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Friday, March 17, 2023

Odie Abril found pitching in Legion ball, made Red Sox AA

Odie Abril 1990 Lynchburg Red Sox card, Abril posed with glove

Odie Abril wasn't always a pitcher, but he turned to it in high school at the suggestion of American Legion coach Spud O'Neal, Abril told The San Bernardino County Sun in March 1984.

"It was mainly O'Neal's idea for me to pitch," Abril told The Sun on the occasion of the high schooler becoming his team's top starter and the paper's athlete of the week. "He'd seen me throw some and I told him I could do it."

Abril soon took his pitching abilities on to the pros. He pitched over seven seasons. He topped out at AA.

Abril's career began that year in 1984, taken by the Red Sox in the 10th round of the draft out of Colton High School in California.

Abril started with the Red Sox at short-season Elmira. He went 3-6 over 15 outings 10 starts. He then moved to single-A Greensboro for 1985 and went 12-5, with a 3.45 ERA in 22 starts.

For 1986, he arrived at single-A Winter Haven. He only saw four starts, a dislocated shoulder helping to limit his season. Abril also saw limited time in 1987, nine outings, five starts, back at Winter Haven.

His 1987 season was cut short by a dislocated arm, Abril dislocating it throwing his glove against the dugout wall after getting pulled from a game, The Tampa Tribune wrote as Abril returned the next spring.

"I just want to put it in the past," Abril told The Tribune as he readied to hit the field for Winter Haven again. "Right now, I'm just anxious to pitch after two years of injuries."

Abril returned to full-time duty that year, at Winter Haven and even made AA New Britain. He saw 10 outings, nine starts at New Britain and went 1-5, with a 3.67 ERA.

He played at Winter Haven again in 1989, his fourth season with time there. He spoke with The Tribune that May about his lack of progress.

"I just can't seem to reach the level of consistency that I know I can be at," Abril told The Tribune. "I've been here for a few years now and I'm waiting for it to click, but so far it hasn't happened. I'm just spinning my wheels here."

Abril went 3-9, with a 3.99 ERA in 35 outings, 12 starts. He then moved to high-A Lynchburg for 1990. He saw two relief outings and gave up three earned in 3.2 innings to end his career.

Odie Abril 1990 Lynchburg Red Sox card, Abril posed with glove

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,140
Made the Majors:1,369-33.1%
Never Made Majors:2,771-66.9%-X
5+ Seasons in the Majors:557
10+ Seasons in the Minors:337

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