Chicago Cubs: Cory Abbott, RHP – No.15
Sliding in as the number 15 overall prospect heading into 2020, right-handed pitcher Cory Abbott displayed his talents in a big way in 2019. A second-round draft selection by the Cubs in 2017, Abbott has improved significantly over his first three years in professional baseball.
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Unlike many of the teams’ prospects, Abbott jumped head first, immediately going to Class-A Short Season, joining the Eugene Emeralds. It was a brief stint for the Emeralds, as Abbott made just five starts and seeing a lowly 14 innings of action. He did, however, impress.
Abbott finished with a respectable 3.86 ERA over that span, posting a lofty 31.0 percent strikeout rate. More impressive, maybe for Abbott, was his insanely low walk rate of 5.2 percent. Abbott posted a 2.96 xFIP as well, limiting home runs in his first season.
Chicago decided Abbott was ready for the next level by last season. He began the 2018 campaign in Class-A South Bend, making nine starts and finished with a 2.47 ERA, a 2.94 xFIP, and a near-identical strikeout rate of 30.8 percent. Making the jump to Class-A Advanced Myrtle Beach, Abbott continued to dominate. He made 13 starts for the Pelicans, pitching to a 2.53 ERA over 67 2/3 innings.
This year, Abbott spent the entire season at Double-A Tennessee. Doubling his starts to 26, Abbott pitched exceptionally well. His 3.01 ERA was a hair up from Myrtle Beach, and Abbott lowered his xFIP by a couple of points. The strikeouts increased once again, moving from 26.2 percent to 27.8 percent. Abbott is 24 years old but should have a great chance to start 2020 in Triple-A Iowa. It’ll be exciting to see what he has in store at the next level.