Perhaps no Boston Red Sox player this offseason got a bigger endorsement than rookie outfielder Wilyer Abreu.

And it didn’t come from one of his teammates or manager Alex Cora. Instead, Red Sox chairman Tom Werner doled out some high praise for the left-handed hitter.

Werner told reporters last month that Abreu “will see success if he has 400 at-bats” this season. It was a surprising remark given Abreu’s relative anonymity — he finished last season ranked as Boston’s No. 18 prospect by MLB Pipeline — as he battles for a roster spot this spring.

But Werner’s comment definitely uplifted Abreu as the Red Sox see the potential in the 24-year-old.

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“Of course it makes you feel good,” Abreu told MassLive’s Christopher Smith through a translator. “Somebody of that stature naming you is always good and also it gives you kind of an understanding that the team is going to trust in me. So that’s something that was really exciting.”

The Red Sox acquired Abreu from the Houston Astros in the deal for Christian Vázquez at the 2022 trade deadline. Abreu impressed as a late-season call-up with the Red Sox last year.

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Abreu appeared in 28 games and showed off the bat he is well-known for. He hit .316 in 76 at-bats to go along with two home runs and 14 RBIs. Abreu also excelled with Triple-A Worcester in 2023, although he was limited to 86 games due to a hamstring strain. Abreu slashed .274/.391/.534 with 22 home runs and 65 RBIs.

“Last year was a very successful year for me not only on the field but off the field,” Abreu told Smith. “I had my first child, which is great news for me. So I think that having such a nice year last year helped me to relax a little bit this offseason — not on the work side but on the personal side and the mental side.”

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Abreu won’t just be given a starting outfield job this spring with the Red Sox having a logjam at the three positions. Masataka Yoshida becoming the team’s designated hitter opens up a spot, but it seems likely that Abreu’s playing time will come more in right field than left field.

Tyler O’Neill will battle with Abreu for playing time in right field, but it’s clear Abreu has Werner on his side as he competes for a major role this season.

Featured image via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images