- Sept 22, 2023: Over 4 1/3 innings, Abbott gave up two earned runs and four hits -- including two solo home runs -- with two walks and seven strikeouts. The lefty's 161 innings -- combined at the big leagues and Minors -- has far surpassed his previous professional high of 118 innings from last season.
Abbott had five strikeouts through his first two innings. Most impressively, he punched out three straight batters after giving up a double and a single to open the second inning. But in the fourth inning, Ke'Bryan Hayes hit a 2-2 fastball for a game-tying homer to right field, and Henry Davis led off the fifth inning hitting a 1-2 sweeper to left field for a homer that put Pittsburgh ahead.
“I feel good every time out," Abbott said. "I think my routine really helps with that, just being able to feel good and take the ball whenever they need me to. During this time, I’ve never experienced this, so it’s kind of just new to me as well."
Abbott had a 1.90 ERA over his first 10 starts but has a 6.15 ERA over his past 10 games and has worked less than five innings in five of his past six outings. He isn't alone among Reds pitchers pushing their limits. (M Sheldon - MLB.com - Sept 22, 2023)
|Birth City:||Lynchburg, VA|
|Draft:||Reds #2 - 2021 - Out of Univ. of Virginia|
In 2017, Abbott graduated from Hallifax County (Virginia) High School in South Boston, Virginia. He was the Gatorade Virginia Player of the Year, after going 9-0 with a 0.28 ERA in 72-2/3 innings, with 158 strikeouts and just four walks!!!
Andrew, a little lefthander, was coached in high school by an even smaller lefty in seven-time all-star Billy Wagner. Abbott doesn't throw nearly as hard as Wagner, but like Wagner, he was an excellent reliever.
In 2017, the Yankees chose Andrew in the 36th round, but Abbott honored his commit to the Univ. of Virginia.
Andrew was also on the swim team all four years in high school, as well as a member of the National Honor Society in high school. He was twice team captain in both baseball and swimming.
Abbott has a very strong track record of success at the University of Virginia, in the Cape Cod League in 2018, and for Team USA in the summer of 2019.
Andrew's freshman season (2018) with the Univ. of Virginia, he appeared in 24 games, 23 in relief. His one start came against VMI on Feb. 27. He posted a 3.18 ERA with six saves, striking out 74 in 51 innings.
In 2019, Abbott was one of five Cavaliers named to the Named to the ACC All-Academic Team, also listed on the ACC Academic Honor Roll. He struck out 59 batters in 44 innings and had a 3.89 ERA.
In the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, Andrew appeared in nine games, all out of the bullpen, the second most on the Virginia staff, His 1.35 ERA was the lowest among UVA relievers and fifth lowest among ACC relievers with 10 or more innings pitched. He struck out 28 batters (the most among any ACC reliever) in 13.1 innings pitched.
Andrew graduated in three years with a degree in biology; and he is currently pursuing his master’s degree in psychology.
“I think I could have made it easier on myself,” Abbott said of his choice to graduate ahead of the normal schedule. “I like to push whether it’s in the classroom or on the baseball field. The perfect plan was to go three, get a degree, and go play pro ball. But there are still a lot of good things that can happen with one door closing.
“I think it will all work out in the end, and you’ve got to keep your mind that way.”
Abbott worked as a reliever for his first three years at Virginia before moving into the rotation in 2021. He posted a 2.87 ERA with 162 strikeouts in 106.2 innings in his draft year.
Andrew's performance is not the only thing that stood out to the organization.
“He’s very intelligent and he’s very self-motivated,” Reds vice president of player development Shawn Pender said. “If you give him a plan, he wants to be a part of it. He’s not afraid of figuring out who he is and what he needs to do—and then he just follows up and performs.”
Pender noted Abbott’s mental maturity, preparation, and ability to integrate into a plan with complete conviction.
“That’s not something you typically see a first-year full-season player do,” Pender said. (Doug Gray - Baseball America - June 2022)
- June 2021: The Reds chose Abbott in the second round, out of the Univ. of Virginia.
July 20, 2021: The Reds signed Andrew for $1.3 million, just below the $1.37 million value assigned to the No. 53 overall pick in the 2nd round, via scout Jeff Brookens.
In 2022, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Abbott as the 22nd-best Reds prospect. But they moved him up to #11 in the winter before 2023 spring training.
MLB Debut (June 5, 2023): After Great American Ball Park emptied for the evening, about two dozen family and friends remained near the backstop to greet Reds rookie pitcher Andrew Abbott. The celebrational hugs were plentiful.
All deserved, especially since Abbott turned in a sensational debut in a 2-0 Reds victory over the Brewers that stopped a four-game losing streak. The 24-year-old left-hander allowed one hit over six innings with four walks and six strikeouts.
"I know I’m going to have a mountain of things to go through on my phone after this, but it’s been a dream come true," said Abbott, who threw first-pitch strikes to 16 of his 23 batters.
Abbott, ranked as the No. 6 prospect in the organization and No. 95 overall by MLB Pipeline, is the first Reds pitcher since 1893, when the mound was moved to its current distance, to record at least six scoreless innings while allowing no more than one hit in a Major League debut. (M Sheldon - MLB.com - June 5, 2023)
While he’s not the biggest guy in the world at 6-foot even, Abbott has a combination of stuff and makeup that scouts love.
As a starter, he still relies heavily on his fastball-curve combination. His 91-94 mph FASTBALL plays up and misses bats in the zone because of some cutting action and some funk in his delivery. He can manipulate his power CURVEBALL — a true out pitch — slurving it a bit more to run away from left-handed hitters.
