If you follow the Pittsburgh Pirates (and who doesn’t?), you know that they have a new outfielder, Jose Tabata.
But, what you may not know is the story of Amalia Tabata Pereira–the first wife of an MLB player to debut in Fantasy Baseball Dugout who is not nominated for Baseball’s Hottest Wife.
Amalia Tabata Pereira, 43, married then 19-year-old Pirates prospect Jose Tabata in January 2008 at a check cashing place, although some pundits believe that Tabata might be as old as 25 (that’s 21 in Venezuelan years). Pereira remains in a Manatee County Jail after being accused of kidnapping a 2-year-old then telling Tabata that it was their child. Pereira had lied about being pregnant and then brought the surprise on to the Pirate outfielder. She also never told him that she had previously spent 2 years and 9 months in a Florida prison after stealing money from her employer then burning down the building in an attempt to cover it up. Although she has tried to communicate with Tabata, the Pittsburgh rookie has wisely cut off all communication with her.
Tabata was acquired in the deal that sent Xavier Nady to the Yankees; the same deal that enabled the Pirates to land Jeff Karstens. Tabata is 5′ 11″ and 215 pounds and is physically strong. He’s been a top prospect for a while now; unfortunately, his value has declined over the years. In 2007, Tabata was Baseball America’s # 27 top prospect, only to see his ranking drop to # 37 in 2008 and # 75 in 2009.
At Indianapolis this season, Tabata hit .308 with a .373 on base percentage. He led the International League in stolen bases with 25 in 31 attempts. Thus far for the Pirates, Tabata has played pretty much every day since his June 9 call up. He’s hitting .245 with 1 homerun and 6 RBI, but has 6 stolen bases in 8 attempts.
The reason that Tabata’s rankings have dropped over the years is that he has not yet developed any power. He gets very little lift on the ball. He needs to get better leverage to drive the ball with age. Although he’s an aggressive baserunner who has proven to be able to steal bases, he doesn’t have blazing speed.
Said scout Frank Neville: “While Tabata is a solid hitter with good hands, decent plate discipline, and above average speed, his overall skill set is average. He may outperform Lastings Milledge, but not by much.”
Tabata is a solid call up for most NL-only fantasy baseball managers. While he won’t hit many homers, he will steal some bases for you and stolen bases are often a category that fantasy baseball managers look to improve upon at the all star break.
If you play in a keepers league, Tabata is a good player to hold on to. Given his physical strength, he could develop into a power hitter and his base stealing abilities are already well documented.