Major League Baseball’s owners may have locked out the players, triggering the league’s first work stoppage since 1994-95 and bringing the offseason to a halt, but that doesn’t mean we’re letting it derail our typical offseason plans. Indeed, CBS Sports is in the process of highlighting the top three prospects for all 30 teams, as well as naming the top 50 prospects in the minors, regardless of team affiliation.
That journey finds us today focusing on the Philadelphia Phillies‘ farm system.
Do note that these lists are formed after conversations with scouts, analysts, and player development folks from around the league. There is personal bias baked in, as one would expect from subjective exercises, so some disagreement is to be expected.
Now, onto the gasbaggery.
1. Mick Abel, RHP
Abel, the top prep pitcher in the 2020 class, slipped to the 15th pick because of the usual concerns about high-school arms. While it’s too early to panic, his first professional season brought those concerns to the forefront. Abel was limited to 14 starts by a shoulder issue, and he walked more than five batters per nine when he was able to pitch. Abel still has well-above-average upside, thanks to an arsenal that could include three plus or better pitches and a tall, projectable frame.
2. Bryson Stott, SS
The Phillies took Stott with the 14th pick in the 2019 draft. He should be able to make his big-league debut next season after hitting .299/.390/.486 with 16 home runs and 10 stolen bases in 112 games across three levels, including Triple-A. Stott has a well-rounded game, albeit without a true carrying tool, or an aspect that stands out. The rest of the Phillies’ offseason could dictate where he lands on the infield.
3. Andrew Painter, RHP
Painter entered the spring billed as a potential top-10 pick. He had to settle for going 13th, making him the second prep arm the Phillies have taken in the first round in three years. Painter has a large, physical frame and a promising arsenal. His changeup is further along than most of his high-school peers, and he also has a good fastball-slider combination that gives him above-average upside. One thing to watch for with Painter is whether or not the Phillies attempt to deepen his release point; for the time being, he doesn’t leverage his frame to get out in front as much as he could.