2021 Phillies top 10 prospects list shows promise for future
By Matt Rappa
2. Mick Abel, RHP
The Phillies drafted 19-year-old right-hander Mick Abel with the 15th overall pick in this year’s amateur draft out of Jesuit High School in Oregon.
Standing at 6-foot-5 and 198 pounds, Abel was praised this past summer by then-general manager Matt Klentak for his preparation, passion, discipline, and confidence.
“He’s all about getting better, learning, and growing,” Klentak added. “[He is] really wise beyond his years and he’s got a very bright future as a player, both because of his physical talents but also what he’s got upstairs.”
MLB.com’s Jim Callis labeled Abel as being the “best prep pitcher” from the draft, with a “terrific combination of stuff and polish,” a 93-to-98 miles per hour fastball, along with a “potential plus slider and changeup.”
1. Spencer Howard, RHP
Right-handed starting pitcher Spencer Howard will soon graduate from any prospect list, as he is already six starts into his big-league career. Debuting this past August, the 24-year-old combined to go 1-2 with a 5.92 ERA, yielding 17 runs (16 earned) through 24 1/3 innings.
Howard did strike out 23 batters and walked just 10, however, a promising sign as he returns for his first full season in the rotation alongside Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, and Zach Eflin.
Combined in 2019, Howard went 3-1 with a 2.03 ERA in the minors, striking out 94 batters while walking 16 spanning 15 starts and 71 innings. If he can translate that successful year into the majors in 2021, he will surely be on his way to at least the No. 3 spot in the rotation behind Nola and Wheeler.
Howard is widely regarded as the current top Phillies prospect; perhaps, new pitching coach Caleb Cotham can unlock his full potential.