2020 MLB Draft Rankings: Left-Handed Pitchers

Written by: Joe Doyle (@JoeDoyleMiLB) and Diego Solares (@DeegsBaseball)

Our draft ranks have finally come to an end.

As the countdown for the MLB Draft reaches single digits, our content coverage of the prospects whose names may be called on June 10th/11th has significantly sped up. After breaking down all the positional prospects that we believe are worth mentioning, we ranked the top 30 right-handed pitchers from this class. Today, we completely wrap up our draft rankings with our final installment: the southpaws.

This group isn’t as deep as their counterpart right-handers, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t talent littered throughout this list. Asa Lacy headlines this bunch as the top arm in the class, Garrett Crochet’s upside is sky high, and both Reid Detmers and Logan Allen have solid big league futures as back-of-the-rotation arms. It’s certainly an interesting collection of arms that need to be noted.

After several hours of churning through video and information, these are the consensus rankings agreed upon by both of our draft analysts. Without further delay, let’s get into it:

 

1. Asa Lacy, 21 years old, Texas A&M

The top pitcher on most teams boards, there isn’t much to not love about Asa Lacy. If we were basing evaluation off pure track record alone, Lacy’s production at Texas A&M tops virtually anyone in the draft. His strong and sturdy 6-foot-4, 215-pound frame is an ideal frame for him to hold innings deep into a 162-game season. 

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a fastball better than Lacy’s in this class, regularly sitting in the 94-97 mph range and working on a downhill plane, getting some fairly ugly swings from opposing bats. He throws two breaking balls, both hard and with conviction, but each has its own distinct break. His curveball shows a tight 1/7 shape with downer actions, while the slider is arguably the best overall pitch in the entire draft. It’s tight, tunnels well off his fastball, and is already a true big league swing-and-miss pitch. Lacy also features an above-average changeup with natural fade, giving him four above-average to plus offerings. While he’s a damn good pitching prospect, Lacy is just like everyone else and isn’t perfect. His delivery is a bit quirky and he doesn’t have excellent command right now, but notice that he’s still been extremely effective lacking that plus control. A couple of mechanical tweaks, including extending his stride downhill, could help lower the walk numbers and increase his overall production more. Lacy has the makings of a bonafide top-of-the-rotation pitcher. 

2. Garrett Crochet, 21 years old, Tennessee

Barely 21 years old, Crochet represents one of the younger college pitchers available in this year’s draft and a damn good one at that. The biggest question mark on Crochet’s profile is whether or not he’s going to be a starting pitcher or end up in the bullpen. The stuff is absolutely electric, and he’s got a proven track record starting. Crochet has run into some arm fatigue in the past, and he’s been known to get a tad erratic from time to time. From this chair, you’re looking at a shutdown reliever at the next level. 

Crochet arguably has one of the best fastballs in the entire draft. Working out of a low, three-quarter slot, the Volunteer touches 100 in bullpen work and comfortably sits 95-98 in-game. There are some herk and jerk to his motion, but it’s deceptive and allows for his pitches to tunnel off each other beautifully. The slider is yet another plus-plus offering. Running through the zone in the high 80s, Crochet’s breaking ball comes out of the exact same deceptive arm slot as the fastball and shows deep lateral action and some vertical tilt. The two-pitch mix, as well as the delivery, are eerily similar to Josh Hader’s profile. There’s also a changeup and a curveball, the former being a little more advanced than the latter. If he were to move into a relief role, Crochet should dump the curveball and focus exclusively on his two plus-plus bread and butter offerings while occasionally working in the potential 55-grade changeup. 

3. Reid Detmers, 21 years old, Louisville

Detmers was the undisputed ace of an extremely talented Louisville rotation this season, one that could potentially include another first-round pick in Bobby Miller. His stuff isn’t nearly as overpowering as some of the true power pitchers on this list, but Detmers uses a combination of deceptiveness and elite command to unlock a new level in his repertoire. Detmers fastball works in the 90-94 mph range with natural lefty arm-side run to it and plays up because of that aforementioned deception. He’s known for a high-spin curveball that sits between 73-76 mph and profiles as a plus pitch long-term. Detmers also throws a changeup, but it doesn’t project more than an average pitch. There’s little risk in taking Detmers because you already know what he’s going to be: a command-oriented big league lefty that’s going to fill up innings towards the back of a rotation. 

4. Dax Fulton, 18 years old, Mustang HS (OK)

Dax Fulton is truly just scratching the surface to what he could eventually become. At 6-foot-6, 230 pounds, Fulton is already equipped with a grown man body, a physique that isn’t soft either. The Oklahoma hoss was squarely in the conversation with guys like Mick Abel and Jared Kelley last summer before tearing his UCL, forcing him onto the shelf and absent from the 2020 circuit. Nobody’s seen Fulton throw in more than a year, but that hasn’t stopped scouts from flocking to his side when asked about his potential as a big-league starter. Fulton will be fully healed and ready to pitch this fall. 

As you might imagine, a guy of his size packs some pretty good gas in the tank. Last spring, Fulton was comfortably sitting 90-93 with natural cutting action on his fastball. Most scouts believe there’s far more in profile, assuming he’ll likely end up in the 95-96 range in his prime. While the fastball is impressive, Fulton may have the best true curveball in the class. It’s a power offering with 11/5 break. The pitch sits in the upper 70s right now, creating a good bit of separation off his stiff heater. At 17 years old, Fulton was commanding the pitch with ease, leading some to believe it’s a plus offering as a floor. He mixes in an inconsistent changeup as well that was showing promise before he was shut down. With three pitches, two of which have already shown plus or better potential, Fulton has the making of a top of the rotation arm that should move quickly for a prep, so long as his health permits. 

5. Ian Seymour, 21 years old, Virginia Tech

Up until 2020, Ian Seymour wasn’t regarded as a premier pitching prospect. That changed after his shortened junior year. Traditionally 90-92, Seymour saw his fastball touch 95 this season, resulting in far more strikeouts, far fewer walks, and a minuscule ERA. The Hokie projects as a solid mid-rotation starter at the next level so long as the organization that selects him does not try to move him into a bullpen where his stuff may tick up another notch. 

The fastball is now a plus offering, sitting 92-95. Seymour has been known to tinker with its grip now and again, manipulating spin and creating some cut action to the pitch. This differs from his true slider that flashes now and again, drawing above average-to-plus grades from scouts. His third offering is a changeup that more often than not grades out as a 55 offering, also flashing plus now and again. It’s a three-pitch mix that should develop well in a starter role. There’s some effort in his delivery, but that shouldn’t stop him from reaching his ceiling as he’s a strike-thrower and limits free passes. 

6. Jared Shuster, 21 years old, Wake Forest

Shuster significantly improved his draft stock this spring, albeit in a small sample size. His physicality is the first thing that stands out is impressive, standing at a strong 6-foot-3, 215-pound frame. While his delivery is quirky and unconventional, Shuster does actually repeat it well and has the size to stick in a rotation long term. 

The uptick in his stuff is a big reason why Shuster has vaulted himself into first-round discussions. His fastball came out of the gates this spring sitting 92-94 mph and touching 97 mph with late riding action to it. There’s no denying the effectiveness of his plus changeup from the left side and its natural downward tumble allows it to pair perfectly with his fastball. Most left-handed pitchers typically post high-spin rates on breaking balls, but that isn’t the case with Shuster. When he does manage to effectively spin something, it plays more like a slurve and the consistent feel for it just isn’t there. Shuster’s upside is undeniable and he’s likely to go in the top 40 picks as things stand right now. 

7. Logan Allen, 21 years old, FIU

Allen is virtually the definition of a soft-tossing, command-oriented southpaw. He’s only six feet tall and roughly 180 pounds, but his ability to consistently spot-up three pitches for strikes allows his stuff to play up. Allen’s fastball works around 89-91 mph, touching 93 mph occasionally and playing with plenty of late arm-side run. He’ll consistently dot it up to either corner of the plate and is excellent at getting ahead of hitters early. From a stuff perspective, Allen’s changeup is the best pitch in his arsenal. It looks exactly like his fastball coming out of the hand and then just drops off a cliff, flashing plus actions. Allen’s feel to spin is above-average, although his breaking ball does get loopy at times and hangs over the heart of the plate too much. It is an average third pitch, however, and gives him a solid three-pitch repertoire to build off once he becomes a professional. Similarly to Detmers, Allen’s pitch ability will carry him through the minors and into the big leagues as a safe back-end starter. Don’t be surprised if he’s one of the first players from this class to make his debut. 

8. Sam Weatherly, 21 years old, Clemson

Sam Weatherly doesn’t project all too dissimilar to the aforementioned Seymour. A two-pitch pitcher with a bullpen likelihood, Weatherly should move through the low minors very quickly as he works to debut as early as 2021. Weatherly’s track to this point has been far different than Seymour. The Clemson Tiger has been on scouts radars for the better part of five years. In high school, Weatherly had a build that most scouts felt would tack on strength, supplementing his already live arm. That has certainly happened during his time on campus. 

At 6-foot-3, 205 pounds, Weatherly certainly looks the part. It’s a clean, repeatable delivery, though his mechanics haven’t helped him avoid free passes. In 22 innings his junior year, Weatherly walked 14 batters. He punched 43 tickets in the process, but those base on balls lead most to believe he’s a bullpen arm at the next level. The fastball is a plus pitch at 93-95. He works in an equally impressive plus slider and occasionally throws a changeup. Weatherly is a fairly polished profile for what he is. He’s likely a 3rd or 4th round pick. 

9. Kyle Harrison, 18 years old, De La Salle (CA)

Harrison garnered some early attention by some draft individuals, including me, as the potential top left-handed pitching prospect in this year’s prep class. We didn’t see an uptick in the stuff coming out of the gates this spring, and Fulton’s upside is ultimately higher, but Harrison is still an intriguing draft prospect nonetheless. 

A lean, athletic 6-foot-2, 200-pound southpaw, Harrison has plenty of room to fill out his frame and add 10-15 more pounds of muscle as he continues to grow. His fastball sits between 90-93 mph, coming clean out of the hand and with life into the zone. It’s difficult to square his heater up, and all of his pitches for that manner, because he attacks hitters from a deceptive ¾ arm slot that is somewhat reminiscent of Chris Sale’s FGCU days. When Harrison gets ahead in the count he’ll turn to a sweeping slider as his put-away pitch and it has flashed plus actions in the past. His changeup is thrown with fastball arm speed but is a bit flat and doesn’t project as anything more than a change-of-pace pitch. Harrison’s frame and pitch ability suggest there’s more to unlock and he would benefit greatly from going to UCLA, a program known for developing talented high school pitching prospects into pro-ready arms. Should he one day become a Bruin, keep your eyes peeled for him in the first round of the 2023 MLB Draft. 

10. Burl Carraway, 21 years old, Dallas Baptist

If you take Crochet out of the equation, Carraway is unequivocally the best lefty reliever in this class. The only thing pushing him down this list is his role. Some of the aforementioned guys like Seymour and Weatherly have a shot at being starters at the next level. Carraway does not. That being said, there’s a legitimate case to be made that Carraway will have a bigger impact than at least half of the names above him on this list. 

Just six feet tall, weighing a shade over 170 pounds, Carraway is a slender build with a live, explosive arm. The fastball is a plus offering sitting around 97 most nights. Besides the heather, Carraway employs a plus breaking ball that generates a ton of swing and miss. The wart on his game is the command. If he can hone in the control for his two-pitch mix, there’s reason to believe Carraway could pitch in 2020 for a big league club, especially given the taxi squad idea being thrown around. The command is the only thing holding him back from moving extremely quickly. We’ve got this guy slotted as the first player to debut from the 2020 MLB Draft. 

11. Jake Eder, 21 years old, Vanderbilt

Somewhat of an outcast on Vanderbilt’s loaded roster, Eder would certainly be an impact starter on several teams across the country. A physical 6-foot-4, 220-pound southpaw, Eder’s intriguing performance on the Cape this summer certainly boosted his draft stock. At peak, Eder’s fastball sits between 92-94 mph, touching 96 mph at times. His inability to consistently hold velocity from start to start is concerning, and probably the reason he’s this low on our list, as we’ve seen him come out throwing 90-91 mph a few days after registering higher velocities. Eder’s curveball is his best pitch, although there are some outings where he just doesn’t have a feel for it, just like his fastball. His changeup is a below-average offering right now and he just needs to throw it more for more comfort. Eder can be flat out dominant on any given day while also looking like a completely different arm on another. His inconsistency issues continue to plague him, but there will always be upside. 

12. Ricky Tiedemann, 17 years old, Lakewood (CA)

Our second prep on the list, Tiedemann won’t be 18 years old until October. He’s incredibly young for the class, and for that reason, will be enticing for player development programs. Tiedemann could quite possibly play centerfield at the next level, he’s that kind of freak athlete. He runs well, fields his position at an elite level, and has a livewire arm on the mound. There’s a ton of projection here. 

Already 6-foot-3, 200 pounds, Tiedemann just looks the part. His fastball sits in the low 90s right now, but most would be stunned if he’s not sitting 94-95 by the time he’s fully developed. He works in two developing pitches in the slider and changeup, though neither are even above average offerings at this time. There’s a ton to like about the University of San Diego commit, but he’s going to be a project. He’ll likely require five full years in a minor league system before debuting, but when that day comes, he could be special. If the secondary pitches develop into a plus, or even above-average offerings by 2023, Tiedemann could quite easily be a Top 15 selection. 

13. Luke Little, 19 years old, San Jacinto JC (TX)

Many became infatuated with Little a few weeks ago after a video surfaced of him hitting an absurd 105 mph with his fastball. While there’s certainly a lot to love, and he’s at the premier pitching JUCO for pitchers right now, Little does have his fair share of mechanical flaws, including an unconventional delivery that includes a fairly prodigious head whack. Little does have that ridiculous fastball power in his 6-foot-8, 225-pound frame, but he struggles to repeat his delivery and doesn’t hold velocity into starts, typically sitting in the 93-96 mph range. He struggles to throw any of his off-speed pitches for strikes and even struggles to locate the fastball as well. Little has the loud tools that give him a high ceiling, but even the floor is fairly low. 

