Few pitchers have performed as well as Cincinnati Reds prospect Andrew Abbott this season and Abbott’s efforts were rewarded with a promotion Sunday night.
The former Halifax County left-handed standout was promoted to Triple-A Louisville. In his three starts this year at Double-A Chattanooga, Abbott allowed just six hits and two runs in 15 2/3 innings (1.15 ERA) with an astounding 36 strikeouts and three walks. Abbott currently holds the highest strikeout rate among all minor leaguers who have pitched more than five innings. He has struck out 36 of the 56 batters he’s faced.
Abbott struck out a career-high 14 batters in Chattanooga’s 8-3 win over the Mississippi Braves April 13. His career performance earned him a Southern League Pitcher of the Week nod for April 10-16.
In his first start of the season, Abbott struck out 11 in 4 1/2 innings pitched in the Lookouts’ 6-3 win over Rocket City. He followed that performance with 14 against Mississippi and 11 in his start against Tennessee April 19.
Abbott has been deadly all around, allowing just two runs – both earned – on his way to a 1.15 ERA while only walking three batters in 15 1/2 innings pitched.
A second-round pick out of the University of Virginia in 2021, Abbott features a four-pitch repertoire, including a fastball that hovers in the low 90s. While his fastball may not sit at the top of the list in velocity, he locates better than most at the top of the strike zone leading to a lot of swings and misses.
Looking to diversify, Abbott added a slider last season and it’s paid dividends for him thus far. He had a 31-inning scoreless streak last season before a dropped fly ball broke the streak, allowing two runs to score.
Abbott is currently ranked as the No. 11 prospect in the Reds’ organization.
Davin Wilson is the sports editor for The Gazette-Virginian. Contact him at email@example.com.