Cubs acquire intriguing OF prospect Abreu in Fukudome deal

Although this deal is mostly about making room for Tyler Colvin, and eventually Brett Jackson, the Cubs did manage to pick up an interesting player in return for Fukudome.  His name is Abner Abreu and he is a potential 5 tool player in RF.

Abreu's best current tool is his arm, which rated as the best in the Cleveland organiztion per Baseball America.  His defense in general is a big plus.  Although, he's said to have a nice, smooth swing, it's offense that has been the question mark with Abreu.   In the past two weeks, however, Abreu has started to answer those questions.

In two games last week, Abreu went 7-8 with 4 home runs.  Over the last 10 days, he's batted .424 with a .909 slugging percentage.  You have to presume the Cubs have been watching him leading up to the deadline and they had to be impressed by his recent performance.

Overall in the year he's hitting .244 with 12 home runs and 19 SBs for high Class A team Kingston.  He will likely report to Daytona, although his recent hot streak may earn him a promotion to AA Tennessee.

He has been a ranked prospect with Cleveland.  According to Baseball America, he ranked #16 overall in 2009 and #23 in 2010.  Another site, Indians Prospect Insider, had him ranked as the #5 overall prospect in 2010 and #23 before this season.

He has a reputation as a raw, toolsy player -- the kind the Cubs seem to favor and perhaps his recent performance suggests that maybe the light bulb has clicked on for him.  He's still not a patient player, but he has improved.  His 22 walks represent a career high for him and he has upped his walk rate from about 4.5% to about 6.1%.   If he can continue to improve his plate discipline, the Cubs may have themselves a potential impact player, a guy who can play great defense in RF and hit for power and perhaps steal a few bases as well.

He is, however, a long way from that, but the potential is there.  Abreu is a player that bears watching.

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  • Promote him to AA Tennessee and let me check the kid out up close!

    I'm with you guys, hope this opens up the flood gates. Everything must be priced to sell, clearance sale ! Really excited for Colvin here too. He's a guy I like, and believe needed an everyday job and some consistency.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    Oh, that's right...that would be cool. You'd be one of the first guys to get a first hand look. I'd like to see Colvin just play and win that RF job once and for all.

  • I agree with both of you, let the fire sale begin! At this point the Cubs should try to persuade Ramirez that it would be in his best interests to go elsewhere.

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    There is nothing to like here except the power, which will never mean anything without plate discipline. Very few players have so much bat speed and hand to eye coordination that they can succeed at the major league level swinging at most everything thrown towards them.

    It all comes down to this. What is the purpose of a PA? If the answer is anything other than "To not make an out," you are wrong. All the power, speed and combination there of is worth nothing if you are an easy out. It really is that simple.

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    In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    I meant to say, "There is nothing to like here except the power and speed, which will never mean anything without plate discipline."

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Well, that's the caveat here...developing better plate discipline. He appears to have made a small stride in that area, raising his walk rate up by a point and a half. If he can raise it another point and a half or more, he may amount to something, otherwise he may just fizzle out in AA when more advanced pitchers can take advantage of his free swinging ways. The odds are against this kid making it, no question -- but if he does make the necessary adjustments, he has a chance to be pretty useful.

    The Cubs have another power hitter at Daytona, Michael Burgess, who I believe is the better prospect for that reason. He has shown good plate discipline (12.8% walk rate to go with excellent power potential). He's batting just .228, however, but at least some of that has to do with a .262 BABIP, beating his career low by 25 points.

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