The Philadelphia Phillies second and third ranked prospects played in the All-Star Futures Game on Saturday night in Seattle. Mick Abel— the club's no. 2 prospect— was the starting pitcher for the National League. The team's no. 3 prospect— Justin Crawford— started as the National League's designated hitter and batted ninth. As with most All-Star games, both players had short appearances but made an impact on the game, nonetheless.
Abel pitched a scoreless first inning and then was replaced. In his time on the mound, the 21-year-old right-hander threw 23 pitches, allowed one hit, and struck out two American League prospects. The hit was surrendered to the no. 4 prospect in all of baseball— Marcelo Mayer from the Boston Red Sox organization. Abel stranded Mayer at second base by getting a flyout and a strikeout to end the inning.
Abel's fastball sat between 97-99mph, and his slider looked sharp as he was able to strike out the first batter of the game looking with the pitch. The young pitcher looked good in his Futures Game debut going against the top prospects in the game.
Crawford had two plate appearances before being pulled from the game. In his first appearance, the young outfielder worked a 6-pitch at-bat before recording an RBI on a sacrifice fly to centerfield. In his second at-bat, Crawford worked another count as he saw seven pitches before hitting a hard line drive to centerfield. The exit velocity on the second ball hit to the outfield was 105mph.
Both prospects are having good seasons with their respective Phillies' minor league affiliates. Abel has thrown 60 2/3 innings for Reading to this point in the season. He has a 4.75 ERA but has actually looked much better than the numbers suggest. He is sporting a 10.38 K/9 rate which indicates that he has dominating stuff. The issue with Abel is his walk rate which sits at 5.19 per nine innings at this point which is way too high. If the young right-hander can improve his command, he has the potential to be really good.
Crawford is having himself a nice year in Clearwater. On the season the 19-year-old centerfielder is slashing .344/.390/.464. Being so young his power is still developing, but he did hit his first professional home run this week and has knocked in 37 runs so far. The most impressive part of Crawford's game is his speed. He has already swiped 35 bags this season.
For any prospect getting to represent your organization in the Futures Game is quite an honor. Abel and Crawford were both deserving of showcasing their talents on a bigger stage. The Futures Game is a great way for baseball fans to see the game's rising top stars and the Phillies were well represented.