This years MLB Draft will be like no other before. A multitude of changes have been implemented due to the shortened and canceled high school and college baseball seasons.
Commissioner Rob Manfred stated that the upcoming MLB Draft would be shortened from the original 40 rounds to a now 5 rounds. This change comes for the better and the worse. Team scouts will have an easier time finding and selecting players. But on the flip side, thousands of projected late round draft picks will most likely not hear their name called on June 10 and 11.
Similar to the NFL Draft, this years draft will held virtually and remotely. Organizations will submit their picks via email to Commissioner Manfred, to then be announced to the viewers. (We could possibly see the picks being announced straight from Manfred’s basement, just like NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell.)
This unorthodox way of drafting will certainly be one to watch for, as anything can happen.
- Detroit Tigers – Spencer Torkleson, 1B, Arizona State
The first overall selection in this years draft quite easily could be a coin flip between slugger Spencer Torkleson and the dynamic Austin Martin. Some may argue that Torkleson’s powerful bat is the best since former San Diego University slugger and current Chicago Cub Kris Bryant. Torkleson’s career .337 Batting Average along with his jaw-dropping 48 home runs in two seasons places him in my book, as the first overall pick in this years draft.
2. Baltimore Orioles – Austin Martin, 3B, Vanderbilt
At the second selection, it is a matter of whoever falls between Spencer Torkleson and Austin Martin. Martin is by far the most dominant and pure hitter in this years draft class. The Vanderbilt Commodore was the heart and soul of the 2019 CWS Championship team and will take that mentality wherever he lands. A train of thought is that the Orioles could select a pitcher at this spot. Though, the wide depth of the talented arms in this years draft class makes this offensive selection more valuable.
3. Miami Marlins – Emerson Hancock, RHP, Georgia
At this selection, the Marlins are stuck with the decision between two pitching phenoms: Emerson Hancock and Asa Lacy. Quite frankly, either choice is a strong option. Although, Hancock has the slight edge over Lacy due to his consistency on the mound. Coming into the 2020 season, some had Hancock as high as the number one overall prospect.
4. Kansas City Royals – Asa Lacy, LHP, Texas A&M
Whether it be Hancock or Lacy that slides to number 4, you can pencil Kansas City to draft either one of them. In this mock, the Texas A&M Aggie, Asa Lacy, is selected by the Royals. If this is the case and KC lands one of these elite arms, the Royals will have a plethora of talented arms in the next few years with Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar and Daniel Lynch. Keep a keen eye out for this pitching staff for years to come.
5. Toronto Blue Jays – Zac Veen, OF, Spruce Creek HS (Port Orange, Fl.)
The first high school draft prospect of the board is Outfielder Zac Veen. Veen is the best all-around high school hitter in the draft. Any team that selects Veen, will end up with a dynamic and impact bat that could bat leadoff for any organization. Some may even project Veen to be selected as high as two to Baltimore.
6. Seattle Mariners – Nick Gonzales, SS/2B, New Mexico State
Many consider the New Mexico State product Nick Gonzales to have the most powerful bat in this years draft class. Many mocks have him as high as the first overall pick, and the outer-worldly stats reinforce that reasoning. Gonzales led all of Division I baseball in Batting Average with a mind-boggling .432. He also led the division with 12 home runs, in just a condensed 16 games. To add, Gonzales won Cape Cod League MVP last summer. Nick Gonzales’ ceiling is like no other in this draft class. You could pencil him in as a cleanup hitter for any major league organization in a few years.
- Pittsburgh Pirates – Heston Kjerstad, OF, Arkansas
The Pirates are desprate for offensive weapons, leading them to take the best available bat, Heston Kjerstad. Kjerstad the Arkansas product, is equipped with the most impactful lefty bat in this years class. Although, some may lead to think Pittsburgh will go with UCLA outfielder Garrett Mitchell or even the top backstop Patrick Bailey.
- San Diego Padres – Reid Detmers, LHP, Louisville
This selection along with the Colorado who is following, could be a coin flip for two elite pitchers who are eager to make big impacts: Reid Detmers and Max Meyer. What gives Detmers the slight edge in this mock draft is his aggressive demeanor on the mound. Although, some may argue that Max Meyer could be selected here. Either pitcher who is selected in this spot is a viable arm.
- Colorado Rockies – Max Meyer, RHP, Minnesota
For Colorado, this pick will be whoever falls out of the elite arms in Detmers and Meyer. If Max Meyer falls, this could be a steal. Meyer’s vast and electric repertoire is at the top of this draft class and his lethal slider is arguably the best in the country. Meyer has great upside as a starting or even a relief pitcher for any major league team.
- Los Angeles Angels – Austin Hendrick, OF, West Allegheny HS (Imperial, Pa.)
Rounding out the top 10 is high school outfielder, Austin Hendrick. The Pennsylvania prep has one of the well-developed bats in this years class. Some may think Hendrick could fall as late as 21 to St. Louis. If LA doesn’t take Hendrick, other strong options in this selection would be Robert Hassell, Patrick Bailey or even the Oklahoma product, Cade Cavalli.
- Chicago White Sox – Robert Hassell, OF, Independence HS (Thompson’s Station, Tenn.)
- Cincinnati Reds – Garrett Mitchell, OF, UCLA
- San Francisco Giants – Patrick Bailey, C, North Carolina State
- Texas Rangers – Cade Cavalli, RHP, Oklahoma
- Philadelphia Phillies – Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, Harvard-Westlake School (Studio City, Cali.)
- Chicago Cubs – Ed Howard, SS, Mount Carmel HS (Chicago, Illionis)
- Boston Red Sox – Jared Kelley, RHP, Refugio HS (Refugio, Tex.)
- Arizona Diamondbacks – Tyler Soderstrom, C, Turlock HS (Turlock, Cali.)
- New York Mets – Garrett Crochet, LHP, Tennessee
- Milwaukee Brewers – Carmen Mlodzinski, RHP, South Carolina
- St. Louis Cardinals – Dillion Dingler, C, Ohio State
- Washington Nationals – Slade Cecconi, RHP, Miami
- Cleveland Indians – Cole Milcox, RHP, Georgia
- Tampa Bay Rays – Tanner Burns, RHP, Auburn
- Atlanta Braves – Bobby Miller, RHP, Louisville
- Oakland A’s – Nick Loftin, SS, Baylor
- Minnesota Twins – Justin Foscue, 2B, Mississippi State
- New York Yankees – Bryce Jarvis, RHP, Duke
- Los Angeles Dodgers – J.T Ginn, RHP, Mississippi State
Photo Credit: Vanderbilt Athletics