Only a pair of Phillies prospects crack the MLB Top 100 list

MiLB: MAY 01 Lehigh Valley IronPigs at Indianapolis Indians
May 01 2015: A Phillies Minor League Affiliate, Lehigh Valley IronPigs, hat and glove sit on the steps of the dugout during the game between Lehigh Valley Ironpigs and Indianapolis Indians at Victory Field in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Indianapolis Indians defeated the Lehigh Valley IronPigs 4-0.

The MLB Pipeline recently released the latest edition of the Top 100 Prospects list, one that features a new No.1 overall prospect in Bobby Witt Jr. and includes representatives from 28 teams (sorry, Astros and White Sox fans). The Phillies had a couple featured as well.

For the second year in a row, the list is incredibly hitter heavy, as position players occupy 71 spots on the list. Aside from the 29 pitchers featured, shortstops stand out with an impressive 24 representatives and there are an all-time high 12 catchers featured this year as well.

Former draftees account for a large chunk (74) of the prospects listed and international signees (26) make up the remaining quarter.

Of the Top 100 prospects featured, only a pair of Phillies’ prospects made the cut.

Phillies Prospects in the Spotlight

Bryson Stott, the Phillies standout shortstop prospect and close friend of Bryce Harper, was ranked 45th, and pitching prospect Mick Abel was ranked 81st overall.

Stott, 24, is coming off an impressive campaign in which he bat over .300 in both Double-A and Triple-A ball. Stott, a 2019 first-round pick, projects to be a quality contact hitter and has quickly risen through the minor league ranks. If things go well, one could expect Stott to potentially even get the major league call-up sometime this season.

Abel, 20, is the Phillies’ most highly-touted pitching prospect and made the Top 100 prospects list for the second consecutive season. Abel was selected 15th overall by the Phillies in the 2020 MLB Draft and was the first high school pitcher the Phillies drafted in the first round since they selected southpaw Jesse Biddle 27th overall in 2010.

“I know Mick has tremendous potential and tremendous upside, and our scouts were just in unanimous agreement with that,” Phillies amateur scouting director Brian Barber said of Abel. “He has the potential to be a future workhorse and just a dominating factor and presence and a top-of-the-rotation pitcher.”

Abel had his senior year of play canceled due to COVID-19 restrictions but dazzled in one of the more impressive junior year seasons in recent memory.

At Jesuit High School in Portland, Abel posted a 10-0 record 1.26 ERA with 111 strikeouts over 72 1/3 frames. Oh, and he also led his team to a 2019 6A state championship victory. For his efforts, the hard-throwing righty was awarded the Gatorade Player of the Year of Oregon for the second straight season.

Abel finished his high school career with an 18-3 record, 1.98 ERA, and 213 strikeouts in 150 2/3 innings.

In his first season of professional ball, Abel continued to record strikeouts at a high rate. Although his 4.43 ERA and 1-3 record in 14 starts don’t exactly leap off the page, the former first-rounder’s propensity to cause batters to miss certainly does.

Abel was a strikeout machine last year, posting an impressive 13.3 K/9 rate with the Clearwater Threshers in his first season of professional ball. The Portland native recorded 66 strikeouts in just 44 innings of work and showed a knack for keeping opposing batters off balance.

The hard-throwing righty possesses a four-pitch arsenal and is learning to blend them to his advantage. Here’s what the experts at MLB pipeline had to share on Abel:

“Abel has the chance to have a solid four-pitch mix, all coming from an athletic 6-foot-5 frame and a super-fast arm. His fastball was up to 95 mph consistently the summer before the Draft, and he was up to 98 mph during instructional league with the Phillies. He can throw it downhill with life at the bottom of the zone, but he can also elevate his four-seamer with riding action to miss bats. Abel’s slider, which reaches 85-86 mph, flashes plus, and he can spin a curveball with more over-the-top action to it. He has good feel for a sinking changeup, thrown with excellent deception thanks to arm speed.”

Abel is still a ways off from contributing at a major league level, but the early returns are encouraging to say the least.

Phillies Farm System Still Needs Work

For the Phillies, the MLB Top 100 Prospects list likely didn’t inspire much hope for their farm system. Their two prospects list representatives was tied for the sixth-fewest in the league and neither talent ranked in the top 20.

Still, it was no secret that the Phillies farm system left a lot to be desired and the Phillies are built to contend for the foreseeable future, especially after their latest string of signings, and have time to bolster their minor league corps.

Photo By: TMB/Icon Sportswire

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