MLB 2020 Draft Live Tracker/Analysis

It’s finally here! Ever since the college baseball season was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have been eagerly awaiting for June 10th to arrive. Well, it’s June 10th, and today, 37 players will see their dreams come true and become professional baseball players! In this tracker, I will be providing live analysis for each pick, based on my evaluations of my players and how they fit their new teams.

Before the draft starts, here is my mock draft:

  1. Tigers- 1B Spencer Torkelson, Arizona State
  2. Orioles- CF Austin Martin, Vanderbilt
  3. Marlins- LHP Asa Lacy, Texas A&M
  4. Royals- CF Zac Veen, HS
  5. Blue Jays- RHP Max Meyer, Minnesota
  6. Mariners- RHP Emerson Hancock, Georgia
  7. Pirates- 2B Nick Gonzales, New Mexico State
  8. Padres- CF Robert Hassell, HS
  9. Rockies- OF Heston Kjerstad, Arkansas
  10. Angels- LHP Reid Detmers, Louisville
  11. White Sox- LHP Garrett Crochet, Tennessee
  12. Reds- CF Pete Crow-Armstrong, HS
  13. Giants- 2B Justin Foscue, Mississippi State
  14. Rangers- 1B Aaron Sabato, North Carolina
  15. Phillies- C Tyler Soderstrom, HS
  16. Cubs- RHP Cade Cavalli, Oklahoma
  17. Red Sox- RHP Mick Abel, HS
  18. Diamondbacks- RHP Bryce Jarvis, Duke
  19. Mets- OF Austin Hendrick, HS
  20. Brewers- CF Garrett Mitchell, UCLA
  21. Cardinals- C Patrick Bailey, NC State
  22. Nationals- RHP Cole Wilcox, Georgia
  23. Indians- C Dillon Dingler, Ohio State
  24. Rays- SS Ed Howard, HS
  25. Braves- SS Nick Loftin, Baylor
  26. A’s- SS Jordan Westburg, Mississippi State
  27. Twins- 1B Austin Wells, Arizona
  28. Yankees- RHP Bobby Miller, Louisville
  29. Dodgers- RHP Tanner Witt, HS
  30. Orioles- LHP Dax Fulton, HS
  31. Pirates- 3B Jordan Walker, HS
  32. Royals- C Drew Romo, HS
  33. Diamondbacks- SS Carson Tucker, HS
  34. Padres- RHP Nick Bitsko, HS
  35. Rockies- RHP Clayton Beeter, Texas Tech
  36. Indians- 1B Blaze Jordan, HS
  37. Rays- RHP Slade Cecconi, Miami

#1 Pick: Tigers Select 1B Spencer Torkelson, Arizona State

Photo Cred: The Athletic

Draft Board Rank: 5th

Grade: A-

Unsurprisingly, the Tigers have selected Arizona State first baseman Spencer Torkelson with the first overall pick. After going undrafted in college, Torkelson dominated in college, and with his plate discipline and power, has the chance to be an elite first baseman. However, because of his profile, the margin for error is extremely thin, and I believe the Tigers didn’t maximize on the #1 pick- winning teams are built up-the-middle, and Zac Veen and Austin Martin would have been better options. Torkelson will likely be a force in the middle of their lineup, yet I believe some of the players picked behind him will end up being more valuable players, even though Detroit announced him as a third baseman.

#2 Pick: Orioles Select OF Heston Kjerstad, Arkansas

Photo Cred: Fort Smith/Fayetteville News

Draft Board Rank: 49

Grade: F

In an extremely shocking development, the Orioles have drafted corner outfielder Heston Kjerstad with the second overall pick, instead of taking a consensus top player like Austin Martin or Asa Lacy. As a corner outfielder with average defense, Kjerstad needs to hit to justify this selection, and with his approach issues, I don’t think he’ll do that. Sure, they’ll save money with him and perhaps make a splash later on, but this is a massive reach and an incredibly poor pick by general manager Mike Elias.

