The 2020 MLB Draft is today, so let’s go over our second and final mock draft.
2020 MLB Mock Draft v2.0
A lot has happened between our first mock draft and now, as the NCAA College World Series was canceled in March due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus. The cancellation prompted conferences across the nation and across all levels to end the remainder of their seasons. In addition, high school leagues also shut down, and MLB mandated that all scouts were not permitted to evaluate players in-person during this period.
Because of the mass cancellations, teams were unable to acquire new information prior to the draft. Teams, were, however, permitted to conducting interviews with potential draft picks. There are also some other changes that came to the 2020 MLB Draft process. Originally scheduled to be a 40 round affair, the league, along with the MLBPA, came to a deal in March that enabled MLB to shrink the 2020 Draft down to five rounds. MLB had the power to increase the number of rounds at their discretion, but it chose not to do so.
This won’t the top players eligible for the 2020 Draft, but it will certainly affect the vast majority of eligible players. On top of that, there will be a good amount of players that either have or will pull their name from consideration. One example of this is OF Dylan Crews, a top-50 talent who will go to LSU and not sign with an MLB team this summer.
With that said, let’s turn our attention to the first round with our second mock draft. Our last version only covered the first five picks, but this one will be a full first-round mock draft.
1. Tigers – 1B/OF Spencer Torkelson (Arizona St.)
Last Rank: 5
Our last mock draft had Emerson Hancock at #1, but that was then and this is now. Today, slugging first baseman/outfielder Spencer Torkelson is our pick to go to Detroit. The Sun Devil put up big numbers at ASU during his three seasons, and his power and plate discipline (the 20-year old had the fourth-highest OBP (.598) in NCAA Division I play in 2020) are arguably unmatched in his class. He may not be the best overall athlete or player in this class, but his bat is hard to pass up on.
2. Orioles – 3B/SS/OF Austin Martin (Vanderbilt University)
Last Rank: 2
Our mock draft before the start of the NCAA season had Martin at the top slot, and he didn’t disappoint during his junior season at Vanderbilt. The junior recorded a slash line of .377/.507/.660 during the abbreviated 2020 season, and his 2:10 K/BB ratio was phenomenal. Still, there are still questions surrounding Martin. Arguably the biggest one is where will he play, as Martin spent most of his time in 2020 in the outfield. He was an infielder during his first two seasons at Vanderbilt.
Even though he may come with defensive questions, Martin is a terrific athlete with a great bat. This should be an easy pick for the Orioles.
3. Marlins – LHP Asa Lacy (Texas A&M University)
Last Rank: NA
If Martin is not on the board here, expect the Marlins to go with LHP Asa Lacy. The junior lefty has a lethal arsenal, as Lacy is armed with a plus fastball that can run up to 98 MPH, a powerful slider and an above-average change. Lacy struck out 46 batters in just 24 innings this spring, and the Texas A&M lefty was able to establish himself as the best available pitcher in the 2020 MLB Draft.
4. Royals – RHP Emerson Hancock (University of Georgia)
Last Rank: 1
We had Emerson Hancock as the top pick in v1.0 of our 2020 MLB Mock Draft. That was before the season started, as Hancock struggled with the Bulldogs this spring. The junior righty had an uneven spring (3.75 ERA in 24 IP), but his 34:3 K/BB ratio was very impressive. Some teams are reportedly unimpressed with Hancock’s pitch metrics, but it’s going to be tough for Kansas City to pass up on the Georgia Bulldog, as his fastball/slider/change combination can be devastating.
5. Blue Jays – 2B Nick Gonzales (New Mexico State)
Last Rank: 4
Nick Gonzales put up video-game numbers at New Mexico State this spring. Gonzales put up an eye-popping 1.155 OPS at New Mexico State in 2020 while smacking 12 home runs and 16 extra-base hits in 16 games. If Kansas City doesn’t take Gonzales at #4, the Blue Jays should pounce on him at #5.
6. Mariners – RHP Max Meyer (University of Minnesota)
Last Rank: NA
The Mariners are reportedly locked in on college pitching, and Minnesota RHP Max Meyer fits the bill here. The righty has a powerful fastball, as well as arguably the best slider in this year’s draft class. Meyer does have limited starting experience, as the junior only started 15 games in his college career, which may hurt his draft stock. The electric Minnesota righty may wind up being a reliever long-term, but the stuff may be too hard to pass up on here at #6.
7. Pirates – OF Heston Kjerstad (University of Arkansas)
Last Rank: NA
The Pirates have been linked to Kjerstad, which is why we have him here. Kjerstad was a consistent performer over his three years at Arkansas, helping the Razorbacks reach the College World Series in 2018. Kjerstad profiles to be a plus hitter, and he does have the pop to be an elite outfielder.
8. Padres – OF Zac Veen (Spruce Creek HS (FL))
Last Rank: NA
The first seven players in v2.0 of our mock draft are all college players, but that pattern changes here with the eighth overall pick. A.J. Preller and the Padres love high-ceiling high schoolers, so it wouldn’t be a shock if San Diego goes with Veen, a five-tool player with a great bat and one of the few high schoolers who made the most of the short spring. Veen may not make it to #8, but if he’s still on the board when the Padres are up, I think this is his floor.
9. Rockies – LHP Reid Detmers (University of Louisville)
Last Rank: NA
We go back to the college ranks here at #9 with LHP Reid Detmers. Colorado loves homegrown pitching, and the Rockies can grab a good one here. Detmers has some powerful stuff, with his best pitch being a wipeout curveball. If Colorado doesn’t go pitching here, UCLA OF Garrett Mitchell could be in play at #9. Colorado took INF Michael Toglia, also from UCLA, in the first round last year, and the Rockies may look to take another Bruin in 2020.
10. Angels – OF Garrett Mitchell (UCLA)
Last Rank: NA
The Angels already have a talented outfielder in Jo Adell waiting in the wings in the Minors, and Anaheim could add another one to their system in Garrett Mitchell. The UCLA Bruin plays in the Angels’ backyard, and Mitchell has the tools to be a dynamic outfielder in the Majors for years to come. If Mitchell is off the board here, Robert Hassell III could be in play at #10.
Here’s a look at how we think the rest of the first round will shake out:
11. White Sox – LHP Garrett Crochet (U. of Tennessee)
12. Reds – OF Robert Hassell III (Independence HS (TN))
13. Giants – RHP Cade Cavalli (Oklahoma)
14. Rangers – OF Austin Hendrick (West Alleghany HS (PA))
15. Phillies – RHP Nick Bitsko (Central Bucks HS (PA))
16. Cubs – OF Pete Crow-Armstrong (Harvard-Westlake HS (CA))
17. Red Sox – C Patrick Bailey (NC State)
18. Diamondbacks – RHP Jared Kelley (Refugio HS (TX))
19. Mets – RHP Mick Abel (Jesuit HS (OR))
20. Brewers – C Tyler Soderstrom (Turlock HS (CA))
21. Cardinals – RHP Carmen Mlodzinski (U. of South Carolina)
22. Nationals – RHP Cole Wilcox (University of Georgia)
23. Indians – C Dillon Dingler (Ohio State University)
24. Rays – C/OF Austin Wells (University of Arizona)
25. Braves – RHP Bryce Jarvis (Duke University)
26. Athletics – 3B/SS Justin Foscue (Mississippi State)
27. Twins – SS Ed Howard (Mount Carmel HS (IL))
28. Yankees – SS Jordan Westburg (Mississipi State)
29. Dodgers – RHP Bobby Miller (University of Louisville)
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