The Phillies made their Draft choice last night. He is Mick Abel the first high school pitcher chosen in the Draft. The ever slow player development policy of the Phillies will likely mean Abel will not be major league ready for at least three or more years. So hurry up and wait!
We have watched Spencer Howard pitch the last two season on MiLB-TV and in person when he pitched a couple of no-hitters. He looked major league ready to us but the Phillies Front Office has not let him pitch above AA. We can only hope Abel is not in a hurry to pitch in a MLB game because no matter what he does, he will likely spend at least three years in the Phillies minor league system just like Howard has done.
Below are several analysis of Abel by Draft experts:
Jim Callis and Todd Zolecki, MLB. com
15. Phillies: Mick Abel, RHP, Jesuit (Ore.) HS
No one knew when the first high school pitcher would come off the board, and it’s here, with the Phillies getting a potential steal in Abel. He didn’t get a chance to pitch this spring because his season was cancelled before it started due to the coronavirus, but he’s polished for a prepster and has plenty of stuff: a fastball that can climb into the upper 90s, perhaps the best slider in the prep class and a promising changeup as well. Teams are skittish about the risks involved with high school righties, but this could pay off huge. More >
Keith Law, the Atlantic
The Phillies broke the seal and took the first high school pitcher in Mick Abel, the best prep arm in the class by a mile. I don’t really believe in taking high school arms in the first round, especially not in the top half, but that’s a general philosophy and Abel is the most obvious example this year of someone I would consider there, having ranked him 16th in the class. He checks every box you could want in a teenaged pitching prospect and has been this good since the summer before his junior year.
Sam Dykstra, MiLB
15. Philadelphia Phillies: Mick Abel, right-handed pitcher, Jesuit (Portland, Ore.) HS — Abel is the first high-school pitcher off the board at No. 15. The 6-foot-5 right-hander shows a plus fastball that already sits in the low- to mid-90s, and his slider and changeup could become above-average. He spots the ball well with a smooth delivery and that command certainly helps his chances of overcoming the long list of prep righties who’ve struggled after getting taken in the first round. Abel will be in the mix with Spencer Howard for the title as best pitching prospect in the Philadelphia farm system.
Now let the long wait begin!