No. 25: Red Sox outfield prospect Wilyer Abreu
Wilyer Abreu came over to the organization as part of the Christian Vazquez trade with the Houston Astros. This was a phenomenal trade for Boston. I know it was hard to lose Vaz, but wow, the return was great for a rental.
Abreu spent his time this year in the system with Portland. There, he showed off his solid all-around game that includes an insane eye.
Overall on the year, the left-handed hitter slashed .247/.399/.435 with 29 doubles and 19 home runs in 129 games between the two organizations. He drove in 73 runs, scored 106 more, and stole an impressive 31 bases in 34 attempts. That .399 OBP jumps out at you, doesn’t it? He achieved that by walking 114 times. If you didn’t know, that’s a lot.
Abreu doesn’t really grade out as someone that will hit .300. However, that eye needs to be taken into account in my opinion. Who cares if you don’t have the highest batting average if the OBP is out of this world? Yes, the discipline does get factored into the hit grade.
The 23-year-old has exciting power too. This is something he’s already shown that off nicely with his 29 doubles and 19 home runs. Gap power and legitimate home run power. And I think that’s only going to get better. A 25-plus home run season is a real possibility.
The 31 steals on just 34 attempts probably jumped out to some people. Abreu has pretty good speed. He isn’t elite in that category, but it’s definitely a plus. What really makes Abreu great in this category is his IQ on the bases. He’s aggressive but picks his spots nicely. And he does have more than enough speed to steal plenty of bases and fly around to score from first on extra-base hits.
Defensively, Abreu likely isn’t winning any awards in the outfield. He isn’t bad at all, but there’s nothing spectacular about his glove. He’ll be a solid corner outfielder. Meanwhile, his arm is a major plus. This is definitely something that could surprise some people and lead to some beautiful throws to get people trying to take an extra base.
Overall, Abreu is someone to keep an eye on. His ability to get on base will make fans love him. Patience translates. Add that to great power and good speed and you’ve got yourself a fun prospect.