2011 Fantasy Baseball Profile: Can Jose Tabata Be a Difference Maker?

Feb 25, 2011


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Most of the love for the Pittsburgh Pirates is reserved for Andrew McCutchen or Pedro Alvarez, but Jose Tabata has a chance to make fantasy owners very happy in 2011. Just like he did in his 102 game rookie debut for the Bucs.
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Tabata took a little while to get accustomed to big league pitching. He went 19 for 78 (.244) in June with eight runs, a home run, and four RBI. He did make his presence felt on the basepaths though, collecting five stolen bases. After that relatively slow start, Tabata took off.
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He went 34 for 102 (.333) in July with 19 runs, a HR, 11 RBI, and four SBs. He followed that stellar month going 37 for 109 (.339) in August with 18 runs, two HRs, 8 RBI, and five SBs. He kept rolling in September going 30 for 104 (.288) with 16 runs, 12 RBI, and five SBs. He only got one hit in 12 October at bats, which prevented him from a .300 season, but his final line of .299-61-4-35-19 was impressive. If you prorate those numbers to 162 games, you’re looking at a .299-97-6-55-30 season.
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While it’s unlikely that he plays all 162 games, it isn’t a stretch to think he can score 100 runs and swipe 30 bags. He’s likely to bat leadoff for the Pirates, and with Neil Walker, McCutchen, Alvarez, and Garrett Jones hitting behind him, the Pirates could actually score some runs this year.
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Tabata has certainly shown that he can can on base and be a terror once he’s on. In his 85 games for Triple-A Indianapolis, Tabata scored 63 runs and stole 29 bases. The bulk of those numbers coming last year, when he scored 42 runs with 25 SBs in 53 games before getting the call. He combined for 103 runs and 44 SBs between the Indianapolis Indians and the Pittsburgh Pirates last year.
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He has the potential to be an outstanding value pick this year in fantasy baseball drafts. His Mock Draft Central average draft position is 222, putting him in the 19th round. He’s the 50th rated outfielder. Every year there are great value speed picks at the end of the draft. Jose Tabata is one of them this year. Don’t shy away just because he’s a Pirate.
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What’s your take on Jose Tabata?
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