27-Year-Old Outfielder – Free Agent
2016 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
Tabata came over from the Pirates to the Dodgers in July in a bad contract swap involving Mike Morse, and was immediately sent to Triple-A Oklahoma City where he spend the rest of the season without a...
Jose Tabata Contract Information:
In August of 2011, Tabata signed a contract extension for six years, with options that keep him under team control through 2019. Tabata gets a guaranteed $15 million, with the chance to earn up to $37.25 million if the Pirates exercise the three team options at the end of the contract.
Tabata was released by the Dodgers on Saturday, Eric Stephen of True Blue LA reports.
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Jose Tabata: MLB Games Played By Position
Jose Tabata: Minor League Games Played By Position
Jose Tabata Split Stats (View Full Split Stats)
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Jose Tabata: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Tabata once offered a blend of speed and power, but chronic hamstring injuries sapped him of his speed and he never became an extra-base threat. In 2014, he batted .282 for the Bucs with no homers, one stolen base and a .647 OPS in 174 at-bats. The Pirates sent Tabata to Triple-A in the offseason but are still on the hook for $9 million-plus over the next two seasons. He may have to spend extended time at Triple-A to get another shot a regular playing time in the majors.
Fantasy owners endured another season of bumps and bruises with Tabata in 2013, but a funny thing happened -- he actually produced consistently good numbers. The outfielder struggled in April, slashing .178/.260/.289, but he hit .300/.357/.452 over his final 263 at-bats. Tabata offers an impressive 85 percent contact rate, but that is necessary given his 6.7 percent walk-rate. The 25-year-old Venezuelan stepped up when left fielder Starling Marte got hurt in mid-August and kept the job for a bit even after Marte returned. Tabata will likely compete with Travis Snider, Andrew Lambo and prospect Gregory Polanco for time in right field, considering that Marte and Andrew McCutchen have left and center locked down. He has not flashed the combination of power and speed Pittsburgh hoped for when he signed a $17 million deal in 2011, but he won't hurt fantasy owners too much as a temporary stop gap.
Pittsburgh mercifully sent Tabata to Triple-A in early July after three months of general disinterest. The outfielder hit .230 through July 1 and played a defense which often focused on avoiding injury than on making plays. Manager Clint Hurdle has seemingly soured on the chronically-pained Tabata. Foot, groin and leg issues kept him off the field at different times. General manager Neal Huntington even said that Tabata is no longer the base-stealing threat he once was because of weight gain. Just a couple seasons ago he appeared capable of multiple .300 seasons with double-digit homers and 20-plus stolen bases. Now he's not even guaranteed a roster spot, even with four years left on a guaranteed contract. Plotting the enigmatic Venezuelan's future is a crapshoot. He'll compete with several others for outfield playing time in 2013.
Tabata has shown glimmers of greatness and a propensity for injury since coming over from the Yankees in 2008. The outfielder stole nine bags in the first 20 games of the season and appeared primed for a breakout. A hamstring injury slowed him down, thereafter, and he would never be quite the same. The Pirates shut Tabata down in early September with a fractured wrist. He tried to play through it after inking a $15 million contract extension but was ineffective. He's got the ability to hit .300 -- he batted .299 in 405 at-bats as a rookie in 2010 -- but questions remain about his ability to stay healthy. He's slated to start every day in right field. With any luck, Tabata might finally realize his potential -- just be prepared for a stint or two on the DL.
An MVP-type showing in the 2009 Arizona Fall League paid almost immediate dividends for Tabata and the Pirates. Tabata piggy-backed his AFL showing by stealing 23 bases in just 53 Triple-A games at the start of 2010, batting .308/.373/.424 prior to his recall to Pittsburgh. He promptly got a pair of knocks in his first major league game in Washington and never really looked back. In fact, he could have sat out either of the team's last two games to secure a .300 batting average, but chose to play in both (going 0-for-7) and finished with a composite line of .299/.346/.400 in 405 at-bats. He stole 19 bases in 26 attempts and gave the Pirates decent defense in mostly left field and occasionally center. The way he's able to take the ball to the opposite field with conviction bodes well for his ability to stay out of protracted slumps. Tabata's got left field and a spot in the batting order locked down for 2011. He makes for a smart target late in fantasy drafts, as he'll help in several categories including runs, batting average and stolen bases. At a listed age of 22, Tabata also has a chance to develop power down the road, as his 21 doubles suggest.
Tabata led the Arizona Fall League with a .392 batting average and could force the Pirates' hand with a strong spring training and early-season start at Triple-A. After recovering from personal issues in spring training and an early-season hamstring problem that saw him miss six weeks, Tabata lit up Double-A and was hitting .302/.370/.404 when he was promoted to Triple-A Indianapolis. He cooled off with Indy, putting up a line of .276/.333/.410. He hit just five homers in 2009, but that number figures to increase with experience. General manager Neal Huntington has made it known that the organization intends to bring up Tabata in 2010 if he continues to hit.
The Pirates hope that Tabata builds upon his performance from Double-A Altoona last summer in 2009. The main component in the Xavier Nady trade, Tabata hit .348 for Altoona in 22 games after struggling with Double-A Trenton, where he hit just .248. Tabata suffered a broken hamate bone in 2007, perhaps adding to his slow start last year. Regardless, the Pirates hope that after another year or two in the minors he'll be able to contribute at the major league level. Although Pittsburgh does not feature a particularly deep outfield, it's unlikely that the team will want to start Tabata's arbitration clock a second before it has to. As a result, it might not be wise to expect even a September call-up for the skilled outfielder.
Tabata's season at High-A Tampa ended because of a broken hamate bone in his wrist just after turning 19 in August. The combination of his age and level of play are enough to put him among the game's most-promising hitting prospects, while the .307/.371/.392 line is just a hint of his long-term potential. Tabata only hit five homers, but he stole 15 bases in 22 attempts, and there's little reason to believe that his power won't develop as he fills out his frame the next few years. The Yankees may start him at Double-A to see how he fares out of spring training, while the possibility of seeing him at Yankee Stadium as an everday regular in 2009 (Bobby Abreu is in the final year of his contract) is still a possibility and will hinge on how he responds to Double-A pitching.
Tabata projects as a potential replacement in right field for the Yankees once Bobby Abreu's contract runs out after this season. He'll turn 19 this August, but if he continues to use his good bat speed to drive the ball all over the ballpark, finishing the year a Triple-A is a possibility. Tabata also runs very well and would be a legitimate 30-steal candidate in the right environment. Keep him in mind for minor-league drafts and deep-keeper formats.