14. Seth Lonsway, 21 years old, Ohio State

We may be a little lower than some other pundits on Lonsway, but after watching him in action during the 2019 Cape Cod League, we were left unimpressed. Lonsway is fully capable of being a starter at the next level, which should help him in getting selected in the first few rounds of the 2020 draft. He’s a four-pitch guy that has shown a glimpse of spotting all four offerings. 

The fastball is currently a fringe-average pitch. The velocity is there, comfortably sitting in the low-90s, but the feel for the pitch is not. Lonsway walked 12 batters in 12 innings last summer, and a lot of that was thanks to falling behind in counts and not being able to spot the heater. He mixes in a slider, curveball, and changeup, all of which have flashed above average at times, though are generally regarded as average offerings. It’s a slate of pitches, which you don’t find from most lefties in college. If the fastball command doesn’t improve, he too will be destined for a bullpen. 

15. Nick Swiney, 21 years old, NC State

Swiney has served as both a starting pitcher and reliever for the Wolfpack over the last three seasons. He excelled out of the bullpen, where his fastball velocity played up into the low-to-mid-90s and led to his potential plus breaking ball just being flat-out more effective. They then moved him into their rotation and his fastball velocity dipped down. Swiney contributed quality innings for the Pack, but he was ultimately more valuable to them out of the bullpen, where he profiles best in the long-term. He’s got the stamina-experience combination to be a spot starter here and there, but Swiney’s ultimate role is as an effective long reliever. 

16. Adam Seminaris, 21 years old, Long Beach State

Like Lonsway, Seminaris is a four-pitch guy. He more comfortably projects as a big-league starter, thanks to his superior command and pitch ability. Unlike Seminaries, however, his stuff isn’t quite so electric. A finesse guy, the Long Beach State product does a very good job of keeping hitters off-balance and staying ahead in the count. 

The fastball is high-80s, touching low-90s. He has two distinct breaking balls, one big bender picturesque curve, as well as a slurvy slider that adds a few ticks on the radar gun. Both are hard to sit on as he does a good job commanding them. They’re average offerings by nature and spin, but get high marks for location. There’s also a changeup that he plays well off his fastball. Seminaris is a high floor, low ceiling guy that should eventually reach his backend of the rotation role. 

17. Mason Miller, 18 years old, Mitchell HS (Fl.)

Miller was trending upward prior to the 2020 MLB Draft cancellation and he’s someone who could sneak his way into later rounds of the draft. He has the frame at 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds to project as a starting pitcher long term and, while his overall feel to pitch is raw right now, has some intriguing upside on the mound. 

Miller’s fastball ranges anywhere from 88-92 mph with late arm-side run that comes from a clean ¾ arm slot. There’s more velocity left in the tank and some efficient mechanical tweaks could ultimately have him sitting in the 92-94 mph range sooner rather than later. Miller’s money pitch is a high spin breaking ball that has flashed plus potential at times. It has both elite shape and depth, giving him an already big-league ready pitch in his arsenal. He doesn’t really throw anything other than those two pitches, which has to be the obvious knock on him, and the control is average at best at the moment. However, Miller’s projectability could lure some team into throwing a decent amount of money at him to sign. 

18. Timmy Manning, 18 years old, Cardinal Gibbons (Fl.)

Timmy Manning has long received high marks for his ability to spin a baseball and feel to spot those breaking balls. Committed to Florida, Manning looks like the next weekend staple for the Gators in the coming season’s thanks to his advanced resume. He’s likely a seven-figure sign if selected this year, a tough ask for teams generally looking for velocity from preps. 

The fastball is usually 87-90 with some natural cut. He commands the ball well and gets ahead of hitters regularly. Manning is advanced enough where he currently throws his breaking ball on 0-0 counts as a get-ahead pitch, a trait seldom seen at the high school ranks. The plus breaking ball is a low-80s offering. He also mixes in a changeup that has a ways to go on the development curve. At 6-foot-2, 175 pounds, Manning isn’t too dissimilar from Jack Leiter at this time last year. If he adds a few ticks to the radar gun and the changeup takes a step forward, he could easily be a day one pick in 2023 should he end up on campus like expected. 

19. Michael Kirian, 21 years old, Louisville

Kirian was on fire early into the season as Louisville’s closer. He completed all of his save opportunities (six), retired almost 90% of the batters he faced, and did not allow an earned run to cross the plate. Standing at a truly massive 6-foot-6 and 235 pounds, Kirian repeats his mechanics well and fills up the zone more than most people his size. His fastball usually ranges in the high-80s to low-90s, but his arm action is deceptive and he uses his size to make every at-bat as uncomfortable as possible for opposing hitters. Kirian’s slurve is just okay, showing some feel to spin and not much depth to it. Kirian could ultimately return to Louisville and hope to build off that dominant run he started this season. There isn’t much professional upside to him right now. 

20. Ryan Bruno, 18 years old, American Heritage (FL.)

Command, command, command. That’s the story of Ryan Bruno. If he threw more strikes, Bruno would likely rank in the top ten on this list. The velocity is there, the spin rate is there, and the body and delivery are projectable. A Stanford commit, it’ll be pretty difficult to dissuade him from his collegiate commitment. The Cardinal churns out solid arms on a yearly basis and Bruno presumes to be the next in line. 

The fastball is easily 92-93 mph but can touch 95 mph when he’s revved up. But it’s a legitimate 30-grade command right now, and that can’t be overstated. Bruno mixes in a curveball, slider, and a changeup, all of which are in such a developmental stage, it would be an injustice to grade them right now. Bruno could end up at the backend of a team’s bullpen or the frontend of a team’s rotation. The ceiling-floor is that wide right now. We’ll have a much better idea of who he is on the mound in 2022 and 2023 when his role becomes clear. 

2020 MLB Draft Rankings: Outfielders

Written by: Diego Solares (@DeegsBaseball) and Joe Doyle (@JoeDoyleMiLB)

With the 2020 MLB Draft on the horizon, our extensive draft coverage here at RotoFanatic continues.

We kicked off this year’s evaluations by writing up both the catchers and corner infielders yesterday, with the middle infielders following suit. Our coverage continues today with a full analysis of the 20 best outfielders in this class.

Zac Veen is the top prep player in this class and the potential future superstar headlines this group. A plethora of prep outfield bats will find themselves on this list, including Robert Hassell III, Austin Hendrick, and Pete Crow-Armstrong. While the college class is a bit weak, Garrett Mitchell and Heston Kjerstad are top-end talents to know.

After several hours of churning through video and information, these are the consensus rankings agreed upon by both of our draft analysts. Without further delay, let’s get into it:

 

1. Austin Martin, 21 years old, Vanderbilt

Depending on your flavor, Martin might not fit on this list at all. A Swiss Army Knife, the Commodore boasts some of the best versatility in the class and should see time at a number of positions wherever he’s drafted. There’s peak value up the middle of the diamond, and for that reason, we have him slotted as a center field prospect. Martin has more than enough range to man the position and should represent the best outfield prospect in any of the Tigers, Orioles, or Marlins systems. The polish on his player should immediately make him a top 30 prospect in all of baseball. 

As one might imagine, Martin can do it all. He’s a plus hitter with solid-average power potential, maybe more. He’s an easy plus runner and projects to play above average at whatever position he ultimately calls home. The arm could be showcased anywhere on the diamond — another 55 offering. There’s legitimate 5-tool potential in Martin’s game, it all depends on how quickly and to what lengths he develops. The swing is already sound with natural loft and lower body leverage. Just 180 pounds, he’s not the most imposing guy on the diamond, but he’s stronger than most players his size and it shows in his barrel velocity and athleticism. Martin has gotten better every single year at Vanderbilt, culminating in an abbreviated 2020 season where he slashed .377/.507/.660 with three home runs and just two strikeouts in 68 plate appearances. It’s not hard to envision an Alex Bregman-esque player here. He has star potential. 

 

2. Zac Veen, 18 years old, Spruce Creek HS (FL) 

The top-ranked prep player on most draft boards, Veen has skyrocketed up lists after an impressive summer circuit and a scorching hot start to his senior season prior to the shutdown. His swing is absolutely gorgeous, showing excellent barrel control and consistently repeating his silky-smooth mechanics. His feel to hit is right up there with any prep prospect we’ve seen over the last five years and don’t sleep on his power production either. Veen unloads on baseballs in batting practice, flashing plus raw power while slowly starting that ever-so-important power transition to games. There’s so much projection to his 6-foot-4, 190-pound frame leaving us evaluators with plenty to drool about what he could look like a few years down the road. Veen easily projects as an above-average hit, above-average power type of bat that could even be plus in both categories down the road. He’s a safe bet to give you quality defense in right field and his bat is best suited for a corner outfield role anyway. Veen has all the tools necessary to be an absolute super prospect. 

3. Robert Hassell III, 18 years old, Independence HS (TN)

Hassell has been a high riser over the last few weeks and some publications have started putting him in the top 10 conversations. There’s a lot to like with Hassell, headlined by a natural hitting ability that might be the best in this class. His bat-to-ball skills resemble 2019 first-round pick CJ Abrams as Hassell doesn’t swing-and-miss much and consistently sprays line drives to all fields. It’s certainly a hit-over-power type of profile, but Hassell can pepper the gaps and should run into some home runs every once in a while. The reason he’s the number two outfield prospect on our list is that Hassell has the highest chance to stick in center field. He’s a solid athlete with above-average run times and an above-average arm that’s touched 93 mph on the mound. No prep prospect should truly be considered “safe”, but Hassell’s feel to hit and his defense gives him a high floor. 

 

4. Garrett Mitchell, 21 years old, UCLA 

If we’re only looking at tools, Mitchell belongs right up there with anyone in this class. He’s got the freakish athleticism to put them all together and blossom into a truly special player. Mitchell’s swing is a bit awkward and he gets on top of the baseball at times. When he does stay on plane, Mitchell can drive the baseball with authority into the gaps. There’s plenty of raw power in his strong 6-foot-3, 205-pound frame, but he rarely translated that into home runs with the Bruins. Evaluators were eager to see him try and tap into that well-known power this season but were robbed of that opportunity because of the shutdown. It’s well documented that Mitchell is a true 70-grade runner that uses his speed to impact the game in multiple facets. He’s got the wheels to steal 20+ bags each season and stick in center field long-term. The big concern with Mitchell, outside of his power production, is the Type 1 diabetes he’s been playing with for most of his baseball career. He’s managed to turn himself into a ridiculously good athlete even with that obstacle, however, and this isn’t as big of a concern as some people are making it out to be. Mitchell has the tools to be a mega prospect should he put it all together. Keep an eye on which organization drafts him because that could ultimately be the deciding factor. 

 

5. Austin Hendrick, 19 years old, West Allegheny (PA)

From a pure physicality standpoint, Hendrick’s natural bat strength rivals anyone in this class. He uses a combination of that and borderline electric bat speed to send baseballs into orbit, giving him an extremely high power ceiling. Hendrick’s swing is a bit unconventional and quirky with an aggressive bat waggle prior to starting it. He does struggle to consistently repeat his swing mechanics and stay in sync, but almost all teenage prospects struggle with consistency issues anyway. There are some question marks about his hit tool, which grades out as fringe-average and it’s possible that he doesn’t hit enough to tap into that massive power potential we all know he has. His pitch recognition skills are suspect as well, so you’re looking at someone who could potentially have high strikeout rates throughout his professional career. Nonetheless, Hendrick’s upside is undeniable and it all relies on how much he’ll be able to hit in order to reach that power. Should he go to the right organization that can improve his game in that regard, Hendrick could be on another level. 

6. Pete Crow-Armstrong, 18 years old, Harvard Westlake (OF)

Harvard Westlake has produced several high-end big league players, most notably Jack Flaherty, Max Fried, and Lucas Giolito. Crow-Armstrong seemed like the next big thing prior to the summer of 2019, coming into the showcase circuit as the industry-wide number one prep player in this class. He did struggle a bit against high-end competition throughout the summer and has dropped on lists because of it, but Crow-Armstrong is certainly still a first-round talent. His natural feel to hit and bat-to-ball skills are both drastically advanced for his age and he consistently makes steady line-drive contact. He’s not known for putting up power numbers, but don’t be surprised if he runs into anywhere between 8-12 home runs on an annual basis. Defense plays a key factor in Crow-Armstrong’s ranking, as he’s a sure-fire bet to stick in centerfield moving forward and could compete for Gold Gloves down the road. It might not be the sexiest profile or skill-set but he does have a high floor. 

 

7. Heston Kjerstad, 21 years old, Arkansas

It’s hard to argue against Kjerstad’s production with the Razorbacks over the last three seasons. He has one of the best statistical track records in the draft and that especially applies to this season where he was clearly a frontrunner for Player of the Year honors. Kjerstad’s calling card is true 70-grade raw power from the left side. He does major damage to the baseball, albeit in an unconventional way, and has easy 40+ home run power in his swing. Numbers aside, Kjerstad does have some pretty major flaws in his game that are cause for concern. He’s incredibly aggressive at the plate and did strike out a ton in college despite consistently putting up monster numbers. His hit tool is below-average, leaving little room for optimism that he’s going to make enough contact in order to tap into that power upside we all know he has. The upside alone warrants the ranking on our list but he’s someone that could plummet once he starts to go up against high-end professional talent. 

