Yankees Prospect Profile: Starting Pitcher Albert Abreu
The New York Yankees acquired a potential front-of-the-rotation in Albert Abreu from the Houston Astros in the Brian McCann trade.
The New York Yankees newest super-prospect, starter Albert Abreu, managed to grab the number ten spot in the club’s MLB Pipeline rankings after coming over from Houston along with fellow-flamethrower Jorge Guzman in exchange for veteran catcher Brian McCann.
That’s pretty impressive considering how stacked the Yankees system is at the moment. Let’s take a closer look at what has analysts so excited about this electric young arm.
Signed out of the Dominican Republic in August of 2013 for a $185,000 bonus, Abreu’s calling card is his elite fastball velocity. His heater sits in the mid-90’s most days but has reportedly been clocked as high as 99 mph.
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Abreu is not just a thrower, however. In addition to his heater, he has three secondary pitches that project as average or better offerings down the road: a big, slow curveball, a slider, and a change.
After spending 2014 in the Dominican Summer League, Abreu made his debut stateside in the Appalachian League during the 2015 season, pitching to a 2.51 ERA in 46.2 IP split between the rotation and the bullpen, striking out 26% of the batters he faced (9.8 K/9) and walking 10.7% (4.0 BB/9).
Abreu spent the majority of his age-20 season this year in the Midwest League, putting up a 3.50 ERA in 90 innings of work, increasing his strikeout rate to 27.1% (10.4 K/9) but also seeing his walks jump up to 12.8% (4.9 BB/9). He finished the year with three rocky outings in High-A following a late-season promotion.
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While it’s apparent that Abreu’s control and command are a work in progress at this point (as they are for most A-Ball pitchers), there is a lot to like about him. His well-rounded arsenal and low-effort delivery should ensure he sticks as a starting pitcher long-term. With another few years of seasoning, it’s not hard to envision Abreu taking over at the front of the Yankees rotation.
Abreu seems like a good candidate to join High-A Tampa’s rotation in 2017, although there is some chance they have him begin the year with Low-A Charleston if they really want to be careful with him.
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