Former Halifax County star pitcher and University of Virginia standout Andrew Abbott is on his way up the ladder of the Cincinnati Reds minor league after his promotion to Low A in Daytona, Florida.
Abbott began his track to the Major Leagues in Arizona where he was placed in the Rookie Ball league for the Reds organization. He went on to play rookie ball for five weeks before being promoted to Daytona to play Low A.
The star-studded left hander was initially drafted after his senior year in high school in 2017 with the No. 1,082 pick in the 36th round by the New York Yankees. However, Abbott decided to honor his word and play baseball for the Cavaliers all four years and was a key reason for UVa’s trip to the College World Series this past Spring.
On June 20, Abbott set a UVA school record for strikeouts in a College World Series game, striking out 10 batters and only giving up five hits through six innings pitched against The University of Tennessee.
Throughout his four seasons at UVA, Abbott holds a record of 17 wins and 13 losses. He posted a 3.06 ERA and only gave up 180 hits over his career. He also struck out 327 batters during his time at UVa.
Shortly after his pitching career came to an end for the Cavaliers, he was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds with the No. 53 pick in the second round of the Major League Baseball Draft on July 12.
In Rookie Ball, Abbott started two times and finished with an 0-0 record. He gave up zero runs and only one hit to the opposing teams. The opposing teams were unable to hit the star pitcher during his time in Arizona, as they were only able to post a .143 batting average against him.
“It has been really exciting so far, meeting other guys and guys who were in the same draft as me and just getting my feet wet in professional baseball,” Abbott said in a phone interview with the Gazette on Monday.
During his four weeks in Low A, he has made three appearances and two starts where he a posted a 6.75 ERA and struck out 14 batters during his eight innings pitched, and opponents are batting .306 against him.
“I want to try and go out with a bang this season. I am still learning what hitters are doing at this level and I am going to pick the coaches brains to boost my baseball IQ. I want to get better every day,” said Abbott.
Abbott will make his last start of the season today for the Daytona Tortugas who are 57-57 this season and they will take on the Palm Beach Cardinals who are 34-77.
For anyone wanting to follow the last appearance of Abbott’s season, his stats from the game can be found at https://www.milb.com/player/andrew-abbott-671096.
“For next season I want to be in Hugh, Ohio the High A affiliate for the Reds, but I don’t make that decision. I might be in Daytona again but I will put in the work in the off-season and hope to see what I can accomplish,” Abbott concluded.