 

8. Daniel Cabrera, 21 years old, LSU

Widely regarded as one of the safest prospects in the draft, Cabrera is going to make whichever team takes him towards the end of the first-round extremely happy. He was a 26th-round pick by the Padres in 2016 and someone who evaluators considered a top prep bat in his high school class, but ultimately chose to attend LSU instead. Cabrera owns an advanced approach at the plate and doesn’t try to do too much. His ability to recognize pitches and make adjustments when he’s fooled is certainly something that stood out. He boasts an above-average hit tool and should have no problem adjusting to professional pitching once he reaches the minors. There’s some strength in his 6-foot-1, 195-pound frame that results in at least average power. Defensively, Cabrera is a solid athlete, but his overall outfield instincts and route running suggest he’s best suited for left field. Still, he’s as safe of a prospect that you’ll find in this class and should be one of the first members to reach the big leagues from this group. 

 

9. Isaiah Greene, 18 years old, Corona (CA)

One of the best overall athletes in this class, Greene has an intriguing combination of several raw tools that, if brought together appropriately, could result in him being an absolute steal a few seasons down the road. The first thing that stands out with Greene is a true 70-grade run tool that he uses to impact the game both offensively and defensively. He can afford to hit the ball on the ground more because of his speed and can be a long-term centerfield option for a team as well. There’s plenty of stolen base upside with his wheels, too. Greene can straight-up hit with a strict contact-oriented approach that doesn’t generate much power. His bat can get a bit flat through the zone at times and he doesn’t try to elevate the ball a whole lot. He does have room to add muscle onto his 6-foot-1, 180-pound frame that could ultimately result in some power output in a few years. Greene has the tools that some scouting directors or high-end front office officials will fall in love with. Don’t be surprised if he gets taken in the sandwich round, but understand that his floor isn’t particularly high, either. 

10. Zach DeLoach, 21 years old, Texas A&M

DeLoach is a personal favorite of several industry-wide draft evaluators and it’s not hard to see why. He dominated the Cape Cod league last summer and kept that hot streak going into this spring, ending the season with a .421/.547/.789 slash line with six home runs in 17 games. DeLoach added muscle onto his 6-foot-1 frame, giving him more proportional strength and further developing his power tool. He’s got at least above-average raw power now, something that we slowly started to see at the start of this season. DeLoach doesn’t have crazy good bat speed and instead relies on a solid approach at the plate to do damage with the baseball. He does get a bit aggressive at times, but he stays within himself for the most part. His feel to hit is average and doesn’t project to get much higher than that mark. He’ll be a tough prospect for evaluators to analyze because they didn’t get an entire season to see if the adjustments he made this season were real. Look for him to go somewhere between the second or third round of the draft. 

 

11. Chase Davis, 18 years old, Franklin (CA)

Davis is fairly similar to the aforementioned Austin Hendrick. He has pretty electric bat speed with loose hands that allow him to whip his bat through the zone with no problem. A left-handed hitter, Davis has flashed raw power to his pull-side at times and crushes pitches on the inner half of the plate. Scouts do question how much he’ll actually be able to tap into that power because of a below-average hit tool and high swing-and-miss issues. Davis is a solid athlete that runs well and has one of the strongest outfield arms in the class, making him an ideal fit for right field. He does have upside at the plate and right now it’s just a question of whether or not he’ll make enough contact to reach his ceiling. He is committed to Arizona and could be a tough sign. 

 

12. David Calabrese, 17 years old, St. Elizabeth (ON)

Calabrese is one of the top pure runners in the class, recording 80-grade run times both out of the box and in the outfield. His speed plays anywhere on the diamond and he’s got enough athleticism to impact a game with that alone. Expect him to wreak havoc on the basepaths and steal a ton of bags at the college or professional level. At the plate, Calabrese makes consistent contact and is more of a gap-to-gap hitter than anything else. He does get a bit slappy at times but gets away with it because of that game-changing speed. Calabrese is going to stick in centerfield moving forward, adding more value onto his plate. A team could lure Calabrese away from his Arkansas commitment later on in the draft with over slot money based on his athleticism alone. He’s an intriguing player to monitor, especially in the fantasy game. 

 

13. Dylan Crews, 18 years old, Lake Mary (FL)

Once in the upper-echelon of prep outfielders from this class, Crews has dropped considerably on most draft ranks due to his struggles on the summer circuit last season. He does have some intriguing tools and can hit for both average and power when he’s on, but an extremely poor approach at the plate doesn’t allow that to happen often. His swing is short and he does have loose bat speed. Crews has flashed above-average raw power during batting practice, but his swing-and-miss issues have limited him from getting to that in games. A complete refinement in the approach and a significant increase in pitch recognition needs to improve before he can confidently hit professional pitching. He’s best suited to play right field, where his instincts will play up and his above-average arm strength is adequate for the position. The talent and pedigree alone warrant the ranking, but he’ll significantly benefit from making it to campus in the fall. 

 

14. Enrique Bradfield, 18 years old, American Heritage (FL)

Similarly to David Calabrese, Bradfield is a true 80-grade runner with game-changing wheels that play both offensively and in the field. He’s a grinder-type at the plate, working counts and doing whatever it takes to get on base in order for his speed to impact the game. Bradfield isn’t afraid to put a bunt down, hit the ball on the ground, or even get a bit slappy at times either because he understands how truly special his athleticism is. There is absolutely no power to his game right now, although it could end up reaching the 40-grade level should he add more muscle onto a fairly lean 6-foot, 155-pound frame. Bradfield is as safe of a bet to stick in centerfield as anyone in the class, where he’ll essentially get to everything and play borderline elite defense at a key position. He could end up being an everyday leadoff hitter that gets on base at an above-average clip and plays elite outfield defense. 

 

15. Petey Halpin, 18 years old, St. Francis (CA)

Halpin wasn’t invited to participate in either of the All-American games this past summer as somewhat of an under-the-radar in draft circles early on. He then balled out in the PDP League and performed well at the Area Code games later in the summer, rightfully locking himself in as a name-to-know from the California crop. Halpin is a quick-twitch outfielder with easy bat speed that does legit damage from the left side of the plate. We’ve seen him hammer some baseballs to his pull-side in batting practice and he keeps his hands inside the baseball. His swing mechanics are smooth and while there isn’t much elevation, he does consistently find the barrel. Halpin is a plus runner that has shown natural baserunning instincts in the past. He’s athletic enough to stay up the middle and has a 60-grade arm as well. While it’s likely that he gets to Texas this fall, Halpin is a name to monitor for the 2023 class as a potential first-or-second round guy. 

16. Jake Vogel, 18 years old, Huntington Beach (CA)

Vogel missed out on almost the entire summer circuit this past year and most teams didn’t get extensive looks on him because of that. He kicked off his senior season with some impressive performances that put him back onto team’s radars and has been somewhat of a riser dating back to March. It’s impossible to deny the tools that Vogel has. He’s a 70-grade runner with impact wheels and knows how to use his speed on the bases to swipe bags. That athleticism translates onto the field, as Vogel is a rangy defender with an above-average arm that can lock up center field for a long time. His swing is simple and he doesn’t try to do too much at the plate, leaving some evaluators to believe that he’ll be able to hit at the next level. He’s fairly undersized at 5-foot-11 and roughly 165-pounds with little-to-no power in his game. Vogel’s combination of speed/athleticism make him an interesting draft prospect, but it’s more likely that he finds himself at UCLA than with a professional team. 

 

17. Kala’i Rosario, 17 years old, Waiakeia (HI)

The top prep prospect out of Hawaii in this year’s draft, Rosario has double-plus raw power in his 6-foot-1, 205-pound compact frame. He impacts the baseball with ferocity to his pull-side in batting practice, generating loft with ease. That same pull-happy approach translates into games, forcing Rosario to be over his front foot at times and ignoring the other sides of the field. His hit tool is well below-average, even for a high school player, and it doesn’t matter how much power he has if he can’t successfully tap into it. Rosario doesn’t offer much defensive value as a right fielder. He probably would’ve gotten drafted as an over-slot signee if this were a normal draft, but it’s pretty likely we see him at California Baptist in the fall. 

 

18. Mario Zabala, 18 years old, International Baseball Academy (PR)

Zabala is the perfect example of high risk, low reward type of prospect. His tools and athleticism are off the charts, but his actual baseball instincts and feel for the game just aren’t there. Zabala is a plus runner with borderline elite athleticism that is on display no matter what he does. He makes some fairly difficult things look easy and that makes him such a treat to watch on the field. There’s plus raw power from the right side of the plate and we saw him perform well against top competition at times during the summer circuit. Zabala’s hit tool is below-average and he’s way too aggressive at the plate. He doesn’t yet understand how to pick out his pitch to do damage with and instead tries to launch everything into the bleachers. Zabala is athletic enough to play center field but lacks the instincts necessary to have success. There’s no denying his raw arm strength with accuracy that’ll almost certainly play in right field. A Florida International commit, someone may decide to take a chance on him on the upside alone, although that isn’t the likeliest outcome. 

 

19. Tyler Gentry, 21 years old, Alabama

Gentry has been the best position player for Alabama over the last two seasons after transferring in from Walters State following his freshman year. His pure raw power is his most intriguing tool and he’s even flashed double-plus raw power at times. Like a majority of power-hitters in our game, Gentry struggles with strikeout issues, whiffing 51 times in 210 at-bats as a sophomore in the SEC. He doesn’t have a great history against spin or an innate ability to pick it up out of the hand either. A significant improvement in the hit tool could result in more contact and less strikeouts, allowing that power to truly show itself. It remains to be seen if that is even possible, but Gentry has upside. 

 

20. Jace Bohrofen, 18 years old, Westmoore (OK)

One of the top prep prospects in an intriguing Oklahoma class, Bohrofen is a power-hitting masher from the left side that’s committed to his hometown Sooners. There’s no denying Bohrofen’s plus raw power or his desire to send baseballs into orbit. His bat travels on an uphill path specialized to elevate the baseball and create loft. Surprisingly, Bohrofen doesn’t have crazy swing-and-miss issues nor does he have poor plate discipline. He picks up spin well and is willing to take a walk, but he doesn’t always get to his power because of inconsistent swing tendencies. Bohrofen doesn’t have bat speed and he tends to drag his barrel through the zone instead of exploding it. So, while he does make contact at a decent rate, he doesn’t always make contact with the part of the bat you want a power hitter to make contact with. Clean up these inconsistencies and we could see a new level of Bohrofen that hasn’t been tapped into yet. He will likely get to campus. 

 

21. Parker Chavers, 21 years old, Coastal Carolina

Chavers’ prospect status has dropped after strikeout issues plagued him on the Cape and he also dealt with an injury that limited his offensive production. This slip could ultimately result in an absolute draft steal if someone was to take a chance on him late in the draft. Chavers earned All-American honors in his freshman season as the best hitter on Coastal Carolina’s team and has found success throughout his entire career with the Chanticleers. He’s an off-the-charts athlete with a 70-grade run tool, 60-grade arm, and 55-grade raw power from the left side. He could easily hit 20 home runs and steal 20 bags over the course of a 162-game season should he ever be given the opportunity. Chavers has shown above-average defensive skills in the outfield throughout his collegiate career and there’s reason to believe he can stick there long-term. Health issues are the main reason why Chavers is this low and teams’ inability to fully clear him prior to the draft may ultimately hold him back. There’s no denying the talent, or tools, that Chavers has and it’s possible someone takes a flier on him because of that. 

2020 MLB Draft: Middle Infield Rankings

Written by: Diego Solares (@DeegsBaseball) and Joe Doyle (@JoeDoyleMiLB)

With the 2020 MLB Draft on the horizon, our extensive draft coverage here at RotoFanatic continues.

We kicked off this year’s evaluations by writing up both the catchers and corner infielders yesterday, and today we’ll take an in-depth look into the top draft-eligible middle infielders in this class.

This is probably the weakest positional group of the draft, but it’s headlined by two potential game-changing talents. Nick Gonzales has tormented college pitching each of the last two seasons and Ed Howard is one of the top prep prospects from the Midwest in recent memory.

After several hours of churning through video and information, these are the consensus rankings agreed upon by both of our draft analysts. Without further delay, let’s get into it:

 

1. Nick Gonzales, 2B, 21 years old, New Mexico State

A virtual unknown coming out of high school, Gonzales burst onto the scene for the Aggies as a freshman in 2018. While his first-year numbers were impressive, his historic sophomore season made them look pedestrian. Gonzales slashed an unbelievable .432/.532/.773 with 16 home runs and 80 RBI en route to earning basically every accolade a college baseball player could dream of. Critics still questioned his overall offensive abilities, however, and attributed his success to the hitter-friendly park that New Mexico State calls home. In response to the question marks, Gonzales went on to slaughter Cape Cod league pitching with a wood bat and also won the league MVP honors. 

There’s a lot to love about his offensive game. Gonzales has purely electric bat speed and controls his barrel well in the zone. He doesn’t have much raw power in his 5-foot-10, 190-pound frame, but instead creates power with the quick-twitch he has in his hands. His true hitting ability rivals anyone in this class and Gonzales bat will play at the professional level. The questions now lie with his glove, as Gonzales is an average at best defender that is strictly limited to second base in the field. He does have athleticism with above-average run times, but he just doesn’t get it done with the glove. Nonetheless, his bat should play enough to masquerade the value he loses defensively and it’s not like he won’t be able to hold his own at second base. Gonzales is eerily similar to former first-round pick Keston Hiura and the two have drawn several comparisons to each other over the last few months. 

2. Ed Howard, SS, 18 years old, Mt. Carmel HS (IL.)

Howard is in a league of his own in the 2020 draft, representing the only true shortstop likely to stick at the position with a first-round grade. When you talk about Howard it’s all projectability. The Mt. Carmel product has a frame scouts dream on. Long levers, broad shoulders, and a high waist. Not only are the tools polished, but they’ll likely continue to grow and develop for years to come. Howard is smooth on the field. His defensive actions are fluid and precise. The arm is already a plus, and his defense is already above average. He’s a true future shortstop through-and-through. The lanky 6-foot-2 prepster makes every play to his right, left, and center, all the while displaying body control. At the plate, Howard still has a ways to go, but flashes plus potential at every turn. At his peak, Howard probably represents an above-average hitter with below or fringe-average power. There’s more to dream on with his frame, but as it stands, there’s strength gains and swing tinkering that needs to happen. A University of Oklahoma commit, it’s unlikely he ends up on campus as most teams covet the opportunity to acquire a sure thing up the middle. 

