Phillies' Prospect Struggles Early in Season

Phillies' young pitcher faces challenges in Triple-A outings

by Nouman Rasool
Phillies' Prospect Struggles Early in Season
© Jenner/Getty Images

The only blot on their roster, it's been relatively strong for the Philadelphia Phillies in the pitching lineup. All looked right for 2023 to be the season in which they improved on an 11-8 record and took the next step, except for one thing: the first couple of starts for top prospect Mick Abel at Triple-A have not gone well.

The Phillies have done a pretty good job of compensating for an underwhelming offensive output early in the season, but this has been primarily competitive. However, the last-minute injury to Taijuan Walker in his placement on the injury list before spring training left a hole in the rotation.

The team had initially considered calling up Mick Abel, their number two prospect, to fill this void.

Abel's Rocky Start

He was a first-round draft pick out of high school, one of the big names tabbed aces that was coming up in the Phillies system.

The 22-year-old right-hander was briefly tested at the Triple-A level in 2023 and then resumed developing his craft against the best in the land. Unfortunately, his start to the season has raised some eyebrows and may have delayed that much-anticipated Major League debut.

In his first three starts, Abel has posted a concerning 6.94 ERA, surrendering nine earned runs across 11 2/3 innings. While his strikeout ability remains impressive with 14 K's, his control has been questionable with nine walks issued.

These performances suggest that Abel still needs time to adjust to the higher level of play and refine his command. Despite these early struggles, the Phillies remain hopeful. The upside in Abel is apparent, and he has a lot of the season ahead of him to turn these struggles around.

Inside the organization, the legion of fans, and the scouts, there is much anticipation to see if he can get through these first few trials and become a legitimate face of the staff. As the season progresses and Taijuan Walker returns from the injured list, that is quite a question mark for the Phillies.

If Abel can find his form, he may pitch for the Majors this year a massive shot in the arm for it in its goal of making the playoffs. Now, everybody will watch closely as this promising young pitcher tries to work his way through the early season at Triple-A.