Continuing with our new theme here at Climbing Tal’s Hill as we cover the 40 man roster, comes our next profile player; Juan Abreu.
The Kansas City Royals signed Juan Abreu in 2005 when he was 19 years old. After spending several years with the Royals organization, Abreu signed with the Atlanata Braves in 2009. He bounced around in their system as well, pitching some with the big league club and down in the minors. He finally came over to the Astros from the Braves as part of the Michael Bourn trade. Abreu is the type of prospect that you hope for in a relief pitcher. He has a tremendous fastball that can touch 96 consistently and occasionally hit 98. He also has a pretty good breaking ball. The problem with Abreu is that he is already 26 and still is having control issues. He is very wild and inconsistent but if he learns to harness that, he could be a very good 8th inning arm or maybe even a closer.
Anytime I see Abreu, he reminds me so much of Kyle Farnsworth. Electric fastball, decent curveball and breaking ball but a lot of control issues. In limited time with the Astros, Abreu looked pretty good as he struck out 12 and only walked 3 in 6.2 innings with a 2.70 ERA. As I said before, if he can harness his control issues, he can be a very valuable part of this young Astros team in their bullpen or even a trade chip to a team willing to pay a premium price for a reliever. However, if he does not harness his control issues, he will not be pitching at the major league level for long and will languish in the minors until he learns to harness it. My prediction is that Abreu will make the team out of spring training as a bullpen arm. How long he stays there, will be up to Abreu and his control issues.