3. Nick Loftin, SS/UTL, 21 years old, Baylor

Loftin may not be viewed as a first-round talent by most evaluators, but him being arguably the top college shortstop in an already unique draft could ultimately lead to him being selected towards the end of the first round. That’s not any knock on him at all, he’s a talented player with an advanced glove and feel to hit, but it’s just an overall down year for shortstop prospects in general. He brings plenty of defensive versatility to the table as well, originally starting his college career off as a left fielder and also playing both third and second base throughout his three seasons with Baylor. Loftin’s approach at the plate is simple and to the point. He doesn’t try to do too much with the ball, focusing on making contact, minimizing swing-and-misses, and spraying line drives. This isn’t someone who’s going to provide much power, but he’s going to get on base and use all fields. Loftin’s ceiling is fairly capped because of his limited power production, although there’s certainly an avenue where he makes it to the big leagues as a versatile asset. 

 

4. Alika Williams, SS, 21 years old, Arizona State

A serious case can be made that Alika Williams is the best collegiate shortstop in this class. At 6-foot-1, 175 pounds, Williams is on the lighter side but has the shoulders to suggest there’s more good weight on the way. Probably the most likely candidate to play shortstop at the big league level, the Sun Devil has smooth actions at the position and shows off a very accurate throwing arm. Williams has quick feet and a good first step that allows him to get in a good position defensively where his soft hands can do the talking. At the plate, Williams looks similar to Trea Turner; a slender build with a smooth gap-to-gap swing. The jury is still out on whether he can ever hit for enough power to become an impact player on offense. If his predecessor Turner can run into 19 home runs at the big league level on a 185-pound frame, so too can Williams with proper development. 

 

5. Jordan Westburg, SS, 21 years old, Mississippi State

Westburg, to me, is one of the more intriguing players in this class. A physical and strong 6-foot-3, 190-pound shortstop, Westburg and Justin Foscue formed arguably the country’s best middle-infield duo this season. Westburg doesn’t have a refined approach at the plate, he swings at absolutely everything and primarily hits the ball to his pull-side, and it’s a below-average hit tool right now. He’s got some bat speed with strong hands and enough raw bat strength for me to comfortably say he has enough power to hit 25+ home runs at the professional level. That number will only be reached if Westburg drastically improves his approach and cuts down on the swing-and-miss numbers. Should he end up getting picked by the right team that can fully develop his tools, Westburg could be an intriguing draft day steal in a few years down the road. 

 

6. Colt Keith, SS/3B, 18 years old, Biloxi HS (MS.)

If you’re a fan of Chase Utley, Colt Keith might just be your next favorite player. A sweet, compact left-handed swing has many comparing the Biloxi HS product to the former Philly great. Keith has a very loud barrel for his age and controls the strike zone with ease. Already 6-foot-3 and pushing 200 pounds, he’s a force at the plate. The hit tool already projects at least average and the game power could touch plus. That being said, his size may ultimately force him off the position. As it stands, he certainly has the range and arm to be given the opportunity to stick at shortstop. Whether or not Keith can continue to develop his footwork and the reliability in his hands will determine his future home on the diamond. Even if pushed to third base, Keith’s bat is more than capable enough to handle the expectations of the hot corner. An Arizona State signee, this future Sun Devil will garner more than his fair share of interest in the draft. It’s pretty up in the air whether he’ll go pro or report to Tempe. 

 

7. Drew Bowser, SS/3B, 18 years old, Harvard Westlake (CA.)

A teammate of potential top-15 pick Pete Crow-Armstrong, Bowser is another intriguing prospect hailing from the perennial California powerhouse. He’s a proportional 6-foot-3, 205-pound athlete with plenty of room to fill out his frame. Bowser has made significant improvements in his swing over the last two seasons, shortening it up completely and driving the baseball with more authority. His hit tool projects to be a slight tick below average, but there’s no doubt that he has plus raw power in that athletic frame with room to add more should he continue to grow. As things stand right now, Bowser has played shortstop for most of his amateur career and even on the summer circuit last year. The actions and limited athleticism scream that a move to third base is coming soon. That won’t be the worst thing in the world for Bowser, where his limited lateral range and above-average arm strength will play up. He’s an intriguing prep talent and a name-to-know moving forward, but Bowser’s commitment to Stanford is fairly strong. It’s highly likely that we see him on campus this fall.

8. Carson Tucker, SS, 18 years old, Mountain Pointe (AZ.)

You can’t start a conversation about Carson Tucker without mentioning his brother, Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Cole Tucker. Unfortunately for the latter, that may change in a few short years. Carson is every bit the defender his brother was coming out of Mountain Pointe in 2014. Tucker is already a plus runner with above-average actions at shortstop. The arm grades out above average. At this point, it’s just a matter of whether he’s done growing. At 6-foot-2, 185 pounds, Tucker looks like a shortstop right now. Whether that remains the case is to be determined as Tucker is in the midst of quite a growth spurt. Over the past year he’s gotten taller and much stronger. At the plate, the bat has become far louder. It’s a short, compact swing that produces plenty of gap-to-gap power, but Tucker also ran into more balls over the fence this year, especially pull-side. There were more question marks surrounding his brother’s value six years ago and Carson may end up having the greater upside when all is said and done. 

 

9. Anthony Servideo, SS, 21 years old, Ole Miss

Servideo and his big, loud blonde head of hair will represent a very fun pick for whoever lands him. A smooth defender, Servideo gets high marks for his lateral ability, as well as the ability to plant and throw. He’s dealt with some focus errors in the past but looked much improved over the abbreviated 2020 season at Ole Miss. The bat is going to be what dictates his ceiling. After a brutal summer in the Cape Cod League, Servideo slashed .390/.575/.695 over 17 contests in Oxford, plugging five home runs — more than his freshman and sophomore years combined. He’s also a plus runner who figures to snag his fair share of extra bases if given the at-bats. At worst, he’s a fringe-average hitter with below-average power — a solid backup. At his best, you may be looking at an above-average hitter with fringe-average power. Couple those ceilings with an already impressive defender and Servideo has the makings of an above-average regular at the big league level. 

 

10. Freddy Zamora, SS, 21 years old, Miami

Had it not been for a nasty knee injury in 2020, Freddy Zamora may very well have been the first shortstop off the board in this years’ draft. The Miami Hurricane can do it all. He’s an above-average defender with an above-average arm. Prior to the injury, he was an above-average runner who could comfortably handle the position. At the plate, Zamora was showing above-average potential and the possibility of average power. It’s a sound approach at the plate that results in his fair share of walks and a lack of strikeouts, a rarity in Miami’s aggressive philosophy. The whole package is very intriguing, especially if a team can look past the injury concerns. It should be noted, Zamora was suspended for the first four games of the 2020 season for a violation of team rules, so it’s not the most pristine resume off the field. That’s not to say it’s anything worth worrying about, but it’s not spotless, cut and dry. If the knee heals to 100%, it wouldn’t shock us whatsoever if Zamora ended up the best pro shortstop on this list. 

 

11. Cade Horton, SS/RHP, 18 years old, Norman HS (OK.)

Much like San Diego State’s Casey Schmitt, Horton is a legitimate two-way prospect in this class. He’s going to find his way onto our starting pitcher ranks, that will come out later in the week, and could honestly be drafted as a shortstop alone were he not a pitcher. He’s a highly athletic 6-foot-2, 190-pound prospect that has room to add muscle onto his frame. Horton’s a power-over-hit type of bat with raw pull-side juice. His offensive game needs more work, but Horton’s glove and athleticism in the field are big-league caliber. His hands are soft, his feet field in a fluid rhythm, and he moves well laterally to cover enough ground. Pair all that with a true 60-grade arm that can touch 96 mph on the mound and you have a guy capable of sticking at shortstop throughout his professional career. We’ll have to wait and see how teams value him, or if he even gets drafted, but most evaluators like Horton as a pitcher more. 

 

12. Hayden Cantrelle, 21, Louisiana

Hayden Cantrelle is just the type of player that has enough tools to make an impact on the field on any given night. Just 5-foot-10, 175 pounds, he’s not the most imposing figure, but what he lacks in size he makes up for with intelligence, instincts, and grit. Cantrelle was a stalwart at the top of Louisiana’s lineup for the last two years and performed well during the Cape in 2019. With that helium, Cantrelle came into the 2020 collegiate year with a good bit of expectation but struggled mightily out of the gates. The day-one buzz has faded a bit, but Cantrelle still figures to be selected in the first three rounds of the draft. He’s a 60 runner and a fringe-average hitter, though he’ll probably never be much more than a single-digit home run guy. He’s a good reliable defender and there’s a lot to like in the makeup of the player. It’s easy to see Cantrelle carving out a big-league role for himself down the road. 

13. Milan Tolentino, SS, 18 years old, Santa Margarita (CA.)

Tolentino is a name that’s been heating up in draft circles over the last few weeks and rightfully so. He has an interesting skill-set that could ultimately pave a path to the big leagues for the 18-year-old UCLA commit. Tolentino’s a pest at the plate, working deep counts and not trying to do too much. His bat travels on a level path through the zone and produces steady line drive contact to all fields. You’re not going to get much power production out of him, mostly because he doesn’t try to elevate or lift the ball at the plate. He projects to have an average hit tool, but will consistently compete at the plate and not strike out much. Tolentino’s glove is his calling card to the big leagues. He’s a virtual lock to stick at shortstop with excellent lateral range, quick feet, and a plus arm. All in all, Tolentino is a gamer-type player that is going to grind out at-bats, all while providing excellent defense at an up-the-middle position. His signability is a question mark as a SoCal kid committed to UCLA, but don’t be surprised if he ends up being like Nick Ahmed down the road. 

14. Jimmy Glowenke, INF, 21, Dallas Baptist 

Dallas Baptist has become a bit of a hotbed for big-league infielders of late and Glowenke figures to continue that trend. Following in the footsteps of fellow Patriot infielders Ryan Goins and Ben Zobrist, Glowenke has a good chance of breaking onto a big-league roster someday thanks in large part to his bat. Glowenke has a chance to be a 55 hitter and register 10-15 home runs per season. He’s not the defender Zobrist is, but he should be able to stick on the dirt, albeit probably at second base. Glowenke has a below-average arm and is a below-average runner. He is finally fully recovered from Tommy John surgery that took place in the summer of 2019 and should be ready to go when baseball resumes. Barely 21 years old for this draft, Glowenke does have a little bit of leverage should he want to return to school and prove he’s a capable defender. 

 

15. Yohandy Morales, SS/3B, 18 years old, Braddock HS (FL.)

‘YoYo’ Morales is another extremely exciting shortstop that likely profiles well, not at shortstop. At 6-foot-4, Morales is an impressive specimen, especially at the plate, but in the field, he lacks a quick first step and struggles with body control while moving to his left and right. There’s more than enough arm for the profile, and the routine plays are made with ease, but Morales almost certainly projects to move to third base before debuting. The frame is super projectable and provided a good player development program, it’s not hard to see Morales turning into a plus power guy at shortstop. The hit tool needs refinement as he too often finds himself chasing breaking balls away, but when he gets a hold of one, they’re ripped. The swing is still a little disjointed and long at times, but there’s a lot to like in what the final package could look like here. Morales is committed to Miami and could really go in either direction —  sign or go to campus. If a team loves him, he’d be a sound investment. 

 

16. Cole Foster, SS/2B, 18 years old, Plano Senior HS (TX.)

A true sleeper prospect in this class, Foster is one of my personal favorite prospects. He isn’t a hulking figure by any means but don’t let that discourage you from him. He’s a true switch-hitter that does damage from both sides of the plate with a 55-grade hit tool and 45-grade power. It seems like he elevates the ball more from the left side, while his right-handed swing is more gap-to-gap. He isn’t an uber-athlete like others on this list, relying on natural instincts and a strong arm to stick at shortstop moving forward. Foster is committed to Auburn and it’s pretty likely that he gets to campus unless a team gives him a lucrative offer he can’t refuse. If that’s the case, remember this name for the 2023 MLB Draft as a potential top 50 pick. 

 

17. Nick Yorke, 2B/SS, 18 years old, Archbishop Mitty (CA.)

Yorke was on the rise prior to the coronavirus shutdown, performing well against the always talented California high school competition. His feel to hit and pure hit tool are right up there with any prep bat. He consistently makes solid line-drive contact from the right side of the plate and even flashed some up-the-middle power prior to the nationwide cancellation. That power tool could improve as he gets older and Yorke could one day be a 60-hit, 50-power type of player. Yorke primarily played shortstop throughout his high school career but he profiles best as a second baseman moving forward. He’s also still recovering from a shoulder injury suffered during his junior season. An Arizona commit, Yorke could be a sneaky third-or-fourth round sign if a team offers him the right number. If not, he’ll blossom with the Wildcats. 

 

18. Shay Whitcomb, INF, 21 years old, San Diego

If we’re being totally honest, Shay Whitcomb should probably be getting more respect than he is. The biggest wart on Whitcomb’s profile is the doubt surrounding his ability to stick at shortstop. Already 6-foot-3 with broad shoulders, Whitcomb has the body of an impact player but lacks the arm and probably the hands to play baseball’s most demanding position. As a result, the San Diego product will more than likely slide over to second base where his stature will resemble that of industry mainstay DJ LeMahieu. The latter’s profile isn’t too dissimilar from Whitcomb either. A bat-first slugger, Whitcomb may have an average hit tool and average game power. That’s no small feat for a second baseman, and it may be enough to force his way into a big-league lineup someday. He was a high-performer in the Cape this past summer and continued to mash into the 2020 collegiate campaign. If given another 8 weeks, it’s possible Whitcomb could have slugged his way into the Top 50 picks in the draft. As it stands, there’s a strong likelihood he’s selected June 11 and will make for an intriguing offensive option in a team’s system. 

