With the MLB Draft just over a month away, the latest mock draft has the San Diego Padres taking Mick Abel, the top high school pitcher in this class.
We’ve been looking at various draft scenarios and analyzing player profiles for the last couple of weeks because, well frankly, there is not a whole heck of a lot going on right now. The San Diego Padres hold the eighth overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, and while I personally would like them to take the top college arm available with the pick, MLB sees differently.
MLB writer Jonathan Mayo has the Padres taking Mick Abel, right-handed pitcher, from Jesuit High School in the first round claiming:
"The Padres don’t shy away from high schoolers with upside, so Abel could make a lot of sense, as could Nick Bitsko from eastern Pennsylvania."
And while the evidence is there that the Padres have taken, and presumably will have success, with MacKenzie Gore, I like to see those guys play against better talent first. The draft is such a crap-shoot anyway, so play the odds if at all possible.
Back to Abel.
At 6-foot-5, 198 pounds, Abel has plenty of room to fill out his frame. His fastball topped out at 97 mph at the 2019 Perfect Game Showcase, which placed him in the 99.94 percentile. He’s also added 20 MPH to this pitch since 2015.
Last year, he had a perfect 9-0 record while posting a 1.34 ERA and striking out 90 batters in 57.1 innings. He was named Oregon’s Gatorade Player of the Year and already features a four-pitch mix. MaxPreps indicates that his breaking ball projects to be a terrific pitch at the Major League level, but they also note that he has struggled with walks at times.
Interestingly, the very next pick is Lousiville’s Reid Detmers, who is a can’t-miss college starting pitcher. I’d feel much safer selecting Detmers with the eighth overall pick. He’s, obviously, much further along than Abel and reportedly has the best curveball of college pitchers. Detmers would also likely be ready within two to three years.