#3 Pick: Marlins Select RHP Max Meyer, Minnesota

Baseball Draft Top Players
Photo Cred: Pioneer Press

Draft Board Rank: 1

Grade: A+

Continuing on with surprising picks, Max Meyer, not Austin Martin or Asa Lacy, is the Marlins’ pick at #3 overall. My top rated player in this year’s draft, Meyer may have the best two pitches in this draft with his fastball and slider, and he should definitely be able to add a third pitch. Sure, he’s only 6’0″, but he’s a super athletic player with excellent mechanics, so I’m not very concerned about the reliever risk. This is an unexpected pick, but a very smart one by the Marlins.

#4 Pick: Royals Select LHP Asa Lacy, Texas A&M

Photo Cred:

Draft Board Rank: 6th

Grade: B+

Continuing to add to their impressive group of pitching prospects, the Royals have drafted Asa Lacy with the fourth overall pick. After striking out as many hitters as possible at Texas A&M, Lacy was expected to be the first pitcher off the board, and although he wasn’t, he showed enough to be a top-five pick. I have no problem with the value of this selection, yet with two impact up-the-middle position players available in Zac Veen and Austin Martin, I think Kansas City could’ve done better. Still, though, you can never fault a team for adding as much pitching depth as possible.

#5 Pick: Blue Jays Select CF/3B Austin Martin

Photo Cred:

Draft Board Rank: 4th

Grade: A

Capitalizing on a chance to take a player they never thought would be available, the Blue Jays have drafted center fielder Austin Martin with the 5th overall pick. Although he doesn’t have a specific defensive position, Martin is a very versatile player capable of playing center field, third base, and second base, while he was also announced as a shortstop. His on-base skills are through the roof, and overall, he may have been the safest player in this draft. I’m really excited to see what a future lineup of Cavan Biggio, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, and Martin could look like in Toronto.

#6 Pick: Mariners Select RHP Emerson Hancock, Georgia

Photo Cred: CBS Sports

Draft Board Rank: 3rd

Grade: A

Finally, a correct pick from my mock draft! The Mariners have selected Georgia right-hander Emerson Hancock with the 6th overall pick in the draft, even with Zac Veen still on the board. Although he’ll need to revamp his pitch usage and become more a four-seam pitcher, Hancock has all the tools of a reliable, high-end #2 starter, and all of a sudden, the Mariners have a very deep core of young pitching to build around. It’s a safe and logical pick by general manager Jerry Dipoto.

#7 Pick: Pirates Select 2B Nick Gonzales, New Mexico State

Photo Cred: Arizona Daily Star

Draft Board Rank: 7th

Grade: B+

Zac Veen being on the board didn’t sway the Pirates; they’ve gone with their expected plan, taking Nick Gonzales with the #7 pick. Gonzales has excellent pure-hitting skills and has the chance to be a dynamic offensive player if he reaches his ceiling. Yet, he projects as a fringe defender up-the-middle, and with a super dynamic player with Veen available, this pick is too safe to get a “A” from me.

#8 Pick: Padres Select CF Robert Hassell, HS

Photo Cred: Columbia Daily Herald

Draft Board Rank: 28th

Grade: B-

The Padres were rumored to be interested in Robert Hassell, but no one thought they’d pick him over Zac Veen. Yet, that’s exactly what they’ve done, though it shouldn’t surprise anyone that they pulled off a major surprise. With his pure-hitting ability, Hassell feels like a safe projection as a potential everyday outfielder. Unfortunately, without elite physical tools and the likelihood that he has to move to a corner outfield spot, which is why I don’t see him worth a top-ten pick. This has to be about money for the Padres.

#9 Pick: Rockies Select CF Zac Veen, HS

Photo Cred:

Draft Board Rank: 2nd

Grade: A+(+++++++)

Congratulations Rockies; you just landed the best position player in the draft with the 9th overall pick! Zac Veen’s plate discipline, raw power, and athletic tools give him an elite five-tool upside as a dynamic center fielder, and although the Cody Bellinger comparisons are unfair, his ceiling could very well be similar. The Rockies had a barren farm system with no top-end talent, but that has obviously changed now.

