2020 MLB Draft Player Notes: Ranking 1-25


Top 125 Draft Rankings

1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75

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2020 MLB Draft Video Library

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 Ranking 1-25

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1. Spencer Torkelson (1B, Arizona State Univ. | Video | Video | Video)

The most feared hitter in this class, Torkelson was walking at an astronomical 37.8% clip this spring, drawing 31 free passes in just 17 games. After slashing .337/.443/.743 throughout his collegiate career, opponents were wise to take a cautious approach with the slugger. As a right-right, first base only profile in the 6-foot range it’s natural to compare him to Andrew Vaughn, whom the White Sox popped #3 overall last season. Like Vaughn, Tork is a plus hitter with plus power and an all fields approach, warranting top of the draft consideration based heavily on the offensive profile alone. Often an indicator of future success, he has shown well with wood bats over the last two summers both on the Cape and in stints with the USA Collegiate National Team.

2. Asa Lacy (LHP, Texas A&M Univ. | Video | Video)

Well-proportioned at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, Lacy looks like a future frontline starter with a repertoire to match. Working downhill from a high three-quarter delivery, the lefty pumps mid-90s fastballs to both side of the plate, staying in-line toward home plate and carrying that velocity deep into his starts. At 84-to-87 mph with two-plane break and bat missing properties, the slider has improved significantly year-over-year, grading out as plus this spring. He shows feel for a plus changeup, as well, with deceptive arm speed and arm-side fade. There’s moderate effort in the delivery and command can waiver. The overall quality of the stuff, however, and his ability to work consistently around the plate mitigate any potential damage from missing the occasional spot. He dominated in his four starts this spring (3-0, 0.75, 17.25 K/9, .111 BAA).

3. Austin Martin (OF, Vanderbilt Univ. | Video | Video | Video | Video)

As a sophomore in 2019, Martin won the SEC batting title by a wide margin, slashing .392/.486/.604 for the National Champion Commodores. Pre-load, he holds his hands very low at the dish before getting set and unleashing a line drive stroke that sprays missiles to all fields. He flashes power to the pull side and could mature into a 25-plus homer profile at his peak due to his plus bat speed. The future defensive home remains uncertain, with Martin splitting time primarily between 2B and 3B as a sophomore before finishing his collegiate career in center field this spring. He looked comfortable in center, getting good reads off the bat, showing plenty of athleticism and an above-average arm to make throws to any base.

4. Nick Gonzales (2B, New Mexico State Univ. | Video)

Gonzales planted his flag as a high draft follow last spring after slashing .432/.532/.773 for New Mexico State as a sophomore. Questions surrounding his ultimate upside (New Mexico State is known as a particularly hitter-friendly environment) were assuaged after Gonzales raked his way through the Cape that summer, earning league MVP honors and an all-star selection while slashing .351/.451/.630. While the overall performance was impressive, particularly noteworthy was the power Gonzales displayed with wood, with 21 of his 54 hits going for extras (7 HR, 4 3B and14 2B). Defensively, Gonzales plays an adequate second base and should be an average defender at maturity. He gets glowing reviews for his makeup and work ethic, with familiar evaluators confident he’ll put in the necessary work to reach his considerable upside.

5. Max Meyer (RHP/DH, Univ. of Minnesota | Video | Video | Video)

Meyer began his developmental journey at Minnesota as a shutdown reliever, racking up 16 saves as a freshman (.163 BAA and 54 strikeouts in 43.2 innings) and two more in 2019 before transitioning to the rotation a month into the season. He responded to his new role by continuing his dominance without missing a beat, finishing the season with a 1.03 WHIP, .202 BAA and 87 strikeouts in 76.2 IP. The righty took another significant step forward in 2020, going 3-1 in his four starts and striking out 46 in 27.2 innings, holding opponents to a .155 average and posting a 5.75 SO/BB rate. Meyer has some of the loudest stuff in the class, holding his 96/97 mph velocity late into games while boasting a double-plus 87-91 mph slider and plus changeup. He’s an elite arm who can pound the zone with all three offerings and should move quickly.

6. Emerson Hancock (RHP, Univ. of Georgia | Video)

Tall and lean with long levers, Hancock is 6-foot-4, 213-pounds with room to add another 10-to-15 pounds in pro ball. Working from a true three-quarter release, his fastball will sit in the 92-to-96 mph range, topping out at 97. There’s some periodic arm drag when his timing is disrupted, causing the pitch to flatten out with a lower arm angle. His hard biting 83-to-86 mph slider is a true put-away pitch, tunneling well with his fastball and grading out as at least plus. There hasn’t been much need for his above-average change piece but he shows feel for the pitch with arm side fade with good arm speed.  The curveball lags behind his other secondaries, but he uses the offering effectively as a get-me-over pitch early in counts with 11-to-5 movement.

