The play of CJ Abrams this spring is pushing the San Diego Padres to keep him on the Opening Day roster. In a matter of hours, we should get word if the youngster made the team.
The excitement regarding Padres prospect CJ Abrams is real.
Abrams brings a lot to the table, and despite his minimal experience in the minors, he looks to be ready for major league service time now.
The left-handed hitter is getting an extended look this spring for the Padres in multiple areas on the field. Despite initially declaring that Abrams would only play in the infield, manager Bob Melvin caved and allowed the fleet-footed fielder to play most of the game on Tuesday in the outfield. Something that could be a common site for Padres fans.
Abrams was hardly challenged on the day with his glove, and it remains to be seen if he can make the complete transition to the outfield.
The 21-year-old spoke to the media after the game about playing multiple positions, “Any position to help me get on the team. I’m willing to do it. Right field, center field, shortstop, second base, anything,” Abrams told Dennis Lin of The Athletic after playing six innings in right field for the Padres on Tuesday afternoon in Peoria.
His focus remains to make the opening day roster, and we should have word on that in the next 24 hours.
Abrams’ versatility is further pushing the Padres to keep him on the current roster. “I mean, go out there and catch it. I can catch a fly ball. Not too bad,” Abrams said after the game on Tuesday. The confidence is present. The left-handed hitter just needs an opportunity.
So far this spring, the Georgia native is hitting .324 with a .873 OPS in 37 at-bats. He has slugged two homers and stolen three bases in that time. His numbers are against legitimate major league pitchers as well. It is not as though he has fed against minor leaguers deep within a Cactus League game.
With the absence of Fernando Tatis Jr., Abrams is capable of stepping right in and providing a spark to the offense. The right-handed thrower is solid at shortstop and could be very important to the Padres as they begin the 2022 season without their superstar, who injured his wrist this winter. A lineup consisting of Tatis and Abrams back-to-back would create havoc for opposing pitchers.
It is hard to imagine the Padres not keeping Abrams on their active roster as they break camp in Peoria. The rookie has earned an extensive look, and there will be opportunities for him in the lineup. At this point, CJ Abrams may never eat a minor league spread again. And that is a good thing for Padres fans.