#10: Angels Select LHP Reid Detmers, Louisville

Photo Cred:

Draft Board Rank: 13th

Grade: A

In my team-by-team draft preview, I recommended to the Angels that they take Reid Detmers, arguably the most polished pitcher in this draft. Luckily for Angel fans, the front office finally listened to their calls for an impact young pitcher, selecting the Louisville product with the 10th overall pick. Detmers may never be an ace, but with an excellent curveball, plus command, and ideal spin rates, he should be a solid #2/#3 starter in the near future. For a team that hasn’t been able to develop pitching at all, this is a perfect fit for them.

#11 Pick: White Sox Select LHP Garrett Crochet, Tennessee

Photo Cred: Bleed Cubbie Blue

Draft Board Rank: 12th

Grade: A-

Let the Chris Sale comparisons begin! The White Sox have drafted Garrett Crochet with the 11th overall pick. With nasty pure stuff and a lot of reliever risk, Crochet is one of the high risk/high reward players in this draft. He only pitched three innings and hasn’t proven his durability, but if he holds up as a starter, I have no doubts he can be a frontline starter. Considering this may be their last pick in the top-11 for a while, it’s very understandable that Chicago swung for the fences with this selection.

#12 Pick: Reds Select OF Austin Hendrick

Photo Cred: The Athletic

Draft Board Rank: 64th

Grade: D

The Reds have always shown the willingness to take older high-school players, and they’ve continued with that trend, selecting corner outfielder Austin Hendrick with the 12th overall pick. With as much raw power as any player in this draft, Hendrick has a lot of proponents. I’m not one of them, however, as despite facing younger competition, he displayed approach concerns, so he projects as a below-average defender in a corner outfield spot with a low on-base percentage. The Reds have seen their farm system take a hit recently, and unless Hendrick overcomes some major challenges, that should continue to be the case.

#13 Pick: Giants Select C Patrick Bailey, NC State

Photo Cred: Pack Insider

Draft Board Rank: 14th

Grade: B

Here comes another shocking selection! Despite having Joey Bart in their farm system, the Giants have doubled-down at the catcher position, selecting NC State’s Patrick Bailey with the 13th overall pick. As a switch-hitter with plus plate discipline, it’s easy to compare Bailey to Yasmani Grandal. Obviously, that’s more of a “ceiling” comparison, but he does have a very high floor and a well-rounded skill set. I expect that the Giants have a clear plan on what they’re going to do with Bailey and Bart moving forward, especially as we move closer to a universal designated hitter- they could use Bailey and Bart in a time-share to keep them fresh. You can never have too many catchers, so this is a good problem for them to have.

#14: Rangers Select 2B Justin Foscue, Mississippi State

Photo Cred:

Draft Board Rank: 44th

Grade: C

It appeared that the Rangers were set to select North Carolina first baseman Aaron Sabato with the 14th overall pick, but instead, they’ve taken a different college infielder- Justin Foscue. With some raw power and decent plate discipline, there is reason to believe Foscue can be a future everyday second baseman, especially if he undergoes a swing change to tap into more of his power. It’s not a great pick by Texas, who could’ve taken one of the intriguing prep players on the board, yet it’s not one that I’m going to overly bash them for making.

#15 Pick: Phillies Select RHP Mick Abel, HS

Photo Cred: Portland Tribune

Draft Board Rank: 8th

Grade: A+

Thought to definitely be the pick for the Red Sox at #17 overall, Mick Abel won’t be available for Boston after all- the Phillies have stolen a player who should’ve been a top-ten pick. What does Abel not have? He has a three-pitch mix with a lot of project-ability and untapped potential, yet also is relatively safe for a prep pitcher. The Phillies needed to hit a home run with this pick for the safe of this farm system, and I’m thrilled for them that general manager Matt Klentack didn’t play it safe with a college player given how much pressure he is facing to win soon.

