End of season mock is finally here. Hard to see much moving before spring. This should hold you over until after the new year.
- Detroit Tigers: Spencer Torkelson, 1B/OF, Arizona State
Torkelson is 2020’s version of Andrew Vaughn and JJ Bleday rolled into one. Don’t let the other drafts fool you with Emerson Hancock mocked here. Those people don’t follow the Tigers. The Tigers need more bats and Torkelson is a foundation player. They’d be foolish to go pitcher at number one again. Don’t sleep on Austin Martin out of Vanderbilt here either. He has more tools than Torkelson, and is starting to be talked about at number one. If Martin starts the 2020 season out as well as he finished this past season, then it’ll be a toss up between him and Torkelson at one.
2. Baltimore Orioles: Emerson Hancock, RHP, Georgia
Hancock is one of the most dominant pitchers in the SEC. If he were available for selection in the 2019 MLB draft, he might’ve contended Adley Rustchman for the number one pick. His approach and makeup is eerily similar to Clayton Kershaw. The Orioles need arms and get a good one here.
3. Miami Marlins: Austin Martin, IF, Vanderbilt
Slowly but surely the Marlins are building back their farm system. After this past year’s draft, it’s starting to take shape, and we’re able to see what direction they’re taking. In my last mock, I had Martin going to the Marlins and I can see him still going to them. Miami would be lucky grabbing Vanderbilt starters in back-to-back drafts.
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5. Toronto Blue Jays: Asa Lacy, LHP, Texas A&M
Lacy is the best southpaw in the 2020 MLB Draft. His curve and slider are unique and standout above anything else. Toronto wants to build more off the Alex Manoah pick from the 2019 draft and Lacy makes for a good one-two punch.
6. Seattle Mariners: Mick Abel, RHP, Jesuit HS (OR)
Abel’s stuff did take slide slightly in August play, but it shouldn’t be much of a concern until scouts get a better look at him in 2020. Abel has the big build (6’5″ and 185 pounds) and simply throws strikes.
7. Pittsburgh Pirates: Casey Martin, SS, Arkansas
Pittsburgh is a wild card. With the firing of Clint Hurdle and the ease of them gutting their farm system recently, it’s hard to get a feel for what their strategy will be. They need arms and infielders, but I think a talent like Casey Martin is too good to pass up. They could go with the more well-known Blaze Jordan but Martin’s tool set is better all-around.
8. San Diego Padres: Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, Westlake HS (CA)
As the best farm system in the league, the Padres could do anything here and it wouldn’t surprise me. A few more pitchers would be nice. However, Crow-Armstrong dropping this far is a gift. He’s very athletic and is a lefty hitter with a good swing.
9. Colorado Rockies: JT Ginn, RHP, Mississippi State
Don’t be surprised if Ginn gets picked before nine. Mississippi State rode the back of Ginn all season long in 2019. His slider is absolutely sick, and could be better than any pitcher’s in this class.
10. Los Angeles Angels: Blaze Jordan, 1B/3B, DeSoto HS (MS)
Blaze Jordan is the great unknown of the 2020 MLB Draft. Jordan has had the Bryce Harper comparisons since he was 12-years-old. It’s very hard to mock any high-schooler this high but the Jordan’s ceiling could make him a super star before he gets to the majors. We know he can hit. But he doesn’t really have a position and he hasn’t went up against good arms.
11. Chicago White Sox: Patrick Bailey, C, North Carolina State
Hard to say if he’ll project into a Rutschman-type of player but it’s exciting to make the comparison. A switch-hitting catcher with solid defensive skills, his hitting marks get him in the talks of being a top-10 pick. If he continues his plate approach into next season, he could slip into the top-five.
12. Cincinnati Reds: Jared Kelley, RHP, Refugio HS (TX)
Kelley will be in consideration of the best high school pitcher from now until draft day. His performance at the Area Code Games really showed what he can do. For a high-schooler, he sure has a mature approach on the bump and strikes comparisons to other high school picks of the past that became starters in the show.
13. San Francisco Giants: Cole Wilcox, RHP, Georgia
Wilcox might take a backseat to teammate Hancock, but talent shouldn’t be overlooked. They’re not that far apart in projectability. Wilcox can touch 98 with his fastball. He was also projected as a first-round talent out of high school in 2018. The Giants need better pitchers in their system and Wilcox could rise through the ranks faster than anyone in this draft.
14. Texas Rangers: Dylan Crews, OF, Lake Mary HS (FL)
Perfect Game has rated Crews as the number two high school player for 2020. The Florida native has some pop in his bat and can find the barrel to the ball seamlessly. He’s got his heart set on LSU, so if he’s not selected in the top-25, he could forgo the pros and head straight to Baton Rouge. I’m a Crews fan. He reminds me of Steve Finley.
15. Philadelphia Phillies: Austin Hendrick, OF, West Allegheny HS (PA)
Keep a close eye on Austin Hendrick. Much like Garrett Mitchell, he’s rising through the ranks of the high school crop coming into the 2020 draft. He slams the ball with good bat speed and raw power that could generate into 30+ homers in the bigs. He’s a little slow on off-speed stuff but getting him in front of better competition will help. The Phillies will like the home product if they take him at 15.