7. Zac Veen (OF, Spruce Creek (FL) | Video | Video | Video)

Veen jumped out to 2080 Baseball evaluators at the 2019 Perfect Game National Showcase and reinforced his claim as the top high school talent in the draft after a strong workout at the Under Armour All-America Classic two months later. The Florida prep product has a chance to develop into a plus hit and at least plus power tool when all is said and done and already shows an advanced approach, good balance and an easy, fluid swing in the box. Defensively, Veen moves well enough to stay in center field to start his pro career, but could ultimately be forced to an outfield corner as the body matures (though the bat should easily play across the grass). In a typical draft, Veen would be a no doubt top 5 pick and could easily find himself there in 2020 despite the glut of college options.

8. Reid Detmers (LHP, Univ. of Louisville | Video | Video)

After finishing second in the nation in strikeouts last spring (167), Detmers earned a spot on the Collegiate National Team last summer where he continued to pitch well (2-0, 0.69 ERA, .128 BAA). The lefty has a clean, easy, repeatable delivery and a high three-quarter release. Though the fastball velocity is modest, typically sitting in the 88-to-92 mph range, the effectiveness plays up due to its arm side tail and his ability to command of the pitch. A potential plus pitch at 72-to-76 mph with 1-to-7 movement and moderate depth, the curveball is extremely difficult to square up. Additionally, he’ll flash an average changeup with late tumble and a developing slider. The combination of polish and stuff makes Detmers a high floor prospect with the ability to get into a major league rotation earlier than his peers.

9. Austin Hendrick (OF, West Allegheny (PA) | Video | Video)

The best prep prospect to come out of the Pittsburgh area since Alex Kirilloff in 2016, Hendrick shares some similarities to his Keystone State counterpart (though Hendrick has more pop and perhaps a less advanced hit tool than Kirilloff at a similar age). His electric bat speed is some of the best in the class, causing the ball to jump off the bat differently than his peers. He broadened his stance and lowered his hands throughout the course of the summer showcase circuit, with the adjustment helping him to let the ball travel a bit more and resulting in more consistent pitch ID and hard contact. Older for the high school class, he’d be a draft eligible sophomore if he follows through on his commitment to Mississippi State.

10. Mick Abel (RHP, Jesuit (OR) | Video)

Tall, lean and projectable at 6-foot-5, 185-pounds, the Oregon State commit turned in an impressive performance at PG National last summer to commence the showcase circuit and solidifying his spot as one of the top arms in the prep class. Working from a three-quarter arm slot, the Oregon State commit gets good extension which augments the effectiveness of the fastball. His easy mid-90s heater flashes sink and run, and he’s able to hold his velo from the stretch. There’s some occasional arm drag which hinders the timing of his release and subsequent command. His best secondary offering is a hard, biting 85-to-87 mph slider that tunnels well with the fastball. He also shows feel for a mid-80s changeup that has good separation from the fastball and late tumble.

11. Ed Howard (SS, Mount Carmel (IL) | Video)

The Chicago prep standout is the top high school infielder in the class by a comfortable margin, thanks to smooth actions on the dirt, a heady approach to the game and an impressive knack for hard, line drive contact. Howard is the total package at the six spot, capable of making the easy and highlight reel play alike look effortless, and there is plenty of arm for the Oklahoma commit to manage all the necessary throws. Howard profiles as a top-of-the-order bat at the pro ranks who could bolster his OBP/AVG profile with a solid ISO as he continues to mature and more frequently drive the gaps with authority. He runs the bases aggressively without giving away outs thanks to solid reads and explosiveness.

12. Jared Kelley (RHP, Refugio (TX) | Video | Video)

Kelley looks the part of a big league workhorse, already measuring in at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds. The intimidating righty utilizes an athletic delivery and easy arm action to produce mid-to-upper-90s heat and has popped triple digits with semi-regularity. His changeup is a future impact offering and already draws plus grades when Kelley is executing, though the breaking ball is still searching for a firm identity, floating between 77 and 83 mph with slurvy shape. There isn’t tons of physical projection remaining, but the arsenal certainly has some room to grow and Kelley’s athleticism and strength are good tools to help push his repertoire to the next level with pro instruction. High school righties will be a wildcard in this draft given the propensity for decision makers to focus on college bats and arms when available, but the Texas recruit is worthy of consideration as early as the top ten picks.