 

19. Luke Waddell, INF, 21 years old, Georgia Tech

Waddell made a name for himself with Team USA last summer after slashing .300/.419/.417 over a 16-game span. There’s basically no projection left to his 5-foot-9, 180-pound frame, but the left-handed-hitting Wadell is an absolute gamer that just flat-out grinds at-bats. He walked nearly four percent more than he struck out in college and his bat-to-ball skills are some of the best in the class. His approach is advanced, even for a college bat, and rarely swings at pitches you’d expect someone of his age to swing at. As you could probably imagine, Waddell has virtually no power to his game. He sprays line drives to all fields and just tries to make contact instead of selling out for power when he just doesn’t have it. Defensively, Waddell doesn’t project as a future shortstop and will likely play second base or all over the diamond. It isn’t a sexy profile at all but one that should get the job done. 

 

20. Harold Coll, SS, 18 years old, Georgia Premier (GA.)

Another sleeper prospect in this class, Coll burst onto the draft scene after an electric performance at the PBR Super 60. He put up ridiculous metrics, running a 6.80 60-yard dash, and also threw 97 mph across the infield at the event and has reportedly been up to 102 mph in the past weeks. Coll doesn’t have much projection left in his frame, but he’s added roughly 22 pounds of muscle this off-season and that’s unlocked a new power level for him. He doesn’t have ridiculous bat speed, but his swing is short and he stays inside the baseball producing steady line-drive contact. Scouts have noted some swing-and-miss issues in the past and Coll, unfortunately, wasn’t able to prove them wrong this season. It’s difficult to predict whether or not he joins the professional ranks this season, but Coll and fellow North Carolina Tar Heel commit Mac Horvath could be two major recruits should they find themselves on campus this fall. 

 

MattWi77iams Top-500 Dynasty Rankings

As we launch RotoFanatic, the website will eventually include consensus rankings from our entire staff. But for now, you are stuck with the thought process of co-founder Matt Williams (@MattWi77iams).

The rankings below take into account both 2020 projections and future production from a rotisserie perspective. But, like all rankings, take these with a grain of salt as they will change depending on your league rules and settings. Please enjoy the top-500 Dynasty Rankings.

 

 

RankNamePositionTeamAge
1Ronald Acuna Jr.OFATL22
2Mike TroutOFLAA28
3Juan SotoOFWAS21
4Christian YelichOFMIL28
5Cody Bellinger1B,OFLAD24
6Fernando Tatis Jr.SSSD21
7Francisco LindorSSCLE26
8Mookie BettsOFLAD27
9Trevor StorySSCOL27
10Rafael Devers3BBOS23
11Nolan Arenado3BCOL28
12Alex Bregman3B,SSHOU25
13Yordan AlvarezUTHOU22
14Vladimir Guerrero Jr.3BTOR20
15Trea TurnerSSWAS26
16Jacob deGromSPNYM31
17Gerrit ColeSPNYY29
18Bryce HarperOFPHI27
19Bo BichetteSSTOR21
20Walker BuehlerSPLAD25
21Jose Ramirez3BCLE27
22Anthony Rendon3BLAA29
23Yoan Moncada3BCHW24
24Xander BogaertsSSBOS27
25Aaron JudgeOFNYY27
26Ozzie Albies2BATL22
27Freddie Freeman1BATL30
28Eloy JimenezOFCHW23
29Wander FrancoSSTB18
30Pete Alonso1BNYM25
31Keston Hiura2BMIL23
32Gleyber Torres2B,SSNYY23
33J.D. MartinezOFBOS32
34Jose Altuve2BHOU29
35Shane BieberSPCLE24
42Matt Olson1BOAK25
37Javier BaezSSCHC27
38Luis RobertOFCHW22
39Jo AdellOFLAA20
40Kris Bryant3B,OFCHC28
41Chris PaddackSPSD23
43Jack FlahertySPSTL24
44Austin MeadowsOFTB24
36Max ScherzerSPWAS35
45Gavin Lux2BLAD22
46Mike ClevingerSPCLE29
47Blake SnellSPTB27
48Stephen StrasburgSPWAS31
49Starling MarteOFPIT31
50Carlos CorreaSSHOU25
51Victor RoblesOFWAS22
52Ketel Marte2B,OFARI26
53George SpringerOFHOU30
54Manny Machado3B,SSSD27
55Luis CastilloSPCIN27
56Matt Chapman3BOAK26
57Eugenio Suarez3BCIN28
58Ramon LaureanoOFOAK25
59Giancarlo StantonOFNYY30
60Shohei OhtaniUT/SPLAA25
61Adalberto MondesiSSKC24
62Jonathan Villar2B,SSMIA28
63Justin VerlanderSPHOU36
64Aaron NolaSPPHI26
65Kyle TuckerOFHOU22
67Jesus LuzardoSPOAK22
68Jarred KelenicOFSEA20
69MacKenzie GoreSPSD20
70Joey GalloOFTEX26
72Anthony Rizzo1BCHC30
73Jorge SolerOFKC27
74Lucas GiolitoSPCHW25
75Patrick CorbinSPWAS30
76Julio RodriguezOFSEA19
96Josh Bell1BPIT27
79Michael ConfortoOFNYM26
77Josh Donaldson3BMIN34
80Max Muncy1B,2B,3BLAD29
66Paul Goldschmidt1BSTL32
78Gary SanchezCNYY27
81Dylan CarlsonOFSTL21
82Tim AndersonSSCHW26
83Tyler GlasnowSPTB26
84Clayton KershawSPLAD31
85J.T. RealmutoCPHI28
86Rhys Hoskins1BPHI26
71Jose Abreu1BCHW32
87Cavan Biggio2BTOR24
88Josh HaderRPMIL25
89Tommy PhamOFSD31
90Jose BerriosSPMIN25
91Marcus SemienSSOAK29
92Marcell OzunaOFATL29
93Oscar MercadoOFCLE25
94Mike SorokaSPATL22
95Jeff McNeil2B,3B,OFNYM27
97David DahlOFCOL25
98Andrew BenintendiOFBOS25
99Whit Merrifield2B,OFKC30
100Charlie BlackmonOFCOL33
101Corey SeagerSSLAD25
102Michael KopechSPCHW23
103Eddie RosarioOFMIN28
104Max KeplerOFMIN26
105Carter KieboomSSWAS22
106Nicholas CastellanosOFCIN27
107Michael BrantleyOFHOU32
108Eduardo RodriguezSPBOS26
109Jorge PolancoSSMIN26
110Eduardo Escobar2B,3BARI30
111Willson ContrerasCCHC27
112Forrest WhitleySPHOU22
113Kristian RobinsonOFARI19
114Garrett Hampson2B,OFCOL25
115Lourdes Gurriel Jr.OFTOR26
116Nate PearsonSPTOR23
117Brandon WoodruffSPMIL26
118Miguel Sano3BMIN26
119Kyle SchwarberOFCHC26
120J.D. Davis3B,OFNYM26
121Mike Moustakas2B,3BCIN31
122Royce LewisSSMIN20
123Zac GallenSPARI24
124Byron BuxtonOFMIN26
125Amed RosarioSSNYM24
126Tommy Edman2B,3BSTL24
127Matt ManningSPDET21
128Franmil ReyesOFCLE24
129Casey MizeSPDET22
130Andrew Vaughn1BCHW21
131Nick SenzelOFCIN24
132Adley RutschmanCBAL21
133DJ LeMahieu1B,2B,3BNYY31
134Trevor BauerSPCIN28
135Corey KluberSPTEX33
136Jasson DominguezOFNYY16
137Marco LucianoSSSF18
138Charlie MortonSPTB36
139Max FriedSPATL25
140Julio UriasSPLAD23
141Yasmani GrandalC,1BCHW31
142Carlos Santana1BCLE33
143Austin RileyOFATL22
144Yu DarvishSPCHC33
145Miguel AndujarUTNYY24
146Zack WheelerSPPHI29
147Zack GreinkeSPHOU36
148Drew WatersOFATL21
149Alex VerdugoOFBOS23
150James PaxtonSPNYY31
151Elvis AndrusSSTEX31
152Kirby YatesRPSD32
153Liam HendriksRPOAK30
154Joey BartCSF23
155Christian Walker1BARI28
156Dinelson LametSPSD27
157Noah SyndergaardSPNYM27
158Trey Mancini1B,OFBAL27
159Brendan McKaySP/DHTB24
160Chris SaleSPBOS30
161Luis SeverinoSPNYY25
162Brandon Lowe2BTB25
163Yasiel PuigOF(N/A)29
164Roberto OsunaRPHOU24
165Alek ThomasOFARI19
166Carlos CarrascoSPCLE32
167Nelson CruzUTMIN39
168Dustin MaySPLAD22
169Luis PatinoSPSD20
170Sonny GraySPCIN30
171CJ AbramsSSSD19
172Luke Voit1BNYY28
173Nate Lowe1BTB24
174Alex KirilloffOFMIN22
175Will SmithCLAD24
176Scott Kingery3B,OFPHI25
177A.J. PukSPOAK24
178Didi GregoriusSSPHI29
179Aroldis ChapmanRPNYY31
180German MarquezSPCOL24
181Spencer HowardSPPHI23
182Ryan McMahon2B,3BCOL25
183Hyun-Jin RyuSPTOR32
184Vidal Brujan2BTB21
185Trevor LarnachOFMIN22
186Frankie MontasSPOAK26
187Alec Bohm3BPHI23
188Edwin DiazRPNYM24
189Dansby SwansonSSATL25
190Andrew McCutchenOFPHI33
191Brendan Rodgers2BCOL23
192Justin Turner3BLAD35
193Nolan Gorman3BSTL19
194Nick SolakUTTEX24
195Paul DeJongSSSTL26
196Adam EatonOFWAS33
197Nico HoernerSSCHC22
198Carson KellyCARI25
199Hunter Dozier3B,OFKC28
200Dylan CeaseSPCHW24
201Matthew LiberatoreSPSTL20
202Bryan ReynoldsOFPIT24
203Michael Chavis1B,2BBOS24
204Bobby Witt Jr.SSKC19
205Xavier EdwardsSSTB20
206Nomar MazaraOFCHW24
207Kenley JansenRPLAD32
208Lorenzo CainOFMIL33
209Madison BumgarnerSPARI30
210Khris DavisUTOAK32
211Nolan Jones3BCLE21
212Nick Madrigal2BCHW22
213Salvador PerezCKC29
214Danny Santana1B,OFTEX29
215Domingo SantanaOFCLE27
216Kevin Newman2B,SSPIT26
217Willy AdamesSSTB24
218Sean ManaeaSPOAK27
219Gio Urshela3BNYY28
220Raisel IglesiasRPCIN30
221Luke WeaverSPARI26
222Jean SeguraSSPHI29
223Mitch GarverCMIN28
224Noelvi MarteSSSEA18
225Evan White1BSEA23
226Yuli Gurriel1B,3BHOU35
227Edwin Encarnacion1BCHW36
228Brad HandRPCLE29
229Tyler O'NeillOFSTL24
230Grayson RodriguezSPBAL20
231Ian AndersonSPATL21
232Alex ReyesSPSTL25
233Sam HilliardOFCOL25
234Willie CalhounOFTEX25
235Gregory PolancoOFPIT28
236Hector NerisRPPHI30
237Lance LynnSPTEX32
238J.J. BledayOFMIA22
239Yandy Diaz1B,3BTB28
240Bobby Dalbec3BBOS24
241Jordan Groshans3BTOR20
242Trent GrishamOFSD23
243Robbie RaySPARI28
244Ken GilesRPTOR29
245Luis Arraez2B,OFMIN22
246Kolten Wong2BSTL29
247Cristian PacheOFATL21
248Ryan Mountcastle1BBAL22
249Sean MurphyCOAK25
250Carlos MartinezSPSTL28
251Matthew BoydSPDET28
252Nick AhmedSSARI29
253Triston Casas3B/1BBOS19
254Adrian HouserRPMIL26
255Corbin CarrollOFARI19
256Daulton VarshoCARI23
257Daniel Murphy1BCOL34
258Brian Anderson3B,OFMIA26
259Rougned Odor2BTEX22
260Justin UptonOFLAA32
261Jorge MateoSSOAK24
262Jorge AlfaroCMIA26
263Ian HappOFCHC25
264Francisco MejiaCSD24
265Sixto SanchezSPMIA21
266Taylor TrammellOFSD22
267Hunter RenfroeOFTB27
268Andrew HeaneySPLAA28
269Taylor RogersRPMIN29
270Joc Pederson1B,OFLAD27
271David PriceSPLAD34
272Oneil CruzSSPIT21
273Riley GreeneOFDET19
274Josh Jung3BTEX21
275Mike YastrzemskiOFSF29
276Brennen DavisOFCHC20
277Ronny MauricioSSNYM18
278Mitch HanigerOFSEA29
279Eric Hosmer1BSD30
280Shin-soo ChooOFTEX37
281Logan GilbertSPSEA22
282Orelvis MartinezSSTOR18
283Erick PenaOFKC16
284Christian VazquezCBOS29
285Mitch KellerSPPIT23
286Marcus StromanSPNYM28
287George ValeraOFCLE19
288Renato Nunez1BBAL25
289Caleb SmithSPMIA28
290Andrelton SimmonsSSLAA30
291Kyle Seager3BSEA32
292Will SmithRPATL30
293Jesse WinkerOFCIN26
294Tarik SkubalPDET23
295Matt Carpenter3BSTL34
296Shane BazSPTB20
297Robert PuasonSSOAK17
298Jesus SanchezOFMIA22
299Luis Urias2B,SSMIL22
300Luis CampusanoCSD21
301Aristides AquinoOFCIN25
302Seth BeerOFARI23
303Sandy AlcantaraSPMIA24
304Alex ColomeRPCHW31
305Avisail GarciaOFMIL28
306Cesar Hernandez2BCLE29
307Mike MinorSPTEX32
308C.J. Cron1BDET29
309Heliot RamosOFSF20
310Austin HaysOFBAL24
311Kyle LewisOFSEA24
312Starlin Castro2B,3BWAS29
313Jazz ChisholmSSMIA21
314Brett GardnerOFNYY36
315Lance McCullers Jr.SPHOU26
316Mark CanhaOFOAK30
317Jeter DownsSSBOS21
318Kyle WrightSPATL24
319Tommy La Stella2B,3BLAA30
320Kyle HendricksSPCHC30
321Hunter BishopOFSF21
322Sherten Apostel3BTEX20
323Andres MunozRPSD20
324Domingo GermanSPNYY27
325Griffin CanningSPLAA23
326Dee Gordon2BSEA31
327Manuel MargotOFSD25
328Kody Hoese3BLAD22
329Garrett Cooper1B,OFMIA29
330David Fletcher2B,3B,SS,OFLAA25
331Mallex SmithOFSEA26
332Brusdar GraterolRPMIN21
333Miguel Cabrera1BDET36
334Wilson RamosCNYM32
335Nick AndersonRPTB29
336Jake FraleyOFSEA24
337Robinson Cano2BNYM37
338Jose MartinezOFTB31
339Josh RojasOFARI25
340Jake OdorizziSPMIN29
341Joe MusgroveSPPIT27
342Misael UrbinaOFMIN17
343Yoshitomo TsutsugoOFTB28
344Masahiro TanakaSPNYY31
345Jurickson Profar2BSD26
346Wil MyersOFSD29
347Josh JamesSPHOU26
348A.J. PollockOFLAD32
349Tyler FreemanSSCLE20
350Mike FoltynewiczSPATL28
351David PeraltaOFARI32
352Adam Frazier2BPIT28
353DL HallSPBAL21
354Aaron HicksOFNYY30
355Ryan BraunOFMIL39
356Victor ReyesOFDET25
357Jonathan Schoop2BDET28
358Joey LucchesiSPSD26
359Craig KimbrelRPCHC31
360Steven MatzSPNYM28
361Ji-Man Choi1BTB28
362Dallas KeuchelSPCHW32
363Shogo AkiyamaOFCIN31
364Josh NaylorOFSD22
365Shed Long2BSEA24
366Travis dArnaudC,1BATL30
367Jon GraySPCOL28
368Jesus Aguilar1BMIA29
369Omar NarvaezCMIL27
370Garrett RichardsSPSD31
371Freddy Galvis2B,SSCIN30
372Brandon MarshOFLAA22
373Jordyn AdamsOFLAA20
374Kevin PillarOFBOS31
375James KarinchakRPCLE24
376Anthony DeSclafaniSPCIN29
377Ethan HankinsSPCLE19
378John MeansRPBAL26
379Jackie Bradley Jr.OFBOS29
380Michael PinedaSPMIN30
381Brandon NimmoOFNYM26
382Mike TauchmanOFNYY29
383Greg JonesSSTB21
384Joey Votto1BCIN36
385Clint FrazierOFNYY25
386Jameson TaillonSPPIT28
387Daniel LynchSPKC23
388Clarke SchmidtSPNYY23
389Jose UrquidySPHOU24
390Jon Berti3B,SS,OFMIA29
391Mauricio Dubon2BSF25
392Brandon WorkmanRPBOS31
393Evan Longoria3BSF34
394Kole CalhounOFARI32
395Adrian MorejonSPSD20
396Daniel Vogelbach1BSEA27
397Miles MikolasSPSTL31
398Franchy CorderoOFSD25
399Teoscar HernandezOFTOR27
400Josiah GraySPLAD22
401Tony GonsolinSPLAD25
402Yonny ChirinosSPTB26
403Geraldo PerdomoSSARI20
404Francisco AlvarezCNYM18
405Gilberto JimenezOFBOS19
406Jordan BalazovicSPMIN21
407Daniel EspinoPCLE18
408Jason HeywardOFCHC30
409Cole HamelsSPATL36
410Corey DickersonOFMIA30
411Jared OlivaOFPIT24
412Bayron LoraOFTEX17
413Aaron CivaleSPCLE24
414Jose LeclercRPTEX26
415Dylan BundySPLAA27
416Reynaldo LopezSPCHW26
417Howie Kendrick1B,2BWAS36
418Scooter Gennett2B(N/A)29
419Brayan RocchioSSCLE18
420Abraham Toro3BHOU23
421Michael Toglia1BCOL21
422Alek ManoahSPTOR21
423Pablo LopezSPMIA23
424Monte HarrisonOFMIA24
425Randal GrichukOFTOR28
426Archie BradleyRPARI27
427Johnny CuetoSPSF33
428Estevan FlorialOFNYY22
429Isan Diaz2BMIA23
430Jackson RutledgeSPWAS20
431Stephen PiscottyOFOAK28
432Hanser Alberto2B,3BBAL27
433Willi CastroSSDET22
434Merrill KellySPARI31
435Giovanny GallegosRPSTL28
436Nick LodoloSPCIN21
437Jeff SamardzijaSPSF34
438Khalil LeeOFKC21
439Brailyn MarquezSPCHC21
440Danny JansenCTOR24
441Jose QuintanaSPCHC30
442Kenta MaedaSPLAD31
443Tucupita Marcano2BSD20
444Brian GoodwinOFLAA29
445Leury GarciaOFCHW28
446Dakota HudsonSPSTL25
447Josh LoweOFTB21
448Nathan EovaldiSPBOS29
449Nick MarkakisOFATL36
450Luis RodriguezOFLAD20
451Ke'Bryan Hayes3BPIT22
452Ross StriplingRPLAD30
453Tyler MahleSPCIN25
454Brett Baty3BNYM20
455Seth BrownOFOAK27
456Kevin Cron1BARI26
457Julio TeheranSPLAA28
458Alexander CanarioOFSF19
459Ender InciarteOFATL29
460Asdrubal Cabrera2B,3BWAS34
461Anthony SantanderOFBAL25
462Tom MurphyCSEA28
463Deivi GarciaSPNYY20
464Justin DunnSPSEA24
465Rowdy Tellez1BTOR24
466Harold RamirezOFMIA25
467Chris ArcherSPPIT31
468Brady SingerSPKC23
469Zach PlesacRPCLE24
470Hansel RoblesRPLAA29
471Jake Lamb1B,3BARI29
472Jackson KowarSPKC23
473Raimel TapiaOFCOL25
474Bryse WilsonSPATL22
475Jose GarciaSSCIN21
476Shane McClanahanSPTB23
477Kris BubicSPKC22
478Edward CabreraSPMIA21
479Travis SwaggertyOFPIT22
480Ryan YarbroughSPTB28
481Jonathan India3BCIN23
482Andres GimenezSSNYM21
483Isaac ParedesSSDET20
484Justin Smoak1BMIL33
485Kyle GibsonSPTEX32
486Logan AllenSPCLE22
487Ian KennedyRPKC35
488Randy ArozarenaOFTB24
489Jose GarciaSSCIN21
490Dominic Smith1B,OFNYM24
491Luis MatosOFSF18
492Rick PorcelloSPNYM31
493George KirbySPSEA22
494Jose Peraza2B,SS,OFBOS25
495Jordan YamamotoSPMIA23
496Jon LesterSPCHC35
497Josh ReddickOFHOU32
498Taijuan WalkerSPSEA27
499Harrison BaderOFSTL25
500Emmanuel ClaseRPCLE21

2020 MLB Draft Corner Infield Rankings

With the 2020 MLB Draft on the horizon, our extensive draft coverage here at RotoFanatic continues. We kicked off our evaluations of this year’s draft-eligible prospects by diving into a deep catcher crop and our assessments continue today with an in-depth look at the corner infielders whose names could be called come draft day.

This is a somewhat talented group headlined by the top prospect in the entire class, Spencer Torkelson. He’s clearly on a tier of his own, but following him on this list are a number of high-upside power threats and some unique athletes, too.

Each of these blurbs was evenly written by both of our draft analysts: Diego Solares and Joe Doyle. After several hours of churning through video and information, these are the consensus rankings agreed upon by our staff. Without further delay, let’s get into it:

 

1. 1B Spencer Torkelson, 20 years old, Arizona State

Torkelson represents one of the highest floors of any slugger to come through the draft in a few years. At 6-foot-1, ‘Tork’ is an inch taller than 2019 draftee Andrew Vaughn who carried a similar profile. Both have beautifully sound swings, though the Arizona State product has a much more compact cut. Torkelson is also a better athlete than Vaughn. While the floor is high, the ceiling is just as tantalizing. Torkelson has an easy 60 hit tool, quite possibly more. He also owns a comfortable 60 power, that too may reach 70 when all is said and done. At the end of the day, you’re looking at a guy who should have no problem hitting .280 at the big league level with 30+ home runs. Again, he may eclipse both of those figures. On the diamond, he’s an average defender with good athleticism for the position. He probably has the ability to shift to third base or left field, but why expose his profile to defensive warts? Torkelson has every chance to be one of the best first basemen in the game.

2. 3B Jordan Walker, 18 years old, Decatur HS (GA)

The top third baseman in this class, Walker is a physical specimen standing at 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds. He’s an impressive athlete, moving well for his size and showing a strong control for his body. The clear appeal with Walker is the jaw-dropping power potential that could come once he’s fully matured in a few years. There’s going to be unavoidable swing-and-miss issues because of his long levers, but Walker does have feel to hit with at least an average hit tool to pair alongside his massive raw power. Despite the arm strength to stick at third base moving forward, Walker’s pure size alone makes a transition to either first base or the outfield inevitable. Touted by evaluators as a smart kid with high academic pedigree, Walker is expected to be a tough sign out of Duke. Look for a team that chooses to under slot their first pick to take a chance with him either in the competitive balance round or later in the draft. If he makes it to that highly analytical Duke program, Walker could end up being a monster come the 2023 MLB Draft. Going to the right professional team, however, may unlock a new element to Walker’s game and turn him into an absolute menace. 

 

3. 3B Gage Workman, 20 years old, Arizona State

In selecting Workman, you’re buying high on potential. A switch-hitter, Workman’s bat is still a work in progress. There’s easy 60 raw power in the tank, though he’s had a difficult time getting to it in-game. The approach at the plate needs some work as strikeouts and weak ground balls have been too prevalent. As it stands, he projects as a fringe-average hitter with solid-to-average power. Again, he could surpass both of those marks. A supreme athlete, Workman could play a passable shortstop with his soft hands, solid range, and a plus arm. At 6-foot-3, Workman is built exactly how scouts want to see them. There’s a ton of projectability in his profile and if given plenty of time to develop, three or four years, he could legitimately turn into one of the best third basemen in baseball. The bat will ultimately dictate how high his profile can ascend. 

 

4. 3B Justin Foscue, 21 years old, Mississippi State

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a prospect out of the first round with a safer floor than Foscue. A highly decorated college career that included All-American honors and complete dominance of the SEC, Foscue boasts an impressive hit tool. He makes contact at a steady rate and doesn’t strike out much, a skill that’ll certainly bode well in his favor moving forward. There’s natural pull-side power in his strong 6-foot frame and it’s not hard to see a scenario where he hits 15-20 home runs on an annual basis. He’s an experienced second baseman with an average glove that may ultimately play better at third base, which is where we project him to play at the next level. Foscue is a high- floor, low-ceiling prospect that could be one of the first players to make his major league debut from this class. 

5. 1B Aaron Sabato, 21 years old, North Carolina

Sabato has all the makings of one of the better sluggers in pro ball. Frankly, Pete Alonso probably opened the door to his stock surging in 2020. Sabato is a boom or bust bat that has a track record all too similar to his predecessor. Sabato has a longer track record of power than Alonso did, but Alonso also struck out a little less during his days at Florida. At the end of the day, Sabato will have to write his own script. As it stands, the Tar Heel projects a fringe-average hitter with plus-plus power. He has no problem getting to it in-game. Sabato should easily eclipse 30 home runs per year should he get the at-bats to do it. Sabato crushes mistake pitches but can struggle with breaking balls away. He’s a well-below average defender and a 30 runner as well. There’s no doubt he’s a first baseman and likely a designated hitter if the National League adopts the position in the coming years. 

6. 3B Cayden Wallace, 18 years old, Greenbrier HS (AK)

The top prep prospect out of Arkansas in this class, Wallace has slowly crept up our composite rankings as the draft approaches. He truly balled out at the Perfect Game National Showcase in Arizona last June, where he posted borderline elite exit velocities for his age with a wood bat. It’s a short and simple swing with easy bat speed that helps him drive the ball to all fields. There’s 60-grade power potential in Wallace and the ball just sounds different off his bat when he finds the barrel. His hit tool will likely never be anything more than average, which could hinder Wallace’s production, but he makes enough contact to still be a threat at the plate. Defensively, Wallace has a true 60-grade arm across the diamond and has even been up to 93 mph on the bump. He’ll likely stick at third base in the future with an average glove that is capable of holding its own. Luring a hometown kid away from a hometown commitment is never an easy task, so it’s possible we see Wallace make it to Arkansas in the fall. If a team matches his price, however, they’ll be taking on a raw prep prospect with a high offensive ceiling. 

 

7. 3B Tanner Witt, 18 years old, Escopisco HS (TX)

The biggest question surrounding Witt is whether or not he’ll actually play third base at all. A force on the mound, Witt already has 95 in the tank with his fastball. The heater pairs well with a hammer curveball that projects 60. It’s been clocked consistently in the 2800 RPM range… damn near elite. At 6-foot-6, Witt is a tall, imposing force on the bump with a clean, easy delivery. Many scouts think he’ll be a free and easy 94-96 at his peak. That being said, at the plate, Witt has huge pull-side power from the right side. It’s definitely more power than hit right now. He’s athletic enough to stick at the hot corner, but whether or not he’ll hit enough to be a big-league regular remains in question. As it stands, he’s probably a below-average hitter with plus power and fringe-average actions at third base. There are certainly teams that may try him as a two-way player, but from this chair, his future home may be on the mound. 

8. 3B/RHP Casey Schmitt, 21 years old, San Diego State

This year’s top two-way talent, Schmitt has a legitimate chance to do both for at least the first few seasons of his professional career. He’s a polished bat that can hit for both average and contact, driving the ball with authority when he finds the barrel. Schmitt should hit for more home run power than he does, especially given the all-around strength in his frame, but he was slowly starting to tap into that right before the season-ending cancellation. Tapping into that plus raw power that we all know is there would put Schmitt on another level in terms of pure polished bats from this class. Schmitt has all the actions of an above-average third baseman. His feet field in rhythm and his silky smooth hands do an excellent job of corralling the baseball. Like the aforementioned Wallace, Schmitt also owns a true 60-grade arm with borderline elite velocities across the diamond from the hot corner. An injury-free track and the right organization could develop him into an absolute masher.

If Schmitt flails out offensively he’ll be able to continue his professional career on the mound. He controls a low-to-mid-90s fastball that jumps out of his hand and works comfortably up in the zone. His go-to out pitch is a splitter with natural downward tumble and he’ll mix in a simple breaking ball with gradual depth. Schmitt’s arsenal isn’t overpowering, but it resembles that of current Padres’ closer, Kirby Yates, because of its effectiveness. He mixes speeds effectively and tunnels his fastball/splitter combo efficiently, making him a tough at-bat for any opponent. Schmitt is a unique talent that will be drafted somewhere between rounds two and four come June 11th. 

9. 1B Tyler Keenan, 21 years old, Ole Miss

At 6-foot-4, 250 pounds, Keenan is a big-bodied third baseman with the accompanying power you’d expect from a player of his size. Scouts are pretty sure he’ll move off third base in pro ball and over to first base. Defensively, he profiles as one might expect. He has soft hands and receives the ball very well, though his lateral ability is limited. The arm is fringe-average to maybe average with consistency being the biggest piece in question. Keenan has a sound approach at the plate, limiting strikeouts. He has shown an ability to drive the ball to all fields and hit for plenty of power while he does it. He likely projects as an average hitter with above-average game power. Like Sabato, a universal DH would help his big league value.  

 

10. 3B Coby Mayo, 18, Stoneman Douglas (FL)

Hailing from a high school that’s produced several highly talented big league players, Mayo could potentially be on pace to follow in the footsteps of his predecessors. He’s a physical 6-foot-5, 215-pound corner infielder with pure raw strength throughout his build. There’s easy double-plus raw power to the pull-side in his swing and Mayo’s power potential alone will make some high-end talent evaluators fall in love with him. His hit tool is where the questions start to pop up as there are concerns about whether or not he’ll hit enough to truly tap into that power. There are swing-and-miss issues as well and right now you’re looking at a player who’s likely going to strike out a ton if he makes his way into the professional ranks. Mayo has arguably the strongest arm of any prep corner infield prospect, but his hands are average and his footwork gets a bit stiff at times. A move over to first base could come sooner rather than later, but he has enough pure power that it doesn’t matter which corner infield spot he plays. Mayo is a hometown kid committed to Florida that could end up being a tough sign. He’d be better off going to a pristine college program like Florida and improving his all-around offensive game. 

 

11. 1B Blaze Jordan, 17 years old, Desoto Central (MS)

Jordan has been on, well, everyone’s radar for the better part of four years. A viral sensation, Jordan was once labeled “The Next Bryce Harper” by No Day Off, a popular baseball YouTube channel. While he almost certainly won’t reach such heights, Jordan does represent an intriguing corner power bat profile at the next level. There’s little doubt he’ll get to his plus, maybe plus-plus power in pro ball. Just 17 years old, Jordan will almost certainly have to move off third base and over to first base once he gets to Mississippi State or into a big-league organization. The arm is more than strong enough to handle the hot corner, though his footwork and mechanics need a lot of refinement to stick if he hopes to stay on the left side of the infield. Jordan is still growing into his body, shedding baby weight the last couple of years and getting into better shape. He’s still young enough to conceivably stick at third, but it’ll require patience and plenty of player development. Defense aside, the bat is his calling card. He’s potentially a solid average hitter with plus, maybe plus-plus power depending on what direction he takes his body. 

12. 3B AJ Vukovich, 18 years old, East Troy (HS)

An All-State basketball player with ridiculous athleticism, Vukovich is a tantalizing prospect hailing from the Badger state. He’s the next big prospect to come out of Wisconsin, which has apparently become a breeding ground for electric draft prospects over the last five seasons. Nonetheless, Vukovich is a lanky 6-foot-5, 210-pound prospect with massive raw power and minimal feel to hit. His overall setup and swing are unconventional but he somehow still manages to get the job done. Seeing him crush home runs at the high school All-Star game last summer was impressive and there’s easy pull-side pop there that he hasn’t fully tapped into because of his 45-grade hit tool. Vukovich has moved all around the diamond over the last year and could make the full-time move to right field sometime soon. A five-round draft hinders his chances of being drafted and it’s looking increasingly likely that he’ll make his way to Louisville this fall. Vukovich is the type of prospect that could absolutely blow up after his college career is over and solidify himself as a first-round pick in 2023. 

13. 1B Alex Toral, 21 years old, Miami

Toral is no stranger to big-league scouts. When he arrived in Miami may thought he’d hit his way into the top of the first round in 2020. That hasn’t materialized, but there’s still projectability in his profile that may certainly be worth paying a draft pick signing bonus for. Toral has huge pull-side power. It’s light tower pop by some evaluations. There have always been some issues with hitting breaking balls, but Toral seemed to take a step forward in his abbreviated 2020 campaign hitting five home runs, slashing .296/.435/.593, and only punching out nine times. Toral, like the names before him, is a below-average defender and below-average runner, so much of his value leans on the bat. If a team believes in the bat, he may be worth a fourth or fifth-round selection. More than likely, Toral will return to Miami and revitalize the draft sheen he lost during his freshman and sophomore campaigns. 

14. 3B Jamal O’Guinn, 21 years old, Southern California

O’Guinn, like several others on this list, is a massive human being. He’s got pure physicality in his 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame with proportional all-around strength. O’Guinn has flashed plus raw power in batting practice videos, but he has yet to consistently tap into it during gameplay because of a 45-grade hit tool that hasn’t shown signs of improving. He played third base for the Trojans this season out of pure necessity and doesn’t project their long term with a move over to first base being the most likely outcome. O’Guinn has the raw power in his swing and some upside for a corner infield spot but it’s pretty unlikely that he hits enough to show it. He’ll be back in college this fall unless he decides to sign with a team as an undrafted free agent. 

 

15. 1B Niko Kavadas, 21 years old, Notre Dame

Kavadas is an extremely large and strong first baseman. The anchor in the middle of the Fighting Irish lineup, Kavadas is a bit of a boom or bust profile at the plate. He’s hit plenty of home runs in South Bend, but he’s also run a 22 percent punch out rate. Even more troubling, it hovered around 30 percent in the Cape Cod league. That’s not the type of bat-to-ball skills pro scouts want to see. Still, Kavadas is a better athlete than some of the names before him. He’s a fringe-average defender with a fringe-average arm. He moves well for his 6-foot-1, 235-pound frame. He’ll be 22 years old before the end of 2020, so there won’t be much leverage left in the 2021 draft should he elect to return to school. It may behoove Kavadas to get into a pro organization now and secure his spot with minor league contraction potentially on the horizon. He may be worth a fifth-round pick in this draft, especially as an under slot option. 

16. 3B Cole Fontenelle, 18 years old, Skyline (WA)

Arguably the best pure athlete on this list, Fontenelle was a three-sport standout in high school and has played all across the diamond. He’s not built like your prototypical power-hitting corner infielder but moves well and his athleticism plays in short ranges on the field. Fontenelle has played shortstop in the past and his smooth actions will play just fine at third base in the long-term. His swing plays from both sides of the plate and his feel to hit is advanced for a high school kid. While he doesn’t hit for much power right now, Fontenelle does have plenty of room to fill out his 6-foot-3, 190-pound frame. Scouts didn’t get a chance to see him at all this spring because he’s in the Pacific Northwest and he’s a safe bet to be at Washington this fall. This is a sneaky name to remember for the 2023 MLB Draft as a potential top-round pick. 

17. 3B Jacob Berry, 18 years old, Quinn Creek (AZ)

Committed to the University of Arizona, there’s little chance Berry ends up getting drafted or signing a pro deal in 2020. There’s a lot of tools scouts are intrigued by in Berry, specifically his bat speed and ability to switch-hit. At 6-foot, 200 pounds, Berry is a muscled up physique with some projection left. He makes solid contact and has shown above average-to-plus power. He’s a fine defender, but his footwork needs a good bit of work. The arm is average at best, and he’s a below-average runner at this stage. There’s definitely a solid profile here to project a future early-round draft pick in 2023, but as it stands, Berry will likely end up in Tucson to continue his development. 

18. 1B Bobby Seymour, 21 years old, Wake Forest

Seymour destroyed the ACC as a sophomore slashing .377/.439/.576 and leading the NCAA with 92 RBI en route to Player of the Year honors. A physical freak at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, Seymour is a hit-over-power first baseman with an above-average hit tool. He finds the barrel at a steady rate and sprays the ball to all fields. His overall approach at the plate for a first baseman is impressive, but Seymour doesn’t hit for nearly enough power as you’d think someone of his size would. We’ve seen him flash a raw power tool in batting practice, meaning that it’s there, but he just can’t consistently translate it into games. Seymour’s strikeout struggles at the Cape Cod league last summer don’t help his cause, either. He’s a limited athlete that’s glued to first base in the future and could ultimately be a DH early on in his career. Seymour’s bat is going to have to overcompensate for the little defensive value he provides. 

 

19. 1B Ray Gil, 21 years old, Miami

Gil entered 2020 as a third baseman with some of the better helium of the class. He’s a bat-first profile that may end up moving to first when his below-average mobility and hands will be less obvious. Gil has plenty of pop in the bat having hit 13 home runs in 2019. He was off to an awfully slow start in 2020 when play shut down and the strikeout issues that have plagued him in the past were painfully present. If a team is willing to take a chance on Gil in the draft, he should be an easy sign with little leverage heading into 2021 and his best stat lines may be behind him. For his plus power to get the respect it deserves, he’ll need to improve his approach at the plate and find a way to get on base at a higher clip. 

20. 1B Michael Brown, 18 years old, Vacaville HS (CA)

Rounding out this list is a Brown: a 6-foot-5, 230-pound left-handed-hitting first baseman with plenty of room to mature. He’s athletic in the box with a smooth setup and stays in rhythm well through contact. Brown has plus raw power that stems from his pure raw bat strength and strong hands. His swing is flat at times, staying on a level plane and doesn’t elevate the ball as much as someone with his power potential should. A swing adjustment has to be made that’ll enable Brown to hit the ball in the air more, increasing his power output and making him a legit threat at the plate. Brown is a limited athlete with a below-average arm and doesn’t move particularly well for his size, locking him at first base for the future. He’s an interesting prospect that would likely get over slot money in the later rounds of a normal draft based on projection alone but will make it to campus this fall because of the uncertainties surrounding his game.

2020 MLB Draft: Catcher Rankings

With the MLB Draft on the horizon, our extensive coverage of baseball’s unique draft kicks off today with our initial catcher rankings. We’ll be rolling out position-by-position rankings here at RotoFanatic in the days leading up to the draft with an in-depth analysis of each specific prospect that is analyzed.

Headlining a deep and talented crop of backstops is NC State standout, Patrick Bailey. A switch-hitter that hits for power and shows excellent actions behind the plate, Bailey’s unique abilities on both sides of the ball make him the easy pick at number one.

The rest of this list is made up of several intriguing prospects. Tyler Soderstrom may end up having one of the highest pure hit tools in the entire draft when it’s all said and done. Both Dillon Dingler and Austin Wells are uber-athletic behind the dish with positional versatility to move around the diamond. Drew Romo’s projects to be an elite defensive catcher at the big league level and Kevin Parada could possibly be the first overall pick in the 2023 MLB Draft should he go to college.

Each of these blurbs was evenly written by both of our draft analysts: Diego Solares and Joe Doyle. After several hours of churning through video and information, these are the consensus rankings agreed upon by our staff. Without further delay, let’s get into it:

 

1. Patrick Bailey, 21 years old, NC State

Widely regarded as the top catching prospect in this draft, Bailey brings a unique skill-set to the table that somewhat resembles that of last year’s number one overall pick, Adley Rutschman. He’s a switch-hitter that embraces the power-over-hit type of approach at the plate and is capable of crushing the ball to all fields. Bailey’s swing looks smoother from the left side, showing a natural ability to elevate the baseball while his right-handed swing is more line-drive oriented. He controls the strike zone well and is more than capable of walking at an above-average rate at the next level despite some strikeout concerns over the summer circuit. Even with the improvements in his bat, Bailey should be known for his advanced defensive abilities. He’s a natural receiver that regularly steals strikes on the corners and is quick to release the baseball. Bailey, like the aforementioned Rutschman, was one of the few catchers in college baseball this season to call his own game. That’s an impressive feat for a 21-year-old and something that teams will certainly take into consideration when making their evaluations. Bailey’s shown enough over the last three seasons for me to confidently say he’s a safe bet to be an everyday big-league backstop. 

 

2. Tyler Soderstrom, 18 years old, Turlock HS (Calif.)

Tyler Soderstrom has one of the more impressive prep bats in the class. He will likely move off the catcher position, but that’s okay as the bat is the carrying tool anyway and should ultimately define his ceiling. He could move to either corner outfield spot, but his fringe-average run tool and lateral ability is probably best suited at third base. The hit tool projects at solid average, while the game power should reach 50. From this chair, Soderstrom should make the immediate move to a corner position and let the bat develop, though he has made it clear his passion for catching. Whomever selects may give him a year or so to sink or swim behind the plate, similar to the path Kyle Schwarber took when he was drafted. Placing him at third or left field may shave 18 months off his development schedule.

 

3. Dillon Dingler, 21 years old, Ohio State

A ridiculous athlete behind the plate, Dingler is an all-around catching prospect with an intriguing bat and the actions to stick behind the dish moving forward. His bat has come a long way since his arrival to Ohio State and he’s developed a profound understanding of the strike zone. We haven’t seen much home run power from the 21-year-old at Ohio State prior to this season, but he did set a single-season high this year prior to the cancellation and has flashed pull-side power in the past as well. A former center fielder, Dingler is arguably the best athlete of this group posting above-average run times and will easily be one of the more athletic catching prospects in baseball once he signs with an organization. His receiving skills are advanced with strong wrists that allow him to work under the baseball at times. Dingler boasts an above-average arm and uses that athleticism of his to explode out the crouch, recording above-average pop times as well. Even though he’s best suited behind the plate for the future, Dingler has played adequately in centerfield in the past and would be able to handle himself should he ever need to make a move. The finished product could end up being a power-hitting big league catcher with the speed to impact the game in multiple facets.

 

4. Austin Wells, 21 years old, Arizona

Wells, much like several other catchers near the top of this draft, likely won’t find a permanent home behind the plate. Also much like his contemporaries, the bat should carry him through the minors to and onto an eventual big league roster. Wells is a proven leader and an infectious personality in the clubhouse. He receives high marks for his attitude and ability to bring the most out of his teammates. As far as the tools go, it’s one of the more polished bats in the class. The approach is impressive, and the accompanying swing is compact and powerful. Wells has plus power to his pull-side but can get pull-happy at times. It’s a solid average bat with the potential for plus game power, especially to his lefty pull-side. Wells projects as a corner outfielder or first baseman at the next level. He should move quickly through the low minors.

 

5. Kevin Parada, 18 years old, Loyola (Calif.)

Parada is an intriguing prep talent that some consider an early frontrunner as a potential top pick come the 2023 MLB Draft if he doesn’t end up signing with an organization. An athletic 6-foot, 200-pound backstop with proportional strength to him, Parada’s feel to hit is advanced with easy bat speed and grades out as an above-average tool long term. He’s flashed above-average power in spurts at times, particularly to his pull-side where he does an excellent job of getting his bat head out in front and crushing the baseball. There isn’t much swing-and-miss to his game either, giving Parada a truly special offensive ceiling if he’s able to put it all together. The questions with him lie behind the plate, where Parada projects to be nothing more than an average defender with an average receiving ability and a strong arm. It’s likely that we see him move off from the position if he reaches pro-ball, but Georgia Tech actually has had success developing catching prospects over the last few seasons. That bodes well for Parada’s future draft value because improvements in his defense paired with the expectations we have for his offense make him a surefire first-round pick in three years. Getting a read on his draft value is difficult right now and it’s hard to project whether or not Parada will sign with a team. Regardless, he’s always going to be a bat-first prospect with a high offensive ceiling. 

 

6. Drew Romo, 18 years old, The Woodlands HS (Texas)

Romo represents one of the best defensive prep catchers in recent history. His acumen for work behind the plate is nothing new, considered one of, if not the top defensive prep catcher in the state of Texas for the better part of two, maybe three years now. At worst, Romo is almost assuredly a big-league backup thanks to his 70 defense and 60 arm. His flexibility and lateral mobility lead most to believe he’ll have no problem sticking behind the plate and surviving the workload of 400+ innings. Romo’s ceiling will be dictated by how the bat develops. Currently it projects below average as swing-and-miss has been a problem in the past. There’s definitely some juice at the plate, though Romo has had a hard time reaching it against better competition. If a team is willing to table his debut for five years and allow him the time necessary to reach his potential, Romo could develop into one of the better catchers in baseball.

 

7. Daniel Susac, 19 years old, Jesuit (Calif.)

The brother of a former second-round pick and current San Francisco Giant catching prospect Andrew Susac, Daniel seems to fly under the radar when compared to other prep catchers in this class. He’s a strong 6-foot-3, 205-pound switch-hitting backstop that brings physicality and raw bat strength to the plate. There’s clearly power to dream on with his frame. Susac’s swing does get a bit long and he consistently struggles to get his upper and lower body in sync. It’s apparent that he’s more comfortable from the right side, showing most of his raw power on that side of the plate. He’s an average defender with an absolute bazooka for an arm and the ball simply explodes out of his hand. A move to right field could be in his cards at some point but he’s cemented behind the plate for now. One thing to note with him is that Susac just turned 19 years old a few weeks ago, making him older than your typical high school senior. There’s no denying that he has a high ceiling, as you’d expect from someone with his profile, but it’s hard to look past how raw he is from a pure prospect standpoint. Any team would be taking a gamble on him at this point. 

 

8. Casey Opitz, 21 years old, Arkansas

All Optiz does is hit. He’s been a solid contributor for the Razorbacks for the better part of three years now, catching elite competition and calling his own games. Opitz has a sound approach at the plate and possesses a fringe-average hit tool that could develop into an average offering. There’s some pop in the bat too, grading out as below average with a chance to reach fringe-average as well. Opitz gets high marks for his leadership and ability to call a game. He has an easy plus arm that has been his calling card in the SEC for a couple of years now. Opitz likely projects as a platoon catcher from the left side. 

 

9. Michael Rothenberg, 21 years old, Duke

A sleeper prospect from the catching crop in this year’s draft, Rothenberg is a strong switch-hitting backstop with plus raw power that just flat out finds a way to get on base. His swing does get a bit aggressive at times, but Rothenberg has easy bat speed and consistently elevates the baseball enough to drive it out of the yard. He doesn’t really swing-and-miss much for someone who is definitely a power-over-hit type of player and owns a career on-base percentage of .406 over three seasons with Duke. While the tools are undeniable, Rothenberg does have his fair share of question marks, one of which being that he’s almost certainly going to be making a positional change sooner rather than later. Some evaluators also point to Rothenberg’s pitiful .459 OPS in the highly competitive Cape Cod league last summer as another red flag. All it takes is one team to fall in love with his loud tools, however, for Rothenberg to get drafted in the coming weeks. 

 

10. Jackson Miller, 18 years old, Mitchell HS (Fl.)

Nothing about Miller’s game will jump off the page to scouts. But as far as prep catchers go, he’s got some of the best polish of the bunch. Miller doesn’t have the loudest tools in the draft, but he really does everything well and projects to stick at the position. Shows soft hands and good pop times. His arm is solid average while his ability to help call a game, albeit at the prep level, has been impressive. Like Opitz, Miller has a sound approach at the plate that has yet to show much in-game power. The swing is quiet and geared more toward gap-to-gap power rather than home runs. There’s still some projections in Miller’s frame, and he’s still awfully young. A Wake Forest commit, heading to campus and putting on good weight with good instruction might boost his draft stock a good bit heading into his future 2023 eligibility. It’s easy to see Miller turning into a day-one pick down the road. 

 

11. Zavier Warren, 21 years old, Central Michigan

Warren is unlike any prospect on this list because his primary position isn’t even catcher. He’s seen time at third base and shortstop for Central Michigan, on top of working behind the plate, making him the ultimate utility weapon from a defensive standpoint. He’s a capable third base prospect with the athleticism to move around the diamond, including back to catcher, if needed. That long-term corner infield profile is actually a problem for Warren because of the projected offensive production evaluators have on him. He consistently repeats his swing and maintains a level path, but his power plays more in the gaps instead of over the fence. Most organizations want big-time power production from a corner infielder and that isn’t what Warren brings to the table. If he was to move back behind the dish, however, Warren’s bat suddenly becomes way more valuable and the question would ultimately become how well that transition will go. There’s obvious intrigue with Warren given how unique he is but there’s obvious risk attached as well. 

 

12. Carlos Perez, 18 years old, Florida Christian HS (Fl.)

As far as prototypical high school catchers go, Perez represents one of the better options in the draft. Physically mature for his age, Perez is a steady presence behind the plate, renowned for his ability to block balls in the dirt, as well as his catch-and-throw actions to second base. At 6-foot-2, Perez has the body that makes scouts believe he can develop into a player that supplies some pop at the plate. As it currently stands, Perez is a bit of a mechanical mess at the plate, lacking rhythm and tempo, especially at it pertains to seeing and hitting velocity. Put into a good player development system, there’s reason to believe Perez could turn himself into at least a 40 hitter with average power. That should be enough to carve out a big-league role, especially if his arm and prowess behind the plate continue to show out as they have so far. Perez is slated to enroll at Miami, where he’d fall under the wing of possibly the best offensive catcher in the country: 2021 eligible sophomore Adrian del Castillo.

 

13. Kale Emshoff, 22 years old, Arkansas – Little Rock

Emshoff is the small school prospect of this group that could eventually pop up onto people’s radars once he reaches the professional ranks. Standing at a hulking 6-foot-2 and 230 pounds, Emshoff has easy 70-grade raw power and impacts the baseball with ferocity when he finds the barrel. He’s shown some feel to hit as well and could ultimately end up with an average hit tool; a massive boost for a power hitter. Emshoff did miss the entire 2019 season recovering from Tommy John surgery and he wasn’t given the opportunity to show that he was fully healthy this spring. He’s an adept receiver that works well behind the plate and projects to be an average defender at the next level. We’d never seen production from Emshoff that even sniffed what he was doing prior to the shutdown, so the legitimacy behind this offensive surge is pure speculation at this point. He’s an interesting prospect to monitor in the late rounds of this year’s draft. 

 

14. Corey Collins, 18 years old, North Gwinnett HS (Ga.)

Collins, a University of Georgia commit, will likely arrive on campus a catcher but may transition out of the position by the time he leaves Athens. A big, strong, 6-foot-3 lefty, Collins is a bat-first profile with hulking power to the pull side. It’s an average arm, and average receiving ability, though injuries have reportedly stunted his flexibility and potential long-term chances at staying behind the plate. Injuries aside, the entire package profiles better in left field or first base. With only five rounds this year, Collins should be an awfully tough sign. Many think the Suwanee, Georgia product has a chance to turn into a special offensive player. A few years on campus under a premier collegiate player development program could vault him into a day one pick come 2023. 

 

15. Jack Bulger, 18 years old, DeMatha (Maryland)

Bulger has pure physicality in his 6-foot-2, 205-pound frame with all-around strength and massive forearms. There’s clear bat speed in his quick-twitch hands and he’s shown easy pull-side power during batting practice. His ability to occasionally go to the opposite field is impressive as well. Bulger’s athleticism plays behind the plate and he compliments it well with an above-average arm. Question marks surrounding Bulger’s raw receiving skills limit his ceiling as a prospect right now and put his long-term future as a backstop in question. He’s almost certainly going to Vanderbilt where he’ll need to significantly improve his defensive game or move off the position as a whole. 

 

16. Calvin Harris, 18 years old, West Dubuque (IA)

Harris is going to be a bit of a project for Ole Miss. There’s a lot of projectability in the body and he possesses strong motions behind the plate. That being said, for a guy his size (6-foot, 200 pounds), Harris has a herky-jerky swing more oriented for hard ground balls. It’s a flat swing, bordering on a down-cut through the zone. The throwing arm and flexibility are there, so there’s a pretty good chance Harris sticks at the position during his collegiate career and beyond. With his defensive ability, Collins will certainly find himself picked once again come 2023. He’s virtually a lock to end up in Oxford this fall, especially with an abbreviated draft.

 

17. Matheu Nelson, 21 years old, Florida State

Nelson brings a former draft pedigree to the table as the Philadelphia Phillies selected him in the 39th round of the 2018 MLB Draft. He enters this year as a 21-year-old draft-eligible sophomore that struggled mightily in the Cape Cod league last season – .163/.280/.333 – and hasn’t tapped back into the offensive production we saw during his stellar freshman campaign. There isn’t one clear standout tool with Nelson and he’s an average backstop with an average arm. It’s likely that he finds himself back on campus this fall as a senior. 

 

18. Alek Boychuk, 18 years old, Mill Creek HS (Ga.)

Another talented backstop from the Peach State, Boychuk compares favorably to the aforementioned Corey Collins. He doesn’t have the body projectability of his predecessor, but he’s every bit the current hitter. It’s a fluid right-handed cut and projects a fringe-average hitter with average power at the big league level. It’s still to be determined whether Boychuk has what it takes to stay behind the plate. The arm is every bit of a solid average offering, but Boychuk doesn’t yet receive the ball well and has a long way to go in consistently framing pitches. These are certain things that can be developed, which gives him a shot considering the natural tools are there. Boychuk will likely end up at South Carolina this fall where his talents may be utilized at a number of positions on the diamond. There’s a third base profile here as well. 

 

19. Jake Deleo, 19 years old, Avon Old Farms (Conn.)

Similarly in some capacity to the aforementioned Zavier Warren, Deleo is an outfield first prospect that catches as well. He’s a physically mature 6-foot-2, 190-pound right-handed hitter with athleticism and some raw power. His tools speak louder than his production right now and there are holes in his offensive game that would be exposed by professional arms almost immediately. He’ll be at Georgia Tech this fall. 

 

20. Jack Payton, 18 years old, Brother Rice HS (IL)

At 5-foot-11, 180lbs, Payton isn’t yet built like a big-league catcher. That being said, he does have a strong lower half that he leverages well in his swing, as well as popping out from crouch. As it stands, Payton’s hit tool is below average and potentially even a shade below that. His right-handed cut is smooth through the zone, but mechanically it needs some work. The swing is exorbitant in uppercut nature, and Payton dips his back should in order to achieve his loft. This will undoubtedly create infield fly balls and weak rollers on offspeed pitches, as well as striking out. Payton is an athletic build, and he runs well. He may not stay behind the plate, and could comfortably shift to a corner outfield spot. A Louisville commit, Payton will be privy to a strong player development program where he could see his name creep into the top ten rounds come 2023.