Halifax County’s left-handed pitcher Andrew Abbott was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds with the No. 53 pick in the second round of the Major League Baseball Draft on July 12 and more than a week later, met with the Reds to sign a $1.3 million sign-on bonus with the team.
The bonus is expected to be the third-largest signing bonus by a fourth-year student over the last eight MLB Drafts.
The former Comet and star lefty Abbott described the moment as being a lifelong dream of his.
“One day I will take care of my parents and family members,” said Abbott.
Before signing on to the Reds, Andrew also made a name for himself at UVa.
“I am incredibly proud of Andrew, first and foremost of how he represented our program and not only on the field but in the classroom as well, he graduated with two degrees and is a very rare player who makes a tremendous impact,” said the University of Virginia’s head baseball coach Brian O’ Connor.
Abbott was a part of the UVa’s most memorable moments this past season including a combined no-hitter May 14, which is only the seventh no-hitter in the university’s history.
He did not allow a hit in 7 1/3 innings pitched and struck out the first eight batters of the game while recording 16 total strikeouts in UVa’s 17-0 win over Wake Forest.
Abbott also was a major asset for Virginia getting to the College World Series tournament and set a UVa record on June 20 for the most strikeouts in a College World Series game, recording 10 strikeouts in six innings pitched.
“He means everything, I say means because he is still a part of our program and always will be,” said O’ Connor.
He added, “Andrew was a high-achiever and brought that attitude and approach to baseball, school and our program. We’re so thankful for him and we’re going to miss him.”
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 college career. He also struck out 327 batters.
Abbott went on to say for anyone with hopes of making it to the big leagues it’s a grind and it won’t be easy, take it one day at a time and sit back and enjoy the game, enjoy the experience. He also advised other players to be the best player, person and student one can be, appreciate the guys who have helped get you to the position you are in.
“I think he’s a big leaguer, no question whatsoever. I think he has a long-sustained career and can make an impact on society and his hometown,” said O’ Connor.