After CJ Abrams‘ season was cut short due to injury, the Padres top prospect and Georgia native is looking like he will be on pace to take his cuts in Spring Training. His status has been up in the air stemming back to the middle of last season but it looks like those in the organization can breathe a sigh of relief.
Hopes were high for the first round, sixth overall pick out of Blessed Trinity HS but fate had other plans in store for him. In a game between the Corpus Christi Hooks and the San Antonio Missions on June 30th, 2021, Abrams managed to collide with second baseman Eguy Rosario which caused him to fall down immediately. When team staff went out there to evaluate him, it was observed that he could not put much weight on his left leg and thus exited the game. The results came back a few days later that showed he had suffered a fractured tibia and torn MCL.
His journey back to full strength hasn’t been an easy one given the type of injury he endured but as of now, his comeback has been as smooth as the organization could’ve hoped it’d be. AJ Preller has always been one to move prospects rather quickly which plays to Abrams advantage for the opportunity to gain a spot on the big league roster. The team is looking to put him in play during mini camp before minor league spring training starts or whenever big league camp begins. It could be a prove it or move it season after this set back but odds are he plays in Triple-A with elevation to the San Diego Padres.
Known for his speed and ability to make hard contact with the ball, he was on a roll in Double-AA before his season came to a close. He posted a steady .296/.363/.420 batting line in 183 plate appearances while smacking 14 doubles and stealing 13 bases. What’s interesting here is that since he has entered the league, he has improved his body frame in order to add not just speed but also power to his skills set which no one probably saw coming initially. I’d like to say that not many speedsters with power exist in this league but players like Mike Trout are a good example of what Abrams could become.
On The Horizon
Even with all of these positive coming to light, there is still concern over how Abrams will bounce back from the leg injury as well as how versatile he truly is. He’s only played six games at other positions that aren’t second base so becoming more of a back up or playing a complimentary role to Fernando Tatis Jr. could prove difficult initially. Furthermore, it will remain to be seen if the injury also hinders his speed because a guy like him who’s prone to steal bags whenever possible is at higher risk to reinjury himself down the line. Being dependent on one skill in your repertoire can most certainly limit your game and cause a short stint to be had in MLB.
Regardless of all the above mentioned risks, the fact that he is on pace to play in spring training is truly something to admire and be on the look out for. He is probably going to start the season in Double-AA but I would not put it past him to make an appearance in MLB before the end of the campaign. I do think that he has what it takes to make it to the pros so long as his skills and body remain in tact with an emphasis on avoiding any setbacks now or in spring training.
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