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Beyond the U: Willie Abreu

Willie was a great player at UM, and his bat will surely be missed.

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Arizona vs Miami Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Willie was a leader and big time player in his time at The U. His accomplishments at UM were notable enough for the Colorado Rockies to draft him in the 6th round of the 2016 MLB Draft. Willie hopes to make an impact at the MLB level one day, and become another notable MLB ProCane, but first let’s take a look back at his carrer at UM:

High School: Willie went to Mater Academy in Hialeah, Fl. Prior to his senior season Willie was named a Rawlings Pre-Season All-American. Abreu was considered the 66th best high school senior in the land prior to his attendance at The U. In his senior season Willie led Mater Academy in batting average, .513, runs, 34, triples, 4, and HRs, 6, on his way to First-Team All-Dade County and all-state selections. This stellar season resulted in Abreu being drafted by the Cincinatti Reds in the 14th Round of the 2013 MLB Draft. Willie did not sign with the Reds however, and instead decided to stay true to his commitment and play for UM.

Freshman Year: In his Freshman season Willie started 59 games, which was the most of any Freshman on Miami’s roster that season. In this season Abreu posted solid stats for any collegiate player, and incredible stats for a Freshman. He batted .277 for the season, and posted the 3rd-highest hit total of anyone on the team, 61. This is spectacular production for a Freshman, and Willie was recognized for this, earning third-team All-ACC honors. Expectations were deservedely high for his Sophomore and Junior seasons, and many ‘Canes fans looked forward to seeing Abreu for the next two years.

Sophomore Year: In his Sophomore season Willie did not slow down. He started 66 of 67 possible games on the year, and batted a strong .288. Willie added on to his strong BA with 6 HRs and 47 RBIs. Willie also started to earn his reputation for having his best days in big games, much like his teammate Jacob Heyward, as in the NCAA Regional Clinching Win over Columbia in 2015, Abreu provided a stellar display of hitting, with 3 hits and 5 RBIs. Willie was named to the All-ACC third-team once again, and expectations were high for Willie’s Junior Season.

Junior Year: Willie put in another stellar year for the ‘Canes in his Junior Season. Abreu started all 64 games of the season and put in another great year, batting .285 and hitting for 12 HRs, and 56 RBIs. Willie also had his most stunning week as a ‘Cane this year, as we all watched in stunned and joyus amazement as Willie hit two walk-off HRs in one week, one of which was a grand slam. Willie’s 3rd strong season in a row put him on the All-ACC Third Team yet again.

Professional Carrer and Future Hopes: Abreu’s three consecutive strong seasons at UM led him to being drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 6th Round of the 2016 MLB Draft. Willie chose to sign with the Rockies and was assigned to the Boise Hawks, which is the Class-A Short Season affiliate of the Rockies. Willie played in 56 games for the Hawks and batted .235. Willie also hit for 6 HRs, and 43 RBIs and flashes of power could be seen in his game. Willie will look to improve upon these numbers next season and needs to solve a BIG problem in his game, strikeouts. Willie struck out 59 times in just 56 games in the minors, and to make an impact on the MLB level Willie needs to find a solution to his strikeout problem. If, and that's a big if, Wille solves his strikeout problem look for him to make an appearance in Double-A ball by the end of the season, as he has the tools and physical stature to do that, but if Abreu can't solve his strikeout problem then he will most likely hover around the Class-A level for a season and a half as he tries to work it out.

Conclusion: Willie brought many tools on and off the field for UM, on the field he was a great player who was known as a staple in Miami’s lineup. While off and on the field Willie was seen as a leader, one who was the Captain, or Co-Captained the team in his Sophomore and Junior seasons. Willie looks to develop and make the majors in the MLB system, but he has a couple major kinks he has to work out of his game to truly make an impact. No matter the case, Willie will be hard to immediately replace on UM’s roster, and we can all be hopeful to watch Willie Abreu’s MLB Debut in the future.

Wishing Willie all the best.