The Phillies selected Oregon high school pitcher Mick Abel with the No. 15 pick in the 2020 MLB Draft on Wednesday night.
Abel, an Oregon State recruit, features a power fastball that sits 94-97 mph and a well above average slider to go with an emerging changeup. He becomes only the seventh first-round pick out of Oregon in the history of the draft.
If you’re wondering about his signability, well, the Phillies don’t seem too concerned.
“I’m confident that we’re going to be able to get Mick signed,” Phillies amateur scouting director Brian Barber told reporters via a conference call shortly after making the pick.
The 6-foot-5, 190 pound right-hander was 10-0 with 1.26 ERA during his junior high school season. Granted, those numbers, while dominant, don’t truly tell the full story. He experienced tremendous success on the Perfect Game circuit while flashing his talent with the 18u national team.
Of course, his senior season, like that of every prep player in the draft, was wiped away because of COVID-19.
Without the sample provided by a senior year, it was evident the Phillies were long big on Abel’s makeup and future upside.
Barber noted Abel has been on his personal radar for nearly two years and that the team specifically likes his arm action, delivery, and room for growth.
As you can see here, Abel features an athletic delivery that produces significant late run with the hard stuff. What I particularly like is his athletic base that has plenty of room to fill out as he matures.
Mick Abel, 87mph Slider and 94mph Sinker, Overlay pic.twitter.com/khFf9akY9T
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 11, 2020
The Phillies could have opted to take local product Nick Bitsko out of CB East. Bitsko, who was initially part of the 2021 class and recently moved up a year, is another powerful and athletic arm.
The guess is that those two players will be closely linked as they progress through the minors.
As far as an instant evaluation of the pick, there’s big time stuff here that has potential to slot into the front end of a rotation.
I’ve personally spent a great deal of time around baseball at the high school level and there’s no doubt that Abel is an elite talent who features two advanced pitches. The fastball will grab the headlines, but his power slider projects as a consistent out pitch, one that certainly has the chance to become borderline dominant as he develops.
While any scout would want to see the finished product of a senior season, the post-junior season summer travel circuit and video data provided in recent months by top prospects should be enough of a look to make any front office that truly likes a player comfortable with a selection.
In short, there’s not too much else that can learned about Abel by the kid blowing away overmatched high school players for a second straight year.
There’s a lot to like with the changeup, but that’s a pitch that he will need to develop more consistency with as he progresses.
As is often the case with elite high school talents, Abel dominated opponents with pure stuff and superior ability, so he will be tested as a pro and will need to refine his repertoire and command as he advances.
A Rapsodo breakdown, after the jump.
— Rapsodo Baseball (@rapsodo) June 11, 2020