16. Chicago Cubs: Reid Detmers, LHP, Louisville
Detmers fell off my top-15 list but he’s slowly inching his way into it. He finished the season by leading the D-1 in wins (13) and finished second in strikeouts (167 in 113 1/3 innings) during spring ball. A plus curveball and impressive command will be on radar entering the 2020 season.
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17. Boston Red Sox: Nick Gonzalves, 2B, New Mexico State
Gonzalves’ stock is rising. I’ve seen mocks have him as high as three. No kidding. There’s some comparisons to White Sox’s Nick Madrigal but with more pop in his bat and a less defender. There’s plus speed there as well.
18. Arizona Diamondbacks: Tanner Burns, RHP, Auburn
As Casey Mize‘s successor, Burns has been a bright spot for the Auburn rotation. His fastball can touch 97-98 mph and his breaking balls have tail whips. There’s questions of his durability but much like Mize had, if Burns comes out next season and pitches gems he’ll rise quickly.
19. New York Mets: Heston Kjerstad, OF, Arkansas
I do not think Kjerstad will go here. But I do think if he is here the Mets will surely take him. Losing Jarred Kelenic this past season, really hurt the Mets’ farm. If they get Kjerstad here, they fill a hole. Kjerstad is a better hitter than Arkansas teammate Casey Martin and the numbers in 2019 prove it. The real question here is if Kjerstad has peaked or if there is more in his game to prove a higher ceiling.
20. Milwaukee Brewers: Freddy Zamora, SS, Miami
Freddy Zamora fits almost too perfect. The Miami product is a sure deal at short, and yes, he’s known for being a defense-first player but the improvements he has made as a hitter these past two season does raise is ceiling more. The power is starting to show and he looks more and more comfortable at the plate, given his walk-rate.
21. St. Louis Cardinals, Cole Henry, LSU
Cole Henry is an arm that doesn’t get much hype in the SEC, due to the names he sits behind in Emerson Hancock, JT Ginn and Cole Wilcox. Watching him pitch, he seems to have a phenomenal strike to walk ratio and misses many bats. Not one pitch is plus, and doesn’t blow anyone away, but he can develop into an innings eater and in the mid-to-lower rotation for any team.
22. Washington Nationals: Ed Howard, SS, Mount Carmel HS (IL)
Boom or bust pick? Not quite. Howard is sneaking into first round considerations I’m told be a few MLB executives. He’s a tall, athletic shortstop with interesting power. It would be a very smart move for the World Series champion Nats to start stocking up the farm with legit talent now to keep the train moving. Howard is a hell of a start.
23. Cleveland Indians: Hugh Fisher, LHP, Vanderbilt
Don’t sleep on Fisher. While Kumar Rocker is the ace of Vandy’s rotation, Fisher is a workhorse that doesn’t get props. Last year he appeared in 20 games out of the pen striking out nearly 11.5 per nine. He is likely to get a chance to start this year, and there are just not a lot of 6’5″ southpaws who can throw in the mid-90s. If the Indians select him they must understand he’s a project. Perfect Indians pick, right?
24. Tampa Bay Rays: Drew Romo, C, Woodlands HS (TX)
Upon building the best Rays team we’ve ever seen for the next five years, they’ll need a backstop in the system. Look no further than Drew Romo. He’s a switch hitter who is very raw. Although his best marks are his defensive game, there are sparks of interesting offense in his game that could translate better when he enters the pro ranks.
25. Atlanta Braves: Nate Savino, LHP, Potomac Falls HS (VA)
I see Savino moving up in this draft, even before his upcoming season. He’s a lefty with a plus slider and slurve that stays in the 90s and doesn’t drop. Braves don’t have any pressing needs at the moment, so whether they draft a prep pitcher or position player they’ll be okay.
26. Oakland Athletics: Austin Wells, 1B/C, Arizona
Wells doesn’t get the love from like past Wildcats such as Nick Quintana did the year prior but he’s a player on the radar of many teams. His power stands out and is considered a plus tool. If he can clean up his game behind the plate or in the field, he could rise. Regardless of position, his power is too good to pass up.
27. Minnesota Twins, Cade Cavalli, RHP, Oklahoma
Big pitcher. Big arm. What’s not to like? Minnesota has broke onto the scene early– winning right now like they have. Cavalli should fly through the minors and provide either a mid-to-bottom rotation help or even bullpen help, if they go that route.
28. New York Yankees: CJ Van Eyk, RHP, Florida
New York needs to keep filling their system with pitchers. They’ve had success with home grown talent before but more than anything they need pitching over bats at this point. Van Eyk has the college resume, and the fact that he comes from system that churns pitchers out on a yearly basis and on top of that he’s very polished makes him well-worth a first round pick. Do it Yanks. Do it!
29. Los Angeles Dodgers: Justin Foscue, 2B, Mississippi
There’s a chance Foscue goes a handful of picks before this, but if he falls here, he’s too good a player to pass. He’s a solid hitter and has really made a home for himself at second base.
30. Houston Astros, Tyler Soderstrom, C, Turlock HS (CA)
If Drew Romo doesn’t fall to them, or if they don’t fall in love with a riser like Shane Muntz out of Wake Forest, Soderstrom might be their guy. It’s no secret they need better catching in their system, and Soderstrom’s ceiling isn’t yet determined. He’s got good build and manages the game behind the dish well. Like all catchers, though, can he hit? The real proof of ceiling will be how he does a year or two on the farm.