13. Robert Hassell (OF, Independence (TN) | Video)

Hassell is routinely tied in with Hendrick as the top prep outfielder behind Veen, and it’s easy to see why. Evaluators note his smooth, balanced cuts in the box and impressive bat speed as the catalysts behind his regular hard contact and the Vandy commit has the high level performance to back up the evals – most notably with USA Baseball’s 18U National Team where Hassell led the club in 10 offensive categories and earned MVP honors. There’s a chance his trunk and core fill in enough to push him to outfield corner, where he could provide above-average to plus defense. Hassell is a nice combination of now performance and projection and could come off the board as early as the top third of the first round.

14. Garrett Crochet (LHP, Univ. of Tennessee | Video)

Crochet is a long-armed southpaw with a heavy, mid-90s fastball, 83-to-86 mph two-plane slider and developing changeup that lives between 86 and 90 mph depending on the day. The Tennessee lefty has the arsenal to turn over a pro lineup but will need to tighten his execution and prove he has both the stamina and durability to shoulder a starter’s load over a long pro season (pun intended, as Crochet was plagued with should issues during the shortened spring and was limited to just one start lasting 3.1 innings). The fallback is that of a potential shutdown multi-inning reliever with high-end swing-and-miss stuff. Crochet could be in play as early as the top ten picks and seems a lock for first round selection.

15. Heston Kjerstad (OF, Univ. of Arkansas | Video)

Owner of some of the best college power in the class, Hjerstad has a strong track record both in Fayetteville, and with wood bats over the summer. The left-handed hitting slugger led the USA Collegiate National Team in all three slash categories (.395/.426/.651). An aggressive hitter, there is some swing-and-miss in the profile, but he had cut his strikeout rate nearly in half (21.58-to-11.54) during the pandemic-shortened spring. There’s some pre-swing noise in the hands and an exaggerated leg kick in his load, though he usually gets his foot down in time to wreak havoc on balls in the zone. Defensively, he profiles as a right fielder where his above-average arm should play well.

16. Dillon Dingler (C, Ohio State Univ. | Video)

Three years after pairing with Ball State righthander Kyle Nicolas to win a state championship for Jackson High School (Massillon, OH), Dingler and his former teammate are primed to be early picks in the draft. Despite playing mostly centerfield as a freshman and missing a month last season with a broken hand, Dingler has remarkable catch and throw skills behind the dish. His arm garners 70-grades from evaluators, capable of producing in-game pop times in the 1.80 range. At the plate, shows plus raw power, feel for the strike zone and the ability to drive the ball to all fields. He was swinging a hot stick to open the spring, slashing .340/.404/.760 while being tied for the Big Ten lead in home runs (5).

17. Bryce Jarvis (RHP, Duke Univ. | Video)

Jarvis forewent summer ball in 2019, instead opting to work on pitch development and strength training with the staff at Driveline. That work seems to have paid off, as the Duke ace enjoyed one of the loudest springs of any college starter, dazzling through four starts to the tune of a 0.67 ERA, 0.48 WHIP, .120 BAA and a staggering 40 strikeouts to two walks over his 27 innings of work. Jarvis routinely holds his low-to-mid-90s velocity later into starts and creates enough angle on the offering to make it difficult to lift He’ll show a plus slider and above-average curve, with feel to play around with velocity and shape in between, and rounds out the package with an above-average changeup with arm-side dive. He has as much helium as any arm in the class, save perhaps for Max Meyer, and now profiles as a potential mid-rotation arm.

18. Cole Wilcox (RHP, Univ. of Georgia | Video | Video)

At 6-foot-5, 235 pounds, and in possession of an upper-90s fastball, Wilcox is an intimidating presence on the mound. While his plus fastball/slider combo looks much as it did in 2018, when he was a first round target out of high school, his execution and consistency have improved over the past 24 months. Throwing primarily in relief as a freshman, Wilcox both struggled to find the zone and hit his spots within it. In limited action this spring, the big-bodied righty did a much better job strike-throwing, though at times he still catches too much of the white and get timed-up with his hard/hard fastball/slider foundation. In order to take the next step, Wilcox will need to continue to improve his off-speed while tightening his in-zone command. There’s developmental work to be done, but Wilcox represents some of the highest upside in the class.

19. Garrett Mitchell (OF, Univ. of California – Los Angeles | Video | Video | Video)

Highly regarded out of national prep power Orange Lutheran (Calif.), we ranked Mitchell ranked as the #43rd best prospect in the 2017 class. Three years later, he’s parlayed a broad toolset with a strong collegiate track record to place him squarely into first round consideration. One of the fastest runners in the draft, he consistently gets down the line in the 4.0 range from the left side (70-grade), and his legs are an asset running down balls in the gaps as well. His arm strength also rates out as plus. Mitchell has made strides with the bat over the past three years, cutting down on his strikeouts and showing above average power potential in batting practice. Much has been made of Mitchell’s Type 1 diabetes, a condition that he’s managed without issue thus far during his athletic career.

