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10 things to know about CJ Abrams

Georgia prep shortstop is Padres' top Draft pick
@mattkellyMLB
June 3, 2019

The Padres selected Blessed Trinity Catholic High School (Roswell, Ga.) shortstop CJ Abrams with the sixth overall pick in the MLB Draft on Monday. Here are 10 things to know about Abrams, MLB Pipeline's No. 4 overall Draft prospect.

The Padres selected Blessed Trinity Catholic High School (Roswell, Ga.) shortstop CJ Abrams with the sixth overall pick in the MLB Draft on Monday. Here are 10 things to know about Abrams, MLB Pipeline's No. 4 overall Draft prospect.

• Abrams is fast -- really fast. Perfect Game clocked him at 6.29 seconds in the 60-yard dash, and he’s also been timed from home-to-first in less than four seconds (an elite benchmark for MLB players) on a routine basis.

• Abrams’ arm has also been clocked at 91 mph on throws across the diamond. For context, Padres rookie Fernando Tatis Jr. owns the Majors’ hardest recorded shortstop throw this season by Statcast at 93 mph.

• In May, Abrams was named the Gatorade Player of the Year in the state of Georgia after he hit .431 with three home runs, 42 runs scored and 27 RBIs while leading Blessed Trinity to a top-50 national ranking and the Class AAAA semifinals.

• Abrams is more than a baseball talent. He’s volunteered on behalf of the Muscular Dystrophy Association, CURE Childhood Cancer and as a youth baseball camp counselor.

• Abrams has already gotten a taste of the big-game spotlight. He played for Team USA in the 2018 U-18 Pan-American Championships in Panama, manning center field while fellow top Draft prospect Bobby Witt Jr. played shortstop. Abrams started all nine games and made the All-Tournament team while helping the U.S. capture the gold medal.

• Abrams is the ninth player drafted from Blessed Trinity and has a chance to be the school’s third big league alum, following White Sox designated hitter Matt Skole and Braves catcher Tyler Flowers.

• Abrams’ father, Chris, told Perfect Game last June that his son has always thrived in pressure situations.

“He tends to focus a little bit more when the guy on the mound is kind of bearing down on him, and he likes that confrontation,” Abrams said. “He’s played a lot of different sports and he’s been on big stages many times with football and basketball, but baseball has always been his passion.”

• Abrams continues a terrific run for Georgia. The state has now produced nine top-10 overall picks in the last decade alone: Abrams, Joey Bart (second overall, 2018), Byron Buxton (second, 2012), Donavan Tate (third, 2009), Clint Frazier (fifth, 2013), Zack Wheeler (sixth, 2009), Delino DeShields (eighth, 2010), Austin Meadows (ninth, 2013) and Cornelius Randolph (10th, 2015).

• Though it remains to be seen whether Abrams will stick at shortstop (some scouts project him more as an outfielder), he follows a handful of current up-and-comers who were drafted as shortstops from Georgia: Boston’s Michael Chavis, Washington’s Carter Kieboom, Atlanta’s Dansby Swanson and Cincinnati’s Derek Dietrich.

• You can follow Abrams on Twitter at @CJAbrams01.

Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.