2013 MLB Draft Profile- Willie Abreu, OF, Mater Academy (FL)

Last year, Mater Academy produced an outfielder that went in the top 10 in Albert Almora. This season, the school is graduating another talented outfielder, Willie Abreu, who may not stack up well against Almora, but few do, and he has plenty of ability.

Summary

When Albert Almora was selected sixth overall by the Cubs last year, he was praised for his combination of five tools and high baseball IQ and work ethic coming out of high school at Mater Academy. This year's top product of the school is not as toolsy, though he's no stiff, but he shows the same feel for the game that Almora did, so clearly the coaches there are doing something very right. Abreu profiles best in left field, in my opinion, which provides him with little positional value, but he can be a stellar defender there. He has a big frame at 6'3", 195 lbs. His arm would be just average in right field, and though he's an above average runner, he'd be fringy in center field. He has great outfield actions and throws accurately, and will need little more polish on that side of the ball.

On offense, Abreu has significant potential. He has a gorgeous left handed swing with excellent plane and bat speed, and he looks very comfortable at the plate. He turns his hips explosively and he has active hands, and his hitting mechanics are remarkably consistent. The only gripe I have is that he tends to hit off of his back leg a little bit, which is the mark of a pull hitter, generally, but it's a minor flaw in an otherwise very pretty swing.

When I look at Abreu I see a player who has a chance to be a regular. He doesn't have one especially loud tool, but he has a broad base of skills and if he goes to college I think he'd be a very prolific hitter there and could be a high pick again in a few years. He may fit best as a fourth outfielder in the end, since he's a bit of a tweener, but there may be untapped raw power in his frame, and in a pinch he could be asked to play any of the three outfield spots. He's an under-the-radar prospect in a strong outfield class, and shouldn't be overlooked.

College Commitment: Miami (FL)

MLB Floor

He's a high school player, and he's the kind of hitter who will need a strong walk rate to be consistently productive. A lot can go wrong, but his wide range of abilities are a great profile for a bench player even if it does.

MLB Ceiling

I'm a bit higher than most on Abreu's raw power, and I love his future hitting ability, as well. It's easy to overrate guys who will be just average athletes in pro ball at this stage, but I think Abreu has a 20 HR, .280 ceiling, or somewhere in that territory.

Projected Draft Round

Baseball America ranks him 202nd overall, Which puts him in the 5th to 6th round range. He could go significantly higher, or slide out of the draft due to signability concerns. It's a tough call.

Will He Sign?

It will take some money. Like I said previously, I think he could go higher after three years at Miami.

Video

Willie Abreu, OF, Mater Academy (2013) (via BaseballAmericaVideo)

Willie Abreu (via MLBdraftables)


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