The San Diego Padres’ spring got off to a much slower start than most expected when the lockout ended late last week, and news of Fernando Tatis Jr.’s fractured wrist certainly put a damper on things, but there is one thing fans can be excited about.
CJ Abrams, the Padres’ heralded shortstop prospect, earned a coveted spot on MLB Pipeline’s Top 10 Prospects of 2022 rankings.
The 21-year-old shortstop landed at No. 9, joined in the Top 100 by fellow Padres prospects, outfielder Robert Hassell III (37), catcher Luis Campusano (44), and LHP Mackenzie Gore (86).
Abrams was the Padres’ first-round pick (6th overall) in the 2019 draft, selected out of high school. When the 2020 minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic, he impressed at the organization’s alternate training site.
If all goes well, 2022 will be Abrams’ first full season in the minors. Injuries limited him to 42 games in 2021, so we’ve yet to see exactly what he can do in a professional setting. Over the first 76 games of his organizational career between rookie ball and Double-A, he’s slashed .296/.363/.420 with a .782 OPS, 26 doubles, eight triples, five home runs, 67 runs scored, and 45 RBI. Abrams has also been praised for his speed and has 28 stolen bases so far in his professional career.
Of course, it will also be interesting to see what the Padres do with Abrams, seeing as he’s at the same position as their marquee player, Tatis. The Padres signed Tatis to a 14-year mega-extension in 2021, and if all goes well, that means they won’t have use for another shortstop.
Whatever the future holds for Abrams, it’s certainly bright.