch situations, and does not appear to care enough about playing right field since he does not throw himself into the wall like former Phillie Lenny "Nails" Dykstra or current center fielder Aaron Rowand. Abreu's reasoning is that he does not want to be injured, and it seems to have worked since he rarely requests days off and plays in nearly all of the team's games.
Abreu was the only player in 2000 to have double figures in doubles, triples, homers and stolen bases. In 2002, he played 18 games in center field and looked more comfortable there than in right. He is kept in right field due to his powerful throwing arm and in fact won a Gold Glove there in 2005. That made him only the second Phillies outfielder to win the Gold Glove Award - the other being Garry Maddox, 23 years before.
Abreu was also one of the friendliest Phillies, and often helped out in the community.
On July 30, 2006, he was pulled from the lineup as rumors spread that he had been traded to the New York Yankees. The rumors were true, as Abreu was involved in a six-player trade, saying "To play with those guys -- Jeter, A-Rod and Giambi and those guys -- it's going to make me feel good". While his power and average were down in 2006, he led the Major Leagues with 124 walks between his two teams. He was the Yankees' regular right fielder for his entire tenure in pinstripes, from July 2006 until the end of the 2008 season. He was an excellent and consistent hitter during that period, hitting between .283 and .330 with an excellent OBP and decent power. He hit 20 homers in 2008 and topped 100 RBI in both 2007 and 2008, while hitting 39 and 40 doubles. Although his throwing arm remained feared, his mobility on defense diminished sensibly during that period. After the 2008 season, he became a free agent and the Yankees chose not to re-sign him in order to free up some money to go after other big name free agent prizes. When the dust settled, Abreu had signed with the Los Angeles Angels, where he was slated to replace some of the production of Mark Teixeira, who had himself just signed with the Yankees.
Abreu played for the Venezuelan national team in the 2009 World Baseball Classic where he was the team's starting right fielder. With the Angels in 2009, he had an excellent first season when he hit .293 with 15 homers, scoring 96 runs and driving in 103 as the team's starting right fielder. He fell to .255 and .253 in full-time play in 2010 and 2011. He was still highly productive the first year, belting 41 doubles and 20 homers while scoring 88 runs, but the second year, he hit only 8 homers and scored 54 runs while being moved to the designated hitter spot following the acquisition of OF Vernon Wells in the off-season. Still, because of his excellent batting eye which resulted in 78 walks, his OPS+ was a good 104, and he was 21 for 26 in stolen bases attempts at age 37. The Angels were looking for more production however, and with the signing of 1B Albert Pujols to a huge contract in the off-season, the return of Kendrys Morales from injury, and top prospect Mike Trout chomping at the bit, Abreu was squeezed out of a starting position in 2012. There were attempts to trade him during spring training, but there were no takers given he had a year left on his contract and was due $9 million. Thus, he started the season with the Angels, but received little playing time. He was batting .208 in a mere 24 at-bats when the Angels, off to a terrible start in spite of all the spending, bit the bullet and released him on April 27th in order to call up Trout, swallowing the rest of his contract. He didn't stay unemployed for long however, as the crosstown Los Angeles Dodgers signed him on May 3rd. He played 70 games for the Dodgers, hitting .251 with 2 homers and 17 RBI in 179 at-bats. But when the team acquired Shane Victorino in a trade on July 31st, he once again became supernumerary and was designated for assignment.
He has primarily worn number 53 during his career. His brother Nelson Abreu played professionally from 1994 to 2001. His other brother, Dennis Abreu, is still active professionally, and another brother - Nielsen Abreu - played in the minors from 2000 to 2002.
 Notable Achievements
- 2-time NL All-Star (2004 & 2005)
- NL Gold Glove Winner (2005)
- NL Silver Slugger Award Winner (2004)
- NL Doubles Leader (2002)
- NL Triples Leader (1999)
- 20-Home Run Seasons: 9 (1999-2005, 2008 & 2010)
- 30-Home Run Seasons: 2 (2001 & 2004)
- 100 Runs Scored Seasons: 8 (1999-2002, 2004, 2005, 2007 & 2008)
- 100 RBI Seasons: 8 (2001 & 2003-2009)
 Records Held
- Consecutive seasons, 150 or more games, career, 13 (tied)