Phillies top prospect makes Yankees’ Juan Soto look foolish with nasty strikeout

The Phillies' No. 2 prospect Mick Abel had Soto shaking his head following an impressive strikeout.

Philadelphia Phillies prospect Mick Abel had a strong outing against Juan Soto and the Yankees on Monday
Philadelphia Phillies prospect Mick Abel had a strong outing against Juan Soto and the Yankees on Monday / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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Spring training can be fun for fans, especially when we get to overreact to something that, in the grand scheme of things, doesn't matter in the outcome of this season. On Monday, one of the Philadelphia Phillies' top pitching prospects had himself a feel-good moment when faced off against one of the best hitters in the game.

Mick Abel, the Phillies' No. 2 prospect, came in the fourth inning in relief of Zack Wheeler and didn't have an easy entry into the game. The New York Yankees' shiny new offseason addition, Juan Soto, stepped in the box to face the 22-year-old right-hander. To Phillies fans' delight, Abel didn't seem phased by the matchup against Soto, who has been described as a generational hitter, as David Singh of Sportsnet did when the Bronx Bombers signed the free agent this winter.

Mick Abel dominates Yankees' Juan Soto

Abel began the at-bat by busting a four-seamer up and in at the top of the zone, which Soto fouled off with a defensive check-swing. Abel went right back to the spot with a curve that was called a ball but could have easily been called a strike.

The next two pitches, a changeup and four-seamer, went right down the middle. Soto was out ahead of the offspeed and behind on the 95.2 mph fastball, which he popped just out of play down the third base line. Abel had Soto's timing all over the place.

For the coup de grâce, Abel climbed the ladder with another four-seamer, this one at 95.1 mph up and away. All the three-time All-Star and four-time Silver Slugger could do was wave at it.

Check out Abel's final blow to Soto:

Soto turned and shook his head as he walked back to the dugout, likely in disbelief over how bad the Phillies prospect had just made him look. It's not even like Soto has been struggling this spring — quite the opposite, in fact. After going 0-for-3 in Monday's game, he's still batting a healthy .429 with a 1.573 OPS, four home runs, and 10 RBI.

Mick Abel continues his clean spring training run

If you're wondering how the rest of Abel's outing went, he got Gleyber Torres and Ben Rortvedt to ground out to end the frame. He then froze Everson Pereira with a fastball to open the fifth inning for his second strikeout of the day before getting a final groundout from Josh VanMeter.

Abel is certainly making it hard not to notice his two outings so far this spring (he was sidelined with the bug that has been going through the Phillies clubhouse). He has thrown 2 2/3 innings with four strikeouts and no hits or walks. While he won't be heading to Philadelphia for Opening Day, there's a good chance we'll see him at some point this season.

The next time we see him will likely be in the Phillies' Spring Breakout game against the Detroit Tigers on March 16.

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