#16 Pick: Cubs Select SS Ed Howard, HS

Photo Cred: The Athletic

Draft Board Rank: 18th

Grade: A

The Cubs were rumored to be swinging for the fences with their first-round pick, and that’s in fact what they’ve done- they’ve drafted prep shortstop Ed Howard with the #16 overall selection. Since he plays in Chicago (ironically), scouts didn’t get a good look at Howard, so he was expected to fall in this draft. With his athletic, defense, and offensive upside, however, he has a lot of shades of Gavin Lux when he was drafted, so he definitely provides value around this part of the draft. Regardless of how the Cubs approach the next phase of their organizational direction (likely a rebuild), he’s a player their fans can get excited about for the future.

#17 Pick: Red Sox Select 2B Nicholas Yorke, HS

Photo Cred: Prep Baseball Report

Draft Board Rank: N/A

Grade: D-

Wow. In his first pick as the Chief Baseball Officer of the Red Sox, Chaim Bloom has selected high-school second baseman Nicholas Yorke, who was ranked as MLB Pipeline’s 140th best player and was ranked similarly by other outlets. Yorke does have some solid offensive tools with an advanced feel for hitting, but considering the other players available, this is confusing. Could they be punting on this pick to double-up next season?

#18 Pick: Diamondbacks Select RHP Bryce Jarvis, Duke

Photo Cred: The San Diego Union-Tribune

Draft Board Rank: 15th

Grade: A

Getting back on track with the mock draft, the Diamondbacks have drafted Duke pitcher Bryce Jarvis, who they were heavily linked to over the past couple days. Although this may be seen as a reach for some, considering some of the prep talents available, I’m high on Jarvis, whose pitch-mix really improved this season. He may be 22-years-old with a narrow frame, but his mid-90s fastball and changeup play really well with each other, and he also has advanced command. I expect him to move quickly through the team’s farm system, and he may take an under-slot deal to allow them to splash on a prep player with their next pick.

#19 Pick: Mets Select CF Pete Crow-Armstrong, HS

Photo Cred: Los Angeles Times

Draft Board Rank: 23rd

Grade: B+

The Mets were rumored to love Pete Crow-Armstrong, and I’m sure they’re ecstatic to land him with the 19th overall pick. At the very least, Crow-Armstrong will be an elite defender with above-average contact skills. However, his exit velocity numbers are encouraging, so overtime, he definitely could become a five-tool outfielder. General manager Brodie Van Wagenen has made a lot of puzzling decisions, but he has done a great job in the draft over the past two years.

#20 Pick: Brewers Select CF Garrett Mitchell, UCLA

Photo Cred: Bleacher Nation

Draft Board Rank: 34th

Grade: A

In what will be seen as a steal by many, the Brewers have drafted speedy center fielder Garrett Mitchell with the 20th overall pick. With potential 80-grade speed and pure-hitting ability, Mitchell is someone that many had as a top-ten player in this class. I see an unpolished college player who needs a drastic swing change to tap into any of his power, but if a team can do that, it’s the Brewers. The player-team fit is really nice here, and Milwaukee definitely needed more up-the-middle talent for their weak farm system.

#21 Pick: Cardinals Select 3B Jordan Walker, HS

Photo Cred:

Draft Board Rank: 42nd

Grade: B

Jordan Walker had a very strong commitment to Duke, but it turns out he won’t be heading there after all- the Cardinals have drafted with the 21st overall pick. With decent contact ability and a lot of raw power, a lot of evaluators are high on Walker as a slugging third baseman. I’m always against taking prep corner players, but do see a clear potential pay-off here for St.Louis, who definitely do a great job developing these types of players.

#22 Pick: Nationals Select RHP Cade Cavalli, Oklahoma

Photo Cred: Tulsa World

Draft Board Rank: 21st

Grade: A-

The Nationals had been linked to Cole Wilcox tremendously, but that was with the assumption Cade Cavalli wouldn’t be available. However, the Oklahoma pitcher was there for their taking, so they jumped at the opportunity. With a good starter’s build and a great fastball-slider combination, Cavalli has a lot of “upside”. He’s an unrefined player who needs to work on his command and must create more deception, but he was one of the best players available here.

