Yankees pitching prospect and trade chip Albert Abreu injured
Since coming over from the Astros in the 2016 Brian McCann trade, Yankees pitching prospect Albert Abreu has been held in high esteem. Unfortunately, inconsistency and injury have severely stunted his development.
It’s interesting that MLB Pipeline still has 23-year-old right-handed pitcher Albert Abreu ranked as the Yankees No. 4 overall prospect. I say ‘interesting’ because Abreu’s potential and big-league arsenal have far outweighed his statistics through parts of six minor league seasons.
A frequent visitor to the injured list, prior to this season, Abreu hadn’t thrown over 100 innings since 2016 at two different levels of A-ball. Last season featured more inconsistency and injury, as Abreu compiled a 4-6 record, 5.20 ERA, .241 BAA and 74:32 K:BB ratio across 72.2 innings.
Beginning this year back at Double-A Trenton as the club’s No. 3 in the rotation, Abreu battled up and down performances but at least stayed on the mound — at least until Tuesday, when he was pulled after just 20 pitches (two hits, one run and a walk) with tightness in his right bicep.
Scheduled for an MRI on Wednesday, the Yankees are hopeful Abreu can avoid the IL, especially since his name has been floated in potential trade talks for a veteran starter.
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With Deivi Garcia’s promotion to Triple-A and Garrett Whitlock likely lost for the remainder of the season, Abreu had stepped up in a big way as the Thunder’s ace over his last two outings.
With a fastball that regularly sits between 96-98 mph, Abreu allowed just two runs on 10 hits while walking four and striking out 13 across 13 innings.
Having added a new out-pitch — a late-breaking slider to go along with his dynamic fastball, above-average changeup and curveball — when Abreu attacks the strike zone his top prospect billing is earned. However, when he is too fine and tries to nip the corners is when he gets into trouble.
Before his two recent excellent starts, Abreu gave up 13 runs on 12 hits in just five innings (two starts), which only made his 1.61 WHIP, .268 BAA, 9.1 H/9 and 5.14 BB/9 that much uglier.
Overall, Abreu has compiled a 5-7 record, 3.81 ERA and 8.4 K/9 (17th in the Eastern League) in 82.2 innings. Let’s hope he misses limited time so that his confidence (and possible trade value) don’t take a hit.