We’re just about a month away from the 2020 MLB Draft. so we’ll get started on the coverage leading up to the event here on the Snake Pit. The Arizona Diamondbacks will have the 18th pick of the first round, so this post will be more about players who are long-shots at best to still be on the board for the the D-backs at 18. Two other teams in the NL West will be picking in the Top 10, so we might see them competing against Arizona four to five years down the road.
Arizona State 1B Spencer Torkelson
Torkelson is the favorite to go to the Tigers with the first overall pick in the draft and presents the best middle of the order bat in the draft. Torkelson has decent mobility, which should allow him to be a capable defender at 1B and provide some baserunning value. In his junior season, teams were giving him the Barry Bonds treatment as he was a threat to put multiple runs on the board in a hurry.
Vanderbilt INF Austin Martin
Martin is the other candidate who could go first overall. He has plenty of positions to fall back to if shortstop isn’t in the cards, but could also develop into a super utility player who can play SS, 2B, 3B, and even the outfield. No matter where he plays, Martin has the capability of being a quality top of the order hitter who draws walks and racks up extra base hits.
Texas A&M LHP Asa Lacy
Lacy has the best pure stuff of any LHP in the draft class, showcasing upper 90s heat and three secondary offerings that could become plus pitches down the road. As a junior he struck out 46 in just 4 starts and could have made a bid for the first overall pick until the season shut down. If there is one weakness, it’s the efficiency in which he hitters out, although with starters not going as deep into games as years past it’s not as much an issue.
New Mexico State INF Nick Gonzales
Gonzales came with some competition level concerns playing in a non-Power 5 program, but his summer work at the Cape pushed him into Top 5 consideration. Gonzales is a bit shorter as a middle infield prospect and likely profiles for second base long term over shortstop, but his bat profiles well for any of the top 5 spots in the order.
Georgia RHP Emerson Hancock
Hancock has the best projected floor in the entire draft class, featuring a full mix of pitches and the ability to utilize them to pitch deep into games. The raw stuff isn’t as good as Lacy, but he makes up for it with better command and athleticism. While I don’t see him developing into an ace, unless his fastball ticks up, it’s very possible he settles into the #2/3 starter range.
Louisville LHP Reid Detmers
Detmers has the best left-handed breaking ball, with his curveball looking similar to Clayton Kershaw’s. His fastball is merely an average pitch on velocity, but solid tunneling with the fastball and deception allow it to play up. His ability to fill up the zone with four pitches gives Detmers more of a middle of the rotation profile.
UCLA OF Garrett Mitchell
Mitchell has the tools to be an All-Star level center fielder with very strong grades in speed, arm, and raw power that he struggles to tap into at times. Whoever drafts him will have to try to see if they can get more power out of that bat without messing up the swing, although even with average game power will still be an impact player due to the speed and defensive profile. The biggest red flag will be related to his Type 1 Diabetes condition, although he’s only missed 1 game in 2019-20.
West Allegheny HS (PA) OF Austin Hendrick
Hendrick is the top high school bat in the class, showcasing plus bat speed and power (108 MPH EV) with a smooth and effortless swing. Defensively he profiles more as a corner outfielder, perhaps more in right field than left with above-average arm strength.
Minnesota RHP Max Meyer
Meyer has been a fast-riser in the draft thanks to triple digit heat and a low 90s slider that is his best offering. Despite being undersized at 6’0” 185 and some considerable effort in his delivery, Meyer is able to hold mid 90s velocity deep into his starts and has the athleticism to make it work. There is still somewhat significant reliever risk in Meyer’s profile.
Spruce Creek HS (FL) OF Zac Veen
Veen is this year’s fast-rising position player talent. He stands in at 6’5” and has natural loft to his swing that could turn plus raw power into 30+ HR potential at the MLB level. There is some swing and miss in his game, but solid eye and fluid batting mechanics could allow him to mitigate that to a degree. As Veen fills out, he’s more likely to end up playing in a corner.