After three seasons at Virginia where he made 57 relief appearances and just three starts, Andrew Abbott moved into the Cavaliers rotation and made 17 starts in 2021 with a 2.87 ERA and 162 strikeouts in 106.2 innings. That led to the Cincinnati Reds selecting the left-handed starter in the 2nd round of the draft in 2021.

With the draft being six weeks after the end of the college baseball season, most players got a late start to their professional careers and Andrew Abbott was no different. The Reds took their time getting him back onto the mound in games, but he made his debut with the ACL Reds out in Arizona with a perfect inning and two strikeouts. Four days later he’d make his final appearance at the complex level with another shutout inning of work.

Cincinnati promoted him to Low-A where he joined the Daytona Tortugas. On the road against St. Lucie he’d allow his first earned run of his career in 2.0 innings while striking out four batters. The next time out, on September 1st, Abbott would have a season high six strikeouts while giving up two runs in 3.0 innings in his only home start in Daytona. On the 8th he’d give up three runs in 3.0 innings with four more strikeouts against Jupiter. The final start of the season came on the 15th against Palm Beach when he tossed 3.0 hitless innings with three walks and five strikeouts.

Andrew Abbott Stats

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Andrew Abbott Scouting Report

Position: Left-handed pitcher | B/T: L/L

Height: 6′ 0″ | Weight: 180 lbs | Drafted: 2nd Round (2021)

Born: June 1, 1999

Fastball | In his pro debut he topped out at 95 MPH and worked in the 91-94 range. He’s topped out at 97 MPH in his shorter stints as a reliever, though it was rare. The pitch does have good life that allows it to play up a bit from the velocity.

Curveball | An above-average to plus pitch that works in the upper 70’s with 12-6 breaking action.

Change Up | A fringe-average offering that works in the low-to-mid 80’s.

A big step forward as a senior and a move into the rotation put Andrew Abbott squarely into the second round of the draft after looking more like a 4th or 5th round pick heading into the year. His stuff stepped forward despite moving into a starting pitching role.

With three pitches and good control, Andrew Abbott certainly fits that part of the bill for a starting pitcher. There are some concerns that he doesn’t have the best frame for a starter, listed at just 6′ 0″ and 180 lbs. Thirty years ago that almost was a death sentence for a starting pitcher who didn’t have elite-level stuff and they were shuffled off to the bullpen. In today’s game there’s a little less focus on just the size of a pitcher and Abbott is likely going to have to show that he can’t get the job done as a starter before he would be pushed into a relief role.

The upside is likely as a middle of the rotation starter, but left-handed starters don’t exactly grow on trees, either. Abbott’s fallback plan could be in the bullpen. The upside there, much like in the rotation, seems to be middle of the road. He doesn’t profile as a closer unless he can find more of that mid-to-upper 90’s that he has only touched on rare occasions in the past far more often. But his fastball and curveball combination should allow him to perform well in middle relief. Health is always a question when it comes to pitchers because unfortunately far too many of them do wind up getting hurt. But aside from just the “pitchers get hurt” mantra, there seems to be a high floor for Abbott, though the ceiling is a bit lower than a typical second rounder.

Interesting Stat on Andrew Abbott

We are dealing with an incredibly small sample size of his professional career here, but he only faced two batters in 2021 as a pro when his team was trailing in the game. He struck out both of those hitters.

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5 Responses

  1. Matt

    If his change up is developed into average or slightly better, how much better does that make his ceiling as a starter?
    Being an older college guy, it’d be nice to see him tackle A+ and maybe a taste of AA this year, AA/AAA in 2023, and be ready to compete for the massive Castillo, Gray, and Mahle sized holes that are currently poised to rip open in 2024.

    • Old Big Ed

      Yeah, I agree that the Reds may be rewarded by being patient with Abbott. He needs time to develop his change, plus it doesn’t sound like he has a lot of mileage on his arm yet.

      I’m not really worried about his size. Being 6’5″ hasn’t really helped Amir Garrett much, and Sonny Gray is generously listed at 5’10”. He is pretty much Tom Glavine’s size, even if he won’t have Eric Gregg as umpire.

      • MK

        I don’t know there are a lot of guys who would think being a big league pitcher is a lot.And I’m sure Amir‘s height helped him get there which is a lot.

    • Doug Gray

      You never really know until you know, but I think unless the change up takes a big step forward rather than a small one (even if that gets it to average-ish), he’s still a middle of the rotation upside kind of guy. Absolutely nothing wrong with that at all.

      • MBS

        @Doug, right! If a guy can be a 3 or a 4, that’s a valuable guy.