The Cincinnati Reds have a pair of young, left-handed pitching prospects that have appeared in Triple-A Louisville this year. One of them got the nod to start this week, while the other continues to sit in Triple-A.
Did the Reds make the right decision giving Brandon Williamson the call before Andrew Abbott? Let's first take a look at each prospect and how they've fared so far this season.
Williamson has had an up and down 2023 season. Acquired as the headliner of the trade that sent Eugenio Suarez and Jesse Winker to Seattle, Williamson has yet to live up to the expectations. He currently has a 6.62 ERA in over 30 innings in Louisville. His previous two starts, however, did show some growth and maturity.
Pros and cons of the Reds choosing Brandon Williamson over Andrew Abbott.
Abbott, is a bit younger, at just 23 years old. The southpaw began the year in Double-A, where he was absolutely dominant, and forced the Reds to promote him to Triple-A after just three starts with the Lookouts. Abbott has thrown 35 innings with an impressive 3.02 ERA across the two levels of professional baseball.
Williamson has more experience. A college pitcher at TCU, Williamson was drafted in 2019. Abbott also pitched in college, spending four years at the University of Virginia. Abbott who was drafted in 2021.
Williamson spent 13 starts last season in Triple-A and started eight games for the Louisville Bats this year. That would suggest that Williamson has more experience against better competition. A jump to the big leagues should be less of a shock to his system compared to Abbott.
But on the other side, Abbott has been the better pitcher this year. Abbott has outperformed Williamson, and almost every other pitcher in the minor leagues, to this point in the season.
Abbott has been routinely dominant each time he's moved up in competition. Not only does he limit runs, but Abbott strikes batters out at a tremendous clip and completely stifles opposing batters. With Nick Lodolo out of action for at least a month, Abbott could very well be the difference-maker that's needed on the mound in Cincinnati.
Both prospects will be in Cincinnati soon, so there really isn't a wrong decision to make here. The ceiling on both of these guys is tremendous and Reds fans should look forward to a rotation that could include both Andrew Abbott and Brandon Williamson.