The 2020 MLB Draft went on according to schedule, despite the fact that there were no high school or college seasons for scouts to watch live game action.   The Phillies ended up doing something they have not done in a while: They picked a high school pitcher with their first pick.  That pick is right-handed pitcher Mick Abel out of Jesuit High School in Oregon.

Oregon Live profiled Abel yesterday and described what makes him special:

The kid who used to star for Cedar Mill has matured into a 6-foot-5, 198-pound juggernaut, who, along with Texas right-hander Jared Kelley, is widely considered one of the top two high school pitching prospects in this year’s draft.

Abel’s throwing arsenal features four pitches, including a nasty slider, devastating changeup, developing curveball and a fastball rarely seen in a teenager. It touched 99.5 miles per hour in April.

Abel missed his sophomore season due to an elbow injury.  But his junior year was enough to raise eyebrows.  Abel is just graduating high school, but turns 19 in August.

Baseball America posted video of his fastball last month:

Abel is the first high school pitcher drafted by the Phillies in the first round since 2006, when the Phillies drafted Kyle Drabek. Drabek never did pan out as a major league pitcher, but the Phillies were able to trade him to acquire Hall of Fame pitcher Roy Halladay.  The Phillies drafted Cole Hamels out of high school in 2002.

The Phillies do not have a second-round pick.  That pick went to the New York Mets for signing free agent pitcher Zack Wheeler.  The Phillies will have selections in rounds three, four, and five.  This year's draft is just five rounds.

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