#23: Indians Select SS Carson Tucker, HS

Photo Cred: Baseball America

Draft Board Rank: 68th

Grade: B

The Indians love to take middle infielders with bat-to-ball skills, so it shouldn’t be a major surprise that they’ve selected Carson Tucker with their first pick. The Arizona prep shortstop doesn’t have a plus tool, but could be a solid all-around up-the-middle player for Cleveland, and it’ll be interesting to see him develop in there system. It’s an interesting pick at this point in the draft, though once again, I’m guessing there are some financial reasons behind it.

#24 Pick: Rays Select RHP Nick Bitsko, HS

Photo Cred: Baseball America

Draft Board Rank: 10th

Grade: A+

The Rays have done it again! Obviously, there is a lot of risk with Nick Bitsko, who scouts never really got to see pitch. However, he’s only 17-years-old, and has elite Rapsodo readings with his fastball and slider. There’s frontline starter potential here, and not only do the Rays have the prospect depth to take a “risk” here, but they’re the perfect team to develop him. Not only is this a win for them, but it’s also awesome for Bitsko, who lands in an excellent place.

#25 Pick: Braves Select LHP Jared Shuster, Wake Forrest

Photo Cred:

Draft Board Rank: 45th

Grade: C+

For the second straight year, the Braves have played it safe in the first round- they’ve selected Wake Forrest lefty Jared Shuster with the #25 pick. With a deceptive delivery and a nice fastball-changeup mix, there’s a great likelihood that Shuster is a back-end starting pitcher. However, Atlanta already has a lot of those types of pitchers, and there were certainly superior pitchers on the board. In general, it’s a conservative, uninspiring selection.

#26 Pick: A’s Select C Tyler Soderstrom, HS

Photo Cred: NBC Sports

Draft Board Rank: 9th

Grade: A+

The fall of Tyler Soderstrom is finally over; the A’s have selected him with the #26 pick. Whether it’s as a catcher or third baseman, Soderstrom is an advanced hitter with excellent exit velocity readings. Many of the players Oakland seem to be pondering from were going to be reaches, but likely for them, they’re able to land a potential elite offensive producer in Soderstrom, who gets to stay in the Bay Area (he’s from Turlock) and will soon be the team’s top prospect.

#27: Twins Select 1B Aaron Sabato, North Carolina

Photo Cred:

Draft Board Rank: 77th

Grade: D+

In predictable fashion, the Twins have added yet another corner player to their farm system. This time, it’s North Carolina first baseman Aaron Sabato, who should get on base decently and has tons of raw power. Yet, he’s limited to first base, and if there is anything Minnesota didn’t need, it’s another unathletic position player. They had a chance to add some pitching depth or target an up-the-middle player, but it appears they’re committed to hitting as many home runs as possible.

#28 Pick: Yankees Select 1B/C Austin Wells, Arizona 

Photo Cred: Arizona Daily Star

Draft Board Rank: 65th

Grade: C-

The Yankees love their offensive-minded catchers! Austin Wells has intriguing on-base skills, and actually was drafted by the Yankees out of high school in the 35th overall pick. Yet, the chances that he actually sticks at catcher is slim, and if that’s the case, I’m not sure he provides enough offensively to provide value at first base. The chance that he remains at catcher makes this a somewhat intriguing pick, but there were clearly better options available.

#29 Pick: Dodgers Select RHP Bobby Miller, Louisville

Photo Cred: Northwest Herald

Draft Board Rank: 26th

Grade: A

In typical Dodgers fashion, they’ve landed a pitcher that will fit perfectly with them. Bobby Miller will never pitch 200 innings a season, but he has wipeout stuff and offers a lot of potential as a 120/150-inning type of pitcher, and that’s a mold Los Angeles thrived with. If Los Angeles can improve his mechanics, as they often do, and utilize him correctly which they’ll do, then he’ll be well-worth this selection. In other words, the rich get richer.

