Category: College Baseball

2020 MLB Draft Countdown: 34-1

With all the craziness going on in the world, a family road trip, and ongoing negotiations between MLB and the MLBPA, I simply ran out of time to do the full breakdown of each player. So here I put my final 34 in list form and will do a deeper dive post draft. A few notes as I look at it, lots of discussion as to who goes number one, I think Torkelson goes number one, but my pick would be Austin Martin. I like his bat and ability to play a premium position. Pete Crow-Armstrong I doubt slides to 20 as the amount of time he had in front of scouts pre-COVID may help him as much as any prep player in the draft. The first round will be college heavy for numerous reasons, the biggest two being the lack of access to bonus slot flexibility as a result of the shortened draft and HS players not scouted as much as college players have given the early end to the season,

 

34) Bobby Miller – RHP – Louisville
33) Carson Montgomery – RHP – West Orange HS (FL)
32) C.J. Van Eyk – RHP – Florida State
31) Bryce Jarvis – RHP – Duke
30) Chris McMahon – RHP – Miami
29) Nick Loftin – SS – Baylor
28) Casey Martin – SS – Arkansas
27) Dillon Dingler – C – Ohio State
26) Jordan Westburg – SS – Mississippi State
25) Carmen Mlodzinski – RHP – South Carolina
24) J.T. Ginn – RHP – Mississippi State
23) Slade Cecconi – RHP – Miami
22) Cole Wilcox – RHP – Georgia
21) Robert Hassell – OF – Independence HS (TN)
20) Pete Crow-Armstrong – OF – Harvard Westlake HS (CA)
19) Cade Cavalli – RHP – Oklahoma
18) Tyler Soderstom – C – Turlock HS (CA)
17) Ed Howard – SS – Mount Carmel HS (IL)
16) Garrett Crochet – LHP – Tennessee
15) Nick Bitsko – RHP – Central Bucks East HS (PA)
14) Mick Abel – RHP – Jesuit HS (OR)
13) Austin Hendrick – OF – West Allegheny HS (PA)
12) Patrick Bailey – C – North Carolina State
11) Jared Kelley – RHP – Refugio HS (TX)
10) Heston Kjerstad – OF – Arkansas
9) Max Meyer – RHP – Minnesota
8) Reid Detmers – LHP – Louisville
7) Zac Veen – OF – Spruce Creek HS (FL)
6) Garrett Mitchell – OF – UCLA
5) Nick Gonzales – 2B – New Mexico State
4) Asa Lacy – LHP – Texas A&M
3) Emerson Hancock – RHP – Georgia
2) Spencer Torkelson – 1B – Arizona State
1) Austin Martin – SS – Vanderbilt

MLB Draft Countdown: #35, Austin Wells, Arizona, C/1B

Player: Austin Wells Draft Day Age: 20
School: Arizona Position(s): C/1B
Height: 6’2” Weight: 220 lbs. Bats: Left Throws: Right
Hit: Elite. He can hit for average, he can hit for power, he can flat out hit. The bat gets to the ball quickly and without wasted movement. This is his carrying tool and it will offset the concerns regarding his position.
Field: Here is the question, where will he play? He has good hands and feet behind the dish, but the arm is not accurate or strong enough to ever be even average, which could prove to be an issue. Some feel he can move out to left, but the lack of speed leaves plenty of concern regarding his range. That leaves him at first, where his bat can play.
Summary: No question he can hit, and there are some who truly feel he will stick behind the plate, which would make him an incredibly valuable. I think the catcher is the most valuable defensive position on the diamond, so I am not sold he sticks there, therefore I am lower on him than some. Also, a bat as advances as Wells’ will be able to move through a system quickly, not allowing him the time to develop defensively. This all points to him being a first baseman long term, and that just hurts his overall value, although the pure bat tools are among the best in the class.

MLB Draft Countdown: #36, Tanner Burns, Auburn, RHP

Player: Tanner Burns Draft Day Age: 21
School: Auburn Position(s): RHP
Height: 6’ Weight: 210 lbs. Bats: Right Throws: Right
Fastball: 92-97 but sits 92-94. Runs arm side. Mild downhill plane. Cross body action keeps ball hidden and allows pitch to get on hitters quick playing near plus despite being slightly above average in terms of raw stuff.
Change: 82-83. Some dip and run. Used sparingly and needs work to become consistent. Flashes average and a nice third offering.
Curve: 78-81, can be slurvy. Best at lower velo. Even when into the 80s it has plenty of depth and curveball break. May be pitch with highest upside.
Delivery/Mechanics: Cross body action with 3/4 arm slot and falls to 1B side. Plenty of strain through the shoulder and proven to be the case with shoulder concerns sophomore year and regularly wears down as season goes on.
Summary: A lot of good pieces, no special pieces, Burns gets as much out of his stuff as anyone in the draft class. He has above average command of his pitches despite some concern in the delivery, allowing all of his pitches to play up. He has been a workhorse for Auburn, but there is some concern about his ability to stick as a starter long term. If he does, the change really needs to gain consistency and he needs to prove he can handle the workload. If he moves to the pen, his breaking ball alone will make him a quality big league reliever.

MLB Draft Countdown: #38, Aaron Sabato, 1B, North Carolina

Player: Aaron Sabato Draft Day Age: 21
School: North Carolina Position(s): 1B
Height: 6’2” Weight: 230 lbs. Bats: Right Throws: Right
Hit: This is where Sabato will make his presence known. There isn’t much wasted movement in the swing, allowing him to have a higher contact grade than most power hitters these days. The power will be the carrying tool, as he projects as a guy who can hit 30 long balls at the highest level.
Field: Limited to first. There was a time he was given some consideration to trying other spots around the diamond, but a shoulder surgery limits his already below-average arm strength. He is slow footed, meaning he does not have the range to play outfield, but the hands are good enough to be a quality first baseman.
Summary: The sample size for Sabato is quite limited as he struggled to open his freshman campaign before going on an absolute tear and setting the freshman record in home runs for a member of the North Carolina baseball team. He had surgery over the summer preventing him from showcasing his skills in the premier summer leagues so there are no real reports on him carrying a wood bat. He picked up where he left off a season ago, hitting seven home runs in the 19 games before the season was cancelled. Given he is a first base only prospect, the bat has to carry him, and he has more than enough to do just that.