MLB Pipeline continues to roll out their updated prospect rankings, and now they’ve ranked San Diego Padres prospect CJ Abrams as one of the best shortstops.
In 34 games for the Padres Rookie League affiliate in Arizona (and 2 games in Single-A) he hit .393/.436/.647 with 41 runs scored, 13 doubles, 3 home runs, 22 RBI, and 15 stolen bases for a 1.083 OPS.
That performance was good enough for the 19-year-old to be ranked among the Top 10 shortstop prospects in all of baseball by MLB Pipeline.
Abrams and Bobby Witt Jr. (Royals) where both drafted in the top six of the 2019 draft and both appear on this top 10 list.
The Padres’ shortstop was given the highest grade among the list for speed with an 80 grade.
Abrams was named Georgia’s high school player of the year in 2019 and was the Rookie Arizona League MVP. He also got paid $5.2 million for signing with the Padres, so it’s been a big year for the young kid.
The only question for Abrams is where he will play at the big league level. Right now Fernando Tatis Jr. is the shortstop for the Padres, but there are concerns about his defense at the position.
If Abrams proves he can be an above-average defender, then maybe San Diego looks to move Tatis Jr. to another position.
Or on the flip side, if Tatis Jr. shows improvement on defense then Abrams could be moved to second base or center field.
A lot of people have suggested center field because of his elite speed an ability to cover ground, and the Padres have a major need there in the long term.
Either way, this is a super talented left-handed hitter who has the chance to grow into some power and perhaps hit 20 home runs and steal 40 bases one day.