#30 Pick: Orioles Select SS Jordan Westburg, Mississippi State

Photo Cred:

Draft Board Rank: 88th

Grade: D+

Simply put, I have no idea what the Orioles are doing. After questionably selecting Kjerstad, they’ve doubled-down on college players with approach issues, taking Jordan Westburg with the 30th overall pick. Westburg has some power, yet may have to move to third base, and will struggle to get on base due to his poor plate discipline. Baltimore has blown a great opportunity to drastically improve their future outlook.

#31 Pick: Pirates Select RHP Carmen Mlodzinski, South Carolina

Photo Cred:

Draft Board Rank: 27th

Grade: A-

The Pirates have played it very safe in the first round- they’ve taken two college players with high floors in Nick Gonzales and Carmen Mlodzinski. Based on my draft board ranking, Mlodzinski is solid value here at this point of the draft, as he projects as an innings-eating #4 starter who could be even better if his fastball movement can be improved. It’s not a flashy pick, yet getting a likely big-leaguer at this point of the draft is fine.

#32 Pick: Royals Select SS Nick Loftin

Photo Cred:

Draft Board Rank: 86th

Grade: C+

Doubling down on college players despite being seen as a team who would load up on prep players, the Royals have drafted shortstop Nick Loftin with the #32 pick. As someone who played practically everywhere at Baylor, Loftin would appear to have a future as a utility player with good contact skills. Yet, there isn’t much of a ceiling with him, and I’m not sure that even his “upside” really justifies this selection.

#33 Pick: Diamondbacks Select RHP Slade Cecconi, Miami

Photo Cred:

Draft Board Rank: 57th

Grade: B+

The Diamondbacks were also seen as a team who would target high-school players, yet they’ve taken yet another college arm in Slade Cecconi. Unlike Bryce Jarvis, Cecconi is a high-upside/low-floor type of pitcher, as he has a fastball-slider combination that is intriguing, but that is about it. There is a substantial amount of reliever risk with him, though it’s worth mentioning that he fits a prototype that Arizona has done a nice job developing in recent years.

#34 Pick: Padres Select RHP Justin Lange, HS

Photo Cred: Future Star Series

Draft Board Rank: 22nd

Grade: A

After saving money by taking Robert Hassell with the #8 pick, the Padres have splashed on a prep pitcher, taking Justin Lange #34 overall. With a 100 MPH fastball and a developing slider, Lange is a very intriguing pitcher. He needs a lot of development, but the ultimate payout could be huge, and he’s a nice fit for a Padres team that is loaded with young pitching.

#35 Pick: Rockies Select C Drew Romo, HS

Photo Cred: Perfect Game

Draft Board Rank: 31st

Grade: B

Going all-in on prep position players in this draft, the Rockies have selected catcher Drew Romo with the 35th overall pick. With advanced defensive skills, Romo’s chances of making the majors is very high for a prep catcher, and there is room for him to develop offensively. Now, his value could be diminished by an automatic strike zone, but Colorado has had no luck with catchers in recent years, so I approve of them taking a shot on him here.

#36: Indians Select RHP Tanner Burns, Auburn

Photo Cred:

Draft Board Rank: 56th

Grade: B

Taking a player that had been rumored for them with the 23rd overall pick, the Indians have selected Auburn pitcher Tanner Burns with their second day-one pick. Burns’ strikeout numbers are off-the-charts, and are a product of his fastball-breaking ball combination. There are some injury concerns with him, but he is someone that I expect the Indians to develop properly, given their track record with similar pitchers.

#37 Pick: Rays Select SS Alika Williams, Arizona State

Photo Cred: Pinstripe Alley

Draft Board Rank: 72nd

Grade: C-

The Rays love their contact-oriented up-the-middle players, so it’s not a shock to see them select Arizona State shortstop Alika Williams, who rarely struck out during his time in college. Unfortunately, though, I don’t see him having the offensive upside to really make an impact as an everyday player, even if he projects as an above-average defender. I get that the Rays needed to be safe and save some money after taking Nick Bitsko, but this was perhaps too safe.

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