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June 20, 2024

Phillies prospect watch: More than half of top 15 currently injured, Mick Abel gets rocked

The Phillies have some hot-hitting bats, and a lot of injuries within the ranks of their top young talent.

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Mick Abel 6.5.24 Nathan Ray Seebeck/USA TODAY Sports

Former Phillies first-round pick Mick Abel has struggled at Triple-A Lehigh Valley in 2024.

As the trade deadline slowly inches closer for the first-place Phillies, their crop of top prospects fall into a few categories.

There are untouchables, there are players who are really talented but still too young to drink, and there are players who can't stay on the field. And some prospects fit into multiple categories.

As we do from time to time, here's a quick whip-around the Phillies' farm system to look at which of the team's top 15 prospects are red hot, which are ice cold, and which are currently on ice.

Who's hot

2. Aiden Miller, SS/3B

Miller — who could be an untouchable in the Phillies farm system as he ascends to the second level of Single-A — has found his groove at Jersey Shore after a slow start. The teenage infielder has six hits over his last four games after beginning his Blue Claw career hitless in his first three games. He also has a triple and homer. Miller was promoted after he slashed .275/.401/.483 in Clearwater.

4. Justin Crawford, OF

Before Wednesday's hitless appearance, Crawford had a modest five-game hitting streak that saw him collect nine base hits and six RBI. On the year with Jersey Shore, the 20-year-old 2022 first-rounder is hitting .296 and has a promotion to Reading in his sights.

8. Eduardo Tait, C

Tait is just 17 but so far has flash big-time power in Rookie Ball. He has homers in two of his last three games, and four over his last six. He is hitting .324 with 16 RBI since June 4. Could he pan out as J.T. Realmuto's heir behind the plate?

11. William Bergolla, 2B/SS

Bergolla his mashing the baseball right now. The 19-year-old in Jersey Shore has hit .533 over his last 10 games, raising his season batting average 47 points. On June 15 he was a double away from a cycle.

12. Carlos De La Cruz, 1B/OF

With very few older, big league ready prospects to boast of, the Phillies are no doubt pleased to see De La Cruz hitting well in Double-A. The 24-year-old has hit safely in seven of his last eight games with a modest .242 season average in Reading.

Who's not

3. Mick Abel, SP

Will the Phillies sell low on Abel, a first round pick who was touted as one of the best pitching prospects in baseball a few seasons ago? His worst career start may have come back on Sunday, when he was roughed up for five home runs, nine hits and seven earned runs in Triple-A Lehigh Valley. His 1-7 record and 6.93 ERA over 11 starts are not promising.

5. Starlyn Caba, SS 

The Phillies' 18-year-old stud has ascended into the MLB's overall top 100 taking the last available spot a few weeks ago, but hit the slump bus a bit after a fast start in Rookie Ball. He is hitting .242 over his last 10 games and has just one RBI since June 4.

6. Devin Saltiban, SS/2B

The third round pick from last year could go either way on our hot or not list — he had a four hit game on Tuesday in Clearwater — but over his last 10 games he is hitting just .143. He's 18 — so growing pains are to be expected,

Who's hurt (or not playing)

1. Andrew Painter, SP

Painter continues to slowly grind back from Tommy John surgery last year and he's targeting next spring to be fully healthy, when he'll be 22 and expected to be big-league ready.

7. Bryan Rincon, SS

Another 20-year-old infielder, Rincon has been inconsistent this year and has been on the injured list since May 20.

9. Gabriel Rincones Jr., OF

Rincones Jr., was on a tear, looking to make a case for a promotion or even a big league invite at the ripe old age of 23. He was hitting .333 over his last 10 games in Reading before he was placed on the injured list at the end of April.

10. Griff McGarry, RP

McGarry was finding his groove in the bullpen, where he was moved this offseason before he was placed on the IL with a joint injury in his lower back. If the Phillies need bullpen depth and perhaps an infusion of youth, he could be called upon later this year — if he keeps up the good work in Lehigh Valley after he returns. Since April 26, he has lowered his ERA from 5.79 to 3.24 a week ago. He's allowed three runs in his last 10 appearances — a 2.38 ERA over 11.1 innings.

13. Wen Hui Pan, SP

Pan is still working back from an injury that ended his 2023 season. He is 21.

14. Alex McFarlane, SP

Like Painter, McFarlane is working back from TJ surgery.

15. Christian McGowan, SP

A college draftee who's gotten Tommy John surgery before age 24, McGowan has had three solid starts in Reading. The Fightins appear to have placed him on the injured list back on May 9.

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