Before I talk about the player on this card, I have a major gripe with it. Topps currently is the exclusive producer of licensed baseball cards. That's a pretty big honor to have. Why do they keep fucking up by producing garbage? If you're going to create a brand new design in 2013 for your online exclusive mini cards, why can't you use images from 2013? No, instead we get this recycled and reused image of Jose Tabata (a right handed platoon outfielder) from 2011. How do I know the image is from 2011? The Chuck Tanner patch on Jose's right arm gives it away. In 2011, the Pirates all wore Chuck Tanner stars to remember their recently passed away former manager.
Now onto the player...
what can I possibly say about you?
When the Pirates extended Jose Tabata in August of 2011, I could not have been more happy. It was a long extension for a player that was viewed as a key core of the Pirates recent rebuilding. In his rookie season, Jose showed patience at the plate and looked like he would be the long term plan for the Pirates leadoff position and man one of the corner outfield positions.
2011 and 2012 became lost seasons for Jose as he battled multiple injuries including several hamstring problems that would not go away. Fans often claimed that Jose was dogging it and was lazy because of his attempts to chase down fly balls in the outfield, but I think it had a lot to do with him playing through his injuries.
In 2013, Jose returned to form in a limited role, posting a 1.2 WAR while mainly being used as a right handed hitting platoon partner in the outfield. Jose made $1 million last year so posting a WAR of that significance in a limited role still looks to be a great deal for the Bucs.
Keeping in mind that Jose is still just 25 years old entering the 2014 season, should make the deal continue to be of value to the Pirates organization even when super prospect Gregory Polanco arrives. Tabata may build up enough trade value that the Pirates could trade him at the deadline for a piece to help push the playoffs or he may produce enough that one of the other outfielders may be used as a chip. Either way, for $2 I'll add this card to my collection without any regrets.