Phillies: Draft pick Mick Abel FaceTimed with Bryce Harper

Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Bryce Harper #3 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Phillies’ 2020 first-round pick Mick Abel received a FaceTime from Bryce Harper

Just minutes after being selected 15th overall by the Philadelphia Phillies in the first round of the 2020 MLB Draft on Wednesday, Mick Abel received a surprise FaceTime notification from a star right fielder.

The Portland, Oregon, native told reporters that shortly after he saw on TV that he had been selected, his phone lit up with an unrecognizable number: “I got caught by surprise. I was like, ‘Who’s face timing me? I don’t have the number, so I better answer.'”

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The 6-foot-5 right-handed pitcher, who is set to receive his high school diploma next week, says he answered and saw a face pop up: “I’m like, ‘that’s Bryce Harper! What the heck?'”

Harper welcomed aboard Abel, who says the biggest thing he took away from the video chat was that “the grind starts now.” Abel recognizes that with baseball, it will take a lot for him to get to the next level. He is up for the challenge.

“I better get to work.” ranked Abel as the 11th-best prospect prior to the draft, praising him for “showing flashes of three plus pitches, starting with a fastball that was regularly in the 93-95 mph range.”

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Abel’s 82-86 mph slider is also described as a “very effective pitch,” along with him having a feel for a curveball “with more over the top rotation to it.” Named Oregon’s Gatorade Player of the Year, he is the first “prepster” from the state to be drafted in the first round since Matt Smith in 1994.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s draft was reduced from 40 rounds to just five. Rounds 2-5 will air tonight; the Phillies do not have a second-round pick due to signing free-agent right-hander Zack Wheeler from the New York Mets.