Etanislao Toni Abreu
- Bats Both, Throws Right
- Height 5' 9", Weight 185 lb.
Tony Abreu is a top Dodgers prospect who made his major league debut in 2007.
Abreu was signed by scout Pablo Peguero for the Los Angeles Dodgers as an undrafted free agent in October 2002. He made his pro debut the next year for the GCL Dodgers and hit .294/.358/.399 with 30 runs in 44 games. Baseball America rated him the #11 prospect in the Gulf Coast League. He led league second basemen with 11 errors, though. He also appeared in 3 games for the Vero Beach Dodgers, going hitless in 10 at-bats.
In 2004, Abreu batted .302/.327/.472 for the Columbus Catfish with 16 steals in 28 tries. One concern was his plate discipline as he struck out 59 times while drawing 8 walks in 104 games. In 11 games for the Vero Beach Dodgers, he hit .419/.435/.535. Baseball America rated him as the best defensive second baseman in the South Atlantic League. He just missed the league's top 10 in average. Martin Prado beat him out for the SAL All-Star spot at 2B.
Abreu kept on hitting in 2005. He hit .327/.356/.452 for Vero Beach with 15 BB and 56 K in 394 AB and 96 games. He hit .327 against both left-handers and right-handers and had 7 triples, but also was just 14-for-24 in steal attempts. Tony batted .250/.323/.284 in 24 games for the Jacksonville Suns. Abreu won the Florida State League batting title by 14 points over Adam Lind and Chin-Lung Hu. He led FSL second basemen in fielding percentage (.977) and made the All-Star team alongside infielder teammates Hu and Andy LaRoche. Baseball America rated him the #11 prospect in the FSL, between Jordan Tata and Hu. They also named him the #9 prospect in the rich Dodgers farm system.
The young Dominican's production fell somewhat in 2006, as he produced at a .287/.343/.392 clip for Jacksonville. Though he led Southern League second basemen in errors (16), Baseball America again rated him as the top defensive player in his position in his league. He finished 7th in the SL in average. Baseball America left him off of their list of the league's top 20 prospects, naming Eric Patterson as the top second baseman prospect in the loop. They did move him up to #5 on the list of top Dodgers prospects.
Abreu began 2007 in AAA, hitting .347/.397/.503 for the Las Vegas 51s before being called up in late May when Hong-Chih Kuo was sent down. The move was questioned by many Dodgers fans, who did not see the need for a player they deemed to be another utility infielder. One of the 10 youngest players in the 2007 NL at the time of his debut, Tony started at third base and hit 8th in his debut on May 22, getting the nod over LaRoche. His first at-bat came in the second, when he faced Ben Sheets and lined out to CF Bill Hall. Abreu went 0 for 3 overall in his MLB debut.