The Reds should fast-track Andrew Abbott to the big leagues

Virginia Cavaliers starting pitcher Andrew Abbott (16) pitches.
Virginia Cavaliers starting pitcher Andrew Abbott (16) pitches. / Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The Cincinnati Reds bullpen is in dire need of help heading into the 2022 season.

Fast-tracking Andrew Abbott to the big leagues rather than delaying his debut might prove worthwhile for the Redlegs.

Andrew Abbott was the Reds second-round pick in 2021.

Andrew Abbott was originally drafted by the New York Yankees in 2017, but chose instead to attend the University of Virginia.

Abbott starred for the Cavaliers for four seasons, but only started three games in his first three years in Charlottesville.

In Abbott's first three seasons at Virginia, the left-hander appeared in 57 regular season games, posted a 3.25 ERA and 165 strikeouts over 108.1 innings of work.

Last season, Abbott became a regular in the 'Hoos rotation with 17 starts in 19 appearances.

Andrew Abbott went 9-6 with a 2.87 ERA and 162 punch outs in 106.2 innings on the mound. That is flat-out getting it done.

The Reds should fast-track Andrew Abbott to the bigs.

I'm not here to debate whether or not the Cincinnati Reds should develop Andrew Abbott as a starter or a reliever.

But looking at the Cincinnati Reds bullpen heading into 2022 brings me a lot of anxiety. Adding Abbott to the mix might help to calm my nerves.

Now, I'm not saying Abbott should be part of the Reds Opening Day roster, though I wouldn't be upset if he was given the opportunity this spring.

But after spending four seasons at the University of Virginia, Abbott can perhaps leapfrog a level of minor league baseball.

After making his professional debut for the Daytona Tortugas in 2021, it would be wise for Cincinnati to allow Abbott to skip over High-A Dayton and begin the 2022 at Double-A Chattanooga.

Might Andrew Abbott be able to follow a path similar to Garrett Crochet of the Chicago White Sox?

The University of Tennessee product was selected by the White Sox in the 2020 MLB Draft.

After signing on June 22nd, Chicago thought highly enough of Crochet's abilities that he was promoted to the major leagues on September 18th.

Crochet was the first player since the Cincinnati Reds' own Mike Leake to go straight from being drafted to playing in the major leagues without playing a game in the minors.

Crochet has worked exclusively out of the White Sox bullpen for the past two seasons, but the South Siders still see Crochet as a potential starter.

Tanner Houck, a former first-round pick of the Boston Red Sox is a similar example.

The right-hander is viewed as a long-term starter, but his ability to pitch out of the bullpen was on full display during the postseason. Houck struck out 10 batters in 10.1 innings during the 2021 playoffs.

There's a lot to like about Andrew Abbott. His mix of an above-average fastball and plus-curveball could work very well out of the Reds bullpen in 2022.

The Cincinnati Reds, who recently lost Cionel Pérez to the Baltimore Orioles, are short on southpaws out of the bullpen.

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If Abbott gets the opportunity during spring training, don't be surprised to see the left-hander take full advantage and at least make a run at the Opening Day roster.