It's been a bit of trend lately to see some prospects forgo the traditional path of climbing the minor league ladder to Triple-A and making the leap to the major leagues straight from Double-A. The Cincinnati Reds faithful saw that last season with Alexis Diaz.
Will Reds Country see it again in 2023? It seems a bit unlikely, as promoting players to the 40-man roster before it becomes necessary can trigger a player's service time clock and minor league options. But Andrew Abbott may be a special case.
Abbott, Cincinnati's second-round pick in 2021, has had a medicoric through the Reds farm system. After dominating at High-A Dayton last season, Abbott made the leap to Double-A and appeared in 20 games for the Chattanooga Lookouts in 2022.
Will Reds LHP prospect Andrew Abbott forgo a trip to Triple-A?
Andrew Abbott made quite the impression on the Cincinnati Reds front office and scouts last season. After just five games at High-A, the left-hander was promoted to Double-A Chattanooga. In those five games, Abbott went 3-0 with a 0.67 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 27 innings of work.
Abbott's numbers at Double-A were not as proficient (7-7 4.75 ERA) but he still racked up a ton of punch outs (119). Abbott's 30.8% strikeout-rate was quite impressive. His 10.6% walk-rate could certainly be improved upon, but it's offset by those terrific strikeout numbers.
The question surrounding Abbott, who's rated as the 10th-best prospect according to MLB Pipeline, is whether or not he'll be a starter or a reliever. Cincinnati has run Abbott out as a starter since drafting him, but there are questions about whether or not he could remain in that role over the long haul.
If Andrew Abbott were to leapfrog the traditional stop at Triple-A, he'd certainly see time as a reliever, at least initially, in the majors. With Reiver Sanmartin as the lone left-hander in the Cincinnati Reds bullpen, David Bell would certainly welcome Abbott with open arms.
If the Cincinnati Reds still view Abbott as a starter, then he'll undoubtedly begin the season in the minor leagues. But, if the Reds foresee Abbott as a reliever, as he was throughout most of his collegiate career, then don't be shocked to see the left-hander be part of the Reds Opening Day roster.