New York Yankees: Ten Unsung heroes from the 2000s
By Ryan Doyle
RF Bobby Abreu (2006-2008)
Much like other veteran outfielders throughout the decade, Bobby Abreu was a consistent hitter in the middle of the Yankees lineup. Abreu deserves to be in the same conversation as players like Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui by the numbers alone.
However, his time spent with underperforming Yankees teams leaves him out of many conversations about the 2000s. In two and a half seasons in pinstripes, Abreu played in nearly every game, hovering around a .300 batting average and .400 on-base percentage. He stole 20-plus bases, drove in 100 RBI each season and played Gold Glove level defense in right every night.
How could a player who puts up All-Star level numbers be an unsung hero?
Well, Abreu never won anything in New York. In his three seasons manning the outfield, the Yanks won just two playoffs games and missed the postseason for the first time since 1993. Again, with players like Matsui, Damon and Nick Swisher being on the decade’s final championship team, memories of Abreu fade.
Abreu was named to the Phillies Wall of Fame in 2019 and did manage to stick around on the Hall of Fame ballot for another season. He performed well in pinstripes for a pair of years and could have easily been a key cog on the 2009 championship team. Heck, New York had to go through his Angles team in a season where he hit .293/.390/.435 with 103 RBI at age 35.