20. Carmen Mlodzinski (RHP, Univ. of South Carolina | Video)

One of the top arms on the Cape last summer, Mlodzinski etched his name onto high follow lists thanks to a stellar 6-start campaign that yielded 40 strikeouts and just four walks, 15 hits in 29.1 innings of work. The strong-armed righty earned Friday night honors for the Gamecocks this spring, displaying an impressive if inconsistent four-pitch mix. At his best, Mlodzinski wields a 91-to-96 mph fastball with arm-side action, a plus low-80s breaker with sharp bite, a mid-80s changeup with sharp dive mirroring his 2-seamer, and an upper-80s cutter. At times, the South Carolina hurler can get loose with his execution, leaving both his fastball and cutter up, flat and vulnerable to hard contact. The materials are here to build a solid #3 or #4 starter, and Mlodzinski has the mechanics, arm action and enough athleticism to allow him to develop that upside.

21. Slade Cecconi (RHP, Univ. of Miami (Fla.) | Video | Video)

It only takes a pitch or two to see Cecconi’s frontline potential. At a lean and athletic 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, he’s built to shoulder a pro workload, and the ball explodes from his hand effortlessly. The fastball lives in the 93-to-96 mph velocity band and he backs it up with a plus low-to-mid-80s slider and above average 88-to-90 mph cutter that is particularly effective against same-side bats. At its best, his changeup is a fourth above-average weapon that he turns over with impressive arm-side dive. The track record for Cecconi is limited compared to some of his contemporaries, but the stuff stacks up with the best in the class.

22. Patrick Bailey (C, North Carolina State Univ. | Video | Video)

Bailey has an quality performance track record with the Wolfpack and was enjoying a solid spring for NC State when the season was cut short, slashing .296/.466/.685 with nine of his 16 hits going for extra bases (6 HR, 3 2B). Bailey shows over-the-fence potential from both sides of the plate and an advanced understanding of the zone, profiling as a solid OBP and ISO producer at the pro ranks. Bailey struggles against his swing at times and there are questions whether his periodic issues with contact will limit his in-game power production at the next level. Defensively, he’s a confident and comfortable general behind the dish with an adequate catch-and-throw game. He looks the part of an everyday Major League backstop with some offensive upside.

23. Cade Cavalli (RHP, Univ. of Oklahoma | Video)

Cavalli may have the most aesthetically pleasing mechanics in the entire draft class, with a velvety arm that produces easy mid-90s velocity that can ratchet up to 98 mph when he needs it. He can snap off two distinct breakers, each of which grade out as at least average, with his curve working primarily 83-to-85 mph and his short and sharp slider registering in the upper-80s. His change piece is still a work in progress, but gets the job done as a change-of-pace offering. One drawback of the smooth mechanics is that hitters seem to pick up the ball cleanly out of the hand, which can leave Cavalli more hittable than you’d expect based on the raw stuff. There’s a lot for a dev staff to work with, however, and in a less pitching-heavy class he’d be getting regular mentions as a potential top 10 or 15 pick (and he still might get there).

24. Austin Wells (C, Univ. of Arizona | Video | Video)

Wells erupted onto the collegiate last spring, slashing .353/.462/.552 as a freshman, then continued his offensive assault on college arms on the Cape, where the talented young backstop slashed .308/.389/.526 while tying for fifth in the league in home runs (7). The biggest chink in the armor exiting the summer was Wells’s elevated strikeout rate (K’ing in almost a third of his summer league at bats), but he succeeded in tightening his approach between August and March and dropped his strikeout percentage below 20% through his 15 games and 76 at bats this spring. Defensively, he’s an adequate defender with solid footwork but fringy arm strength. Still, he routinely pops between 1.90 and 2.00 seconds thanks to his quick release. If he can stick behind the dish, he’s an impact talent with a chance to hit for plus power at maturity.

25. Pete Crow-Armstrong (OF, Harvard-Westlake (CA) | Video | Video | Video)

Crow-Armstrong wows evaluators for his defensive aptitude in centerfield and his smooth left-handed stroke. A two-time veteran of the USA Baseball 18U team, he slashed .364/.405/.606 with three triples in his most recent stint. A plus runner, we’ve had him down the line under 4.1 seconds on multiple occasions. A contact-oriented hitter, his level swing stays in the zone a long time, but the even plane paired with average physicality raises questions as to how much power he’ll develop as a professional. A lock to stick in center, he shows fluid actions and defense, getting excellent reads off the bat and showcasing an above average arm. Although up and down performances over the summer have clouded the outlook, he’s still squarely a first rounder based on talent.