After this weekend, Spencer Howard may not be rated as the Phillies top starting pitching prospect much longer. In his start on Saturday against the Red Sox, he simply ran out of gas in the third inning after two dominating innings where he struck out five.
Howard was done after three innings and facing one batter in the fourth. He was charged with two runs, a hit and four walks. He lost velocity as his pitch count crept up finishing at 68 pitches.
Not the stuff of a the top starting pitcher prospect in an MLB rotation but more of a late inning, high leverage closer.
The Phillies do have two other starting pitchers who profile more of a top prospect starting pitcher. With Lehigh Valley at AAA, 24 year-old Adonis Medina faced the minimum of 15 batters in a five inning start on Friday night. He struck out four on 45 pitches. He threw a 94 mph fastball. Here is a great article on Medina, HERE.
Last night with Low A Clearwater, the Phillies 2020 No. 1 draft pick, 19 year-old Mick Abel started and pitched three shutout innings for the Threshers. He faced ten batters, allowed one hit and struck out four. He needed only 35 pitches. His fastball was at 94-96 and topped at 97 mph on the stadium radar gun.
We are posting the all pitches in his four strikeouts to show how he relied on his off speed stuff to get third strikes.
It might not be too much longer until Medina gets the call to the Show and Abel moves up to Jersey Shore in High A ball.