- Full name Fernando Antonio Abad
- Born 12/17/1985 in La Romana, Dominican Republic
- Profile Ht.: 6'2" / Wt.: 235 / Bats: L / Throws: L
- Debut 07/28/2010
Organization Prospect Rankings
Abad is one of the Astros' biggest success stories. It took him seven seasons to get past A-ball, and in 2009 he made three Double-A starts and earned a 40-man roster spot. He followed that up by jumping from Corpus Christi to the major leagues in 2010--despite missing six weeks with a shoulder strain--and finishing the year in the big league bullpen after a brief return to Triple-A. Abad has the fastball command and solid changeup to start, though he's had a hard time staying healthy as a starter. His fastball can touch 93-94 mph and usually operates at 88-91. He has natural deception in his delivery and has maintained looseness in his arm while adding 35 pounds since signing. He has average fastball command and excellent control, with a career walk rate of 1.4 per nine innings in the minors. Abad varies the speed on his slurvy breaking ball, which has inconsistent shape and varies from below average to fringy. He impressed manager Brad Mills in his big league callup, and while he could get a shot at the fifth starter competition, he'll more likely fill a lefty reliever role in Houston.
Abad's career started slowly, as he spent four seasons in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League and didn't advance to full-season ball until he was 22 and in his sixth year as a pro. He improved his stock so much in 2009 that the Astros added him to their 40-man roster after the season and plan to make him a starter this year. Though he pitched almost exclusively in relief last year, many of his appearances lasted multiple innings. Abad pitches at 90-91 mph and touches 93-94 with his fastball. He complements his heater with a heavy, running changeup and a solid curveball. Abad's crossfire delivery and his short, quick arm stroke give him some deception, making it difficult for hitters to pick up the ball out of his hand. Abad pitched well as a starter in the Dominican League and will open 2010 in Double-A, where he made three short if solid starts at the end of last season.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Control in the Houston Astros in 2010