SAN DIEGO -- CJ Abrams is officially back.
Abrams, ranked as the sport’s No. 6 overall prospect by MLB Pipeline, broke his leg and sprained his MCL in a collision at second base in late June. That put an end to his 2021 season in which he was batting .296/.363/.420 and was perhaps pushing for a late-season callup at the time of the injury. Instead, he spent the past three months rehabbing at the team’s Peoria, Ariz., complex, and he even saw limited game action during instructional ball in September.
Known for his bat-to-ball skills, his elite speed and his smooth defense, Abrams is widely regarded as one of the best up-the-middle prospects in the game. He's played shortstop for most of his career, though with Fernando Tatis Jr. presumably at short long-term, second base and center field are also options.
Separately, left-hander MacKenzie Gore also joins Abrams on the Peoria roster. Gore endured a rough 2021 season, one in which he was shut down midseason, first to address some blister trouble, then to fix a few mechanical issues.
But Gore started to find a rhythm upon his return to the mound in mid-August. He posted a 2.67 ERA across six starts, albeit most of them against lower-level competition. Still, the Padres are hopeful Gore can build on that strong finish and carry it into the 2022 season, when they're hoping for a big league breakthrough.
The other Padres listed on the Peoria Javelinas roster are: left-hander Tom Cosgrove, right-handers Jesse Scholtens, Jose Quezada and Matt Waldron and infielders Matt Batten and Eguy Rosario. The Arizona Fall League, featuring six total teams comprised of top prospects from each big league club, begins play Oct. 13.