Abbott has an 86 mph CHANGEUP with downer movement.
Coming out of college, Abbott threw a fastball, curveball and changeup. Many Reds pitchers throw a SLIDER, so Abbott added it to his arsenal in 2022.
“He’s a naturally curious guy,” Reds vice president of player development Shawn Pender said. “If you run something by him, he’s not going to just push it away, he’s going to figure things out.”
“The slider has been a big part of our pitch design,” Pender said. “Our coordinators and analysts do a great job of figuring out what a pitch shape needs to be to correlate to the fastball, or what other movements we’re looking for—and Abbott’s done that as well.“
Abbott’s slider is a potential plus pitch and it has helped the 6-foot, 192-pound lefthander give hitters something else to think about. And they were thinking about it a lot. (Doug Gray - Baseball America - June, 2023)
While Abbott’s walk rate hasn’t been great, he does repeat his delivery well, giving confidence he’ll be a solid strike-thrower at the next level. He’s shown his stuff holds up deep into games, which gives him a chance to start, but the Reds know if they do move him back to the 'pen, he could get to the big leagues in a hurry.
Andrew tunnels his curve with his fastball very well from a high-three-quarter arm slot, adding a layer of deception. The pitch has a good sideways break, and its power and movement lead others to think of it as a slider. Regardless of its classification, it racks up a ton of swings and misses for him.
Abbott has 50 grade control.
2021 Season: After three seasons at the Univ. of Virginia, where he made 57 relief appearances and just 3 starts, Abbott moved into the Cavaliers rotation. In 2021, he made 17 starts with a 2.87 ERA and 162 strikeouts in 106.2 innings. That led to the Reds selecting him in the second round of the draft in 2021.
With the draft being six weeks after the end of the college baseball season, most players got a late start to their professional careers and Andrew was no different. The Reds took their time getting him back onto the mound in games, but he made his debut with the ACL Reds out in Arizona with a perfect inning and two strikeouts. Four days later, he’d make his final appearance at the complex level with another shutout inning of work.
Cincinnati promoted him to Low-A where he joined the Daytona Tortugas. On the road against St. Lucie, he’d allow his first earned run of his career in 2.0 innings while striking out four batters. The next time out, on September 1, Abbott would have a season high six strikeouts while giving up two runs in 3.0 innings in his only home start in Daytona.
On the 8th he’d give up three runs in 3.0 innings with four more strikeouts against Jupiter. The final start of the season came on the 15th against Palm Beach when he tossed 3.0 hitless innings with three walks and five strikeouts. (Doug Gray - December 17, 2021)
2022 Season: After a hot start to the season that saw Andrew dominate in Dayton and earn a promotion in mid-May to Double-A Chattanooga, Abbott had plenty of inconsistency after his first start with the Lookouts. But in the final month of the season, he made three starts and found himself back in the “lock them down” mode.
On September 6, he threw 5.0 shutout innings with four strikeouts against Birmingham. Five days later, he faced the Barons again and once again tossed 5.0 shutout innings but this time he struck out nine batters. On the 17th he made his final start of the season. Back in Chattanooga, he faced off against Tennessee and threw 6.0 shutout innings against the Smokies and struck out eight batters.
In total, he allowed just seven hits and walked three batters in his 16.0 innings. The Lookouts lefty held opposing batters to a .143 batting average, a .222 on-base percentage , and a .163 slugging percentage; there was just one extra-base hit – a double – among the seven hits that he gave up.
The strong end of his season in September lowered his ERA on the year to 3.81 in his 25 games that spanned 118.0 innings. He allowed 100 hits on the year – eight home runs – and struck out 159 batters while walking 48. (Doug Gray - October 10, 2022)
2022 Reds Pitching Prospect of the Year - Andrew Abbott, LHP (No. 10)
The Reds’ second-round pick in 2021 made very quick work of High-A ball and spent most of the season in Double-A. Over 118 total innings, the southpaw whiffed 12.1 per nine and held hitters to a .230 BAA, finishing with a 3.81 ERA.
Abbott, a lefthander has a lively 91-97 mph FASTBALL with a 55 grade. He has a sharp 76-78 mph 12-to-6 CURVEBALL that some call a slider because of its power and sideways break. It has excellent depth and the tight spin breaks late into the strike zone. He throws it from the same slot as his fastball, making it even more effective for a 55 grade. He also has refined a solid 55 grade CHANGEUP.
Andrew doesn’t have a clear plus pitch, but three average to above-average offerings and plus, 60 grade control give him plenty of chances to compete. All three pitches work well together because he mixes them well. Coaches have long raved about Abbott’s competitiveness. And he has excellent durability. (J.J. Cooper - Baseball America Prospect Handbook - Spring, 2023)
And his pitch-ability is very impressive.
"He can really pitch, Reds pitching coach Derek Johnson said early in 2023. "I don't know if he's an old soul, but there is something about him and the way he goes about it where he's pretty relaxed."
2023 Hottest pitching prospect in the Reds: Andrew Abbott, LHP (No. 6/MLB No. 97)
He made quick work of Double-A to start the year and is now in Triple-A, and in our Top 100. In his five starts with Louisville, the lefty has struck out 13.3 per nine while allowing just 6.8 hits per nine for a .204 BAA. He tossed five shutout innings with eight strikeouts in his last start (albeit with four walks) and you have to wonder when the Reds will see how his stuff plays against big league hitters. (Callis, Dykstra & Nayo - May 25, 2023)
- June 16, 2023: Abbott has thrown 15.2 scoreless innings to begin his MLB career, the longest streak by a Red since 1893.