The 2020 MLB Draft has come and gone, with tons of talent being added to Major League clubs. Mock drafts published over the last few weeks were ripped to shreds after The Orioles selected Heston Kjerstad with the second overall pick. After Max Meyer was selected third overall by the Marlins, the draft went into a completely different direction than anyone could have expected. Many were confident that Mick Abel would be taken by the Red Sox, but was instead taken two picks before by the Phillies. The Red Sox then drafted Nick Yorke, seemingly out of nowhere. Good players were left on the board after round one. The start of the MLB Draft went right along with everything else that has happened in 2020, completely unexpected.
Rob Cocuzzo and Chris Clegg will be breaking down each pick from day one with implications for your fantasy baseball leagues. There will also be players from day two who we think could be fantasy relevant down the road.
It is important to note that most of these players will not be relevant for a few years in redraft fantasy leagues. The focus here is dynasty leagues and how these players could eventually turn out when they make it to their respective big-league clubs.
Every player has been given a “prime projection.” While this is hard to nail down, our hope at RotoFanatic is to give you fantasy relevance on each player. Evaluating player’s tools and translating them to statistics can be hard, and many of these may eventually be far off. But, the hope is that we can give you an idea of how relevant the draftees will be when they hit their prime in the Major League.
Rob will be breaking down the odd-numbered picks, while Chris will be taking the even. With that being said, let’s break down the picks.
Pick 1 – Detroit Tigers: Spencer Torkelson, 1B (Arizona State)
Prime Projection: .280 AVG/32 HR/95 RBI/90 R/8 SB
The first pick in the 2020 MLB Draft was a bit of a surprise. Not because it was Spencer Torkelson, but because he was listed as a third baseman, making him the first third baseman to go first overall since Pat Burrell in 1998. Torkelson has potentially the highest floor of anybody in this draft class. The big body comes with elite plate discipline and sneaky base running abilities.
The former Sun Devil has a tremendous understanding of the strike zone, forcing opposing pitchers to hit their spots. Only problem is Torkelson has power to all fields and can spray the ball in the gaps, or over the fence, seemingly at will. With a very compact cut, the new Tiger possesses a 60-grade hit tool and at least a 60-grade power tool that can very easily progress into a 70 when he becomes more polished. While he does have the athleticism to play third base, or potentially even some left field, there is no sense in opening up Torkelson to any defensive woes. Al Avila, Ron Gardenhire, and the rest of the organization should keep their shiny new toy comfortable at all costs.
Defensive struggles often lead to offensive struggles. For this reason, expect Torkelson to only have 1B eligibility on your roster by the time he reaches the big leagues. But also expect him to be one of the best first basemen in the big leagues alongside division mate Andrew Vaughn of the Chicago White Sox. Torkelson mashed opposing pitchers for 54 home runs in 129 career games at Arizona State. That power will certainly play in the big leagues.
“Tork” has the potential to be the big bat in the middle of the lineup that the Tigers have been lacking and contribute 30+ home runs, 100+ RBIs, and maybe even a few stolen bases. The big right-hander is not a guy that sacrifices contact for power either. It would not be surprising to see the first overall pick keep his average up around .280 while also blasting 30 home runs a year.
OH. MY. TORKBOMB.
@spennyt19 with an absolute monster of a home run that still has not landed and just like that, ASU is back on top!
4-3, ASU, behind Torkelson's 23rd! pic.twitter.com/CRy5i09SNr
— Sun Devil Baseball (@ASU_Baseball) May 18, 2018
Pick 2 – Baltimore Orioles: Heston Kjerstad, OF (Arkansas)
Prime Projection: .240/36 HR/90 RBI/80 R/4 SB
This pick threw the entire first round for a whirlwind. There was smoke that the Orioles could try to underslot a college bat, but many speculated on it being Nick Gonzales. If any analyst pegged this pick, I give you kudos because I did not see this coming. Kjerstad does provide big, 70-grade raw power from the left side of the plate. Its an unconventional swing, but he makes it work and looks to have an easy 35-40 home run potential.
The concern is that his swing-and-miss potential will hurt his batting average. Some scouts rate his hit tool as average, while others say below-average. He should make enough contact to be a fantasy contributor from the power standpoint alone. Playing his home games in Camden Yards only helps the home run potential. Despite being the second overall pick, I would not take him nearly that high in FYPDs. The power could play for fantasy purposes, but the batting average could actually sink your team. The hope is he will continue to develop as a hitter.
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) June 10, 2020
Pick 3 – Miami Marlins: Max Meyer, RHP (Minnesota)
Prime Projection: 30 SV/3.30 ERA/1.20 WHIP/100 Ks
Max Meyer shot up draft boards across the league as Wednesday night approached. Many believed that the Marlins would select the brick house of a left-hander in Asa Lacy with this pick, but instead, they went with the skinny right-hander from Minnesota. Meyer was one of few guys across college baseball that actually benefited from the shortened season in 2020. He went from primarily being closer to earning a spot in the Golden Gophers’s rotation and ultimately supplanted himself on top of draft boards across the industry.
Meyer stands at only about 6 feet tall and 185 pounds, but he uses his athleticism to generate velocity, sitting in the mid-to-high 90s consistently. His fastball is certainly 70-grade, but his wipeout pitch is his slider which is arguably the best pitch in this draft class. Meyer has also toyed with a changeup and at times it has shown potential to be an above-average offering to add to his arsenal. Meyer profiles as a middle of the rotation arm at his ceiling with the possibility of being moved to the pen as he progresses through the Marlins system.
Evaluators in Miami might find his frame and his taxing delivery to be a bit concerning. But regardless, Meyer possesses some of the best K potential in the draft class with his wipeout slider and a blazing fastball. After trying the school record in saves, Meyer has the potential to head your bullpen and be an elite fantasy closer. Perhaps an Edwin Diaz type with the fastball and slider combination? Pre-New York Mets Edwin Diaz that is.
So the Marlins pick, Max Meyer, has a pretty sick slider pic.twitter.com/czABrCTB9C
— Ben Palmer (@benjpalmer) June 11, 2020
Pick 4 – Kansas City Royals: Asa Lacy, LHP (Texas A&M)
Prime Projection: 14 W/3.30 ERA/1.13 WHIP/267 K
Lacy was the top pitcher on most team’s draft boards. When the Orioles took Kjerstad, it seemed likely he was heading to Miami until they drafted Max Meyer. Kansas City adds Lacy to an extremely deep pool of pitching prospects that includes Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar, Daniel Lynch, Kris Bubic just to name a few.
Lacy features one of the best fastballs in the draft class, wowing scouts with his explosion. The pitch sits 94-97 mph with a good downhill plane. He gets a great ride on the fastball with a lot of spin.
His slider also devastates hitters, being one of the best overall pitches in the entire draft class. The slider produced an unreal 46.4% SwStr in 2020. Both the Fastball and Slider grade out as a 70-grade-pitch. It is hard to find a better two-pitch combo in the draft. Both of these pitches were a big reason that Lacy began the season with a .75 ERA and struck out 46 batters in 24 innings.
His changeup is also an underrated pitch, which produced a 46.2% SwStr during the shortened 2020 college season. He has all the makings to be a legitimate fantasy ace. The mechanics may be the only concern that could keep him from putting it all together in the Majors. His strikeout potential is the type that could lead the Major Leagues one day. He has SP1 upside for fantasy purposes, but he does need to work on his control to lower his walk numbers. Check out the video in the tweet below to see his amazing slider.
— Fish Stripes (@fishstripes) June 10, 2020
Pick 5 – Toronto Blue Jays: Austin Martin, IF/OF (Vanderbilt)
Prime Projection: .290 AVG/18 HR/70 RBI/100 R/25 SB
The Blue Jays landed possibly the best value on the first day of the draft with Austin Martin falling to fifth overall. First and foremost, Martin is a leader. He is the guy that will have the respect of the locker room instantly and captain this rebuilding Blue Jays team in the near future. As a college hitter, Martin is extremely polished and has the closest thing to 5-tool potential in this draft.
With an already crowded Toronto infield, Martin may find himself patrolling the turf out in center field of the Rogers Centre when he arrives. However, he will most likely carry second base and shortstop eligibility as well, contributing even more to his fantasy value. Often described as a “Swiss Army Knife”, Martin can do it all. He has plus bat to ball skills, is an easy runner, and a solid defender with a great arm. As he grows into his own a bit more, the Vanderbilt product can potentially run into 15 jacks a year, too.
With above-average speed, great instincts, and a high baseball IQ, Martin was able to swipe 43 bags in a Commodore jersey in just 136 games. All around a great land for the team up north. It is hard not to salivate thinking of a lineup that consists of Vlad Jr, Cavan Biggio, Bo Bichette, Austin Martin, and Lourdes Gurriel.
Here's Austin Martin hitting, running, and playing the outfield.
Some say he's the best overall player in the draft. You love to see it. pic.twitter.com/lmyu2wg7GC
— Blue Jays Nation (@thejaysnation) June 10, 2020
Pick 6 – Seattle Mariners: Emerson Hancock, RHP (Georgia)
Prime Projection: 14 W/ 3.35 ERA/1.08 WHIP/215 K
The Mariners were thrilled to see Emerson Hancock fall into their lap with the sixth pick of the draft. Hancock had been the favorite to go first overall for a while until a rocky start to the 2020 season for him. He did settle in nicely in his final three starts before the college season was shutdown. In 20 innings pitched, he struck out 30 batters, produced a 1.80 ERA with a .75 WHIP. The most impressive stat might have been that he only walked two batters in those 20 innings. He has been described as a “sum-of-all-parts” type of pitcher.
Hancock has a great frame and a good, repeatable delivery. His mechanics are worry-free, unlike Lacy. His stuff does not wow scouts like Lacy’s does, but there is nothing wrong with that. It is hard to compare the two because they are different pitchers. His fastball sits 94-97 mph but can reach 99 with a good run to it. His slider and changeup are both above-average pitches as well.
Hancock has great command and places his pitches where he wants very consistently. While Lacy may offer a higher upside for fantasy purposes, Hancock feels a little safer and more projectable. Don’t be surprised if Hancock falls in FYPDs because drafters are riding the prep-hype of Max Meyer, Mick Abel, or Nick Bitsko. Hancock should be a contributor to the Mariners soon, and while the upside on those prep pitchers is high, Hancock has already shown the ability to perform against elite college competition.
Pick 7 – Pittsburgh Pirates: Nick Gonzales, 2B (New Mexico State)
Prime Projection: .295 AVG/18 HR/80 RBI/80 R/15 SB
The Pittsburgh Pirates landed a top 3 bat in the class with Nick Gonzales. The 5’10 middle infielder has raked since high school, but scouts were always hesitant to believe in his ability. So much so that he had to walk on at New Mexico State. When he arrived there, he continued to rake, but scouts still had their questions as he played in a hitter’s haven at New Mexico State.
So, all Nick Gonzales did was go out and win MVP honors in the Cape Cod League last summer. In his sophomore campaign as an Aggie, Gonzales put up almost fiction looking numbers slashing 432/.532/.773 with 16 home runs and 80 RBI. Even after winning essentially every accolade known to mankind at the college level, scouts were still wary.
The knock on Gonzales has been his inability to play at a defensive level that would translate to the bigs. But at this point, it is safe to stop questioning his bat. The player he has been compared to for the majority of his college career has been Keston Hiura of the Milwaukee Brewers. With the quick hands, elite bat speed, and their fair share of defensive warts, the two profile very similarly; I don’t think fantasy owners would complain about Gonzales turning into Keston Hiura after the rookie campaign he just put together. Despite defensive struggles, Gonzales is an above-average athlete with good speed. He probably will not move too much from second base, but his speed should allow him to swipe some bags for the Bucs at the top of that lineup.
New Mexico State 2B (and probable top-10 pick) Nick Gonzales before the shutdown:
Does he play in a crazy friendly offensive environment? Yes. Did he also hit well in the Cape Cod League last year? Yes. Comp is Keston Hiura pic.twitter.com/RMiycxXx9O
— Brendan Tuma (@toomuchtuma) June 8, 2020
Pick 8 – Robert Hassell III, OF (Independence HS)
Prime Projection: .285 AVG/23 HR/85 RBI/95 R/15 SB
Robert Hassell to the Padres was a pick that many were pegged prior to the draft. This pick was one of the few early non-surprises. Hassell was arguably the best pure-prep-hitter in the draft. He has a plus hit tool and hits the gaps well to all fields. His frame projects well and he produces good, natural loft on contact. He won’t provide eye-popping numbers for fantasy purposes, but he should be good across the board. Still being so young, there is a chance he can grow into his power. Adding Hassell to an already elite San Diego farm system only helps their chances of building a very solid dynasty for years to come.
With the eighth overall pick in the 2020 MLB Draft, the #Padres select OF Robert Hassell from Independence High School (TN).
Video via MLB. pic.twitter.com/9wTwD8Klar
— ESD Sports (@ESD_Sports) June 11, 2020
Pick 9 – Colorado Rockies: Zac Veen, OF (Spruce Creek HS)
Prime Projection: .310 AVG/35 HR/110 RBI/100 R/12 SB
Zac Veen…in Colorado?! Wow, that sounds like a fantasy owner’s dream come true. Veen is the top-ranked prepster on just about every board – and for good reason. Standing at 6’4 and 190 pounds as a high schooler, Veen is extremely projectable. He also possesses elite barrel control, and from what I have seen, already mashes baseballs in BP.
His swing was compared to Cody Bellinger on the broadcast, and I love that comp. Veen has a beautiful swing from the left side with a slight uppercut. While having above-average speed, Veen will mostly land in right field when he reaches Colorado. His glove is better suited for a corner outfield spot and he certainly has the arm to stay out there. Veen will find himself in the middle of the Rockies’ order for years to come.
Fantasy owners will be chomping at the bit when he becomes available across all leagues. Seemingly already accustomed to the launch angle wave, Veen has an easy 70-grade power tool and does not sacrifice contact with an above-average hit tool to boot. Although not a burner, Veen can also be a sneaky base stealer.
Zac Veen's power in Coors Field..
Give me all the shares in FYPDs 📈📈
I know I am not the first to say it, but lots of similarities to Cody Bellinger in how he loads and gets through the ball.
Big home run potential! pic.twitter.com/PorKqjVYbR
— Chris Clegg (@RotoClegg) June 11, 2020
Pick 10 – Los Angeles Angels: Reid Detmers, LHP (Louisville)
Prime Projection: 11 W/3.60 ERA/1.13 WHIP/215 K
The Angels were a huge wild card with the tenth overall pick. Some speculated that they might punt the draft and take someone completely unsignable. Instead, they took Reid Detmers, who was the ace of a very good Louisville Cardinals rotation. He is perceived as a high-floor pitcher, rather than a huge upside play like Lacy.
Detmers does not overpower batters like other pitchers in the class, but he does use elite command to get good strikeout numbers. His fastball sits between 90-94 mph with good run and deceptiveness. His curveball is a big breaker that is clocked between 73-76 mph. This is his best pitch and has been rated as a 70-grade by some scouts. The changeup is a fairly average pitch but could develop into a serviceable third offering to compliment his fastball and curve. Detmers may not provide the elite fantasy numbers that Lacy could, but he could provide good SP2-SP3 caliber numbers.
Pick 11 – Chicago White Sox: Garrett Crochet, LHP (Tennessee)
Prime Projection: 12 W/3.80 ERA/1.30 WHIP/220 K
Crochet is a powerful body from the left side. With arguably one of the best fastballs in the class, Crochet frequently touches 100mph and sits in the 95-97mph range. With the three-quarter arm slot and the big frame, Crochet triggers memories of a younger Madison Bumgarner. The only question with Crochet is if he will end up in the bullpen or ultimately break into the White Sox’ rotation.
The Volunteer has proven himself as a starter but has run into some arm fatigue which could lead to him serving in relief. The deceptive motion also allows Crochet to yield a plus-plus slider. He tunnels his breaking ball extremely well and keeps opponents off balance as they sit in the box worrying about a heater coming in at triple digits. If he can develop his changeup a bit more, the White Sox are looking at an arsenal that bears massive K potential coming out of the bullpen to back up the three-headed monster of Giolito-Cease-Kopech.
Hope Vol Nation will remember Garrett Crochet as a kid who pitched in an NCAA regional w a broken jaw – twice. Both were UT wins. pic.twitter.com/vglkfhqqvy
— Tony Vitello (@TonyVitello2) June 10, 2020
Pick 12 – Cincinnati Reds: Austin Hendrick, OF (West Allegheny HS)
Prime Projection: .260 AVG/35 HR/100 RBI/85 R/3 SB
Austin Hendrick’s raw power in Great American Ballpark is a match made in heaven. He provides some of the best power in the draft class from the left-hand side of the plate(a close second to Zac Veen). The hit tool has shown to be inconsistent, but on his good days, he has shown he is capable of making enough contact. Hendrick has drawn comparisons to a Zac Veen lite, and the high school version of Heston Kjerstad.
His upside is probably higher than Kjerstad but not Veen, especially with Veen being drafted by Colorado. There should be easy 30 home run power in his profile, and if the hit-tool continues to grow in the future, we could see a real fantasy stud. The power potential paired with Great American Ballpark gets me very excited to take Hendrick in dynasty leagues.
Torching baseballs and bat flipping is a good combo. All in on Austin Hendrick leading the Reds to the 2025 World Series pic.twitter.com/HUqiTlJF7X
— And This Blog Belongs To The Reds (@ATBBTTR) June 11, 2020
Pick 13 – San Francisco Giants: Patrick Bailey, C (NC State)
Prime Projection: .265 AVG/25 HR/ 80 RBI/70 R/4 SB
Patrick Bailey was one of the more surprising picks for an organization that already employs the #2 ranked catching prospect in the game. A switch-hitter, Patrick Bailey has some unmatched pop. Here is a brief clip of Bailey absolutely eviscerating a baseball at NC State.
Giants top pick Patrick Bailey with the bomb and bat flip 😯
— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) June 11, 2020
To complement the power, Bailey also has an above-average eye at the plate and will contribute nicely to OBP in Roto leagues. At only 21, Bailey was, impressively, one of the only catchers in NCAA to call his own game behind the dish. An elite-level defender with a high baseball IQ, Bailey profiles to be a big league backstop for a long time, making this an even more curious selection for the Giants.
Possibly they have plans of moving Joey Bart to first base? Regardless, Bailey has a great, fluid swing from the right side that should translate to the big leagues and a more aggressive swing from the left side that allows him to loft (or annihilate) balls over the right-field fence. He should be a great addition to your fantasy squad as catching is always at a premium.
Pick 14 – Texas Rangers: Justin Foscue, 2B/3B (Mississippi St.)
Prime Projection: .280 AVG/19 HR/80 RBI/95 R/4 SB
The Rangers selecting Justin Foscue was another pick that caught many draft analysts by surprise. I expected to see Foscue get drafted in the late-first at the earliest. Foscue dominated the SEC while proving to have a great hit tool during his time at Mississippi State. He pulls a lot of pitches, while making consistently good contact.
It’s possible that Foscue moves to third base, but he should be fantasy relevant given his high floor. The ceiling is not very high though. I would expect somewhere between 15-20 home runs with a good batting average. He could debut as early as 2021.
Pick 15 – Philadelphia Phillies: Mick Abel, RHP (Jesuit HS)
Prime Projection: 22 W/2.90 ERA/1.10 WHIP/270 K
Mick Abel was by far my favorite arm in this class. The prepster stands at 6 feet 5 inches, 200 pounds, and can hit 100mph on the gun at only 18 years old. Here is Abel throwing to last year’s first overall pick, Adley Rutshcman, in the same bullpen session that he hit triple digits.
Mick Abel just became the first high school pitcher from Oregon taken in the first round since 1994.
Here he is throwing a bullpen to Adley Rutschman. No big deal.
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) June 11, 2020
That is some of the easiest high 90s you will ever see. Abel also complements the gas with a two-seamer with exceptional run that wreaks havoc on right-handed hitters. Not to mention that he also has a slider in his arsenal…and not just a slider. It is a plus slider that is the best breaker in the prep class – because why not?. He even has a changeup in his toolbox, as well!
I cannot get enough of Mick Abel and fantasy owners will not be able to either. Profiling as a top of the rotation arm with Cy Young upside, Abel has the ability to mow through hitters at the professional level.
Pick 16 – Chicago Cubs: Ed Howard, SS (Mt. Carmel HS)
Prime Projection: .280 AVG/23 HR/85 RBI/90 R/18 SB
Ed Howard is the best pure shortstop’s in the draft class and could be one of the few to stick at the position. He already possesses a plus arm with an above-average glove. He has very polished tools across the board that many scouts love. Howard is already an above-average runner that has a great hit tool. He has great bat speed through the zone and makes good contact.
Howard should only get better with time. Being a great fielder already, Howard will have to continue to work to refine his bat. He has the baseball IQ to do this. He makes consistently good contact and should grow into his lanky 6’2 frame, giving him more power. Dynasty players might be down on him when it comes to FYPDs, so you can probably get great value on him. Howard is worth the gamble, as I believe he will develop into a great all-around shortstop.
Ed Howard is STAYING HOME.
The #Cubs just got an Illinois high school product who MLB scouting departments voted as the best defensive infielder in the country.
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) June 11, 2020
Pick 17 – Boston Red Sox: Nick Yorke, 2B (Archbishop Mitty HS)
Prime Projection: AVG .270/HR 14/60 RBI/80 R/16 SB
This was one of the more puzzling picks of the first round. Many big boards had Nick Yorke ranked in the 130 range in terms of prospect rankings. But, the Red Sox selected him in with the 17th overall pick. What I am hearing throughout the industry is that he was the Red Sox guy from the get-go.
They wanted to land Yorke and with the absence of a second-round pick, they feared he would not be available when their turn came around again in the third round. In addition, Yorke will sign for way under slot value, allowing the Red Sox to throw big money at a later, more difficult to sign, draftee.
I did not catch many of Nick Yorke’s high school baseball games this year, but scouts have declared him the best hitter in California. Sentiment around the industry is that he has an advanced approach at the plate, pure swing, and even some potential to develop power as he progresses.
Pick 18: – Arizona Diamondbacks: Bryce Jarvis, RHP (Duke)
Prime Projection: 11 W/3.75 ERA/1.28 WHIP/180 K
Bryce Jarvis came into 2020 fairly unknown. He did not have a strong track record during his freshman and sophomore years at Duke. After training with Driveline in the offseason, Jarvis looked like a different pitcher to begin his junior year. He threw a 15 strikeout, perfect game against Cornell early in the season.
He has a good fastball/changeup combo that work off each other well. His pitch velocity jumped tremendously in 2020 after his Driveline training. While it was a small sample, scouts think the velocity can stick.
Pick 19 – New York Mets: Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF (Harvard-Westlake HS)
Prime Projection: .280 AVG/12 HR/65 RBI/80 R/12 SB
Mets General Manager, Brodie Van Wagenen, was stoked to have Pete Crow-Armstrong fall to him at 19. PCA was the top outfielder on the Mets’s big board and they were able to land their guy. Scouts believe Crow-Armstrong has the ability to patrol the spacious Citi Field outfield right now at 19 years old. I can’t even imagine what a few more years of development will do for him. Here is a web gem by PCA last summer.
— WBSC ⚾🥎 (@WBSC) August 31, 2019
In addition to Gold Glove caliber defense, Crow-Armstrong also has innate bat to ball skills that are extremely advanced for his age. He has a natural stroke and consistently belts line drives to all fields. In terms of fantasy value, Crow-Armstrong will be consistent at the plate with his smooth stroke, but does not project to have loads of pop in the professional ranks.
With his quick first step that allows him to be an elite defender, it would not be surprising to see Crow-Armstrong steal his fair share of bags in the big leagues. It has been too long since the Mets have had a center fielder that could contribute offensively consistently – now they have their guy. His defense will also keep him in the lineup every day allowing him to build up his counting stats.
Here is a look at some Rapsodo metrics for Crow-Armstrong.
— Jacob Resnick (@Jacob_Resnick) June 11, 2020
Pick 20 – Milwaukee Brewers: Garrett Mitchell, OF (UCLA)
Prime Projection: .285 AVG/20 HR/80 RBI/100 R/25 SB
I can imagine the Brewers were incredibly happy when Garrett Mitchell fell into their lap at pick 20. Mitchell has battled Type 1 Diabetes since he was younger, which could have led to his fall in the draft. It has not affected his game yet, and there is no reason to believe it should affect his professional career.
Mitchell has plus tools across the board including 70-grade speed. While he not shown great power at the college level, many scouts believe that he could develop into 20 home run power. If he can tap into that, Mitchell will be an elite fantasy asset. See Starling Marte who produces a similar stat-line to my prime projection, who is a top 25 fantasy asset.
We have seen the Brewers unlock the elite potential in Christian Yelich, and they should develop Mitchell well. He should be a high-end contributor in fantasy leagues in the future, so grab him in First-Year Player Drafts in dynasty leagues. He will likely be undervalued because many owners won’t look into his profile, rather than the fact he was drafted 20th overall. Look past that and know that Mitchell is a top ten player for FYPDs.
OF Garrett Mitchell, 6’3, 210 lbs
UCLA Career Stats: 121 G, 543 PA, .327/.393/.478, 6 HR, 81 RBI, 28 SB
Five-tool potential, plenty to still tap into. Hits the ball to all fields and should gain more power as he progresses. 70 grade speed. pic.twitter.com/GuDjc7pkq3
— Alex Kielar – Baseball Guru (@AlexKielar) June 11, 2020
Pick 21 – St. Louis Cardinals: Jordan Walker, 3B (Decatur HS)
Prime Projection: .250 AVG/35 HR/90 RBI/70 R/1 SB
Jordan Walker is the top ranked third baseman in this class and he is built like a Mack truck. Standing at 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, the high school senior is an impressive athlete. With a frame that size, Walker obviously has the power potential that the Cardinals are craving. The only issue is Walker’s strikeout susceptibility – which is natural for a high schooler with long appendages and a big swing.
Luckily for him, Walker will have the ability to work through the ranks with some of the best player development coaches in the league…if he chooses to sign. Growing sentiment around the league is that Walker will be very difficult to sign away from Duke as he places a heavy emphasis on academic performance, in addition to performance on the diamond. If he does choose to sign, look for him to be leading the charge in the power department for your fantasy team in 3-4 years. Despite his athleticism and arm strength, Walker profiles more as as first baseman than a third baseman.
— Kyler Peterson (@KPeterson813) June 11, 2020
Pick 22 – Washington Nationals: Cade Cavalli, RHP (Oklahoma)
Prime Projection: 13 W/3.85 ERA/1.29 WHIP/190 K
Cade Cavalli is a great fit in the Nationals organization who has shown the great ability to develop pitching. Cavalli has easy velocity, with a great fastball that sits 92-96, but can top out at 98 mph. His plus curveball has shown the ability to make hitters look silly. There is potential that his slider and changeup could also develop into plus pitches, which would give him a tremendous arsenal. There are injury and control concerns, but Cavalli is also fairly new to pitching. If he can stay healthy and gain control, he has elite upside.
Pick 23 – Cleveland Indians: Carson Tucker, SS (Mountain Pointe HS)
Prime Projection: .270 AVG/12 HR/60 RBI/90 R/20 SB
The little brother of Pittsburgh Pirates’s Cole Tucker, Carson was selected by the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday night. Just like his brother, Carson is already a high-level defender with quick reaction times and an above-average arm. With a short, compact swing, Tucker has tremendous gap to gap power. Through his growth spurt this year, Tucker has actually added a bit more pop to his game, too – mostly to the pull side. With already above-average speed, an above-average hit-tool, and developing power, Carson Tucker has the chance to be a fantasy star similar to the likes of Marcus Semien or Elvis Andrus.
Pick 24 – Tampa Bay Rays: Nick Bitsko, RHP (Central Bucks East HS)
Prime Projection: 13 W/3.30 ERA/1.13 WHIP/210 K
Tampa Bay does a tremendous job developing pitching and Nick Bitsko has some of the highest upside of any starting pitcher in the draft. The skills that Bitsko has shown at 17-years-old, are hard to ignore. For those that do not know, Bitsko was originally in the class of 2021, but graduated early and re-classified for the 2020 draft.
Bitsko features three plus pitches in his fastball, curve, and changeup. His changeup could use some refining, but it has the makings of a good pitch. His fastball/curve combo is one of the best in the draft class. Bitsko has a good feel for his pitches and projects to have future plus-command. He is one of the most polished 17-year-old pitchers that I have seen. The upside is endless and being drafted by the Rays boost his value even more. Bitsko will be moving up my first-year player ranks near the top ten.
👏 Doylestown native and CB East HS pitcher Nick Bitsko picked in 1st round by Tampa Bay tonight!
— Jeff Skversky 6abc (@JeffSkversky) June 11, 2020
Pick 25 – Atlanta Braves: Jared Shuster, LHP (Wake Forest)
Prime Projection: 12 W/3.90 ERA/1.35 WHIP/200 K
What stands out the most about the southpaw is his physical stature. Shuster stands at 6-feet-3 inches tall and over 210 pounds. He hurls from the left side in a quirky fashion. Shuster sits in the mid-90s with the ability to touch the upper 90s. To complement the gas, Shuster has a plus, tumbling changeup. Shuster has much upside and adds to the talented farm system in Atlanta.
His broad build should give him longevity in the big leagues despite the quirky motion. The funky windup and arm action from the left-side should lead to problems for the hitters, leaving him with plenty of K potential in fantasy leagues. Shuster has also been improving his command, dropping his BB/9 from nearly 5 in his second year at Wake Forest to 1.4 in both the Cape Cod league and his short stint at Wake this year.
Pick 26 – Oakland Athletics: Tyler Soderstrom, C (Turlock HS)
Prime Projection: .280 AVG/21 HR/80 RBI/75 R/5 SB
Tyler Soderstrom is one of the more impressive prep hitters in the class. It is unlikely that he sticks at the catcher position, but his bat will play from most positions on the field. If he can continue to develop behind the plate, he will be a great fantasy contributor at a thing catcher position. He seems like a great fit in Oakland wherever they decide to develop him in the field.
He should produce a solid batting average thanks to his plus hit tool. He should also produce good, but not great power. He also runs decent enough to not give you goose egg in that category. Others like him more than I do, but he should still be a solid fantasy asset.
Pick 27 – Minnesota Twins: Aaron Sabato, 1B (UNC)
Prime Projection: .220 AVG/35 HR/98 RBI/80 R/0 SB
Aaron Sabato has one of the best power tools in this class. His plus-plus raw power leaves him with the chance to carry on the Minnesota Twin tradition of smashing long balls. However, this pick does come with a bit of risk. The slugger, while possessing elite power from the right side, strikes out more than his fair share and plays well under replacement level defense.
This seems like a boom or bust pick for Minnesota. The slow-footed Sabato will most likely find himself as a DH and the Twins are betting on his power to get him there. He does have an average hit tool but needs to improve on plate discipline with breakers down and out. While he does draw walks, that is where opposing pitchers have been able to expose Sabato. The Tar Heel could make a good utility player in fantasy leagues if his power does carry him to the big leagues – potentially a Nelson Cruz type player.
The #MNTwins have drafted UNC first baseman Aaron Sabato with the 27th overall pick. He hit 18 home runs during the 2019 season, and seven more in the virus shortened 2020 campaign. pic.twitter.com/SGy9AJ012C
— Twins Dingers (@TwinsDingers) June 11, 2020
Pick 28 – New York Yankees: Austin Wells, C/1B/OF (Arizona)
Prime Projection: .265 AVG/27 HR/95 RBI/85 R/ 6 SB
The Yankees drafting Austin Wells seems like another great fit. Wells bat will play great in Yankee Stadium. He has shown great on-base ability with a career .476 OBP during his college career. There is also a lot of untapped power ability that should play well in his future home ballpark. Although his running ability is not great, he has shown an ability to be a sneaky source of steals. So, he will not provide a goose egg in that category. Another player who gets a boost for fantasy purposes, Wells should be a great fantasy asset for the Yankees in the future.
Pick 29 – Los Angeles Dodgers: Bobby Miller, RHP (Louisville)
Prime Projection: 17 W/3.60 ERA/1.35 WHIP/240 K
Well Los Angeles is the perfect landing spot for Bobby Miller. Potentially a work in progress if drafted by a number of teams, Miller is in good hands in Los Angeles with an organization that has churned out some of the greatest pitchers in baseball history. Miller has an electric arm and can touch 99mph on the gun. His heater has late life and explodes into the zone.
With his big frame, Miller is able to hurl blazing fastballs deep into outings. His strong core and powerful legs allow him to have great stamina as he works through the lineup. In addition to his explosive fastball, Miller also possesses a nasty slider that he tunnels extremely well. His changeup sits 10+mph slower than his fastball in the low 80s and is coming along quite nicely. He has the build to project as a starting pitcher, but his unorthodox motion and tendency to get a little erratic might land him in the bullpen in LA.
Fortunately for Miller, the Dodgers are one of the best across baseball at developing pitchers. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, Dodgers’s pitchers never seem to carry value as they often bounce between the pen and the rotation. MIller has high upside as a starter but also has the chance to be a dominant reliever. Regardless of his role in LA, one thing is for certain, the swing and miss potential of Bobby Miller is undeniable.
— Kyler Peterson (@KPeterson813) June 11, 2020
Pick 30 – Baltimore Orioles: Jordan Westburg, SS (Mississippi St.)
Prime Projection: .260 AVG/24 HR/80 RBI/85 R/9 SB
When looking at his college stats, Westburg appears to have a good hit-tool, posting a respectable .285 career average while playing in the SEC. Currently, Westburg’s hit-tool is suspect. He swings at a ton of pitches, while pulling the majority of the pitches he makes contact on. The power is raw and it feels like he could reach 20-25 home runs in the future. If he refines his approach at the plate, its likely we could see a solid fantasy contributor.
Pick 31 – Pittsburgh Pirates: Carmen Mlodzinski, RHP (South Carolina)
Prime Projection: 13 W/4.10 ERA/1.40 WHIP/180 K
Carmen Mlodzinski made a rapid ascent up draft boards this summer after dominating the Cape Cod league. However, there are still some major flaws in Mlodzinski’s efficiency. He has decent velocity, sitting in the low to mid-90s, but that is not enough gas to get by when you frequently leave balls out over the middle of the plate.
Mlodzinski has good movement on his fastball but is often hesitant to work the inner half of the plate, leading to frequent mistake pitches right down the pipe. Even playing in the SEC, Mlodzinki had enough talent to get by even with these mistake pitches, but professional ball is a whole different animal. To be a valuable fantasy asset or big leaguer, Mlodzinski needs to fine-tune his command and attack hitters on the inner half more consistently. He also wields a cutter and a changeup that both have solid downward action. Perhaps his calling is a groundball pitcher instead of a swing and miss guy.
If he can keep the ball down and in the yard, despite his lack of strikeouts, he could still be a valuable asset in fantasy leagues if he develops into this Marcus Stroman type of pitcher.
Pick 32 – Kansas City Royals: Nick Loftin, SS (Baylor)
Prime Projection: .275 AVG/12 HR/60 RBI/80 R/10 SB
Nick Loftin will likely be more of a real-life contributor than fantasy. He is a plus fielder with a good arm and will likely stick at the position. He had a good hit tool and makes a contract-first approach. A career .311 hitter at Baylor while getting on base at a high clip is nothing to scoff at. His ceiling is fairly capped due to his lack of power. Its not likely that Loftin is ever a big fantasy contributor for anything other than batting average a decent amount of steals.
Pick 33 – Arizona Diamondbacks: Slade Cecconi, RHP (Miami)
Prime Projection: 12 W/4.30 ERA/1.30 WHIP/180 K
Cecconi, as a sophomore, comes with a few question marks. The first being his rather shallow toolbox. He holds a plus fastball with good command to both sides of the plate and hard slider that is his putaway pitch. But he is rather one dimensional with his pitch mix. The report on Cecconi is that he also may falter as a starting pitcher as he often tires later in his outings.
His sturdy, 6’4 220 pound build is what big-league clubs drool over in starting pitchers. However, Cecconi has a long way to go before he can start in the big leagues. If he does land in the pen, he could be an effective long-relief arm that can spot up his fastball and overpower hitters with his hard, breaking slider.
Pick 34 – San Diego Padres: Justin Lange, RHP (Llano HS)
Prime Projection: 12 W/3.56 ERA/1.25 WHIP/190 K
Justin Lange was a fast riser this spring due to really growing into his 6’5 frame by gaining 20 pounds, while also showing his ability to hit 100 mph with his fastball. Lange has also worked to develop his slider and changeup. The slider has shown to be inconsistent, but it should improve with age and strength. He is also known to be pretty wild with his command.
There is plenty of reason to believe that he could continue to refine these pitches as he continues to grow as a player. Lange has an immense talent with his arm and being drafted by the Padres only helps his value as they have a great track record of developing pitching. It will be fun to watch Lange’s development over time, as he is still very raw, but has a high ceiling.
Pick 35 – Colorado Rockies: Drew Romo, C (The Woodlands HS)
Prime Projection: .220 AVG/15 HR/55 RBI/50 R/3 SB
Drew Romo is a defensive enigma for a high school athlete. He already possesses a 60-grade arm and 70-grade defensive ability. His high baseball IQ has allowed him to develop strong relationships with his staff members as he knows their tendencies and understands the flow of the game. The Rockies did not draft him for his bat as it projects to be well below average at this point, but hey, in Colorado, you never know what a guy can turn into.
The Texan profiles as a top-notch defensive catcher with limited ability at the dish. Unfortunately, defense does not play a role in fantasy leagues, so fantasy baseball players will have to admire Drew Romo from afar.
Pick 36 – Cleveland Indians: Tanner Burns, RHP (Auburn)
Prime Projection: 12 W/3.90 ERA/1.23 WHIP/195 K
The Cleveland Indians are another great organization at developing their pitching. Tanner Burns seems like he will be a great fit and continue his development. Burns places his fastball well, with 92-95 mph speed that can reach 97. He also has a good breaking pitch, while his third is a changeup. He still needs some work on refining those pitches in order to be successful at the Major League level.
Being in the Indians organization will only benefit him as they have a long track record of developing high-caliber pitching. Burns does have a history of injuries, with the shoulder issue during his sophomore year being the most notable. If he can prove that he can stay healthy and continue development, he will provide fantasy owners great value.
Pick 37 – Tampa Bay Rays: Alika Williams, SS (Arizona State)
Prime Projection: .240 AVG/8 HR/60 RBI/80 R/15 SB
Much like Ed Howard, Alika Williams is a smooth fielding shortstop who will see his glove play at the major league level. Williams has a slender build, allowing him to swiftly move through the infield, but this build inhibits his offensive production. He has a sweet swing and decent power to the gaps, but Williams has not been able to muster enough strength to really drive the ball.
The Rays were most likely locking up his glove as he has the chance to be the best defensive shortstop in this class. Keep an eye on his weight, he has broad shoulders which suggests he could fill out with age and develop some power, but for now, Alika Williams is a defense-first type of player with a gap-to-gap swing. His quick feet could potentially turn himself into a stolen base threat, as well.
Day 2: Fantasy Relevant Draft Picks
Pick 38 – Detroit Tigers: Dillon Dingler, C, (Ohio State)
Prime Projection: .270 AVG/22 HR/80 RBI/70 R/6 SB
Al Aliva and the Detroit Tigers had a franchise-altering draft in 2020, adding Spencer Torkelson and Dillon Dingler through the first three rounds to an already loaded farm system. Dingler is a freak athlete behind the dish and should do wonders for the development of top-ranked arms Casey Mize, Matt Manning, and Tarik Skubal with his strong wrists and framing ability. The Buckeye has a 60-grade arm and uses his athleticism to generate elite pop-times.
Being a catcher, Dingler seems to have translated his knowledge of the strike zone from behind the dish to the batter’s box. With above-average sprint speed, Dingler has the option to be the most athletic catcher in the game, or hold down center field, as he did briefly at Ohio State. In terms of his bat, Dingler has above-average bat to ball skills and ran into a career high in homers before the cancelation of the remainder of the season this year.
The new Tiger has decent power to the pull side and there is definitely room for that to blossom throughout the professional ranks. Dingler will provide immense fantasy value with his athleticism as he also bears the potential to swipe some bags as a catcher.
Pick 44 – Pittsburgh Pirates: Jared Jones, RHP, La Mirada HS (CA)
Prime Projection: 18 W/2.80 ERA/1.25 WHIP/280 K
Jared Jones has been an elite talent throughout his prep career and can very well turn out to be the most dominant pitcher from this class. The 6-foot-1 right-hander does not have the typical build of a guy that can touch triple digits, but he has unmatched arm speed. The whip that he generates with his athleticism allows him to sit between 94-97mph with his 70-grade fastball that he complements with a plus slider that has, again, elite movement and horizontal tilt.
The California product has also toyed with a changeup that has shown flashes of developing into another plus offering. After his high school season came to a screeching halt, Jones began working on a 12-6 breaker that, from bullpen videos, seems to be developing quite nicely. The Pittsburgh Pirates have landed another stud right-hander from California – let’s hope they hang onto this one.
Pick 47 – Chicago White Sox: Jared Kelley, RHP, Refugio HS (TX)
Prime Projection: 18 W/2.80 ERA/1.13 WHIP/270 K
Jared Kelley has some of the highest upside of any starting pitchers in this draft. His frame is that of a typical fireballer from Texas. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound right-hander from Refugio High School has a deadly fastball and changeup combination. Had it not been for Bitsko and Abel making such huge strides, Kelley would have been the first prep arm off the board this year.
He has an effortless, repeatable delivery and pounds the zone at an extremely high rate for an 18-year-old. The Texan is a cerebral pitcher on the mound, as well as raising his big league floor pretty high. At 94-96mph, Kelley pours over strikes before dropping the tumbling, plus-plus changeup off the table for a strikeout. His fastball has developed some run as he has progressed, but his slider leaves much to be desired.
As mentioned, he is only 18, so he has plenty of time to develop more spin on this third pitch. Until then, he will be plenty fine with his lethal fastball/changeup combination that has drawn him comparisons to Chris Paddack. One scout even said Kelley has better stuff than Paddack had in high school, and look how quickly Paddack made the leap into stardom.
Pick 52 – New York Mets: JT Ginn, RHP, (Mississippi State)
Prime Projection: 17 W/3.10 ERA/1.20 WHIP/240 K
The Mets took another gamble with JT Ginn deploying the same strategy that they used last year to land Florida prepster, Matthew Allan. JT Ginn is undeniably a first-round talent and potentially even a top 10 talent. But, after undergoing Tommy John surgery after only a handful of outings this year, Ginn slid down draft boards.
For that reason, it is known that JT Ginn will be very difficult to sign away from Mississippi State. The Mets will have to get creative with their bonus pool as they did last year to pry Matthew Allan away from his University of Florida commitment. But when healthy, JT Ginn profiles as a front of the rotation arm.
Like third overall pick, Max Meyer, Ginn has a devastating fastball/slider combination. Here is a look at some Rapsodo data from Ginn earlier this year.
— Jacob Resnick (@Jacob_Resnick) June 11, 2020
If you noticed, Ginn is above that elite 2500 RPM threshold mentioned here:
In 2019, on four-seam fastballs coming in at a velocity over 95 mph with a spin rate above 2500 RPM, pitchers were able to generate a 30.8% whiff rate. When healthy, JT Ginn has been clocked as high as 97mph. The Bulldog will not be ready for action until 2021, but if he signs, Brodie Van Wagenen automatically gets an A for this draft.
Pick 54 – St. Louis Cardinals: Masyn Winn, RHP/SS (Kingwood HS)
Prime Projection: 10 W/ 3.90 ERA/ 1.30 WHIP/ 175 K
.250 AVG/ 18 HR/ 75 RBI/ 80 R/ 12 SB
Winn is a legitimate two-way player both as a pitcher and a shortstop. It is hard to currently project whether he will focus on one or the other as a professional, but he is equally talented at both. He is listed in this section just because of his massive potential to contribute to fantasy owners. He is one of the best athletes in the draft class, drawing comparisons to Francisco Lindor at shortstop. Some scouts like him better as a pitcher, while others at short. Right now, he is tough to project, but the talent level is there.
On the mound, he has a fastball that can get to the high-90s. He also has a high-spinning curveball that makes batters look silly. He should develop his changeup into an average pitch with time.
At the plate, he possesses plus raw power and good sprint speed. He does need to refine his hitting ability to be a successful hitter at the highest level. His fastball speed mentioned earlier shows his great arm in the field, and his quickness leads to him making great plays.
Winn is a risky play, and one not likely to be taken in many FYPDs. But he is someone to keep an eye on moving forward in dynasty leagues.
Pick 69 – New York Mets: Isaiah Greene, OF (Corona HS)
Prime Projection: .265 AVG/ 17 HR/ 70 RBI/ 85 R/ 24 SB
There are few prospects in this draft that can hit 20-plus home runs while having the speed to steal 30 bases. Isaiah Greene is one of those players. He does not have the track record or name recognition of players like Robert Hassell, Pete Crow-Armstong, or Garrett Mitchell, but he has an equally high ceiling.
Greene has impressive raw tools and showed improved ability in the fall of 2019. He does not have the polish like some other prospects but showed growth in recent months. He has a contact-oriented approach with a ton of speed to burn. The speed will allow him to be aggressive on the basepaths. The floor is pretty low, but the ceiling is also very high. If he can put it all together, he can be a real five-category contributor for fantasy purposes.
Pick 80 – San Diego Padres: Cole Wilcox, RHP (Georgia)
Prime Projection: 12 W/ 3.65 ERA/ 1.23 WHIP/ 190 K
Signability issues are the only reason that I can peg Wilcox falling this far in the draft. After day one, many thought he might return to Georgia, to be the ace of the staff, no longer under the shadow of Emerson Hancock. Now, reports are that Wilcox and the Padres have a deal in place for around 3.3 million dollars.
Wilcox has some of the best pure stuff in the draft. His fastball headlines his arsenal, reaching high-90s with some sink and run. He also has a sharp slider that has excellent swing-and-miss potential. His fading changeup also provides him a good third pitch. Some believe that the changeup will end up better than the slider.
Wilcox has a questionable delivery and release, allowing batters to see his pitches well out of his hand.
Regardless, the statistics speak for themselves. In the shortened 2020 college season, Wilcox pitched 23 innings with a 1.57 ERA, a .87 WHIP, and 32 strikeouts. Questions have arisen whether we can stick in the rotation, but if he does, he will provide excellent fantasy value.
Cole Wilcox, Filthy 95mph and 96mph Two Seamers. 😷 pic.twitter.com/tmwTrUPvzR
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) February 15, 2020
Pick 89 – Boston Red Sox: Blaze Jordan, 3B (DeSoto Central HS)
Prime Projection: .250 AVG/34 HR/85 RBI/75 R/2 SB
Blaze Jordan could end up being the steal of the draft. Reports are that he will elect to sign with the Red Sox instead of going to Mississippi State to play college baseball. Jordan, like Nick Bitsko, is another 17-year-old who re-classified from the 2021 class. He will not turn 18 until December of 2020. He will likely move to first base, given his already big 6’2, 220-pound frame. He will probably still grow with age.
Jordan has some of the best raw power in the draft class. He put this on full display by winning the High School Home Run Derby at the 2019 All-Star Game last July. At the age of 13, Jordan belted a pair of 500-foot home runs. His impressive strength also produces a high exit velocity. At the World Wood Bat Championship in October, he was recorded at 106.9 mph.
With still only being 17, there is plenty of reason he could continue to improve on his somewhat suspect hit tool. Right now, I would peg his hit tool as average. He projects very similar to Triston Casas, another top Red Sox prospect.
He is a long ways away from making an impact at the Major League level, but there is significant power potential. Jordan could be a stud at first base if he can continue to refine his hit tool and limit swing-and-misses. Depending on how deep your dynasty league is, Jordan could be of great value in FYPDs.
Blaze Jordan has SERIOUS power.
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) June 11, 2020
Pick 132 – Detroit Tigers: Colt Keith, SS Biloxi (MO)
Prime Projection: .290 AVG/25 HR/90 RBI/80 R/3 SB
It is impossible to read about Colt Keith without seeing a Chase Utley comparison. And there is a good reason for that. To add to the Detroit Tigers already stellar draft, they went out and added a prepster in the fifth round who has the chance to be the best offensively in the class. The 2019 Gatorade Player of the Year was off to a hot start as he hit .527 and bashed 8 home runs before the cancelation of his season.
He already possesses a 60-grade hit tool and 50-grade power from the left side- as sweet of a swing as you’ll see in this class. Keith has the range and arm strength to stay at shortstop, but his size may ultimately force him to third base where his bat profiles better anyway. An all-around, dynamic, impact player who will most likely be found on many top-100 boards already. The Tigers won the draft with this pick.