Phils go for a high school pitcher
OK, none of the mock drafts I saw showed the Phillies choosing Oregon high school right-hander Mick Abel with their first pick.
Still, it’s not a reach at all. Several mocks had Abel going to the Boston Red Sox with the 17th selection, two spots after the Phils. He was considered by many to be best high school hurler in the draft. His velocity and stuff are impressive, and he commands multiple pitches.
Abel’s upside is high, as he projects potentially as a No. 2 starter or even an ace. He hasn’t pitched much lately, so there’s that element of uncertainty. In addition, I read that right-handed high school pitchers taken in the first round don’t have a good track record, apparently, which is a little worrisome.
I think the Phils could have gone a lot of different ways here and gotten a nice player. And I still like the Abel pick, despite the risk. The Phillies’ farm system needs more high-end starters. I couldn’t even tell you who the team’s second-best pitching prospect is after Spencer Howard.
The cupboard isn’t bare, but it’s not very full. Abel definitely fills a need.