Chicago Cubs: Five realistic MLB draft day targets

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Chicago Cubs
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Chicago Cubs: A staunch arm

Scouts across the game love to uncover the best talent. After all, that is their job. Isolating the exact skill level between high school talent and collegiate level talent is one of the most critical aspects of their duties. It is also the most challenging aspect.

One of the biggest prep names in this year’s draft is Jesuit High School starting pitcher Mick Abel. A lanky kid, Abel stands at 6’5″ and has displayed dominance on the mound for his size. In 2019, Abel was named as the 2018-19 Gatorade Oregon Baseball Player of the Year.

That year Abel had helped his team to the Class 6A state tournament after posting a 1.34 ERA in 28 games. Abel also managed to strike batters out at an insane rate, recording 90 punch-outs in 57 1/3 innings. He also provided leadership off the field by providing clothing for homeless children.

Abel sits in the 90-94 mph range for his fastball, with an ability to run it as high as 97 mph. His secondary pitches include a plus-plus slider rated by scouts as the best of the high school class and a changeup with an above-average quality to its drop in the zone. In terms of his control, he is the best in the class in that regard. Abel leads with a toe-tap, which assists in his delivery, and his large frame provides balance on the mound.

The novel coronavirus unceremoniously canceled the high school baseball season this year, which does not play to Abel’s advantage. He is committed to Oregon State to play baseball and could find himself slip due to his canceled season. Still, Abel has a ton of qualities that could play well as a future mid-rotation starter and could give the Cubs another strong young arm for years to come.