At 18 years old, shortstop CJ Abrams is already one of baseball’s best young players. The Georgia native set the world on fire as a high school and now figures to be one of the top picks in the upcoming MLB Draft. Leverage is on his side, as the baseball phenomenon has already committed to play college ball at Alabama.
CJ Abrams MLB Draft Profile
The first thing that jumps off the page with Abrams is his electric speed. The lefty probably boasts the best speed in his draft class and recorded a 6.29 60-yard dash at the Perfect Game. MLB Pipeline ranks Abrams’ speed as a 75 out of 80, placing him among the very best in all of baseball. He has the ability to turn ground balls into singles, singles into doubles, and doubles into triples.
Additionally, Abrams has a solid hit tool and is great at making contact. Abrams excels at avoiding strikeouts and spreading the ball all over the field. On top of that, he has a decent arm and the athleticism to fit at multiple positions across the diamond.
It’s not necessarily a weakness, but Abrams will never be a power hitter. At 6’1” and 178 pounds, the Georgia native will need to add on a few pounds regardless. This isn’t really a big deal, as Abrams is only 18 and most players his age need to add muscle. That said, he probably won’t ever eclipse 15-20 homers per season even with the added weight.
On top of that, he might not be able to last at shortstop. While he has the raw speed and arm to be an above-average shortstop, he’s lanky with his movement and doesn’t have the quickest release. There’s obviously time to fix this, but he might have to transition to second base or center field sometime down the line.
Lastely, he’s only 18. While he looks like a prodigy at this point in his career, high school prospects always carry more risk than their collegiate counterparts. There is a chance that he just peaked early as an athlete and won’t develop past what he is today. While that would still make him a major league talent, there’s no way to tell how his skill set will play against older, more advanced pitchers.
Last Word on CJ Abrams
CJ Abrams should be one of the first players off the board come draft night. The 18-year old shortstop already has elite speed and the hit tool to maximize his breakneck legs. On top of that, he has an above average arm and his speed ensures he will find a home at defense, even if it’s not at shortstop.
As is the case with all high school prospects, CJ Abrams carries a bit of risk. For one, he’s not a power hitter and needs to grow into his body. Additionally, he might have to switch away from shortstop, as his defensive mechanics are too flawed for the most important infield position. He could very well iron this out over time, but there’s a real chance that he’ll have to play second base or center field at the major league level.
Additionally, Abrams is already committed to Alabama. If he doesn’t like the team who drafts him or feels that the money isn’t worth it, he could opt to go to college and try again in three years. However, Abrams’ upside is amazing and his speed and hit tool give him a safe floor. Look for him to be one of the first five players selected off the board.
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