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2021 South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 89: Sam Abbott

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It’s a battle between big power and big whiffs for this Bunyan clubber

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Sam Abbott

First Baseman
6´4´´
225 pounds
Age: 22
SSS rank among all first basemen in the system: 5
2020 SSHP Top Prospect ranking: 86

A three-time state MVP in water polo at Curtis High School in University Place, Wash., Abbott had a partial scholarship to stay on that path at Long Beach State. But in the spring of 2017 — the spring he thought would be his last for competitive baseball — he batted .438 (21-for-61) with eight doubles, two home runs and 18 RBIs to earn an eighth round draft selection by the White Sox.

That year with the AZL White Sox, he got off to a good start and showed good patience at the plate. However, he struggled making contact, which caused him to slash just .225/.344/.275 with 17 walks (13.8%) and 38 strikeouts (30.9%) in 102 at-bats.

Abbott got off to an extremely difficult start with the AZL White Sox in 2018, but salvaged his season somewhat as he found his power late in the season. Overall, though, Abbott slashed just .139/.347/.306 in 72 at-bats with three doubles, three homers, nine RBIs, 18 walks (18.9%) and 33 strikeouts (34.7%) in 72 at-bats.

In 2019 with Great Falls, Abbott still fanned far too frequently — but started making harder contact. In 58 games and 181 at-bats with the Voyagers, he slashed .238/.355/.459 while producing 13 doubles, nine homers, 27 RBIs, 26 walks (12.0%) and 79 strikeouts (36.4%). He hit .212/.350/.455 against lefties and fared a bit better versus righties (.243/.356/.450). Abbott does have a great degree of patience for someone so young as he’s walked 14% of the time during his professional career; however, that patience has also led to a seriously high strikeout rate of 34.5%.

When play last ended after that season, Harvin Mendoza and Abbott were two players on a similar track to more substantial playing time at Kannapolis for 1B/DH duties. While Abbott has the better power potential, Mendoza is more likely to win that battle due to being a more polished hitter. With the loss of Great Falls, there’s even a chance that Abbott returns to Arizona for some rookie league seasoning before getting to North Carolina.