RiverDogs' Abreu strikes out career-high 11

Yankees No. 11 prospect nabs first win with 5 2/3 scoreless frames

Albert Abreu racked up 115 strikeouts in 101 2/3 innings across two levels last season. (Zach Bland/Charleston RiverDogs)

By Alex Kraft / MiLB.com | April 12, 2017 9:05 PM ET

Albert Abreu did more than enough to earn a standing ovation Wednesday.

The Yankees No. 11 prospect struck out a career-high 11 batters while scattering two hits over 5 2/3 frames in Class A Charleston's 4-0 blanking of Augusta at Joseph P. Riley Jr. Ballpark. The 19-year-old threw 61 of his 83 pitches for strikes, didn't issue any walks and occasionally reached triple digits on the radar gun.

"I think he was pleased with the way he threw the ball," RiverDogs pitching coach Justin Pope said. "He was able to control his fastball in the zone and was getting his changeup and curveball over for strikes as well...He's got electric stuff, no question about it."


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Abreu (1-0) recorded the first four outs via strikeout and fanned three or more consecutive batters two more times in the game. The right-hander surpassed his previous career high of nine whiffs, which he established on May 2, 2016 with Class A Quad Cities in the Astros system.

Video: Abreu's 11th strikeout for Charleston

The GreenJackets reached second base just once in the game. Sandro Fabian legged out an infield single to shortstop Oswaldo Cabrera to lead off the fourth, then moved up to second when Abreu's pickoff throw sailed wide. The Dominican Republic native responded by striking out the next three batters.

"His mound presence was good and stayed the same," Pope said. "I couldn't tell that he just made an error. He just kept pitching."

Abreu set down the side in order in the fifth and fanned the first two hitters in the sixth before reaching his pitch limit. He was replaced by righty Adonis Rosa and departed to an ovation from the Charleston crowd of 4,159.

"He walked off and heard the ovation and gave a big smile," Pope said. "It was nice to see him put up a good performance like that and the crowd acknowledge it."

The pitching coach likes what he has seen from the young hurler in the first month of the season. Since New York acquired him from Houston in the Brian McCann trade in November, Abreu has allowed one run and five hits with a 17-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 9 2/3 innings in two South Atlantic League appearances.

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"He's got three really good pitches and he throws them for strikes. He has a really good idea how to pitch," Pope said. "There's some delivery stuff we're working on cleaning up. We'll continue to work on fastball command and elevating when he wants to, and also getting his offspeed over for strikes. He's got three really good pitches, but it's being consistent with them in the zone, throwing them where he wants to."

After taking over for Abreu, Rosa gave up one hit and rang up seven punchouts over 3 1/3 frames to record his first save.

Offensively, Hoy Jun Park homered and singled while Angel Aguilar and Carlos Vidal contributed three hits apiece for the RiverDogs.

Augusta starter Domenic Mazza (0-2) was tagged for three runs -- one earned -- on eight hits and a walk while fanning two over four innings.

Alex Kraft is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow and chat with him on Twitter @Alex_Kraft21. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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