The MLB draft, often overlooked, is currently going on. The Phillies had the #15 pick, and took right handed pitcher Mick Abel. Abel, a Jesuit High School grad, is the first Oregonian chosen in the first round since 1994. He led Jesuit HS to a state title recently as well, earning him Gatorade Player of the Year for the state of Oregon. This, of course, also earning him the honors of the top-ranked prep pitcher by many scouts.
Abel stands at 6’5 already, the same height as his 270 pounds-of-muscle father. Scouts see what this kid could blossom into, making him very desirable for the Phillies.
According to MLB.com’s scouting report, Abel flashes three solid pitches. His fastball sits in the 93-95 mph range with good life at the bottom of the zone and riding action when he throws it high. He should be able to increase his velocity as he physically matures and grows stronger.
Abel complements his fastball with a very effective slider that Baseball America ranked as the best of any high school pitcher in this draft class. He also throws a curve with over the top rotation. As an 18-year-old, this makes him an incredibly unique talent. The scouting report indicates that these two pitches can sometimes morph into each other but there’s enough of a difference to believe he can develop them both into plus pitches. He’s also developing a sinking changeup that has the potential to add another plus pitch to his arsenal.
The Oregon State recruit generally throws strikes and he gets as high marks for his maturity and makeup as he does his stuff. He’s only going to get stronger and throw harder as he physically matures, something he showed a glimpse of in one outing this spring before things got shut down, giving him the chance to be the first prep arm to come off the board in June.
Abel has drawn comparisons to Stephen Strausburg and Max Scherzer by the MLB Network on draft day as well.
For more on the most recent Phillie, check out his very impressive prospect video below:
Mandatory Credit – © Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports