The 2020 MLB Draft is shaping up to be a good one for the Pittsburgh Pirates. After finishing last season with only 69 wins, the club claimed the second-worst record in the National League, which earned the team the 7th pick in the upcoming 2020 MLB draft.
This is the highest picked in the MLB draft for the Pirates since the 2011 season, when they selected Gerrit Cole with the first pick of the draft. As is the case for lots of Pirates prospects, Cole never really got it together in Pittsburgh before becoming the ace pitcher he was expected to be during his stint in Houston.
Of course, Cole just recently inked a historic $324 million deal with the Yankees.
The 2020 MLB Draft is also one of new hope and excitement for the Pirates. Under the new leadership of Ben Cherington and Steve Sanders, there is the expectation that things will be different this year.
The Pirates not only have the 7th pick, but through the “competitive balance picks” system were also awarded a pick at the conclusion of the first round. This is the highest competitive balance pick the Pirates have held since the installation of the Competitive Balance Picks System.
2020 MLB Mock Draft: Pirates & Mick Abel
Abel stands 6-foot-5 and has a 185 pound frame. Scouts have raved about his long-arm action from the 3/4 slot, his low energy release, and the fact that it looks like a simple warmup when he is tossing his fastball at 96 MPH.
As well, his slider is considered an elite level pitch with a changeup that is still developing. He is considered to have a super high ceiling.
Carlos Collzao of Baseball America noted: “An ultra-projectable 6-foot-5, 185-pound righthander with plenty of more room left to fill out, Abel has a fastball that has steadily climbed over the past few seasons. It now settles n the mid-90s and has touch 97 mph.”
Dan Zielinski III of the Baseball Prospect Journal said: “Abel is a 6-6, 185-pound righty who has a mid-90s fastball and an above-average curveball. He also throws a slider and a changeup. He’s an Oregon State commit.”
MLB Mock Draft: Mick Abel Highlights
MLB Prospect: Mick Abel
Mick Abel is easily one of the best high school prospects going into the 2020 MLB Draft. He spent three weeks this past summer at the Prospect Development Pipeline League. In the end, Abel is vastly more projectable than other pitchers in the 2020 MLB Draft, and has a fluid delivery that yields tons of strikes. His fastball is in the 93-95 MPH range and travels downhill. His slider travels between 82-86 MPH and has a deceptive changeup at 86-88 MPH.
The selection of Abel in the 2020 MLB Draft will fulfill a need for the Pirates. However, it remains to be seen if Abel will sign with the Pirates or honor his commitment to the Beavers.