But he exhibited the wow-factor on Saturday with a couple of plays in the second game against the Twins, twice scooting up the middle to grab a grounder and then throwing across his body to first base while heading toward shortstop.
Manager Ned Yost was impressed enough to have Abreu in the lineup for the second straight game, instead of Johnny Giavotella.
"The only other real second baseman that makes that play as effortlessly as he did was [Robinson] Cano, where he goes up the middle and still has enough arm strength to throw -- boom -- behind him," Yost said. "You don't see that very often."
For Abreu, that play is just business as usual.
"That's my natural position -- it's easy," he said. "Like Robinson Cano."
But no, he didn't learn it by watching the Yankees' second baseman. It's a defensive weapon he's had all along, and his manager appreciates it.
"It's athleticism and arm strength," Yost said.
Meanwhile, Abreu will remain in primarily a utility infield role.
"Johnny's going to play the majority at second," Yost said.