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Q: With Albert Abreu moving to a system already having completed its Top 10 (the Yankees), would it be possible to get a taste of what his scouting report and outlook is considering he would have placed in the Top 10 here?
Abreu is a Top 10-caliber prospect who will not appear in a Top 10 in print because he was traded from the Astros before their Top 10 Prospects list was completed, to the Yankees, after their Top 10 appeared in print.
Readers will be able to find Abreu in the Yankees chapter of the Baseball America Prospect Handbook, where we go 30 deep on the scouting reports for each team's prospects. The Prospect Handbook goes to press in December, and players appear with whatever organization they are with at press time.
Abreu was slated to rank No. 10 on the Astros list. After he was traded away, catcher Garrett Stubbs jumped into the Top 10.
If he would have been eligible for the Yankees' Top 10, Abreu would have likely ranked No. 8, ahead of outfielder Dustin Fowler, or perhaps right behind Fowler. Abreu was traded to the Yankees along with Jorge Guzman, himself a top 30-caliber prospect in the Astros system, for catcher Brian McCann.
Here is Abreu's report:
Albert Abreu, rhp, Yankees
Background: The Astros do an excellent job of finding young Latin American pitchers who fill out and grow into hard-throwing fireballers. Abreu is the next in the line. He signed for $185,000. Just two years later, he has added 5-6 mph to his fastball, giving him a mid-90s heater that has touched 99 as well as a useful assortment of secondary pitches.
Scouting Report: Abreu's pure stuff has allowed him to succeed so far with an approach that can best be described as “here it is, try to hit it." He doesn't set up hitters and finish them off as much as he overwhelms them. Abreu's plus fastball blew away low Class A hitters, especially when he located it armside with the excellent run he can produce. His average curveball is a slower, bigger breaker that is generally best as an early-count offering, but he will flash a plus, harder curve in late-count situations. His slider is even more inconsistent, but it flashes above-average potential when he stays through his delivery. His changeup will show fade and deception at times. Abreu's delivery is quite simple, but he doesn't repeat it consistently from either the stretch or windup, and his finish includes some recoil. His control is below-average.
The Future: Abreu's pure stuff is some of the best in the low minors. His four-pitch assortment screams starter, but his approach and his control lead many to think he'll end up as a useful power reliever. Either way, he's a power arm who has multiple paths to big league success.