The 40-year-old outfielder, who was out of baseball in 2013, is just the 74th player in major league history to reach the 400-steal plateau. Prior to Friday, his most recent stolen base came Sept. 27, 2012 while he was playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers during what many believed to be his final season.
Known for his plate discipline more so than his speed, Abreu was a well-rounded offensive machine in his prime and has subsequently used his trademark batting eye to hang on for a few more seasons. Despite playing late into the decline phase of his career, the Venezuelan outfielder owns a tremendous lifetime .292/.396/.477 slash line.
Looking back on Abreu's underrated career—spent with six different teams—his peak essentially lasted from 1998 to 2006. During that nine-year span, he posted an on-base percentage above .400 in eight seasons, with a batting average above .300 six separate times. What's more, he recorded at least 20 steals and 20 homers in seven consecutive seasons from 1999 to 2005.
In that aforementioned peak of 1998 to 2006, Abreu accumulated 48.9 wins above replacement (WAR), according to Baseball-Reference's measure of the metric. While his average of 5.43 WAR per season over that time isn't overwhelming, the stat includes defensive value, which has never been Abreu's strength. In an era dominated by 40-homer sluggers, Abreu was one of the elite offensive players, despite never topping 31 long balls in a single season.
All stats courtesy of Baseball-Reference unless otherwise noted.
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