Wilyer Abreu's Versatility Intrigues Red Sox
When the Red Sox acquired 23-year-old Wilyer Abreu from the Astros at the trade deadline in the Christian Vazquez deal, they saw a player with a profile that wasn’t prominent in the upper levels of their system.
As a lefthanded hitter with plate discipline, power and speed, Abreu had a chance to give the Red Sox a better-rounded roster in the coming years. With that fit in mind, Boston added him to its 40-man roster in November.
Between the Double-A affiliates of the Astros and Red Sox, Abreu hit a combined .247/.399/.435 with 19 home runs, 31 stolen bases and the second-most walks (114) in the minors.
Before the trade, a closed stance left him vulnerable to fastballs middle-in. The Red Sox helped square off his stance, resulting in a noticeable drop in his pull rate with Portland.
Abreu encouraged his new organization with his ability to adapt.
While some see Abreu as being chiefly a strong defensive corner outfielder, Boston believes he can handle all three outfield positions—providing perhaps average defense in center field and an above-average glove in the two corners.
Despite hitting just .167 in 17 games in the Arizona Fall League, Abreu has the potential to be a well-rounded fourth outfielder if his hit tool develops.
“(Abreu has) good instincts on both side of the ball and bases with an impactful, quick bat when he puts the bat on the ball in the zone,” Red Sox farm director Brian Abraham said.
“(He is) someone who does the little things right no matter what he does (at-bat).”
— The Red Sox hired Jason Ochart as their director of hitting development and program design. Ochart had spent the last four seasons as the Phillies’ minor league hitting coordinator.
— Matthew Lugo, who played shortstop, second base and third base in 2022, was taking fly balls in the outfield while playing in the Puerto Rican League this winter.