Crawford, Abel highlight Phillies' roster for Spring Breakout game

Crawford, Abel highlight Phillies' roster for Spring Breakout game originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. — Right-handed pitcher Mick Abel and outfielder Justin Crawford highlight the Phillies' 27-man roster for their inaugural Spring Breakout game.

The Phillies' prospects face Detroit's prospects on March 16 in Lakeland at the Tigers' spring training home.

Spring Breakout is a four-day event from March 14-17 that will showcase baseball's top minor-leaguers with eight games in Arizona and eight in Florida. Each team is paired up with another, with the Reds and Cardinals playing two games apiece.

Here is the Phillies' roster:

Pitchers (12)

Mick Abel
Sam Aldegheri (LHP)
Andrew Baker
Jean Cabrera
Alexis De La Cruz
Estibenzon Jimenez
George Klassen
Tommy McCollum
Griff McGarry
Wesley Moore (LHP)
Micah Ottenbreit
Andrew Walling (LHP)

• Abel is the Phillies' No. 2 prospect behind right-hander Andrew Painter, who will miss the 2024 season recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Abel's in big-league camp for the second straight year. He made two appearances last March and impressed in one inning of relief during the first weekend of Grapefruit League games with a 1-2-3 inning that included two strikeouts and a 96 mph average fastball.

The 22-year-old was scheduled to start this past Saturday but was scratched because of illness. His stated goals for 2024 are to reduce his walk rate (5.2 batters per nine innings last season) and to reach the majors. He isn't on the Phillies' 40-man roster but could position himself to help if he shows progress in his first extended taste of Triple A.

• ranks McGarry as the Phillies' No. 4 pitching prospect, behind Painter, Abel and Orion Kerkering. The hard-throwing 24-year-old is looking to bounce back this season after struggling to throw strikes last summer and eventually being shut down.

"It's always been control, not command," Phillies manager Rob Thomson said after McGarry struck out the side in his first spring appearance last Friday. "We're getting him to power the ball through the zone and when he does that, he's going to have success because he's got good stuff."

Three days later, McGarry had a tougher test against a section of the Blue Jays' lineup that included George Springer, Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Daulton Varsho and Eduardo Escobar. He allowed three hits and three runs, walked a batter and hit one.

Catchers (3)

Kehden Hettiger
Caleb Ricketts
Eduardo Tait

• The Phillies are high on Tait, a left-handed-hitting catcher from Panama who hit .333 with a .917 OPS last season in 44 games in the Dominican Summer League.

Tait is 17 years old with a strong arm and a chance to hit. He's the Phillies' No. 9-ranked prospect.

Infielders (7)

Starlyn Caba
Aidan Miller
Bryan Rincon
Devin Saltiban
William Bergolla
Nikau Pouaka-Grego
Carlos De La Cruz

• Caba was the Phillies' prize of international free agency last year, signing for $3 million in January and then hitting .301 with 12 more walks than strikeouts in the Dominican Summer League. He's already the Phillies' No. 5-ranked prospect with upside in all phases.

• Miller, a 19-year-old shortstop, was the Phillies' first round pick in 2023. He hit .414 and reached base in more than half his plate appearances in Rookie ball last summer before a promotion to Single A Clearwater, where he figures to begin the 2024 season.

The Phillies were happy to land Miller late in the first round. He had been projected to go higher before breaking his hamate bone and missing most of his senior season. ranks him as the game's No. 61 prospect.

• Rincon is a defensive-minded shortstop who showed a good eye at the plate at Single A last season, walking 68 times in 425 plate appearances with an on-base percentage 134 points higher than his batting average.

• Bergolla signed with the Phillies for just over $2 million in 2022. The Venezuelan middle infielder hit .380 with a .470 OBP in 83 plate appearances in the Dominican Summer League in 2022 and posted a .351 OBP in 2023 with Clearwater despite being more than three years younger than the Florida State League average.

Outfielders (5)

Emaarion Boyd
Justin Crawford
Raylin Heredia
Gabriel Rincones Jr.
Tjayy Walton

• Crawford was the Phillies' first-round pick in 2022 and he's coming off of a promising first year as a pro. As a 19-year-old, he hit .344/.399/.478 at Single A Clearwater, then hit .288/.366/.425 after a promotion to High A Jersey Shore. Overall, he hit .332 and stole 47 bases while playing every day in center field.

The left-handed-hitting Crawford more than held his own against lefties, going 33-for-92 (.359). He's the No. 63 prospect in the minors, according to Baseball America.

• Rincones was the Phillies' third-round pick in 2022 out of Florida Atlantic. He's a powerful lefty-hitting corner outfielder who popped 15 home runs last season, his first in the Phillies' farm system.