After a dominant stretch in the Minors, the Reds have summoned left-hander Andrew Abbott to make his MLB debut this week. So, what can Reds fans expect from the former Virginia pitcher? Let’s take a look at what Abbott can do, plus his fantasy outlook.
A Look at Abbott
Left-hander Andrew Abbott was a strikeout machine over his career at the University of Virginia. Teammates with probable 2023 MLB Draft Day 1 picks Jake Gelof and Kyle Teel in 2021, Abbott struck out 162 batters over 106.2 innings pitched for the Cavaliers that season. That, coupled with a strong overall college career and impressive stuff, prompted the Reds to take Abbott in the second round of the 2021 MLB Draft.
Abbott was fine in his first full pro season in 2022, as he struck out 159 over 118 innings across two levels. This season between AA and AAA, Abbott has been dominant. Opposing hitters had only a .171 batting average, as the 24-year-old posted 90 punchouts and 17 walks over 54 frames.
So, how does Abbott dice up opposing hitters? Abbott can put away both lefties and righties easily with his arsenal. Right-handed hitters need to be aware of his fastball – which sits in the 92-94 MPH range per Statcast – and a changeup that’s used frequently in final start in AAA. MLB.com rated his change at a 45, but he’s using it more and it should profile a tick higher when it’s all said and done..
Abbott also has a curveball and slider. The curveball generated a lot of outs in his most recent start, and it’s a low-80s pitch that fades late and can be a real pain for hitters to pick up.
Abbott is the second notable young pitching prospect to join the Reds in recent weeks. Last month, the Reds promoted LHP Brandon Williamson, acquired in the deal that sent Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suarez to Seattle, to the big league roster.
A Look at the Reds Rotation and Fantasy Outlook
The Reds offense has been quite strong this season. Nick Senzel and TJ Friedl, when healthy, have been formidable compliments to the likes of Jake Fraley, Jonathan India, and young corner infielder Spencer Steer. Shortstop Matt McLain, meanwhile, posted a .903 OPS in his first 83 plate appearances in the Majors.
The rotation, on the other hand, has been a different story. Hunter Greene‘s been fine for the Reds, as he leads Major League Baseball in total strikeouts (37) since May 15 despite a 4.30 ERA over the span. Brandon Williamson’s 4.29 ERA looks okay, but eleven walks and a 5.15 FIP are signs he’s gotten lucky this point. Nick Lodolo is on the IL, while Graham Ashcraft owns the league’s worst ERA (12.79) since May 15.
We’ll see what Abbott can provide for the Reds, but be forewarned that rookie starters have yielded mixed results thus far. Brandon Pfaadt and Grayson Rodriguez, both of whom are back in AAA, are proof of that. We advise fantasy players to wait before pulling the trigger on the left-hander, but keep a close eye on him. Very few starters in the Minors record as many strikeout as Abbott. If he can find early success in the Majors, he can be a nice value option.