The Houston Astros had signed Jose Abreu with the idea that he would be an upgrade in the middle of their lineup.
That had not been the case for most of the season. He had a miserable start to his time in Houston, posting a .212/.273/.261 batting line in his first 60 games with the franchise. He had hit just one homer and eight doubles in his 247 plate appearances, drawing 17 walks with 57 strikeouts. Abreu suddenly looked as though he was every one of his 36 years of age.
Houston Astros getting Jose Abreu they hoped for
But that has begun to change. Abreu is suddenly looking like the player that the Astros had hoped for, a middle of the order run producer to make their lineup all the more dangerous. His bat has woken up as Abreu has produced a .322/.344/.609 batting line in his last 93 plate appearances, hitting six homers and seven doubles. That is the type of production that the Astros had hoped for.
Getting Abreu on track is becoming increasingly important. The Rangers are not going away in the AL West and remain atop the division. The Astros lineup has generally disappointed as they failed to live up to expectations. This is not a team that should have a middle of the pack lineup (seventh in batting average, slugging, and OPS in the AL).
Abreu could be the key to their lineup woes. Having him return to his previous form, when he was one of the top run producers in the majors, would go a long way to fixing the Astros lineup. A hot Abreu, coupled with a healthy Yordan Alvarez, could make a dramatic impact on their playoff hopes.
The Houston Astros had hoped that Jose Abreu would take their lineup to the next level. He may be ready to do exactly that.