Albert Abreu turned heads during his first start of the season with the Charleston RiverDogs. Abreu pitched five and two-thirds innings while striking out 11 batters, without walking a batter and allowing only two hits against the Augusta Greenjackets on April 12, earning the win in a Dogs 4-0 victory. His fastball touched 98 on the radar gun.
“Albert Abreu was something special tonight. What you saw tonight is why he was traded for a big league starter in Brian McCann. Fun to watch. He’s going to be something down the road. He can become an All-Star pitcher,” RiverDogs manager Pat Osborn said of his starter after that performance.
The New York Yankees acquired Abreu in an offseason trade with the Houston Astros for catcher Brian McCann. “I felt very motivated because they traded me for a big leaguer,” Abreu said of coming over in the trade.
“His reputation precedes him. He was one of the Astros top prospects. Another guy (in our rotation) with a great fastball, up to 98, great curveball,” Osborn said.
Abreu split his 2016 season between Quad Cities (Class A Midwest League) and Lancaster (Advanced A California League) in the Astros system. Abreu had issues with his control, and he ended up walking 58 batters in 101 2/3 innings pitched combined between the two teams. “I focused on being able to command my pitches better,” Abreu said about his work in spring training.
Abreu considers his fastball his best pitch. He also throws a plus curveball and a changeup. “Changeup and the curveball are the pitches that I’m currently working on,” Abreu said.
In his first season in the Yankees, Abreu is off to a great start and has already earned a promotion to the Tampa Yankees. In his time in Charleston, he pitched in three games, starting two. He pitched 14 and two-thirds innings allowing just nine hits and three earned runs for a 1.84 ERA. He struck out 22 batters and only walked three.
“I’m very proud, very motivated and it feels good to be one of the better prospects in the Yankees organization,” Abreu said.