Abel shines in Somerset, Gil homers in Hudson Valley…twice

BRIDGEWATER, N.J. — Mick Abel showed why he’s considered to be one of the top pitching prospects in all of baseball on Friday night against a loaded Somerset Patriots lineup at TD Bank Ballpark.

Facing a prospect-laden group of New York Yankees prospects, the 21-year-old righty was dazzling, allowing just one unearned run over five innings of work, allowing just two hits while striking out three batters.

“I felt like I had the fastball working again,” said Abel, who touched 99 MPH four times over his outing.  “I think my last outing, it was obviously pretty rough, giving up nine runs.  A lot of stuff didn’t really go my way, and I didn’t have my best stuff, but I think the mentality going into (Friday) night was to try to put everything in the zone and try to keep a really good lineup off-balance, and I think I did a pretty decent job of doing that.”

The Reading Fightin’ Phils star faced a Somerset group that has two Top 100 prospects according to many outlets in both Jasson Dominguez and Austin Wells, arguably the best lineup he’s faced thus far this year.  To get away essentially unscathed should serve as a significant confidence booster going forward.

“For sure,” he said.  “There were back-to-back (strong) outings a couple weeks ago, and that was probably more of a confidence booster, but getting the bounce-back like that (after a tough start), it was definitely a lot better.”

Grayson Rodriguez, P, Baltimore Orioles, MLB

On the day where he finally exhausted his prospect status, “G-Rod” spun one of the best outings of his big league career to date, holding the Toronto Blue Jays to just two runs over five innings of work on Saturday. Rodriguez didn’t factor in the decision, but the 23-year-old alum of the 2017 International Week event shined early and often, allowing just four hits while walking one and striking out six.

Mateo Gil, INF, Brooklyn Cyclones, A+

Gil has been working hard to turn around a slow start to his season, and seems to have gotten on the right track once again. The New York Mets farmhand had a huge series in Hudson Valley this past week, smacking a grand slam home run on Thursday, followed by a two-run shot in the first game of a doubleheader on Sunday.

Brock Jones, OF, Bowling Green Hot Rods, A+

Congratulations are in order for Jones, who earned a promotion to High-A Bowling Green to get his 2023 campaign underway. The 2018 International Week standout is off to a good start, hitting .273 in his first five games, having already connected for a double, while adding a stolen base along the way.

Kenya Huggins, P, Daytona Tortugas, A

Huggins has been excellent of late for the Reds Low-A affiliate, spinning two consecutive scoreless outings totaling seven innings. Over that time, he’s allowed just two hits and one walk, while racking up eight strikeouts. After a few tough outings, he’s lowered his ERA by nearly five runs in the span of just seven days.

David Calabrese, OF, Rocket City Trash Pandas, AA

The Canadian-born outfielder finishes up his weekend with a modest three-game hitting streak after hitting his fourth home run of the year on Sunday for the Trash Pandas, who also have fellow FSS alum Kyren Paris on the roster. Calabrese’s homer at International Week in 2019 at Fenway Park was one of the more memorable moments of the entire event; but it was, of course, an inside-the-parker, where he showed off his plus speed.

Mike Ashmore
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