3 Phillies prospects that should be untouchable at the MLB trade deadline

Who should the Philadelphia Phillies keep at all costs when dealing at the MLB trade deadline?

Jul 8, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; National League Futures designated hitter Justin Crawford
Jul 8, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; National League Futures designated hitter Justin Crawford / Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
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Mick Abel

For Phillies’ pitching prospect Mick Abel, he was selected also in the first round, this time from the 2020 MLB Draft out of Jesuit High School, Oregon, and was the top high school pitching prospect at the time of the draft. Currently, he is the second-ranked prospect on the Phillies’ MLB Top Prospects list, and has been ever since 2021, showing that much of his stock has been maintained within the Phillies upcoming prospects hierarchy. In addition, Abel has been gaining ground in MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 Prospects list, moving all the way up to the No. 42 spot for 2023.

Abel possesses a plus fastball that hits consistently in the mid-90s and that could reach in the upper 90s at times. Similar to Painter, he also has a mid-80s slider, curveball and changeup in his four-pitch repertoire, but overall scouts believe he is just a step behind Painter, in particular with his curveball being the one to work on. Also compared to Painter, his command and control could be a little wild at times, but once he matures and hones in on keeping it more consistent, he will hopefully round into form and become a strong one-two punch with Painter for the Phillies’ future. In doing so, it should bring back dominant pitching vibes from back in the early 2010s when the Phillies had the likes of Roy Halladay, Cole Hamels, and Cliff Lee anchoring their pitching staff.

Because of such dominant potential, along with the rarity of having two potentially MLB-ready front-end starters in a couple years time, the Phillies should avoid including Abel as well at the trade deadline. He may still have some struggles as seen so far in his 2023 season, but his recent good developmental progress in June has given the ballclub reasons of optimism that he will eventually round into form in short order.