Abrams collects career-high five hits with El Paso

June 12th, 2022

Coming into Saturday night, C.J. Abrams’ batting average sat at .257. By the end of Triple-A El Paso’s 13-3 rout, he had raised it to .288, all thanks to a career effort.

The Padres’ top prospect tallied the first five-hit game of his career, crushing a two-run homer and singling four times in El Paso's victory over visiting Albuquerque. The knocks were no fluke, either -- four of Abrams’ hits were smoked at an exit velocity of 102.5 mph or higher.

It’s the fourth effort of at least four hits in Abrams’ career, with his last four-hit performance coming on June 18 of last year with Double-A San Antonio. He’s now tallied nine multihit performances in 24 Minor League games this season.

For baseball’s No. 6 overall prospect, the night was poised to be special from the start. On the fifth pitch thrown in the bottom of the first, Abrams smacked his first base knock at 103.5 mph to help kickstart a six-run frame. The Chihuahuas, donning SpongeBob SquarePants-themed jerseys, put up 10 runs in the first three innings and never looked back.

Abrams singled again in the second before delivering his hardest-hit ball of the night -- a two-run homer to right field that traveled 306 feet and was cranked at 103.9 mph. After clubbing five homers in total through his first two professional seasons, the shortstop has five already in 2022.

In the fifth, the 21-year-old won an eight-pitch at-bat and singled for the third time, already securing a season-high four hits. The lefty slugger wasn’t done yet, though. After back-to-back walks to begin the seventh, Abrams worked a 3-1 count against lefty Nick Kennedy and laced the fifth pitch up the middle at 102.5 mph for his fifth hit and third RBI of the day. All of his previous hits in the game had come off of righties.

Abrams came up in the eighth with a chance for a sixth hit, and had he gotten it, the performance would have been the first of its kind in Chihuahuas history. Instead, he grounded out to the pitcher to complete his night.

Still, the sixth overall pick of the 2019 Draft is looking to hit his way back up to the big leagues after batting .182 with 14 strikeouts in 55 at-bats over 20 games to begin the season. Abrams has gotten back into the swing of things as of late, collecting hits in 12 of his past 13 games with six multihit efforts. He's tallied two homers, 14 RBIs and 32 total bases in that span.