Unable to reach an agreement with Mark McGwire before the 1984 amateur draft, the New York Mets used the top pick overall to select Abner instead. Unfortunately, the Pennsylvania prep star never lived up to his potential and was shipped to San Diego in 1986 as part of the deal that brought Kevin McReynolds to New York.
Abner’s lack of power kept him from significant playing time with the Padres, and in July 1991 he was traded to California for Jack Howell. Released before the start of the 1992 season, Abner caught on with the White Sox and spent the season platooning with Dan Pasqua and Mike Huff in right field. The signing of free-agent outfielder Ellis Burks by Chicago brought Abner’s brief major-league career to an end.