In 10 words or fewer: Athletic prep OF with intriguing set of tools.
Position: OF | Age (2016): 21
Bats: L | Throws: R
Height: 6’1″ | Weight: 195
2015 Rank: Unranked
Contact – C+. What once appeared to be a serious obstacle to overcome has now grown into an average quality tool for Abbot. His swing has shortened, and really allows him to take full advantage of his exceptional hand-eye coordination. While the K’s are expected to rise again as he climbs the minor league ladder, we don’t envisioning contact ever becoming a serious problem, or a strength for that matter. He’s “ok” in this category.
Power – B-. Alex is still growing into his adult body. By that we mean he’s 20 years old and is already considerably more muscular than we last saw when he was drafted. This should likely continue, to the point where Abbott should be considered a very strong prospect in no time. What does this mean for his power? It’s only beginning to manifest itself. The numbers are likely to go down because he’s leaving Orem, but in the end, I think Abbot will present real 15+ HR type of power.
Discipline – B+. Here’s a big reason why former GM Dipoto (and inherently, myself) was so excited about Abbott. He’s a prep player that already comes with a very good idea of the strike zone. He works the count almost every AB and frequently walks. This is rare coming from a kid out of high school. In a year or two, it’s easy to envision this tool becoming Abbott’s signature standout ability.
Speed – B. Alex is fast, he just hasn’t really discovered how to fully utilize it yet. He’s fast, but the baserunning isn’t as instinctual and you may think. When he’s stealing, it comes across almost as if he’s guessing and not reading as much. But once this refines, I think 10-20 SB on a regular basis is in order.
Arm – B+. Abbot has a very strong and accurate arm. While he has the natural ability to play CF, he profiles better as a corner OF and that’s where the Angels are playing him so far. If Abbott makes it to the majors and anything less than a starter, his arm and speed should make him a solid 4th OF, with the ability to play all three spots.
Fielding – B. Clearly one of the better corner OF’s out there, at least from a defensive standpoint. He isn’t just a warm bpdy to put out there, he actually provides plus defense from the corners.
Range – B. Despite the baserunning lagging on the instinctual side of things, he looks like a natural out in the field. I never really saw Abbott have to leave his feet for any play. He glides in the OF and plays the corners and the wall quite well.
Performance – C+. I expected a bit more from Alex in the batting average compartment. But his steady progression in OBP, SB, power and defense made this a successful year for Abbot.
Projection – B. Whenever athleticism is noted, we usually just to the conclusion that whoever it is could end up being great someday. And that holds some water. But this year, I’m trying a more tempered approach. Certainly, Abbott brings enough to the table to turn into a Christian Yelich type of player. But there’s a lot that needs to happen before that. More than likely, what we’re looking at here is a Colin Cowgill type of player with slightly more patience and power.
What to expect in 2016 – Abbott did just enough in Orem this year to warrant a promotion to the Midwest League as a 21 year old next year, however that will be dependent upon the depth chart. The Angels have a glut of OF’s in their system ticketed for A+/A Ball like Foster, Sanger, Perez, Delgado and Jones. Still it seems more likely than not that Abbott will be in A Ball.
Most Likely Scenario – The power doesn’t develop as much as it could, and Abbott plays himself into a 4th OF and depth role.
Grade as a Prospect – C. Until he capitalizes on the tools and brings the batting average up, it’s difficult to view Alex as anything more than an average prospect with the possibility for more.
Estimated Time of Arrival – 2020. He should be around 25 years old by then, which is the cusp. Not young enough to be a prospect anymore, but old enough to be knocking on the door.