Mater Academy's Abreu Ready for Team USA
By Curtis Stevenson
Ever since William Abreu was a small boy, he played baseball. That is just what you did growing up in Hialeah, Florida.
It is an area that is predominantly Hispanic and has a very large group of Cuban-Americans. His family is from Cuban descent and embraced the game like so many countryman have before them. He honed his skills against the best over the years, and now he is one of the best in the United States of America. That is a fact as Abreu is one of the few select players on the Team USA under 18 squad.
"All I did growing up was play baseball, talk baseball, said Abreu. "I just love the game."
Being "born into baseball" he developed the proper way to play the game through determination and being a team player. Playing for Mater Academy high school in Hialeah Gardens he is already a likely first round pick in the 2013 Major League Baseball Draft. But there is a lot to do between now and next June.
This month Abreu will try to make the final cut for Team USA. Being a veteran to the program gives him an excellent chance, as he was a member of the under-16 team that beat Cuba for the World Championship last year.
"It has been such an honor to represent my country," said Abreu. "Beating Cuba was very special to me and my family."
Standing 6-2 and just under 200 pounds, Abreu has a smooth swing as a true left handed hitter. He possesses very good speed, and a strong arm that should translate to the next level. Scouts have spoke of his tremendous bat speed - that through time - will make him a possible power hitter. Abreu's work ethic is what has separated him from so many other great players. Not just in south Florida, but the nation.
It definitely helps to have someone to look up to. Albert Almora was a teammate at Mater Academy high school, and was just selected sixth overall by the Chicago Cubs in last years Major League Baseball Draft. "It was so great to play with him, I learned a lot from him and it helped me become a better player," Abreu said of his former teammate.
Following in Almora's footsteps could be in the future as a possible first round pick and a baseball scholarship from the University of Miami could also be in the mix. "I would love to be a high draft pick, it would be a dream come true," said Abreu. "But playing for Miami and Jim Morris would also be a dream of mine."
This past season he was named an Under Armour All-American and was named third team All Miami-Dade county. Playing for his AAU team,The South Florida Elite, and Team USA has given him the opportunity few experience on and off the diamond.
"We get to travel and play against the best around the world, not just great players, but great people like the coaches and instructors," said Abreu. Having played baseball his entire life, it looks like William Abreu will get to keep playing the game he loves for a long time.
And who knows how much he can achieve along the way.