Jesuit High baseball coach Colin Griffin on pitcher Mick Abel (above): “He is such a team player, such a humble kid. His goal is to outwork and outcompete. He never makes an excuse.” (Brian Murphy/Sadernation.org)
Jesuit High baseball coach Colin Griffin on pitcher Mick Abel (above): “He is such a team player, such a humble kid. His goal is to outwork and outcompete. He never makes an excuse.” (Brian Murphy/Sadernation.org)
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‘God’s put a lightning bolt in his right arm.’

" Colin Griffin Jesuit High baseball coach, on Mick Abel

The 15th overall pick in the 2020 Major League Baseball draft is a pitcher from Jesuit High School in Portland.

The Philadelphia Phillies have chosen Mick Abel, a 6-foot-5 right hander who sends the ball to the plate in a hurry — almost 100 miles per hour — and can keep hitters vexed with a slider, two-seam fastball and changeup.

It turns out that Abel is also a great guy.

“He is such a team player, such a humble kid,” said Colin Griffin, Jesuit High baseball coach. “His goal is to outwork and outcompete. He never makes an excuse.”

Abel, who attended Valley Catholic for his younger grades, is the first high school player from Oregon drafted in the first round since the Kansas City Royals chose Matt Smith in 1994.

“He is so athletic,” said Colin Griffin, Jesuit High baseball coach. “He is long and lanky and double jointed. God’s put a lightning bolt in his right arm. There aren’t many kids like that in the U.S.”

Abel showed maturity early, knowing he had to care for his arm, not show off or overthrow. “He doesn’t just follow a script,” said Griffin. “He truly knows what he is doing.”

Griffin never had to tell Abel to calm down. The teen, his coach said, already handles himself like a pro and can also have a conversation with anyone, anywhere.

Having Abel on the team made Griffin protective of the whole squad as scouts were clamoring for a look. It had the potential of turning into a circus. Griffin had to close practices so everyone could concentrate. 

“And what is really cool about Mick is, you would never know the attention he was getting,” said Griffin. “He is private and does not show off or brag.”

Abel was Oregon’s Gatorade baseball player of the year as both a junior and a senior.