It might not have been the plan to send CJ Abrams to a full-season affiliate this quickly, but his bat left the Padres no choice.
San Diego promoted the 2019 sixth overall pick from the Rookie-level Arizona League to Class A Fort Wayne on Tuesday, the Midwest League club announced. Abrams becomes the first prep player taken in the first round of the 2019 Draft to reach the Class A level.
The 18-year-old shortstop got off to a fast start and is leading the Arizona League in a host of categories, including batting (.401), hits (57), triples (eight) and total bases (94). He also ranked second with a .662 slugging percentage, 1.104 OPS and 40 runs and added three homers, 12 doubles and a .442 on-base percentage through 32 games in the complex circuit.
2019 MiLB include
Coming out of Blessed Trinity Catholic High School in Roswell, Georgia, Abrams was slotted as MLB.com's No. 4 prospect in the 2019 Draft on the strength of his plus-plus speed and above-average hit tool from the left side. His arm is also considered above-average, but it's not a guarantee that he will remain at shortstop. The whole package was strong enough for San Diego to take him sixth in June and sign him to a $5.2 million bonus, just below the $5,742,900 slot value.
MLB.com has ranked Abrams as the No. 48 overall prospect in baseball, making him No. 5 in the loaded Padres system behind MacKenzie Gore, Luis Urias, Taylor Trammell and Luis Patiño. He joins 2018 first-rounder Ryan Weathers on the Fort Wayne roster as well as No. 16 San Diego prospect Tucupita Marcano, No. 19 Joey Cantillo and No. 30 Blake Hunt.