2020 BA 500 Draft Rankings
The BA 500 is an attempt to capture the industry’s consensus on the talent of the 2020 draft class—not to predict where players will be selected. The list was compiled in consultation with major league scouts, front office executives, scouting directors, college coaches and other professional evaluators. Teddy Cahill, JJ Cooper, Kyle Glaser, Joe Healy, Bill Mitchell, Chris Trenkle and Carlos Collazo contributed to the reporting and writing.
By Carlos Collazo
June 2 Update: Final tweak to rankings made based on last-minute industry feedback. See how the class breaks down by the numbers.
RELATED: See our 2020 MLB Mock Draft
We didn’t take the expected route to get here, but after almost a year of evaluating the 2020 draft class, Baseball America is proud to release the BA 500.
A comprehensive ranking of the top talent in the 2020 draft class, the BA 500 is the result of almost a year of watching, evaluating and reporting on the most talented high school and college players in the nation. This list has been tweaked, adjusted, sent to MLB scouting departments for feedback and argued over for many months in an attempt to capture the industry’s consensus on the talent of the 2020 class.
The 2020 draft will be remembered as one of the most unusual drafts of all time. The novel coronavirus threw a wrench into the plans of scouts and players alike, giving Division I colleges just four weeks of action and many high school players even less than that. Because of that, the draft will be significantly shorter and teams will have to make picks based on evaluations from last fall and last summer more than spring performances.
It would be a shame for any draft class to be affected in this way, but it’s especially true for a 2020 class that was among the strongest in recent memory.
“(We) entered the spring believing the 2020 class was strong, but the class looked even better than expected in the first four weeks of the college season,” said one American League front office executive. “The upper crust of college talent is excellent on both sides of the ball, and a number of pitchers really elevated their stock early in the spring. We’ll never really know what the spring would’ve held now.
“But it was shaping up to be a special spring. It’s probably on par with the 2014 class, which has ended up being better than the industry expected, especially given the career outcomes of the first two picks. It could’ve been as good as the 2012 class with a strong remainder to the spring, which we’ll never know.”
The college class has a chance to make history in a variety of ways, with the top six players on the BA 500 hailing from the collegiate ranks. If six college players were selected to begin the draft this year, it would break the previous record of five straight collegians to start the draft (which happened in 1992 and 2018).
“Almost everything about the college crop is above-average for recent years,” the AL exec said.
Additionally, the 2020 draft could consist of the largest percentage of college players drafted ever, thanks to the expedited information disadvantage for high school prospects. Scouting departments have been drafting more and more college players since the start of the century for a variety of reasons, but the coronavirus could take that to a new extreme.
“There’s likely to be a flight to safety,” said the exec. “The high school class is going to take a hit, in particular, due to the lack of exposure relative to prior years. It’s absolutely going to have a ripple effect on how teams operate in the future.”
The draft will be five rounds and begin June 10. The length of the draft itself could have huge ramifications on how scouting departments operate, with the role of area scouts shifting dramatically depending on the length.
“Technology is not only more useful this year, it’s paramount.” the exec said. “The involvement of area scouts will likely depend on the number of rounds of the draft, which is still to be determined. If it’s only a five-round draft, area scouts will likely have less input than ever before. If it’s a 40-round draft—which is unlikely—area scouts could really make a huge difference throughout the depth of the draft. (We’re) waiting on pins and needles to hear the parameters of the draft from MLB.”
The 2020 draft class is led by a group of players at the top, rather than a no-doubt No. 1 prospect like we saw with the 2019 (Adley Rutschman) and 2018 (Casey Mize) draft classes. Arizona State first baseman Spencer Torkelson and Vanderbilt outfielder Austin Martin top the list at No. 1 and No. 2, though scouts are split on who the best player in the class is.
We will continue to make tweaks and adjust the BA 500 as necessary as we get closer to draft day, and we’ll also regularly roll out scouting reports on every player ranked. Currently all 500 players have scouting reports available.
Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 215 | B-T: R-RA notable high school prospect out of Georgia in 2017, Hancock established himself as one of the best college pitchers in the country during a tremendous sophomore season in 2019. He posted a 1.99 ERA—the eighth best mark in Georgia history—and led the SEC with a 0.84 WHIP while allowing one run or fewer in nine of his 14 starts. Scouts lauded his delivery, command and repertoire at the time, with some believing each of his pitches were plus or better. The grades on Hancock’s offerings weren’t quite as gaudy early in 2020, but his command, frame, delivery and pitch mix still place him among the elite pitchers in the draft class. Hancock’s command earns potential plus grades—rare for an amateur pitcher with his stuff. He walked just 1.79 batters per nine innings as a sophomore, and that rate was down to 1.13 after four starts in 2020. He spots his entire arsenal where he wants it out of his lower arm slot, which allows everything to play up. Hancock’s fastball ranges from 93-97 mph, though some evaluators question if it has the riding life and swing-and-miss qualities you’d like from a frontline starter. Hancock's low 80s slider is an above-average offering that gets plus grades at its best, while a tumbling changeup is his most consistent offspeed pitch and generates whiffs from batters on both sides. Hancock also throws an infrequent curveball as his fourth pitch. Hancock is unsurprisingly efficient considering his command. He fields his position well with impressive natural athleticism and a clean delivery that leaves him in good fielding position. Hancock lacks an out-pitch breaking ball, but his athleticism, frame, command, velocity, changeup and track record in the SEC all combine to make him difficult to pass up. He should be one of the first pitchers off the board.
Commit/Drafted: Diamondbacks '17 (38)
Age At Draft: 21.0More Less
Ht: 6-0 | Wt: 185 | B-T: L-RIf you’re looking for the best pure stuff in the 2020 draft class, Meyer might be your guy. A two-time member of USA Baseball's Collegiate National Team, Meyer is a two-way player for Minnesota with a long track record of excellence on the mound. After posting a 2.06 ERA as a reliever as a freshman in 2018, Meyer successfully transitioned to starting in 2019 and posted a 2.11 ERA with 87 strikeouts in 76.2 innings (10.2 strikeouts per nine). He took over the Friday night role this spring and was rapidly ascending draft boards before the season was cut short. Meyer has two 70-grade offerings in his arsenal. He holds a mid-90s fastball deep into outings and runs it up to 97-98 mph, while his slider is the best in the 2020 draft class. Meyer's slider is not only hard, reaching 92-93 mph, but it has tremendous movement and depth and he has excellent command of it. He can loosen it for strikes or tighten it for chases out of the zone at will. Some observers have called it the best amateur slider they've ever scouted. Meyer also has a mid-80s changeup with slight tailing life and above-average potential, giving him the third pitch needed to start. Meyer is undersized at 6-foot, 185 pounds, but he holds his stuff and there’s not a disconcerting amount of effort in his delivery. He has a strong history of throwing quality strikes and is one of the more athletic pitchers to come out of the draft in recent years. Meyer draws frequent comparisons to other small but high-octane starters like Sonny Gray and Marcus Stroman. He's gone from a late-first round option to a potential top-10 pick thanks to his early-season performance.
Commit/Drafted: Twins '17 (34)
Age At Draft: 21.3More Less
Ht: 6-5 | Wt: 198 | B-T: R-RVying to be the first prep pitcher from Oregon drafted in the first round since 1994—when the Royals drafted lefthander and first baseman Matt Smith—Abel has a tantalizing combination of present stuff, future projection and pitchability. A 6-foot-5, 180-pound righthander, Abel touched 97 mph last summer and sits in the 90-94 mph range. Aside from a fastball that’s a potentially plus offering, Abel has two quality secondaries. The first is a slider that plays firm in the 82-86 mph range and was voted by scouting directors as the best breaking ball in the prep class. He throws the pitch consistently with hard, biting action and is capable of landing it in the zone for strikes or using it as a chase pitch. Abel also throws a changeup in the 81-85 mph range that has good tumble and fading life and consistently shows above-average quality. On paper, Abel checks plenty of boxes: He has a terrific pitcher’s frame, athleticism, three above-average or better pitches and arguably the best command in the class. But because of the shortened 2020 season, Abel will be one of the most difficult prep players to assess. While teams should have lots of history with him thanks to his notoriety as an underclassman—which included striking out 2019 No. 5 overall pick Riley Greene—teams have little to nothing from this spring on the Oregon State commit. His high school team didn’t play a single game, and the lack of recent information could give teams pause. If Abel had simply played this spring and been the same pitcher he was last summer, he would go somewhere in the middle of the first round. He could still go there, but the abbreviated season affects him more than most and leaves his status more questionable despite top-of-the-rotation upside.
Commit/Drafted: Oregon State
Age At Draft: 18.8More Less
Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 215 | B-T: R-RA man among boys in the high school class, Kelley is the most MLB-ready prep pitcher thanks to his current stuff and physicality. Standing 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, Kelley runs his fastball up into the 97-99 mph range with shocking ease. He looks like he’s playing catch on the mound with a loose, fluid delivery and little to no head whack in his finish. Perhaps in part because of the ease of his entire operation, Kelley locates his premium stuff in a way that’s beyond his years, with some scouts projecting him to have future plus command. The ease in which he does everything makes it look like his fastball explodes out of his hand, and he pairs that pitch with a low-80s plus changeup that he throws with good arm speed. The pitch is a swing-and-miss offering with excellent diving life and, like he does with his fastball, Kelley shows good feel to spot it where he wants in or out of the strike zone. The biggest question with Kelley entering the spring was in regard to his breaking ball. Over the summer he showed a slider in the low 80s, sometimes-slurvy slider. It was inconsistent and far from the wipeout projection that teams would like to see out of the top high school pitcher in the class. While Kelley didn’t get a full spring season, scouts still saw signs of improvement from his breaking ball and gave it a chance for it to become average or above-average. Kelley will battle the stigma and spotty track record that comes with being a hard-throwing high school righty, while also competing in one of the strongest college pitching classes in recent memory. Still, he does several things at an exceptionally high level that are impossible to teach, and has No. 2 starter upside. Kelley is committed to Texas.
Age At Draft: 18.7More Less
Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 220 | B-T: R-RBitsko could be the most challenging player for teams to evaluate in the 2020 class. Previously the top-ranked prep player in the 2021 draft class, Bitsko announced that he would graduate early to enroll at Virginia, making him draft-eligible for 2020. While Bitsko was at a few big events last summer—including East Coast Pro and USA Baseball’s National Team Development Program in Chicago—teams were watching him with the impression they would have another year of evaluation remaining. The teams who bear down early on underclassmen will be in the best position with Bitsko for the 2020 draft, but it wasn’t hard to see his talent fit with the top prep arms in the class. At East Coast Pro, Bitsko showed a fastball in the 92-96 mph range with a potentially plus curveball that had depth, power and impressive spin (2,100-2,500 rpm). With a physical, 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame, a clean, overhead windup and good strike-throwing ability, Bitsko has plenty of classic starter’s attributes. He reportedly touched as high as 98 mph with his fastball in the offseason and is solidly in the elite tier of prep pitchers. Because his Central Bucks East High team wasn’t scheduled to start until April, Bitsko didn’t throw a pitch this season. Now, teams will be left to decide whether the glimpses of talent they saw last summer were enough to sign him out of a strong commitment to Virginia. The Cavaliers have done a nice job luring elite arms to campus in recent years, including Mike Vasil (2018 draft class) and lefthander Nate Savino, who was previously a member of the 2020 class and a first-round talent. Bitsko has a chance to be a top of the rotation-caliber arm.
Age At Draft: 18.0More Less
Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 226 | B-T: R-RIf you were creating the blueprint for an ideal pitcher’s body, Cavalli might look like the end product. A towering, 6-foot-4, 218-pound righthander who looks like an All-American quarterback, Cavalli on paper has everything you want in a frontline pitcher. He can dial his fastball up to 98 mph and sits in the mid-90s with ease. He complements it with a devastating 87-90 mph slider with impressive lateral movement that serves as an out-pitch against both lefties and righties. He also has a curveball and a changeup that are solid-average with growth potential. Cavalli throws everything out of a picturesque arm action and delivery. However, hitters tend to square up Cavalli's fastball more than his velocity would suggest, partially because his delivery is so clean it lacks deception. His fastball plays down at least a grade below its velocity and perhaps more, and he has a history of erratic control that makes it difficult to work to his secondary offerings. Additionally, Cavalli has a troubling injury history going back to his high school days. He rarely pitched during his senior year because of lingering back issues and also missed time in 2019 due to a stress reaction in his arm. While Cavalli has first-round pure stuff, big upside and one of the better bodies in the 2020 class, he could fall into the second round because of concerns about how that stuff plays, the quality of his strikes and questions about durability.
Commit/Drafted: Braves '17 (29)
Age At Draft: 21.8More Less
- 23Mississippi State RHPNotes:
Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 192 | B-T: R-RAfter being selected by the Dodgers in the first round out of high school in 2018, Ginn entered the 2020 season as a draft-eligible sophomore with a chance to double up on the accomplishment. However, he made it through just three innings of his first start of the season against Wright State before exiting the game. It was later announced the Ginn would need surgery on his right elbow and that he would miss the season. While the rest of the college season was canceled due to the novel coronavirus, Ginn’s status is more up in the air after being considered a top-15 caliber player in the 2020 draft class. He has plenty of prospect pedigree going back to his high school days, when his pure stuff stacked up among the best arms of a loaded 2018 prep pitching class. As a high schooler, Ginn ratcheted his fastball up to 99 mph and buried a mean, wipeout slider as well. Rather than sign with Los Angeles at the back of the first round, he had a strong freshman season at Mississippi State and proved he could be a dominant starter. He posted a 3.13 ERA over 17 starts and 86.1 innings, while striking out 105 batters and walking 19. When healthy, Ginn possesses two potentially double-plus pitches. His fastball has impressive velocity, but the pitch’s life and running action makes it even more impressive. His slider has also been graded as a future plus-plus offering by some evaluators, and he has a solid changeup as well. Ginn showed he could hold his stuff over longer outings, repeat his delivery consistently and throw enough strikes to start, but now teams will have to decide whether to take the risk on his health. He could again be a difficult sign because of the additional leverage that comes with being a draft-eligible sophomore.
Commit/Drafted: Dodgers '18 (1)
Age At Draft: 21.1More Less
Ht: 6-5 | Wt: 232 | B-T: R-RWilcox was in the middle of an extremely talented Georgia prep pitching class in 2018, along with arms like Indians righty Ethan Hankins and Vanderbilt righty Kumar Rocker. Wilcox was seen as a day one talent at the time, with a projectable frame, plus fastball and two promising secondary offerings, but the depth of the class and his commitment to Georgia allowed him to slide. Two years later, Wilcox is again a potential first-round pick and one of many impressive draft-eligible sophomores in the 2020 class. Wilcox has worked with Georgia’s strength and conditioning coach, Ryan Gearhart, to add significant muscle to his 6-foot-5 frame in his two years at school. He’s now listed at 232 pounds and is one of the more physically intimidating pitchers in the country. His stuff matches his size, as Wilcox attacks hitters with a fastball that frequently gets into the 97-98 mph range and has touched 100 mph. After spending most of his time as a reliever in 2019, Wilcox entered the 2020 season as the Bulldogs’ Saturday starter behind Emerson Hancock and was off to a great start before the season was cut short. Wilcox posted a 1.57 ERA in four starts, with 32 strikeouts and just two walks in 23 innings. That walk rate is encouraging for teams, who are skeptical of Wilcox’s strike-throwing ability after he walked close to six batters per nine innings in 2019. Scouts would have liked to see him continue that trend against SEC batters, as Wilcox has a tendency to get scattered and miss the zone, but his stuff is overpowering enough that overmatched hitters would still chase out of the zone. Wilcox pitched mostly off of a 93-96 mph fastball as a starter, with a mid-80s slider that also grades as plus. He also throws a changeup in the same mid-80s range that could give him an average or better third offering. Wilcox was trending in the right direction prior to the season ending and was already a first round-type of talent entering the year, so how much a team likes his upside and buys into his improved control will determine where he goes. As an eligible sophomore, Wilcox will have more leverage than most college players and could be a costly sign.
Commit/Drafted: Nationals '18 (37)
Age At Draft: 20.9More Less
- 25South Carolina RHPNotes:
Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 231 | B-T: R-RMlodzinski (pronounced ‘Muh-jin-ski’) had some top-five round grades from clubs coming out of Hilton Head (S.C.) High, but he made it to campus at South Carolina, where he posted a 5.61 ERA over two abbreviated seasons. A foot injury limited him to just three games in 2019, but Mlodzinski entered the 2020 season as a redshirt sophomore with some of the most hype in the country following an exceptional summer in the Cape Cod League. He ranked as the top pitcher in the league with a fastball up to 97-98 mph, an impressive slider and cutter and a 2.15 ERA over six starts, with 40 strikeouts to just four walks. He managed just four starts before the season shut down ahead of a big SEC matchup with Tennessee, posting a 2.84 ERA in 25.1 innings with less gaudy strikeout numbers but plenty of ground balls induced. Mlodzinski sat in the 92-94 mph range and showed 96-97 at times. The pitch is a heavy sinking fastball that generates tons of ground balls but doesn't as miss many bats as scouts would like. After flashing a plus slider and cutter in the Cape, Mlodzinski’s breaking balls were more above-average or solid this spring, with the slider lacking the depth and tilt he previously showed and the cutter sitting in the 89-91 mph range. He tinkered with a curveball that was fringe-average at times, and also infrequently threw a changeup that needs further refinement. Without a true swing-and-miss offering, it’s more difficult to see Mlodzinski going at the top of the first round. As a physical, 6-foot-2, 231-pound righty who throws a lot of strikes, has a clean arm action and forces hitters into beating the ball into the ground, he still offers a reasonable floor as a middle or back-of-the-rotation starter.
Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
Age At Draft: 21.3More Less
Ht: 6-0 | Wt: 215 | B-T: R-ROther pitchers in the 2020 class have bigger pure stuff and more physical frames than the 6-foot, 215-pound Auburn righthander, but Burns has one of the higher baselines of any pitcher in the country. He’s been a reliable workhorse over two-plus years with the Tigers in a full-time starting role, taking the bump 32 times and posting a 2.86 ERA in 188.2 innings. That sort of track record in the SEC speaks for itself, and Burns’ pitch mix is solid-average or better across the board. His fastball sits in the 92-94 mph range consistently, with more in the tank when he wants it. It’s a plus pitch that plays up because of his ability to locate it consistently. He dots the pitch wherever he wants, which allows him to set up his offspeed offerings. Burns throws an above-average curveball and a changeup that gets some above-average grades as well, though it fluctuates more around average than the curve or fastball. He also throws a slider, though some evaluators believe the two breaking balls blend together. Either way, he gets swings and misses from lefties and righties with his breaking stuff and is an above-average strike thrower. His career walk rate with Auburn is just 3.16 batters per nine, and if he stays healthy he’s got a high likelihood to impact a major league club. Some teams may question his durability and endurance thanks to his size, but he’s done all he can in college to show he can handle the workload. Burns has the upside of a No. 3 or 4 starter and should be taken in the middle or back of the first round.
Commit/Drafted: Yankees '17 (37)
Age At Draft: 21.5More Less
Ht: 6-5 | Wt: 220 | B-T: L-RMiller intrigued at McHenry (Ill.) High with a 93-94 mph fastball and a frame that indicated more in the tank. He turned down the Orioles as a 38th-round pick and made his way to Louisville, where he began to actualize that potential. Now standing 6-foot-5, 220 pounds, Miller's fastball is a power offering that reaches the upper-90s consistently with heavy, sinking life. He pairs that pitch with a hard slider in the upper 80s that can touch 90 mph and flashes plus potential. Miller also has a mid-80s changeup that is a solid offering and a fringy but usable curveball. While Miller has size and explosive stuff, there are still questions about his long-term role. He became a full-time starter for the first time in 2020, though he did log plenty of innings in hybrid roles in 2018 and 2019, and some scouts wonder what his dominant swing and miss offering will be. There’s some reliever risk because his delivery and arm action aren’t the smoothest or cleanest, although he holds his stuff deep into outings and improved his strike-throwing this season. Miller was trending in the right direction with a 2.31 ERA in four starts before the season shut down. His intimidating size and loud stuff fit somewhere at the back of the first or early second round.
Commit/Drafted: Orioles '17 (38)
Age At Draft: 21.2More Less
Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 205 | B-T: R-RMcMahon has shown impressive athleticism and arm strength dating back to his high school days, when he was up to 95 mph and showed potential for two quality offspeed offerings. He was drafted by the Braves in the 33rd round but opted for Miami, where he emerged as the top pitcher in his class in southern Florida. McMahon has a solid track record with the Hurricanes, and scouts believe his pitch metrics will excite analytically-inclined evaluators. His fastball is a plus offering that regularly sits in the mid-90s with deception and solid riding life. Some scouts consider his slider the better of his two secondary offerings and call it a plus breaking ball, while others are higher on a changeup that draws plus grades as well. Neither is consistently plus, but both flash it. McMahon has also implemented a cutter, though some evaluators believe it is simply a more firm version of his slider. McMahon has a minor back injury on his resume, but he’s largely been successful when healthy. He was off to his best collegiate season in 2020 with a 1.05 ERA, 38 strikeouts and five walks over 25.2 innings. With his potent three-pitch mix and accomplished track record, McMahon is in the mix to go as high as the back of the first round, and it would be surprising to see him slide past the second round.
Commit/Drafted: Braves '17 (33)
Age At Draft: 21.4More Less
- 32Miami RHPNotes:
Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 212 | B-T: R-RCecconi has one of the best pedigrees of any player in the class going back to his high school days. He looked like a likely first-round pick based on his summer looks entering his senior year of high school, but he pitched sparingly in the spring due to an injury and made it to campus at Miami as a result. His freshman season was solid over 80 innings, although the stuff wasn’t quite as loud as he showed in shorter stints as a high schooler. Still, he showed enough flashes that teams were convinced he was the same pitcher and would become a first-round candidate with another strong season as a draft-eligible sophomore. In terms of pure stuff, Cecconi has more than any pitcher in Florida and stacks up with the better starters in the 2020 class. Having everything together at once has been a challenge for the 6-foot-4 righthander, who also saw his velocity tick down in his last outing of the year. At his best he runs his fastball up into the upper 90s with impressive life and has a slider, cutter and changeup that all flash plus. On top of the quality of Cecconi’s pitches, scouts like his frame and strike-throwing ability but believe he gets too much of the plate at times. At the moment, Cecconi fits in the second round with his track record and performance, but his overall talent likely fits higher. Whether a team wants to take the risk to draft and sign him in that range is another question, and with additional leverage as an eligible sophomore it could prove difficult.
Commit/Drafted: Orioles '18 (38)
Age At Draft: 21.0More Less
Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 195 | B-T: L-RJarvis is one of several big-time pitching risers in North Carolina this year, along with Wake Forest’s Jared Shuster and North Carolina State’s Nick Swiney. The son of former big league pitcher Kevin Jarvis, Jarvis didn’t pitch in the Cape Cod League over the summer, instead working with Driveline and Cressey Sports Performance to improve his pitch mix and fastball velocity. The work paid off, as Jarvis increased his fastball from a pitch that topped out in the low 90s to a plus offering that sat 93-96 mph deep into outings early in the spring. Jarvis' new fastball—combined with his already impressive secondary offerings—has taken his draft stock to a new level. He was one of the most dominant pitchers in the country through four starts this spring, including a 15-strikeout perfect game against Cornell during the second week of the season. Jarvis has three potential above-average pitches now, with a mid-80s slider and a changeup that are a tick below plus in addition to his improved fastball. The 6-foot-2 righthander throws all his pitches effectively and showed above-average or better command in 2020 after walking more than four batters per nine as a freshman and sophomore. Jarvis works with a quick tempo and throws with some effort and recoil at times. It’s not the most fluid delivery, and teams would have liked to see if Jarvis was capable of holding his newfound fastball velocity over a full season as a starter. With that not possible due to the shortened season, Jarvis is probably looking at a second- or third-round selection.
Commit/Drafted: Yankees '19 (37)
Age At Draft: 22.5More Less
Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 195 | B-T: R-RA 6-foot-2, 195-pound righthander committed to Florida State, Montgomery has a loud two-pitch mix featuring a fastball that’s already up to 96 mph and one of the better sliders in the prep class. Montgomery consistently showed an impressive ability to generate whiffs with both pitches, with his fastball up in the zone and his slider at the bottom and below the strike zone. His fastball sits more in the 90-93 range after he settles in, but the pitch comes out of a high three-quarters slot with good angle and features solid running life. His slider flashes plus consistently, with hard and late diving action that routinely fools hitters, though scouts mentioned that the pitch is inconsistent. Some cite a wrist wrap in the back of his arm slot that could lead to the inconsistencies of the breaking ball, which also limits his fastball command. Montgomery can lose the zone at times and his command is more scattered than teams would like from a prep arm with first-round stuff. