The MLB draft is a crucial time for teams to build their farm system, and in turn formulate a roster that can consistently contend for a championship. Meanwhile, it also is the next step for several rising young stars from high school and college, as they not only can officially become professional baseball players, but also have the opportunity to be developed to their fullest potential by an organization. Now that we’re about a week away from the draft, this would appear to be the perfect time to take one last look at each of their major prospects. Just over two weeks ago, I released my first draft board, but after digging deeper into these prospects’ skillsets, I’ve made significant changes to my rankings. Obviously, each team will rightfully target different players, based on the strengths of their player development system, but taking positional value and weighing upside and polish into account, here is my new ranking of the top 119 prospects in the 2020 MLB Draft!
In addition to being ranked, the qualifying prospects were also placed into different tiers, based on their percentile rank:
Tier 1- 99th Percentile
Tier 2- 95th Percentile
Tier 3- 90th Percentile
Tier 4-75th Percentile
Tier 5- 60th Percentile
Tier 6- 45th Percentile
Tier 7- 30th Percentile
Tier 8- 15th Percentile
Tier 9- 0th Percentile
NOTE: The List Has Been Condensed To 119 Players, as Dylan Crews Has Pulled Himself From The Draft
#1: RHP Max Meyer, Minnesota (Overall Grade: 60.224375) (Previous Rank: 3)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 8th; MLB Pipeline- 9th
He may not look the part at 6’0” and 185 pounds, but Max Meyer may be the best power pitcher in this draft. Not only does his fastball peak at 100 MPH, but his wipeout slider is up there with Asa Lacy’s for the best overall pitch in this draft, and he’ll be a strikeout guru at the next level. Even with those durability concerns, he’s a very athletic player with good command, so I see him as a long-term frontline starter, especially with the way pitchers are used in today’s game.
#2: OF Zac Veen, HS (Overall Grade: 60.8775) (Previous Rank: 6)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 5th; MLB Pipeline- 7th
Rated as the top high-school player in this year’s draft, Zac Veen is everything you’d want from a top-five pick out of high school. As you’d guess from his 6’4” frame, he has plenty of raw power in his projectable swing, which will only be utilized more with a change with his stance. That’s not all he offers, however, as he’s advanced in terms of plate recognition, profiling as an all-around offensive contributor. Furthermore, even if he doesn’t stick in center field, he’ll be an above-average corner outfielder. Simply put, he’s the perfect combination of a high floor and enormous ceiling.
#3: RHP Emerson Hancock, Georgia (Overall Grade: 59.890625) (Previous Rank: 1)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 4th; MLB Pipeline- 4th
What’s there not to like about Emerson Hanock? The Georgia right-hander has all the tools one can hope for; his fastball reaches 98-99 MPH with late life, his slider is electric, and his changeup is also an above-average pitch. Furthermore, he’s also a strike thrower, and although he didn’t post the highest strikeout rates in college, should learn to use his pitches better with a modern-thinking organization. He’s your prototypical ace.
#4: CF/3B Austin Martin, Vanderbilt (Overall Grade: 59.7373375) (Previous Rank: 2)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 3rd; MLB Pipeline- 2nd
If there are two skills that are needed from a high-level player in today’s game, it’s on-base ability and defensive versatility. Not only does Austin Martin have the best on-base skills in this class with his excellent plate recognition, he’s a pure hitter with electric bat speed that allows him to generate more than enough power. Meanwhile, he’s a very capable defender at shortstop, third base, and center field, though the latter is likely to be his main position. We’re talking about a player with the upside of Mookie Betts.
#5: 1B Spencer Torkelson, Arizona State (Overall Grade: 58.7852)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 1st; MLB Pipeline- 1st
If you were a fan of Andrew Vaughn in last year’s draft, the chances are that you’re really going to like Spencer Torkelson. “Tork” has posted an on-base percentage of .440 or higher in each of his college seasons at Arizona State, performed well in the Cape Cod league, and has all the tools you’re looking for in a first baseman. Between his excellent plate discipline, superb raw power, and a smooth swing with elite bat speed, his offensive upside is enormous. Unfortunately, he just happens to play one of the more de-valued positions in today’s game.
#6: LHP Asa Lacy, Texas A&M (Overall Grade: 58.304375) (Previous Rank: 4)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 2nd; MLB Pipeline- 3rd
One of the fastest rising prospects in this year’s draft, Asa Lacy’s elite four-pitch mix will excite a lot of teams. His slider is borderline unhittable, and with a rising fastball that sits around 96 MPH, the Blake Snell comparisons are legitimate. However, his 4.4 BB/9 in 2019 was concerning, as he hasn’t proven he can consistently command his pitches.
#7: 2B Nick Gonzales, New Mexico State (Overall Grade: 57.265675) (Previous Rank: 11)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 6th; MLB Pipeline- 5th
In a class full of college standouts, Nick Gonzales shouldn’t be lost in the mix. Sure, his offensive production may have been inflated playing at New Mexico State, but with a .451 on-base percentage in the Cape Cod League, he’s the real deal. Offensively, he’s not a super powerful hitter, but if he’ll be at least an average in that department, it will play at second base. Furthermore, he has elite bat-to-ball skills, projecting as one of the better hitting second basemen, assuming he can correct a slight hitch in his swing. Now, he’s not a great defender at second base, but he’s not a liability, and with his offense, that’s all he needs to be. He’s very similar to Keston Hiura, who went 9th overall to the Brewers in the 2017 draft.
#8: RHP Mick Abel, HS (Overall Grade: 56.958125) (Previous Rank: 5)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 9th; MLB Pipeline- 11th
The Oregon State Beavers have produced a top-five pick in each of the past two drafts, and although they won’t have another one this season, a pitcher that’s committed there is a dark horse candidate to accomplish that same feat. Mick Abel, with his prototypical lean 6’5” frame, is a very intriguing prep pitching prospect. His fastball, which already sits in the mid-90s, has very nice sinking movement and his changeup is developing. However, it’s his slider that’s his best pitch, and even better, he’s an athletic player who commands all his pitches well. If concerns over a dip in his velocity from last year are cleared up, he’s a player that teams should see as a potential ace.
#9: C/3B Tyler Soderstrom, HS (Overall Grade: 56.9364) (Previous Rank: 12)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 21st; MLB Pipeline- 19th
Patrick Bailey is the catcher that is garnering most of the hype right now, but in my opinion, Tyler Soderstrom is the one I’d draft. He currently projects as a below-average defender behind the plate, but as a catcher, that’s okay, considering his offensive profile. He has a smooth swing with a sound approach and some raw power, and even though his defense isn’t good at the moment, he’s athletic enough to improve. Coming out of high school, the UCLA commit’s upside is through the roof, and considering the demand for young catchers, teams should covet him.
#10: RHP Nick Bitsko, HS (Overall Grade: 56.82) (Previous Rank: 10)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 16th; MLB Pipeline- 14th
In a very smart move, right-hander Nick Bitsko reclassified from the 2021 draft, where he would’ve been one of the oldest prep prospects, to the 2020 draft, where his youth will appeal to teams. From Pennsylvania, he has a rare build at 6’4” and 220 pounds, and even though he doesn’t have much more projection, his current tools are off the charts. Not only does his fastball sit in the mid-90s, but it runs into righties tremendously, while his curveball is as sharp as it gets. He doesn’t have the plus changeup that Mick Abel has, but with that two-pitch mix and solid command, he’s in the running to be the first high-school pitcher selected.
#11: RHP Jared Kelley, HS (Overall Grade: 56.8) (Previous Rank: 8)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 20th; MLB Pipeline- 12th
The race to be the top high school pitcher in this draft class is a steep one, and Jared Kelly ranks near the top of that list. He’s not your typical prep pitcher, as with his feel for pitching, easy fastball velocity, and advanced changeup, he’s more of a safe projection to the next level. That doesn’t mean he’s flawless, however, as his curveball isn’t much of an offering, and it’s unclear if he’ll be able to add spin to it. Still, with that fastball-changeup combination, I think he’ll slot in for a team as their #2 starter at a quicker pace than your traditional high school pitcher.
#12: LHP Garrett Crochet, Tennessee (Overall Grade: 56.499375) (Previous Rank: 9)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 23th; MLB Pipeline- 18th
Once upon a time, Andrew Miller was the 6th overall pick in the 2006 draft. 14 years later, his clone is in position to be a first-round pick, but is Garrett Crochet getting enough recognition? Any pitcher who has a 100 MPH fastball, filthy curveball, and solid changeup is impressive, especially since he also has passable command. Now, there are some minor injury concerns, but if that gets cleared, then there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be right up there with Asa Lasy as the top college lefty. Miller didn’t last as a starter, but that doesn’t mean Crochett can’t be an ace.
#13: LHP Reid Detmers, Louisville (Overall Grade: 55.866875) (Previous Rank: 16)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 10th; MLB Pipeline- 8th
Unlike some of the other college pitchers in this draft, Reid Detmers’ production isn’t in question. With a 5.06 K-BB ratio and 2.78 ERA, he was the leader of the Louisville staff. However, he also doesn’t have the tools that Cavalli has; his fastball sits in the low 90s and is an average pitch, and although his curveball is a nice pitch, it’s almost too slow of an offering to translate to the next level. Sure, he possesses solid command, but right now, he almost strictly relies on the curveball. He could be a #3 or #4 starter at the next level, but I’m not sure he’s going to be much more than that.
#14: C Patrick Bailey, NC State (Overall Grade: 55.838775) (Previous Rank: 41)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 12th; MLB Pipeline- 17th
At this time last year, Patrick Bailey was getting hype as a potential top-five pick. It doesn’t appear that’s in his future, but still, the NC State product is an intriguing catching prospect. While he’s not great offensively, he’s a switch hitter with solid plate discipline and raw power, while the reviews of his defense have been adequate. He’s not a flashy prospect, but given how badly teams need young catchers, he still should be a high pick in this year’s draft.
#15: RHP Bryce Jarvis, Duke (Overall Grade: 55.815) (Previous Rank: 13)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 24th; MLB Pipeline- 25th
Marcus Stroman is the only Duke product to be a first-round pick, but this year, he may no longer be able to hold that title. With his feel for pitching, mound demeanor, and athleticism, Blake Jarvis is actually a similar pitcher to Stroman. He isn’t going to blow you away, but he added fastball velocity and now sits around 94 MPH and his breaking ball is improving, while his changeup is clearly his go-to pitch. In fact, he was dominating with a 40/2 K/BB ratio before play was shut down, and could’ve seen his stock rise more. Any team that takes him will have to overlook his subpar walk rates from the seasons prior, but it appears that Jarvis did enough in his four starts this season to prove to teams that he can be an effective #3 starters.
#16: RHP Cole Wilcox, Georgia (Overall Grade: 55.24875) (Previous Rank: 14)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 18th; MLB Pipeline- 23rd
He was expected to be a high pick in the 2018 draft, but Cole Wilcox opted to honor his commitment to the University of Georgia, and now enters the 2020 draft as a draft-eligible sophomore. The COVID-19 situation actually impacts Wilcox greatly, as he worked out of the bullpen in 2019, and was going to get a chance to be a starter for the Bulldogs this season. In the 23 innings he pitched before the shutdown, he was stellar, but is it enough to convince teams? Even with his command and durability concerns, he has a very solid three-pitch mix, and with some development, he can refine his fastball to the point where it won’t be prone to get hit as hard. Personally, I feel like durability concerns are overblown for most pitching prospects in today’s games, and if you want to take a shot on a pitcher with tons of “pure stuff”, then Wilcox could be your guy.
#17: C Kevin Parada, HS (Overall Grade: 55.10095) (Previous Rank: 20)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 68th, MLB Pipeline- 48th
High school catcher alert! Obviously, they’re always risky, yet you always need to take a chance on them, as the potential reward could be extraordinary. Kevin Parada’s contact skills and strength give him a very solid offensive profile, especially for a catcher, and to his credit, he’s a strong-armed catcher who should stick at the position. He’s not getting the same recognition as some of the other catcher prospects, but he has a very high ceiling.
#18: SS Ed Howard, HS (Overall Grade: 55.0712325) (Previous Rank: 21)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 11th; MLB Pipeline- 15th
One of key players on the Chicago team in the 2014 College World Series, Ed Howard has been on the national radar since he was 12-years-old, and now, will be a very high draft pick. He’s cited as a defensive-minded shortstop, and to his credit, his potential in that regard is very strong. Yet, I wouldn’t count out his offense, as with his 6’2” frame and tremendous bat speed, I think there’s more power than he can tap into than he’s currently showing, while his approach at the plate is fine. You’d prefer if he had faced superior competition, but he’s worth gambling on.
#19: RHP Masyn Winn, HS (Overall Grade: 54.91) (Previous Rank: 26)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 39th; MLB Pipeline- 54th
If it weren’t for his size, Mason Wynn could be a top-ten pick in this year’s draft. He’s a two-way player, but his future appears to be on the mound, where he complements a high spin, mid-90s fastball with a very sharp breaking ball. Now, there are some concerns regarding the effort he has to put in his delivery, but then again, starting pitchers don’t have to be workhorses today. I’d bet on his potential, and I wouldn’t be surprised if a creative team like the Rays covets him early.
#20: RHP CJ Van Eyk, Florida State (Overall Grade: 54.896375) (Previous Rank: 15)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 31st; MLB Pipeline- 39th
When evaluating prospects, teams need to balance tools with consistency. CJ Van Eyk will be an interesting case study for teams, as his three-pitch mix can be electric, but overall, he’s very inconsistent. That three-pitch mix, which includes a power curveball, sinking changeup, and mid-90s fastball, gives him some potential as a strikeout pitcher, but due to the shutdown, he wasn’t able to prove that he can consistently command his pitches. I like his potential enough for me to feel comfortable taking in the first round, but he’ll be a player that different teams have completely different evaluations on.
#21: RHP Cade Cavalli, Oklahoma (Overall Grade: 54.845) (Previous Rank: 19)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 16th; MLB Pipeline- 22nd
With his 6’4” frame and clean delivery, Cade Cavalli is a right-handed pitcher who is going to fascinate a lot of teams. His fastball and slider are clear plus pitches, and with his athleticism, he’s definitely a long-term starter. However, his delivery has no sort of deception whatsoever, and perhaps most concerning, he struggles to command his pitches- he had a 5.2 BB/9 and just a 8.8 K/9 at Louisville, and can get hit hard when he mislocated. The tools are there for a team to take a chance on him, but whoever takes him needs to be confident in their ability to develop pitchers, as he doesn’t have a track record of production.
#22: RHP Justin Lange, HS (Overall Grade: 54.78875) (Previous Rank: 25)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 36th: MLB Pipeline- 57th
A high-school pitcher who can touch 100 MPH? Frankly, it’s shocking that Justin Lange hasn’t gotten more recognition to this point. Sure, he has some command concerns and needs a third changeup, but he’s only 18-years-old, so those shouldn’t be stopping a team from taking him. Now, his fastball velocity is both inconsistent and doesn’t move as well at higher velocities, so he’s kind of an unknown, but the pay-off could be huge.
#23: CF Pete Crow-Armstrong, HS (Overall Grade: 54.723275) (Previous Rank: 43)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 26th; MLB Pipeline- 20th
Five-tool high school prospects are rare to come by, but that’s what Pete Crow-Armstrong has the potential to be. With a super quick, smooth swing, along with a solid approach, I think he’ll be able to get on base at an above-average rate, while his defense in center field is off the charts. The question for him will be if he can mature and hit for more power, but even if he doesn’t, his on-base/defense combination in center field is quite intriguing.
#24: RHP Cole Henry, LSU (Overall Grade: 54.643125) (Previous Rank: 33)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 66th; MLB Pipeline- 45th
Coming out of high school, Cole Henry was seen as a reliever, but instead went to LSU. With some mechanical changes, he now has the look of a future starter, though he’ll have to answer some concerns about some injuries he suffered last year. Overall, Henry’s fastball-curveball combination is really nice, while his changeup and command have developed admirably. He’s a perfect example of why you shouldn’t project high-schoolers to be relievers, and he’ll be a solid middle-of-the-rotation starter for whoever drafts him.
#25: RHP Christian Roa, Texas A&M (Overall Grade: 54.625) (Previous Rank: 35)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 34th; MLB Pipeline- 90th
Asa Lacy is the pitcher from Texas A&M who garners all the attention, but Christian Roa is also an intriguing arm. He’s got a nice curveball and a sinking changeup, and at his best, his fastball sits in the mid-90s. Now, his velocity and movement on the fastball can be inconsistent, but he’s a pretty well-rounded pitcher, and if some of those velocity fluctuation concerns can be settled, he’s a future #3 or #4 starter.
#26: RHP Bobby Miller, Louisville (Overall Grade: 54.5475) (Previous Rank: 17)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 28th; MLB Pipeline- 26th
He may have been overshadowed by some of the other talented pitchers at Louisville, but honestly, Bobby Miller may be the best of the “big three” at the university. His fastball sits in the upper-90s with plenty of movement, while his slider is almost like a cutter with how sharp it is- per MLB Pipeline, his stuff lasts late into games. He’ll need to continue to refine his command and develop a third pitch, but unlike some outlets, I think that teams should develop him as a starting pitcher.
#27: RHP Carmen Mlodzinski, South Carolina (Overall Grade: 54.514375) (Previous Rank: 22)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 46th; MLB Pipeline- 21st
He hasn’t pitched a lot, but Carmen Mlodzinski has probably shown enough during his time at the University of South Carolina to be a first-round pick. I’m in love with his sinking fastball, which can have devastating movement, while he doesn’t have a clear weakness. Now, he’ll need to continue to work on his breaking ball and changeup, but since he hasn’t pitched a ton, his development curve could be even greater.
#28: CF Robert Hassell, HS (Overall Grade: 54.5143375) (Previous Rank: 31)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 15th; MLB Pipeline- 16th
Every year, there’s at least one high-school prospect that has way too polished of offensive skills to comprehend. This year, it’s Robert Hassell, who may have the most beautiful swing in this draft. It’s super quick and short, and with his approach, he’ll get on base a lot and hit for close to average power. Furthermore, he probably can stick in center field and be an average defender, which is fine with his offense. He won’t be a star, but he’s rather safe for a prep prospect.
#29: RHP Clayton Beeter, Texas Tech (Overall Grade: 54.48) (Previous Rank: 56)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 19th; MLB Pipeline- 51st
Based off of pure talent alone, Clayton Beeter may be one of the top pitchers in this draft. His high-90s fastball and power slider are two dominant pitches, while he was excellent as a starter this season in four starts. At the same time, he’s already had two elbow operations, including Tommy John surgery in 2019, and his durability and command red flags could cause a team to put him in a bullpen. However, if I’m a team, I’m viewing him as a lottery ticket as a starting pitcher.
#30: RHP Carson Montgomery, HS (Overall Grade: 54.458125) (Previous Rank: 18)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 30th; MLB Pipeline- 34th
Young, athletic, with a clean delivery? Carson Montgomery has many traits that teams dream of for a high-school pitcher. I really like the potential with his mid-90s fastball and breaking ball, and he’s shown flashes of having a solid changeup. Similar to Quinn Priester last year, he’s not a super exciting prospect, but doesn’t have a major weakness.
#31: C Drew Romo, HS (Overall Grade: 54.4466) (Previous Rank: 45)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 52nd; MLB Pipeline- 35th
High-school catchers may be the most interesting type of prospect for teams to evaluate, especially in a year where the consensus top two are polar-opposites. Whereas Tyler Soderstrom is an athletic player who needs to learn the position, that won’t be an issue for Drew Romo. Even as an 18-year-old, his defensive skills are extremely advanced, and thus give him a high floor. Whether he produces enough offensively will be the question, but he’s a switch hitter with a good feel for hitting and power that can hopefully develop to be average. I prefer Soderstrom’s intriguing potential, but Romo could be the answer for teams that have struggled to acquire a young catcher.
#32: RHP Ian Bedell, Missouri (Overall Grade: 54.2425) (Previous Rank: 27)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 100th; MLB Pipeline- 89th
Last draft, TJ Sikemma was a surprise early pick for the Yankees coming out of Missouri, and Ian Bedell will look to undergo the same fate this year. He doesn’t have an elite pitch, but he has four pitches that project to be above-average, including multiple fastballs, two breaking balls, and a sinking changeup. He’s not an electric player, but he definitely is a high floor middle-of-the-rotation starter.
#33: C Dillon Dingler, Ohio State (Overall Grade: 54.18605) (Previous Rank: 28)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 29th; MLB Pipeline- 24th
It’s pretty common for catcher to move to the outfield, but in Dillon Dingler’s case, he made the opposite swap. His athleticism does play really well behind the plate, though, as he’s a plus defender with a cannon of an arm, with the offensive upside to match it. He wasn’t overly productive in terms of power output in high school, but he’s a very disciplined hitter, offering the two-way potential that’s rare at the catcher position. He may have the best chance of anyone in this draft to be an everyday catcher in the MLB.
#34: CF Garrett Mitchell, UCLA (Overall Grade: 54.1253375) (Previous Rank: 38)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 14th; MLB Pipeline- 6th
Coming out of high school, Garrett Mitchell was rumored to be a potential first-round pick, but instead, he ended up going to UCLA. At UCLA, he broke onto the scene in his sophomore season, posting a .984 OPS. If he’s going to tap into his power, Mitchell is going to need to change his chance, as he has more of a gap approach; his on-base tools, meanwhile, are fine, but he’s not going to be an offensive superstar. At the same time, he’s a superb athlete with tons of potential with his glove in center field, and if he develops there, he’ll be a valuable player at an important position. He won’t be a star most likely, but he has a very high floor.
#35: RHP Cade Horton, HS (Overall Grade: 53.9025) (Previous Rank: 34)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 74th; MLB Pipeline- 47th
Two-way players are intriguing, but how about a two-way, two-sport athlete? Cade Horton is currently committed to play quarterback at the University of Oklahoma, but is also a solid pitcher and shortstop. If he plays his baseball, his future appears to be on the mound, as he’s an athletic player with a mid-90s fastball, advanced changeup, and decent breaking ball. If he commits to one sport and one position, he could progress rapidly in a team’s farm system.
#36: RHP Chris McMahon, Miami (Overall Grade: 53.895) (Previous Rank: 24)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 47th; MLB Pipeline- 24th
Another standard college pitcher in this year’s draft, Chris McMahon’s best strength may be his lack of a clear weakness. He’ll need to work on more breaking ball consistency, but he shows good feel for a changeup, and is able to manipulate the movement of a mid-90s fastball. He was off to a hot start this season, and if the season continued, he may have been able to solidify himself as a definite first-round pick.
#37: OF Daniel Cabrera, LSU (Overall Grade: 53.8235) (Previous Rank: 64)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 38th; MLB Pipeline- 38th
Stocky corner outfielders never will be super appealing, but Daniel Cabrera has some intriguing offensive skills. His power hasn’t shown up like you’d expect, but he’s cited for having a strong approach at the plate, and he has one of the smoothest swings in this draft class. He projects as an average defender in right field who relies on his on-base ability to drive his value, which is concerning, but he’s got a pretty high floor.
#38: RHP Ryan Hagenow, HS (Overall Grade: 53.775) (Previous Rank: 44)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 110th; MLB Pipeline- 69th
One of the more underrated prep arms in this year’s class, Ryan Hagenow really should be getting more recognition. His fastball sits around 93 MPH with room to add velocity, his slider and changeup are advanced, and his command is excellent considering he uses a crossfire delivery. There’s some projection needed with him, but when it’s all said and done, he could be a tremendous value pick if teams can sign him away from commitment to Kentucky.
#39: RHP Markevian Hence, HS (Overall Grade: 53.764375) (Previous Rank: 37)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 76th; MLB Pipeline- 85th
He may be only 6’1”, but Markevian Hence has as much talent as some of the more projectable prep pitchers in this year’s draft. His fastball velocity is still growing, but he’s in the mid-90s with a breaking ball that flashes as a plus pitch, while his changeup and command are coming along. Add in his athleticism and youth (won’t turn 18 until August), and he’s a developmental project that a team like the Indians may covet.
#40: RHP Tanner Witt, HS (Overall Grade: 53.76) (Previous Rank: 23)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 48th; MLB Pipeline- 53rd
Of the prospects that I’m higher on than most, Tanner Witt definitely stands out. Not only is he projectable at 6’6”, but his mid-90s fastball has great riding action and spin rates, and his curveball flashes plus more often than not. He’ll need time to develop, but he’s your standard high school pitching prospect.
#41: RHP Alex Santos, HS (Overall Grade: 53.76) (Previous Rank: 29)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 75th; MLB Pipeline- 56th
Tall, long limbs, and with room to add strength? To that end, Alex Santos is the ideal high school pitching prospect, as he has a nice moving fastball and spins a slider with good depth, and his stuff could get better as he builds muscle. It’s always risky to gamble on someone who isn’t polished at all and is more a future play, but for a team with a good track record of developing pitchers, he could grow into a very solid pitcher.
#42: 3B Jordan Walker, HS (Overall Grade: 53.7544075) (Previous Rank: 46)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 44th; MLB Pipeline- 33rd
There are some prospects in this draft that you want to dream on, and Jordan Walker is one of those prospects. He’s a third baseman with tons of power, but he’s not just a one-trick pony. Not only does he have decent pure-hitting ability, but he has shown the ability to make adjustments with his plate recognition, per multiple outlets, and his athleticism should allow him to grow defensively. He’s a low floor/high ceiling prospect, but I would take a chance on him.
#43: SS Freddy Zamora, Miami (Overall Grade: 53.75) (Previous Rank: 68)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 35th; MLB Pipeline- 101st
There are a lot of college shortstops in this draft class, but one that is interesting is Miami’s Freddy Zamora. He’s a very smooth defender at shortstop with good contact skills, but between some makeup concerns and a lack of impact power, he could fall in the draft. Still, he could be an everyday shortstop, so I wouldn’t be shocked if he’s selected in the first round.
#44: 2B Justin Foscue, Mississippi State (Overall Grade: 53.6665) (Previous Rank: 72)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 27th; MLB Pipeline- 32nd
The Mississippi State baseball team has enjoyed a lot of success in recent seasons, and one of the reasons is why is Justin Foscue, who had a .395 on-base percentage for them in 2019. Foscue doesn’t have a standout tool, but he also doesn’t have a weakness. He’s not a great athlete, but provides decent enough value offensively at second base, and could be a utility player. He looks like a carbon copy of Will Wilson, whom the Angels drafted with the 15th overall pick last year.
#45: LHP Jared Shuster, Wake Forest (Overall Grade: 53.66125) (Previous Rank: 32)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 72nd; MLB Pipeline- 78th
Another college lefty in this draft who is going under the radar, Jared Shuster struggled at the beginning of his college career, but between his performance at the Cape Cod and four starts before the shutdown, he has definitely improved his stock. His fastball sits in the mid-90s with really got riding action away from righties, and although his slider needs work, his changeup is a nice pitch. He’s not a flashy prospect, but as he continues to refine his command, he’ll be a very solid pitcher for whoever drafts him.
#46: RHP Landon Knack, East Tennessee State (Overall Grade: 53.48125) (Previous Rank: 49)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 116th; MLB Pipeline- 113th
If it wasn’t for the fact that he’s already 23-years-old, or may end up in the bullpen, Landon Knack could seriously be a first-round pick. Unfortunately, his stuff didn’t “tick up” until his four starts this season, but with a mid-90s fastball, sinking changeup, and decent slider, he’s got the goods to potentially stick in the rotation, though he may be developed as a reliever to get him to the MLB quicker. Regardless, if I were to take him, I’d commit to having him in the rotation full-time.
#47: RHP JT Ginn, Mississippi State (Overall Grade: 53.461875) (Previous Rank: 59)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 25th; MLB Pipeline- 44th
Drafted with the 30th overall pick by the Dodgers in the 2018 draft, JT Ginn made the tough decision to attend college, and now enters the draft as a draft-eligible sophomore. After undergoing Tommy John surgery, it’s unclear if he’ll get picked high enough for him to consider signing, but he should be. He’s got a really solid three-pitch mix with a power slider, and overall, his control is fine. There are some durability concerns, especially at his size (lean 6’2”), but I like his upside as a strikeout-inducing starting pitcher.
#48: RHP Cam Brown, HS (Overall Grade: 53.385) (Previous Rank: 39)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 62nd; MLB Pipeline- 61st
He’s not an overly exciting prospect, but Cameron Brown feels like a relatively safe high-school pitching prospect. His fastball sits in the mid-90s with some movement, his slider has developed nicely, and he’s worked on his changeup. He doesn’t have a standout tool, but he projects as a solid middle-of-the-rotation starter.
#49: OF Heston Kjerstad, Arkansas (Overall Grade: 53.3265) (Previous Rank: 48)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 7th; MLB Pipeline- 10th
He may not be the most conventional player, but corner outfielder Heston Kjerstad has been super productive at Arkansas, and thus may be a top-ten pick. However, I’m not sure I’m quite on board. Even in college, his walk and strikeout rates were suboptimal, and overall, he’ll only be average in terms of getting on base. Sure, he has a lot of power, but is it enough for him to stick out. The bar is very high for a corner outfielder to produce offensively, and with some of his swing-and-miss concerns, I’m not sure Kjerstad, who isn’t even a great defender in left or right field, will provide value as a top-ten pick; he’s very similar to Hunter Bishop, whom the Giants selected 10th overall last season.
#50: C Jackson Miller, HS (Overall Grade: 53.2655) (Previous Rank: 50)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 122nd; MLB Pipeline- 105th
What am I missing? Jackson MIller is a risky prospect, as are all high school catchers, but teams should do whatever it takes to sway him from his commitment to the University of Wake Forest. He’s an advanced hitter with the strength to hit for power, and as a catcher, could be an above-average offensive producer. Even better, his athleticism should allow him to stick behind the plate, and should be an average defender there. Being average all around is so valuable at the catcher position, and if Miller makes good on his potential, he’ll be a top-ten catcher. It’s such a thin position, and consequently, teams should constantly take shots on young catchers.
#51: RHP Hunter Barnhart, HS (Overall Grade: 53.12375) (Previous Rank: 36)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 85th; MLB Pipeline- 136th
There are so many projectable prep pitchers in this draft class, and obviously, not all will sign. Hunter Barnhart is another intriguing arm, as he’s an athletic player, and as a former two-sport athlete, he could progress quicker than normal as he sticks to one sport. Whoever takes him will have to keep him away from his commitment to Arizona State, but he has a nice fastball and can really spin his curveball, and has all the tools you’re looking for from a pitcher his age.
#52: LHP Dax Fulton, HS (Overall Grade: 53.079375) (Previous Rank: 54)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 43rd; MLB Pipeline- 43rd
When you’re a pitcher with a commitment to Vanderbilt, not only are you usually worthy of first-round recognition, but a team who wants to sign you is going to have to pay up. That’s the case with Dax Fulton, who is definitely an underrated high school pitcher. He had to undergo Tommy John surgery last September, but he’s a very projectable 6’6” lefty with a solid fastball and looping breaking ball, while I like his changeup as well. He’s very similar to lefty Blake Walston, whom Arizona selected in the first round last year, and is everything you want as a developmental prep pitcher.
#53: LHP Nick Griffin, HS (Overall Grade: 53.01) (Previous Rank: 30)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 83rd; MLB Pipeline- 139th
Unlike his teammate Markevian Hence, Nick Griffin is a more unknown name in draft circles, as he’s not as talented of a player at the moment. At the same time, he’s much more projectable as a 6’4” lefty, and he can really spin a curveball- his fastball velocity is in the low 90s and is getting better. Add in that he won’t turn 18 until June, and he’s another intriguing prep pitcher.
#54: RHP Kyle Nicolas, Ball State (Overall Grade: 52.91375) (Previous Rank: 40)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 53rd; MLB Pipeline- 60th
Sometimes, teams need to take a risk on a pitcher who may be a reliever, simply because their potential is so enormous if they can remain a starting pitcher. With an excellent fastball-breaking ball combination, Kyle Nicolas is a strikeout pitcher that should intrigue teams. His command and changeup need development, but there’s no excess effort in his delivery, nor is he undersized; all he has to do is make general progressions and he could be a starter. He’s risky, but if the pay-off is so huge, how much does that matter?
#55: RHP Ben Hernandez, HS (Overall Grade: 52.91125) (Previous Rank: 47)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 115th; MLB Pipeline- 73rd
It’s rare for a high school pitcher to live off of their changeup, but that’s the case with Ben Hernandez, who flashes a 60-grade fading changeup. For what it’s worth, he does command his pitches well, but without much projection remaining, he’s not the most exciting of prospects. Still, based off of that changeup and his command, he could be in an MLB rotation one day.
#56: RHP Tanner Burns, Auburn (Overall Grade: 52.89125) (Previous Rank: 66)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 67th; MLB Pipeline- 28th
The Auburn Tigers have produced a lot of pitchers in recent years, and Tanner Burns is their latest potential first-round pick. He’s got a nice three-pitch mix with a mid-90s fastball, decent slurve, and improving changeup, and posted high strikeout rates during his sophomore year and limited time this season. However, he’ll have to answer some durability concerns, as he’s an undersized righty who, per MLB Pipeline, is prone to seeing his skills diminish throughout the year, and he dealt with shoulder issues last season.
#57: RHP Slade Cecconi, Miami (Overall Grade: 52.87625) (Previous Rank: 55)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 22th; MLB Pipeline- 31st
Similarly to Cole Wilcox, Slade Cecconi could’ve been a high pick in the 2018 draft out of high school, but he now enters the draft as a draft-eligible sophomore after heading to the University of Miami. With minor durability concerns, as well as mediocre breaking balls and an average changeup, the driving force behind Cecconi’s success is one pitch: his fastball. It sits in the high-90s with late life, and because of that, teams will believe that they’ll be able to develop into a successful starting pitcher.
#58: RHP Connor Phillips, McLennan JC- TX (Overall Grade: 52.79125) (Previous Rank: 57)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 87th; MLB Pipeline- 95th
Sometimes, players can go to junior college out of high school, as it allows them to be draft-eligible as a freshman. That’s the case with Connor Phillips, who passed on his commitment to LSU to go to Magnolia West Community College, and now, it’ll be interesting to see if he signs. Just 19-years-old, there’s some room for projection with his mid-90s fastball and solid curveball. However, he has a lot of effort in his delivery, has inconsistent command, and doesn’t really stand out. He’s an interesting prospect, but not in this loaded group of young pitching talent.
#59: RHP Trenton Denholm, UC Irvine (Overall Grade: 52.755) (Previous Rank: 58)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 118th; MLB Pipeline- 129th
He’s someone that will fall into the draft because he’s only 5’11” and throws in the low-90s, but Trent Denholm is a pitcher who could one day be in the majors. His control and pitchability are off the charts, and even better, he didn’t allow a run in his two stints in the Cape Cod league. He’s never going to blow hitters away, but he’s a rare quality finesse pitcher.
#60: LHP Timmy Manning, HS (Overall Grade: 52.72625) (Previous Rank: 62)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 139th; MLB Pipeline- 144th
Your flashback “pitchability lefty”, Timmy Manning’s low-90s fastball isn’t very exciting, but with an excellent spinning curveball and a decent changeup, he has enough to work with. That’s especially true considering his advanced command pitchability, and if he can get some velocity with more development, his ceiling could be raised. Most likely, he goes to the University of Florida to improve his stock, but teams always fall for projectable lefties.
#61: SS Anthony Servideo, Ole Miss (Overall Grade: 52.688755) (Previous Rank: 97)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 59th; MLB Pipeline- 111th
A backup until the limited games he played this year, Anthony Servideo actually may be a better player than the shortstop who played ahead of him, Grae Kessinger, who got selected by the Astros in the second round. The Ole Miss product’s defense at shortstop is definitely above average, and additionally, his on-base skills are solid. He’ll need to hit for more power and consistent contact, but I’m confident he can be a big leaguer.
#62: CF Isaiah Greene, HS (Overall Grade: 52.684925) (Previous Rank: 63)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 141st; MLB Pipeline- 62nd
Missouri’s baseball team has taken a hit in recent years, as players like Kameron Misner, TJ Sikkema, and now Ian Bedell have moved on to professional baseball in the past couple years. Therefore, they have to be hoping that Isaiah Greene slips to them, as he’s the main recruit. He’s not as well-regarded as some of the other prep outfielders, but with his athleticism and feel for fit, I really like his skillset. He’ll need a swing overhaul to hit for more power, but if that’s the one criticism in his game, who cares? If I were a team, I’d be doing what it took to prevent the center fielder from Corona High School from making it to Mizzou.
#63: RHP Tommy Mace, Florida (Overall Grade: 52.55625) (Previous Rank: 60)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 49th; MLB Pipeline- 70th
Florida’s high-end pitching talent has disappeared in recent years, as they’ve been drafted, and this year, Tommy Mace was expected to be their top starter. With his 6’6” frame, he’s a pitcher teams want to bet on, but should they? He doesn’t really have a true “out” pitch, nor did he strike hitters out in college. Obviously, he has room to grow, but in a deep pitching class, he could fall.
#64: OF Austin Hendrick, HS (Overall Grade: 52.5295) (Previous Rank: 70)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 13th; MLB Pipeline- 13th
With his lefty power and projectable frame, Austin Hendrick is going to get a lot of Cody Bellinger comparisons, and his upside is tremendous. However, the Mississippi State commit has a long way to go before reaching that potential. With a very funky swing, there are a lot of whiff concerns in his offensive profile, and as a corner outfielder with average athleticism, the pressure of his bat to carry his value is worrisome. He’s a boom-or-bust prospect, but I’m not sure I want to be the team that takes that risk.
#65: 1B Austin Wells, Arizona (Overall Grade: 52.5237) (Previous Rank: 81)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 40th; MLB Pipeline- 27th
Can he stick at catcher? That’ll be the question surrounding Austin Wells, who is a fringy receiver and may need to make a Kyle Schwarber-like transition to either first base or left field. In that case, even though he’s an above-average hitter, he’ll need to grow in that area even further, as he’ll be relying strictly on his bat. If a team feels confident he can be a catcher, then he’s much better than where he’s ranked on this list. However, I have my doubts from what I’ve heard.
#66: RHP Jared Jones, HS (Overall Grade: 52.518125) (Previous Rank: 42)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 84th; MLB Pipeline- 55th
He’s not the biggest of pitchers, but Jared Jones is an absolute power pitcher. His fastball sits in the high-90s with plenty of late rise, while his breaking ball is an absolute hammer. Now, that’s all he really has going for him at the moment, as his changeup is too firm and his command is all over the place, but that’s fine for a prep pitcher. This is someone that I definitely would take a chance on, as the pay-off of him becoming an ace is obviously amazing.
#67: SS Casey Martin, Arkansas (Overall Grade: 52.40955) (Previous Rank: 61)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 41st; MLB Pipeline- 30th
Once seen as one of the top players in this draft, Casey Martin’s stock has slipped a bit as he struggled to deal with injuries. Now, he’s seen more as a fringe first-rounder, which is probably where he should be. He’s an amazing athlete that covers a lot of ground at shortstop and can probably play center field, but it’ll be the development of his offense that determines his ceiling. Many are skeptical about his on-base skills and power, but most likely, he’ll be average in those regards. Teams that are looking for an accomplished player with some defensive versatility and his athleticism will likely target him, especially contending teams picking at the end of the first round.
#68: SS Carson Tucker, HS (Overall Grade: 52.40955) (Previous Rank: 84)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 56th; MLB Pipeline- 52nd
The brother of Pirates shortstop Cole Tucker, Carson Tucker has seen his stock rise recently, to the point where he’s getting some buzz at the end of the first round. Offensively, he could use some mechanical tweaks, but he’s got quick hands and shows a decent feel for contact, while he has some raw power and is a decent defender at shortstop. He won’t be a star, but it’ll be interesting to see if any team is able to sway him from his commitment to Texas.
#69: 3B Drew Bowser, HS (Overall Grade: 52.398965) (Previous Rank: 79)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 57th; MLB Pipeline- 64th
A teammate of Pete Crow-Armstrong at Harvard Westlake High School, Drew Bowser’s commitment to Stanford could scare teams off, or it could cause them to try hard to acquire his services. Currently listed as a shortstop, he’ll have to move to third base, where his raw power will play, but he needs to make swing changes and has struggled to make consistent contact. I’m not sure I’m on board with him in the first round, but with how teams tend to overvalue power potential, especially at third base, I’m curious to see if he signs or not.
#70: RHP Max Carlson, HS (Overall Grade: 52.39375) (Previous Rank: 74)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 131st; MLB Pipeline- 193rd
The brother of Mariners pitching prospect Sam Carlson, Max Carlson is a less-heralded prospect, as he isn’t the power pitcher that his brother was. His three-pitch mix is fine, but without a chance to prove that his pitches are improving in terms of quality, I’m guessing he ends up attending the University of North Carolina.
#71: LHP Logan Allen, FIU (Overall Grade: 52.365) (Previous Rank: 53)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 73rd; MLB Pipeline- 46th
He’s not a super flashy pitcher, but Logan Allen has been extremely productive at FIU, and may have raised his stock enough to go in the second round. He’s more of a “pitchability” lefty, but with a fading changeup, excellent command, and a passable fastball-breaking ball pairing, he’ll be a useful back-end starter for a team, which is more valuable than taking a position player who won’t be an everyday player or will be a reliever.
#72: SS Alika Williams, Arizona State (Overall Grade: 52.21846) (Previous Rank: 83)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 65th; MLB Pipeline- 40th
If you’re going to stand out as a position player prospect, you usually want to have one 60-grade tool. For Alika Williams, it’s his defense that’s his calling card, as he’s a fundamentally sound player with athletic tools. Now, he’s a lightweight hitter without much power, but as long as he retains his decent on-base skills, he could be a potential everyday shortstop.
#73: RHP Nick Garcia, Chapman (Overall Grade: 52.128125) (Previous Rank: 86)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 134th; MLB Pipeline- 71st
Another pitcher who really needed this season to prove he can be a starter, Nick Garcia has a lot of projection regarding him, as his track record as a starter is very slim. However, with a three-pitch mix and a moving mid-90s fastball, he has some potential. Still, he’s too inconsistent at the moment, and even if his command should develop with more time, it’s not a lock that it does.
#74: CF Zach DeLoach, Texas A&M (Overall Grade: 52.05675) (Previous Rank: 92)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 64th; MLB Pipeline- 80th
He wasn’t very productive during his college career, but I can’t help but be intrigued by Texas A&M outfielder Zach DeLoach. With his patience at the plate and lefty swing, he looks just like Brandon Nimmo for the Mets; someone whose on-base skills are their most important trait, and can stick at center or thrive in a corner outfield spot.
#75: C Corey Collins, HS (Overall Grade: 52.0095) (Previous Rank: 73)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 140th; MLB Pipeline- 65th
A potentially tough player to sign due to his commitment to the University of Georgia, Corey Collins is yet another enticing prep catching prospect in this year’s draft. There’s a lot of swing-and-miss with his offensive profile, but at the same time, he has tons of power for a catcher in his lefty swing, while his defensive is fine. With the right development, he could be an everyday catcher.
#76: LHP Seth Lonsway, Ohio State (Overall Grade: 51.9425) (Previous Rank: 51)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 81st; MLB Pipeline- 50th
Sometimes, you can be a very flawed player, but as long as you have one valuable tool, all else is okay- eliteness over completeness can work. His fastball velocity can sometimes be inconsistent and his command is terrible, but the Ohio State lefty’s curveball has saved him. It’s a true power pitch with exceptional movement, and gives him a high floor as a power pitcher. I hope he lands with the right team, like the Rays, who can develop him into a weapon for them who can be in the rotation and bullpen, but he’s another player worth taking a shot on in this draft.
#77: 1B Aaron Sabato, North Carolina (Overall Grade: 51.874275) (Previous Rank: 67)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 37th; MLB Pipeline- 41st
College first basemen are always not exciting prospects, but Aaron Sabato’s offensive talent is very impressive. As a freshman, he crushed college pitching to the tune of a 1.149 OPS, as he’s a patient hitter with well above-average power and a beautiful swing. As a first baseman that’s below-average defensively, he’ll rely strictly on his bat to provide value, but I think he should be able to.
#78: 2B Hayden Cantrelle, Louisiana Lafayette (Overall Grade: 51.7695) (Previous Rank: 99)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 88th; MLB Pipeline- 119th
There’s been a shortage of second basemen in recent years, but how about a throwback type? With his contact skills and plate discipline, Hayden Cantrelle is your classic top-of-the-order table setter, but he doesn’t hit for much power whatsoever and will be an average defender up the middle. Still, with his hitting ability, he’ll likely be a big leaguer.
#79: LHP Caden Grice, HS (Overall Grade: 51.75625) (Previous Rank: 71)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 133rd; MLB Pipeline- 165th
Considered a two-way prospect, it’s hard to get a read on whether Caden Grice could be drafted as a hitter or pitcher. However, with his below-average athleticism and swing-and-miss issues, I see him much more as a pitcher, where there is a lot of projection left in his 6’6”, 240 pound frame in terms of velocity. Committed to Clemson, it’s also unclear how hard it’ll be to sign him.
#80: OF Jace Bohrofen, HS (Overall Grade: 51.625) (Previous Rank: 77)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 70th; MLB Pipeline- 94th
High-school players who have to be corner outfielders aren’t always as exciting as players at other positions, but with Jace Bohrofen’s pure-hitting skills and raw power, his offensive skill set may be worth taking a chance on. He’s a decent athlete who’ll be stuck in a corner outfield spot, but I love his swing, and he’s a rare “high floor” high school player.
#81: OF Hudson Haskin, Tulane (Overall Grade: 51.594925) (Previous Rank: 78)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 69th; MLB Pipeline- 75th
It’s rare for a college player to be projectable, but that’s the case with Tulane outfielder Hudson Haskin. He’s a good athlete that’ll stick in center field, but he needs to improve his offense, which is centered around a quirky swing. Luckily for him, he’s shown solid plate discipline and some raw power, and he’s a slightly underrated player.
#82: RHP Jack Leftwich, Florida (Overall Grade: 51.533125) (Previous Rank: 76)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 105th; MLB Pipeline- 146th
It’s okay for a high school pitcher to be inconsistent, but the same can’t really be said about college pitchers. That’s the “doom” that Jack Leftwich has dealt with, as he’s a power pitcher at his best with a sharp, downhill slider and mid-90s rising fastball, but unfortunately, he hasn’t been at his best enough in terms of his command and velocity/break. He’s got some potential as a #4 starter, but isn’t as “safe” of a prospect as some of his college contemporaries
#83: RHP Nate Wohlgemuth, HS (Overall Grade: 51.4525) (Previous Rank: 90)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 86th; MLB Pipeline- 179th
He may be only 5’11”, but high-school right hander Nate Wohlgemuth touches the high-90s with his fastball, so he’s getting some buzz ahead of the draft. However, his fastball lacks movement and doesn’t look like a future out pitch, his breaking ball is average, and he lacks physical projection. Currently, he is committed to attend the University of Arkansas.
#84: RHP Jeff Criswell, Michigan (Overall Grade: 51.425) (Previous Rank: 65)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 126th; MLB Pipeline- 58th
Another interesting college arm in this year’s class, Jeff Criswell needed this season to prove he can be a full-time starter, as it remains to be seen if his stuff, specifically his fastball velocity, will maintain in that role. However, he flashes a tremendous three-pitch mix in the bullpen, so he’s worth a risk in the middle rounds as a starter. His main concern, though, is his control, as it’s very inconsistent and he’s posted a walk rate above 4 BB/9 in his two full seasons at Michigan.
#85: LHP Kyle Harrison, HS (Overall Grade: 51.376875) (Previous Rank: 75)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 102nd; MLB Pipeline- 63rd
Pitchers out of high school usually have a lot of upside with athletic tools and tons of room to grow, but that’s not the case with Kyle Harrison. He’s got a great feel for pitching, is deceptive, and commands his three-pitch mix well, but he doesn’t have a true “out pitch”, and thus has limited potential. There’s some appeal with him, considering he could be MLB ready in a couple years when he’s just 20-years-old or so, but he looks like a back-end starter.
#86: SS Nick Loftin, Baylor (Overall Grade: 51.324005) (Previous Rank: 96)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 33rd; MLB Pipeline- 36th
He may not be an exciting prospect, but Nick Loftin may have one of the higher floors in this year’s draft. He’s a contact-oriented hitter, as he struck out in only 6.4% of his plate appearances in 2019 for the Baylor Bears, but he has no power to offer whatsoever, which definitely lowers his ceiling. Yet, with his defense at shortstop, plus the ability to play multiple positions, he’s an intriguing utility player, so teams that covet versatility and want a player who could move up through the minors quickly may target him, perhaps even in the back-end of the first round.
#87: LHP Magdiel Cotto, HS (Overall Grade: 51.28125) (Previous Rank: 80)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 142nd; MLB Pipeline- 190th
Already physically matured, Magdiel Cotto isn’t the projectable prep lefty that teams love, but there’s still a lot to like about him. His secondary pitches need some work, yet he shows a nice feel for a changeup, while he also reaches 94 MPH with his fastball. It’s unclear where he’ll be drafted, or if anyone will keep him away from his commitment to the University of South Carolina.
#88: SS Jordan Westburg, Mississippi State (Overall Grade: 51.07805) (Previous Rank: 100)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 32nd; MLB Pipeline- 37th
Though he looks like a third baseman, Jordan Westburg should be able to stick at shortstop and be an average defender there, as he’s a plus athlete. Furthermore, with his power potential, he’s an intriguing player. Unfortunately, swing-and-miss concerns will likely plague him, and with any other standout tool to combat that, he’s probably a fringe everyday player.
#89: SS Colby Halter, HS (Overall Grade: 51.0615) (Previous Rank: 85)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 106th; MLB Pipeline- 149th
It’s hard to stand out as a high school prospect without a true “plus” tool, which is Colby Hatler’s problem at the current moment. He’s got a good feel for hitting with the ability to play average defense up the middle, but he’s going to be a limited ceiling player, and may choose to go to Florida in hopes of breaking out. With the chance, to be a “50” player across the board, if not better, I’d be willing to sign him at the right price, but I’d be surprised if he didn’t end up at Florida.
#90: LHP Nick Swiney, NC State (Overall Grade: 50.9225) (Previous Rank: 95)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 50th; MLB Pipeline- 79th
Another college pitcher in this class where it’s uncertain if he’ll be a reliever or starter, Nick Swiney should be given every chance to start with a three-pitch mix that includes an above-average curveball and changeup. Still, it’ll come down to the refinement of his command, and if not, his work in the bullpen gives him a somewhat high floor.
#91: RHP Gavin Williams, East Carolina (Overall Grade: 50.920625) (Previous Rank: 109)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 128th; MLB Pipeline- 91st
Another player who may or may not have to be strictly a reliever, teams will give Gavin Williams a chance to start with his three-pitch mix, which includes a high-90s fastball with good movement. However, his inconsistent command, as well as his injuries and lack of track record as a starter, give him a lot of reliever risk, which knocks him down the board slightly.
#92: RHP Kevin Abel, Oregon State (Overall Grade: 50.90875) (Previous Rank: 107)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 121st; MLB Pipeline- 153rd
One of the stars of the 2018 College World Series, Kevin Abel just underwent Tommy John surgery, and may return to Oregon State in order to prove his health. However, with a three-pitch mix, advanced pitchability, and a devastating changeup, he should be an effective #4 starter, so teams may value him on the second day of the draft.
#93: Hugh Fisher, Vanderbilt (Overall Grade: 50.835625) (Previous Rank: 91)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 97th; MLB Pipeline- 154th
After starring in Vanderbilt’s bullpen, Hugh Fisher was going to get a chance to start for them this season, but he had to undergo Tommy John surgery, and thus comes into this draft with a lot of questions. If teams believe in his ability to start, he has the three-pitch mix and enough pitchability to do so. If not, then he’s not worth taking where this ranking would suggest.
#94: OF Trevor Hauver, Arizona State (Overall Grade: 50.8192) (Previous Rank: 89)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 119th; MLB Pipeline- 131st
Simply put, Arizona State had a stacked lineup this season, and Trevor Hauver was one of their main players. He’s not a good athlete, isn’t large in stature, and is extremely limited defensively. However, he has a knack for hitting, as his on-base skills are certainly above-average, while he creates enough loft in his swing to hit for some power. He reminds me a little of Daniel Murphy or Bryan Reynolds as just a strong pure hitter, and he could be a steal in this draft.
#95: RHP Zach McCambley, Coastal Carolina (Overall Grade: 50.77375) (Previous Rank: 87)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 104th; MLB Pipeline- 81st
Usually, my evaluations are pretty consistent with what other outlets have in terms of tool grades, as there usually aren’t any polarizing prospects. Zach McCambley isn’t your typical pitching prospect, however. He has the goods to be a starting pitcher rather than a reliever, but in that role, his stuff plays down, and although his spin rates are excellent, he doesn’t really know how to locate his fastball or curveball- professional hitters could feast on him. There’s some “upside” with this player, but I’d like him much more if he was coming out of high school.
#96: 3B Tyler Keenan, Ole Miss (Overall Grade: 50.61508) (Previous Rank: 93)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 91st; MLB Pipeline- 128th
Power-hitting corner infielders aren’t a valuable prototype, but it’s more enticing when the player can get on base. That’s what Tyler Keenan provides with his excellent ability to draw walks to complement the raw power he has in his lofty swing as a lefty, even though he provides zero defensive value- the draft-eligible Sophomore from Ole Miss will either be a putrid defender at third base or a first baseman.
#97: 3B Yohandy Morales, HS (Overall Grade: 50.57935) (Previous Rank: 104)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 60th; MLB Pipeline- 132nd
Projectable power-hitting third basemen out of high school are always intriguing, especially one with Yohandy Morales’ raw power. However, there’s too much swing-and-miss concerns with a swing that has a lot of flaws, and his defense at the hot corner will only be average. Add in his commitment to the University of Miami, and I probably wouldn’t take him super high in this draft.
#98: 3B Caden Wallace, HS (Overall Grade: 50.57935) (Previous Rank: 103)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 55th; MLB Pipeline- 114th
If all goes well for Arkansas, they’ll have a load of talent coming their way next season. One of those players is third baseman Cayden Wallace, who is an intriguing player with power and athleticism. However, with very unrefined on-base skills and no elite tool, I’m not sure he’ll actually get drafted high enough to forego his college commitment.
#99: SS Milan Tolentino, HS (Overall Grade: 50.56846) (Previous Rank: 108)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 136th; MLB Pipeline- 102nd
More of a “low ceiling” high school shortstop, Milan Tolentino is going to have to sell a team on his overall great feel of the game. He’s got good contact skills and has gold-glove potential defensively at shortstop, but without any sort of power and not enough offensive capabilities, I’m not sure a team will sway him from going to UCLA.
#100: OF Chase Davis, HS (Overall Grade: 50.528) (Previous Rank: 116)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 51st; MLB Pipeline- 84th
With a swing that looks exactly like Carlos Gonzalez’s, as well as some raw power and quick hands, Chase Davis is a player teams could fall in love with, based on his “upside” However, he generates a lot of questions regarding his hit tool, while he’s only an average defender in the corner outfield. There’s a lot of risk with taking him early, and I’m not sure there’s much of a pay-off either.
#101: RHP Nick Frasso, Loyola Marymount (Overall Grade: 50.4975) (Previous Rank: 113)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 120th; MLB Pipeline- 99th
One player who really needed this season to happen is Loyola Marymount’s Nick Frasso. This was going to be his chance to prove he can be a starting pitcher, as he’s athletic, but now, teams may profile him as a reliever. That may be where he’s best, as his pitches play up much better, but nevertheless, his fastball and curveball complement each other well and his control was fine in college.
#102: RHP Victor Mederos, HS (Overall Grade: 50.285) (Previous Rank: 88)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 137th; MLB Pipeline- 100th
Someone who’s dealt with a lot in his life after fleeing Cuba at the age of six, Victor Mederos is a projectable prep righty that’ll be a polarizing player. He flashes three plus pitches in his arsenal, but with a funky delivery and some injury issues, he’s yet to prove that he can have anything greater than 40-grade command. He might be best served to go to the University of Miami, where he could be a future top-15 pick, though a team with a good knack for developing pitchers may prevent that from happening.
#103: RHP Alejandro Rosario, HS (Overall Grade: 50.27) (Previous Rank: 69)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 61st; MLB Pipeline- 72nd
In high school, pitchers can sometimes be more of “throwers” than actual refined pitchers, but that’s okay. Sure, they’re risky, but in Ajeandro Rosario’s case, why wouldn’t you bet on a player with an enticing fastball-splitter combination? After reclassifying into this draft, the 18-year-old has plenty of time to develop his command and breaking ball consistency. Sometimes, teams need to just be more confident in their player development systems, and I’d guess a team like the Indians would be glad to draft Rosario in the first two rounds of this draft.
#104: OF Coby Mayo, HS (Overall Grade: 50.2486) (Previous Rank: 114)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 80th; MLB Pipeline- 133rd
An absolute towering presence at 6’5”, 215 pounds, Coby Mayo’s size and raw power may cause a team to do what it takes to keep him away from his commitment to the University of Florida. However, without a true defensive position and swing-and-miss concerns, he’s really just a one-trick pony. He’s probably best off honoring his college commitment and raising his stock by becoming a more complete player.
#105: SS/RHP Cole Keith, HS (Overall Grade: 50.16585) (Previous Rank: 82)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 117th; MLB Pipeline- 88th
An intriguing two-way prospect in this year’s draft, Cole Keith could legitimately either be an infielder or a pitcher, as his skills are nearly the same as each. As a position player, he has a smooth swing with some untapped power, while, as a pitcher, he has an athletic delivery with a solid fastball-curveball pairing. Currently, he’s committed to the University of Arizona State, and it will be interesting to see what the future holds for him.
#106: CF Petey Halpin, HS (Overall Grade: 50.10775) (Previous Rank: 111)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 71st; MLB Pipeline- 77th
This isn’t the greatest year for prospects from the Bay Area, but Petey Halpin, from St.Francis High School, is someone that could intrigue teams. He’s got solid contact skills with raw power to potentially grow into, and the athleticism to become a better defender in center field. Right now, he doesn’t have a clear strength in his game, but he also has the potential to have above-average tools across the board, and also has the benefit of being young for his draft class.
#107: LHP Liam Norris, HS (Overall Grade: 50.05125) (Previous Rank: 94)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 130th; MLB Pipeline- 123rd
The good thing about high school prospects is that they don’t have to be refined whatsoever. Liam Norris’ command is terrible, but when you’re a 6’4” lefty who alreadys throws a fastball in the mid-90s with a plus slider, you’re usually worth taking a chance on. He’s probably going to have to improve his stock at the University of North Carolina, but I could see a team buying into his “upside”.
#108: 1B Blaze Jordan, HS (Overall Grade: 49.8008275) (Previous Rank: 101)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 93rd; MLB Pipeline- 42nd
One of the more well-known prospects in this class, Blaze Jordan’s raw power, which has been on display with a 500 foot home run he hit and by winning last year’s high school home run derby, has earned him a lot of recognition. Furthermore, he has the ability to grow into an all-around hitter, as although he struggled versus good competition, per MLB Pipeline, and he’s young for this class. Unfortunately for him, unathletic first baseman are a very de-valued prototype, so he’ll really have to grow offensively. Considering how much it’ll likely take to keep him away from Mississippi State, It’d probably pass on him, despite the offensive upside; he could soar up these rankings with production in college, however.
#109: 3B/RHP Casey Schmitt, San Diego State (Overall Grade: 49.65235) (Previous Rank: 102)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 79; MLB Pipeline- 118th
One of the legitimate two-way players in this draft, Casey Schmitt will either be a third baseman or a reliever in professional baseball. Even with his fastball-breaking ball combination, I’d much rather gamble on his raw power, and hope for growth as a full-time positional player. To that end, he may have more “upside” than your prototypical college player, but his value goes down tremendously if asked to be a reliever.
#110: CF Parker Chavers, Coastal Carolina (Overall Grade: 49.645925) (Previous Rank: 98)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 54th; MLB Pipeline- 108th
Coming off a terrific season at Coast Carolina, it would’ve been nice to see if Parker Chavers could follow it up with similar production. His raw tools are very impressive, as he’s a plus athlete, and though he needs time to develop defensively, should be well above-average there. It’ll come down to his offense, in the end, though, and right now, he doesn’t make enough consistent contact or hit for enough power, even if his launch angle-oriented swing is a beauty. There’s a lot of potential with this player, but also some definite risk.
#111: 3B Gage Workman, Arizona State (Overall Grade: 49.2411) (Previous Rank: 105)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 89th; MLB Pipeline-74th
Hunter Bishop and Spencer Torkelson were quite the offensive duo at Arizona State, but Gage Workman also produced with a .941 OPS. Now, for someone who is an offensive-minded player most likely, you’d prefer for more production, especially from the power side. There should be more power as a switch hitter at 6’4”, but it hasn’t come yet, as his plate recognition is troublesome; it’s hard to provide value when you can’t get on base consistently.
#112: LHP Christian Chamberlain, Oregon State (Overall Grade: 48.90375) (Previous Rank: 110)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 108th; MLB Pipeline- 175th
A star reliever at Oregon State, Christian Chamberlain fared well upon being moved to the rotation in his four starts this season, but it’s unclear if he’ll be a starter long-term. As a starter, he has an average three-pitch mix, yet in the bullpen, he has a nice fastball-curveball combination. I’d try him in the rotation, and unlike some of the full-time relievers in this draft, at least there is a chance he can be a back-end starting pitcher.
#113: OF Joey Wiemer, Cincinnati (Overall Grade: 48.8353) (Previous Rank: 118)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 90th; MLB Pipeline- 168th
A personal favorite of mine with his high-intensity play style and high on-base percentages in college, Joey Wiemer is going to need a massive swing overhaul to succeed at the next level, which is not what you want from a college prospect- he’s a project. He’s got a cannon of an arm and is a solid corner outfielder, but he’s too unrefined offensively.
#114: 1B Alec Burleson, East Carolina (Overall Grade: 48.36895) (Previous Rank: 115)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 94th; MLB Pipeline- 137th
As someone who produced in college, two-way first baseman/lefty pitcher Alec Burleson is an interesting prospect. However, his plate discipline is very subpar, his raw power hasn’t been tapped into, and his future doesn’t appear on the mound. If he’s going to be a first baseman, he better improve his offensive skills dramatically.
#115: CF Enrique Bradfield Jr., HS (Overall Grade: 48.227925) (Previous Rank: 117)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 95th; MLB Pipeline- 104th
It’s one thing to be an on-base guy, but to provide value in today’s game with absolutely zero power whatsoever is a concern. That’s the problem with Enrique Banfield, who is an absolute blazer who can get on base, but is a “slash” hitter who doesn’t even try to hit for power at all. He’s intriguing, but he needs to go to Vanderbilt, grow into his body, and revamp his offensive approach tremendously.
#116: LHP Burl Carraway, Dallas Baptist (Overall Grade: 48.11375) (Previous Rank: 106)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 42nd; MLB Pipeline- 49th
The likely candidate to be the first reliever taken in the draft, Burl Carraway’s high effort, funky over-the-top delivery creates a lot of deception, which is intriguing with his fastball-slider combination. Yet, he’s going to be a one-inning reliever, and at that point, what’s the point of taking him early? I’d rather take a pitcher who at least has some chance to start, though Carraway could move quickly through the minors.
#117: CF Robby Ashford, HS (Overall Grade: 47.230925) (Previous Rank: 119)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 63rd; MLB Pipeline- 161st
Committed to play quarterback and outfield at the University of Oregon, Robby Ashford is very unlikely to sign with a team, especially with there only being five rounds. That’s probably for the best, as his on-base skills are a major red flag, and in the end, we won’t know what his potential would look like until he picked one sport.
#118: RHP RJ Dabovich, Arizona State (Overall Grade: 45.775) (Previous Rank: 112)
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 77th; MLB Pipeline- 121st
It’s not uncommon for a contending team to target a college reliever in the middle rounds, especially since they can move quickly and make an impact on the major league team soon. However, if you’re taking a reliever early, they better be elite. RJ Dabovich’s over the top delivery, as well as his solid fastball-breaking ball combination, is intriguing, but usually, you need more than that, or excellent command, to be a true shutdown reliever. It’s always risky to take relievers, and I’m not sure the Arizona State product is worth the investment in the first three rounds.
#119: 1B Alec Toral, Miami (Overall Grade: 45.54746) (Previous Rank: 12))
Other Ranks: Fangraphs- 132nd; MLB Pipeline- 186th
With a swing that reminds me a little of Adam LaRoche, some are intrigued with Alex Toral’s raw power. However, he’s so deficient defensively, and although he walks a solid amount, won’t get on base enough with his complete lack of pure hitting ability.
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