Pair of Phillies named to 2021 MLB Top 100 Prospects list

Mick Abel (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports)
Mick Abel (Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports) /

There is a lot of promise in the short- and long-term future of the Philadelphia Phillies — and having star outfielder Bryce Harper under contract for the next 11 seasons has a lot to do with that.

There are rising prospects within the organization that could soon join headlines with Harper, among them being starting pitcher Spencer Howard, as well as 2020 first-round draft pick and fellow right-hander, Mick Abel.

Friday morning, released its annual Top 100 Prospects list — a sign that spring training and warmer weather is on the horizon. Both Howard and Abel made the list the list, ranked 42nd and 76th overall, respectively.

Spencer Howard and Mick Abel are considered to be among Major League Baseball’s best prospects.

Howard, 24, went 1-2 with a 5.92 ERA, 1.644 WHIP, and 23-10 strikeouts-to-walks ratio spanning six starts and 24 1/3 innings this past season in the majors. Perhaps the highlight of the top Phillies pitching prospect’s rookie season was his fourth start, allowing just two runs through five innings en route to his first career win, home against the defending World Series champion Washington Nationals.

Abel, 19, is described by as having the chance to form a “solid four-pitch mix.” The 6-foot-5 right-hander’s fastball peaked at 98 miles per hour during a recent Phillies instructional league. The Oregon native is projected to debut in the majors in 2024, but don’t be surprised if he quickly rises through the system and makes his first appearance prior.

Former top Phillies pitching prospect Sixto Sanchez — dealt to the Miami Marlins two offseasons ago as part of the trade that brought J.T. Realmuto to Philadelphia — ranks 15th on the 2021 list.

No Phillies hitting prospect made the Top 100 list, including Bryson Stott.

On the 2020 MLB Top 100 Prospects list, Howard ranked 28th and Abel 84th, while shortstop Bryson Stott — the team’s first-round pick from the 2019 draft — ranked 82nd. Stott is not included on the 2021 list.

Howard falling on the list is expected, given his underwhelming 2020 performance as a rookie in the majors.  Abel climbing slightly is expected, given the perception that the Phillies found a “steal” midway through the first of five rounds in last year’s draft. Of course, Abel was not able to pitch at any minor-league level due to the COVID-19 pandemic canceling the 2020 Minor League Baseball season.

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