Prospect Profile: Albert Abreu
It wasn’t that long ago that Brian Cashman and the Yankees organization made the conscious decision to rebuild what was a lackluster minor league system. They succeeded with a combination of smart draft picks and signings, along with some savvy trades. One such trade my turn out to be when the Yankees sent Brian McCann to Houston in 2016. They received pitchers Albert Abreu and Jorge Guzman. The latter was again flipped to bring Giancarlo Stanton to New York, while Abreu finds himself as one of the top prospects in the Yankees’ system.
DOB: September 26, 1995 POS: RHP B/T: R/R Height: 6’2 Weight: 175
Abreu signed with Houston in 2013 out of the Dominican Republic. He started fourteen games in 2014 for the Astros’ rookie league team, putting together a 2.78 ERA over 68 innings. He averaged 7.15 K/9 and only walked 3.84 per nine innings. In his first season in the Yankees’ system, Abreu made a couple starts in Rookie ball and with Charleston before making nine starts for Tampa. He went 1.3 with a 4.19 ERA, but he also managed to strike out 31, while only walking fifteen. A shoulder injury kept Abreu out for much of the season, so the Yankees sent him to the Arizona Fall League where he threw 27.2 innings for a 2.60 ERA and holding opposing hitters to a .219 average.
This past season, Abreu spent a solid chunk with Tampa, throwing 62.2 innings over thirteen starts. He started the season with appendicitis, once again slowing him down, but he put up strong numbers in High-A. He averaged 9.34 strikeouts per nine innings pitched, with only 4.16 BB/9. If he can stay healthy, Abreu should start the year in Trenton and could find his way to the Bronx in the not-so-distant future.
Abreu projects to be a solid starter, commanding three plus pitches. He is a deceptive pitcher, utilizing a short-arm delivery and some strong throwing. Abreu’s fastball grades as a 65 and runs 93-98 mph, hitting three digits on occasions. He can get good movement with his fastball, helping with that strikeout ratio. His second pitch is a curveball that can sometimes appear like slider. It is a power breaking pitch and complements a decent changeup that he can also use to strike out batters.
If Abreu stays healthy, this should be a crucial year for the young hurler. He continues to improve his consistency and command, making him more and more of a lock to continue starting in the majors. If you find him standing on the mound in the Bronx in a couple years, you can imagine the Yankees will continue to look back on that trade for Brian McCann as a massive success.