Chicago Cubs: Cory Abbott, SP – Tennessee Smokies
Sliding in at number nine in the Cubs’ top 10 prospects is Smokies starter, Cory Abbott. Abbott was selected by the team in 2017, having impressively worked his way through the system in just two years.
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Currently, in his first season with Double-A Tennessee, Abbott has posted a 2.96 ERA through nine starts spanning 51 2/3 innings. From Class-A Advanced last season, Abbott has continued to improve in many facets of his game. He has lowered his xFIP from 3.39 last season to 3.15 this season.
Abbott has also decreased his walk rate to a lowly 5.3 percent, while still keeping a stable 24.5 percent strikeout rate. In his last start, Abbott went six innings, giving up just two runs and striking out five. Spanning his past three starts, Abbott has not allowed a home run, posting a 3.24 ERA with 16 strikeouts.
There is a high chance Abbott does not make his way to Triple-A this season, and that is hopefully what happens. Chicago needs to understand what they have in Abbott, allowing him to develop at a moderate pace. If they can do that, and Abbott continues to improve, the Cubs could have a second-round steal down the line.