The untouchables: 4 top prospects Phillies definitely need to keep off the trade block

If the Phillies move towards the trade route to find upgrades for their roster, which top prospects should not be moved under any circumstances?
Andrew Painter, Philadelphia Phillies No. 1 prospect
Andrew Painter, Philadelphia Phillies No. 1 prospect / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages
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Mick Abel, SP, No. 2 prospect

For the former first-round pick of the Phillies from the 2020 MLB Draft, Mick Abel is perhaps the next best thing behind Andrew Painter in terms of the team’s top pitching prospects. With a pitching arsenal very similar to Painter's, with a mid-80s wicked slider to go along with a devastating fastball constantly in the mid to high-90s, it has helped pave his way to success in the past three years in the Phillies’ minor league system.

This past season, Abel pitched primarily for the Double-A Reading Fightin Phils, where he posted a respectable 5-5 record with a  4.14 ERA and 1.24 WHIP, along with 126 strikeouts in just 108 2/3 innings pitched in 22 starts. His solid work even earned him a late-season promotion to Triple-A in which he made a start for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs prior to the end of the season.

Overall, Abel has compiled a 4.09 ERA and 1.28 WHIP with 328 strikeouts in 266 1/3 innings of work in his minor league career.

Abel likely will start the 2024 season with the IronPigs, but a strong Spring Training could put him on the forefront of a big league call-up sometime over the course of the season.

With the ability to form a dynamic duo at the front end of the rotation with Painter in the near future, the Phillies should keep Abel in their grasp to ensure it comes to fruition. That way, their young guns will be able to complement the star veterans of Nola and Zack Wheeler, who are already in place, to make the Phillies a strong, long-term contender.