Latest prospect rankings a brutal reminder of Phillies’ shortcomings

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

Only two Philadelphia Phillies prospects make Baseball America’s Top-100 rankings

Baseball America‘s (subscription required) first Top 100 prospect rankings of 2022 are here, and with them, a reminder that the Philadelphia Phillies have a long way to go before they can consider themselves a ‘fully armed and operational battle station,’ as Emperor Palpatine once said.

Only two Phillies prospects made the cut, Mick Abel, who comes in at #51, and Bryson Stott, lower down at #67. They are the number one and two ranked prospects in the Phillies system, respectively. Curtis Mead, who is now in the Tampa Bay Rays organization but originally signed with the Phillies, is also down at #97.

Abel, whose full name is McLean Stine, was the Phillies’ first-round pick in the 2020 draft. Due to the cancellation of that year’s minor league season, the 6’5″ righty made his professional debut in 2021. His repertoire boasts a fastball, curveball, slider, and changeup, and the scouting report notes that his velocity can touch 98 mph.

In 14 starts, Abel posted a 4.43 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. Over 44 2/3 total innings, he struck out 66 batters and issued 27 walks. The strikeout numbers are excellent, but the 5.44 walks/nine leave a bit to be desired.

When will Mick Abel and Bryson Stott make their Phillies debuts?

While Abel is still a few years away from the majors, Stott is expected to debut this year. Phillies president of baseball operations, Dave Dombrowski, told Stott to come to spring training with the goal of earning a spot on the big-league roster. Coincidentally, he told reporters in the fall that veteran shortstop Didi Gregorius was not guaranteed the role in the final year of his contract.

The Phillies’ first-round pick in 2019, Stott skyrocketed from High-A all the way up to Triple-A by the end of the 2021 season. Over 112 games between three levels of the farm, he hit .299/.390/.486 with a .876 OPS, 16 home runs, 26 doubles, 71 runs scored, and 49 RBI.

Stott rode that momentum into a stellar Arizona Fall League debut, where he hit .318/.445/.489 with a .934 OPS over 26 games. He homered twice, doubled seven times, scored 20 runs, and drove in 31. His plate discipline was impressive; he drew 24 walks, and only struck out 14 times.

Where does the Phillies’ farm system rank among MLB teams?

The Phillies barren farm system has been a serious disadvantage for years now. In August 2021, ranked them 27th out of 30 teams’ farms; they did not make the ‘Most improved‘ list at the end of the calendar year, either.

The organization made a slew of changes to its player development department last fall, but it will take some time for new seeds to bear fruit.

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