What to know about Mick Abel, Phils' 1st-rd. pick

June 11th, 2020

Here are 10 things to know about prep right-hander Mick Abel, who was selected 15th overall by the Phillies in the 2020 MLB Draft.

• Abel, MLB Pipeline's No. 11 Draft prospect, has been throwing bullpens since the COVID-19 pandemic shut down high school baseball in Oregon, and some have even been caught by last year's first overall pick by the Orioles, former Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman. Rutschman told Baseball America that he couldn't believe the pitches he caught came from a high school pitcher, and that "you rarely see an arm that good," adding that Abel's repertoire is "electric" and "smooth."

• Based on his build, arm strength and quality of repertoire, some have mused that Abel's future MLB comps could be Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg or Braves right-hander Mike Soroka.

• Abel became the first high school player from Oregon to be selected in the first round since the Royals tabbed left-hander Matt Smith in the first round of the 1994 Draft. After that, you'd have to go all the way back to 1977 to find a high school player from Oregon selected in the first round -- the Mets selected Wally Backman 16th overall that year.

• Abel has spent time while off the field with Northwest Children's Outreach, packing clothes for foster kids. He's also spent time helping adults with disabilities and seniors in nursing homes.

• Abel has verbally committed to Oregon State in 2021, though that could change after the MLB Draft. The 6-foot-5, 198-pound right-hander has touched 100 mph with a fastball that regularly sits around 95, and his mid-80s slider has become a devastating pitch. He's got an easy motion that looks as if he's just getting warmed up when the fastball is coming out of his three-quarters arm slot in the mid-90s. He also features a curveball and his changeup is still developing.

• Abel showed great raw stuff but struggled with command as a sophomore at Oregon's Jesuit High School in 2018. He then had a setback when he tore the labrum in his left (non-throwing) shoulder later that season.

• Back on the mound for his junior campaign in 2019, Abel was dominant. His improved command and more developed secondary pitches, particularly the slider, led to a 1.26 ERA and 111 strikeouts over 72 1/3 innings for the season. He helped lead Jesuit to the 6A state championship in '19, and was named Gatorade Player of the Year for Oregon in both '19 and '20.

• Abel was selected to the USA 17U National Team Development Program in 2018, and then the 18U National Team Training Roster last year. After that, it was off to the MLB Prospect Development Pipeline -- he tossed eight innings in the PDP All-Star Game in Cleveland, yielding one run and striking out 11. Abel was selected for the 18U National Team and played in the 2019 WBSC U-18 Baseball World Cup in Korea. Team USA lost to Chinese Taipei in the gold medal game, settling for silver.

• Last offseason, Abel hit the weight room and added 18 pounds to his 6-5 frame.

• There are two other high school pitchers in the top echelon of this year's class with Abel -- Jared Kelley and Nick Bitsko. While Kelley has a better fastball and Bitsko has a better curveball, in terms of full repertoire, Abel may have them both beat.