In this Unhinged Yankees prospect profile, we take a look at blossoming right-handed pitcher Albert Abreu, who has a massive amount of potential.
Albert Abreu ended 2018 as the Yankees No. 2 pitching prospect behind Jonathan Loaisiga, according to MLB Pipeline, however, due to injuries he has slipped on some other lists and his development has been stunted.
MLB Pipeline Scouting grades: Fastball: 65 | Curveball: 55 | Changeup: 55 | Control: 50 | Overall: 55
Albert Abreu (RHP) was acquired from Houston in the Brian McCann trade (praise Cashman) and is currently ranked 85 out of MLB.com’s top 100 prospects. Abreu has three plus pitches, including a fastball that has clocked in at over 100 m.p.h. His stuff is electric and it plays. Scouting reports suggest there is still room for improvement in his breaking pitches as well.
He does come with an extensive injury history. Abreu was limited to 53.1 innings in 2017 after spending time on the DL with shoulder inflammation. His 2018 season started late due to an appendectomy. Hopefully, those troubles are past him, however, as he logged 72.2 IP in 2018 and ended the season without any health issues.
Since he does have three plus pitches, Abreu has been used as a starting pitcher. However, his command has been questioned and with good reason. This past season his walk rate spiked to 4 BB/9 after a 2017 season where he had shown progress with a 3 BB/9.
That high walk rate, coupled with his injury history, has some projecting Abreu as a bullpen arm, rather than a starter as he has been used thus far.
At 23 years old and with Double-A being the highest level Abreu has reached so far, he could use some more seasoning. That being said, Abreu’s velocity, power breaking ball, and nasty change-up make for an intriguing arm.
In 2019, look for the Yankees to continue to use him as a starting pitcher in the minors with an outside chance of him being added to the big league pen down the stretch should he remain healthy and take a large step forward.