Another first as Abrams gets in hit column

April 10th, 2022

PHOENIX -- C.J. Abrams is on the board.

Since he was selected in the first round of the 2019 Draft, we've heard plenty about Abrams' quick hands and his elite bat-to-ball skills. He put those tools on full display Saturday night, tallying his first career hit in the Padres’ 5-2 victory over Arizona at Chase Field.

D-backs right-hander Mark Melancon threw a cutter in on his hands, and Abrams shot a clean single the other way into left field.

"I've dreamed of it ever since I could walk, picked up a bat," said Abrams. "I've dreamed of being in the big leagues. Getting my first hit feels really nice."

Abrams, MLB Pipeline’s No. 9 overall prospect, went hitless in his debut Friday, though he flashed the leather at shortstop. Defensively, he was clean again on Saturday. But this time, he chipped in offensively.

Abrams, 21, had a handful of family members in attendance, sitting up the first-base line, and they went berserk after his ninth-inning single. A sizable number of Padres fans in attendance gave Abrams an ovation as he stood on first base.

It wasn’t long before Abrams scored his first run. Fellow rookie José Azocar knocked him in with an RBI single -- his first career hit. Another debutant, Steven Wilson, pitched a scoreless seventh inning and picked up the win.

"You really can't lose sight of how big a night that is for those guys and how exciting it is," said Padres manager Bob Melvin. "They'll be sitting in their hotel room, and their phones will be blowing up. It's just a great night."

It’s likely that the left-handed-hitting Abrams will sit on Sunday when the Padres face southpaw Caleb Smith in the series finale. Abrams is sharing playing time with Ha-Seong Kim at shortstop, though Melvin indicated it wouldn't be a strict platoon.

Abrams is now 1-for-8, though he certainly hasn't looked overmatched at the plate. He even sent one deep fly ball to the warning track in right field on Friday night. But Abrams has, perhaps, been a bit overaggressive early in counts.

"They're going to try to make me get myself out," Abrams said. "I've got to be more disciplined at the plate, hit my pitch."