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South Boston News
Andrew Abbott / July 15, 2021

Andrew Abbott added another milestone to an already superlative year being selected by the Cincinnati Reds on day two of the 2021 MLB Draft on Monday.

Abbott was chosen in the second round as the 53rd overall selection.

Abbott, who helped define the University of Virginia men’s baseball team this season, said he was excited to have accomplished this goal. Abbott said it was a bag of mixed emotions as he and his family heard his named called.

“It’s hard to put into words, obviously, what came to my mind first,” Abbott said. “It was definitely tearful, excitement; just seeing all the hard work has finally culminated in the first step of living your dream.

“So it was definitely a tearful and joyous moment. You’ve got the whole family clapping for you but you find yourself back in focus over the days.”

At Virginia this season, Abbott’s first with the Cavaliers as a starting pitcher, he went 9-6 with a 2.87 ERA. He pitched 106.2 innings, allowing 89 hits but only 39 runs. He tossed 102 strikeouts with 32 walks.

With the pick, Abbott received the recognition his senior season merited.

As a pitcher for Halifax County High School, Abbott was selected in the 36th round of 2017 MLB draft by the New York Yankees. Becoming a Cavalier, Abbott said what stood out the most was resiliency and consistency — the team’s and his own.

“The resiliency of our team for sure is probably the first one,” Abbott said. “Starting out 4-12 in the ACC to end at 18-18 in the ACC and then to make it to Omaha (in the College World Series).

“There’s nothing else that a senior could want than to go to Omaha” and end his college career on that high note.

“Second, the consistency, even with myself. You know I went back with a couple of goals, one to prove people wrong, and just went out each week trying to give my best effort for the team and give my team the best shot to win. I think I did that looking back at it.

“Obviously I’m still just processing most of it; the Omaha experience, all the travel that’s been going on and all the memories that are being made with me and my teammates these last couple of days.”

Abbott’s dad David echoed his son’s thoughts. David spoke not only of the athletic accomplishments his son has had but also the academic achievements — All-ACC academic for four years, receiving his undergraduate degree in three years, obtaining his Master’s Degree in his senior season.

“Everything that my son has set forth to do in his life, he’s done it,” David said. “He’s checked off every block. He said he wanted play ball; he wanted to pitch at U.Va. and he’s done that. He wanted to pitch at Omaha and he’s done that and he said I want to play professional baseball, now he’s drafted.

“So, it’s amazing what he’s done. Everything has fallen through and we’re living it, we’re living it right now and it’s amazing.

“It’s been a whirlwind. I’ve had every kind of emotion imaginable. A lot of parents don’t get to experience what we’re experiencing and I’m so happy for him.”

Abbott said what’s left now is to handle the business aspects of being selected and get to work. The future on that score is bright, too.

Under MLB’s collective bargaining agreement, draft picks come with slot bonus values. The 53rd pick in the draft carries a slot bonus of $1,370,400. Teams are free to negotiate offers that are higher or lower, the latter frequently happening when clubs want to save bonus money for other picks. Higher offers sometimes happen with players who have other options, such as playing baseball in college or playing another sport altogether.

Whatever happens Abbott feels he is in a good place in his life and in his career.

“The team and I are still working out contractual details and so, not set in stone yet exactly what’s going to happen,” Abbott explained. “I’ll fly out to Arizona which is their spring training place to actually meet, get the contract and sign it and that actually begins the whole job aspect of it.”

“There are unlimited options but I think I’m in a good scenario,” Abbott said. “It will be interesting to see what they want me to do.”

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