Andrew Abbott 2020 MLB Draft Profile

Andrew Abbott

College relievers have gone in the first round before, illustrating a perceived value by general managers. They are not as frequent in the first round of the draft anymore although Zack Burdi was selected 26th overall by the Chicago White Sox in 2016. Andrew Abbott will not go in the first round, but he could be an early pick on the second day of the draft as one of the first relievers off the board.

The University of Virginia left-handed pitcher is undersized. He stands at six-feet tall, weighing 175 pounds. Even though he is MLB.com’s 116th prospect, scouts see him as a candidate to make a MLB roster quickly.

Abbott posted good numbers with Virginia. His ERA was 3.24 in 108.1 innings pitched with 13.2 K/9. Additionally, he added an ERA of 2.70 in 26.2 innings in the Cape Cod League. This track record earned him the opportunity to play for the USA Collegiate National team.

Strengths

Abbott utilizes a strong two-pitch mix to get batters out. He throws a fastball that ranges from 91-95 MPH. Scouts grade it a 55/80 and note that it has good life to it.

His true out pitch is a curveball with a 60/80 grade. He tunnels the pitch with his fastball very well from a high-three-quarter arm slot, adding a layer of deception. The pitch has a good sideways break, and it’s power and movement lead others to think of it as a slider. Regardless of its classification, it racks up a ton of swings and misses for him.

That was never more true than in the abbreviated 2020 season. In 13.1 innings pitched, he struck out 28 batters for 18.9 K/9. He led the ACC in strikeouts by a reliever, and he is considered one of the best relief pitchers in all of college baseball.

Abbott also has the endurance to pitch multiple innings and has above average control. It is because of this and the quality of his two pitches that scouts feel he can make an impact at the MLB level sooner rather than later.

Weaknesses

The biggest weakness to Abbott’s game is the limited upside. The fact that he is solely a reliever will limit how good he can be. Despite both of his pitches and control being graded as above average, his overall grade is only a 45/80. Therefore, the ceiling is not the highest.

It is possible that a team could try to develop him as a starting pitcher. He does have a changeup that he seldom uses. The plan was to have him start games for Virginia this year, but those plans fell through and he stayed in the bullpen.

MLB Comp

Andrew Abbott is a tricky player to comp. There are not many active left-handed relief pitchers that are undersized like he is and thrive with two pitches. However, that does not mean that there aren’t pitchers to compare him to.

Ranger Suarez of the Philadelphia Phillies is one undersized left-handed reliever. He stands six-feet, one-inch tall and he weighs 180 pounds. He utilizes a much different pitch mix than Abbott, but he is able to find success despite his size, and he posted a 3.14 ERA in 2019.

Jalen Beeks of the Tampa Bay Rays is another undersized left-handed reliever. He stands five-feet, eleven inches tall and weighs 200 pounds. Beeks uses a fastball, curveball combo, but his changeup is more prominently used than his curveball.

Andrew Abbott will be a good pickup for any team, especially one that wants a quicker return on their investment.

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