Phillies news: Mick Abel drafted 15th overall in 2020 MLB Draft

A Philadelphia Phillies hat in the dugout (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
A Philadelphia Phillies hat in the dugout (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /

The Phillies have taken a high school pitcher in the MLB Draft

The Phillies have selected Mick Abel, a high school pitcher from Oregon with the 15th overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft.

Abel was the first high school pitcher taken in the 2020 MLB Draft and has great command, which some say is the best in the class. He was committed to Oregon State and was compared to Jack Flaherty and Justin Verlander by some MLB Draft evaluators.

On MLB Network former Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd said that Abel has a plus fastball and slider with a developing changeup. He called him the best high school pitcher in the draft.

Baseball America (subscription required) ranked Abel the 11th best player in the 2020 MLB Draft.

This is the first high school pitcher the Phillies have taken since Shane Watson in 2012.

Jesuit High School has never had a player reach the big leagues and this is the first time the Phillies have used a first round pick on a player coming out of a high school or college in Oregon.

In his first four drafts with the Phillies general manager Matt Klentak had used all of his first round picks on hitters, three of which were college hitters. Mickey Moniak, the number one overall pick in the 2016 MLB Draft, was taken out of high school.

Adam Haseley, Alec Bohm, and Bryson Stott were all college bats taken in the first 14 picks.

From 2001-15 the Phillies had taken only two college players (Aaron Nola and Joe Savery) while they picked 15 high school players, 8 of which were hitters. The other seven included Cole Hamels, Jesse Biddle, Gavin Floyd, and Kyle Drabek.

More from Phillies Draft

The Phillies have struggled to draft in the first round over the last decade-plus.

From 2008-17, Philadelphia has made 11 first round picks and only four have made it to the big leagues: Jesse Biddle, J.P. Crawford, Aaron Nola, and Adam Haseley.

From 1993-2007 they had 17 consecutive first round picks made the big leagues.

That failure to draft high-quality players in the first round is a big reason why they’ve had nearly a decade of rebuilding after the greatest era in franchise history.

Now the Phils have an opportunity to build a starting rotation built around Abel, Aaron Nola, and top pitching prospect Spencer Howard. We’d highlighted Oklahoma pitcher Cade Cavalli as a target for Philadelphia given how much more developed he is as a college pitcher, but you can’t complain with someone many are calling the best high school arm in the draft.

Philadelphia now won’t have a pick until the third round after forfeiting their second round pick to sign Zack Wheeler in free agency.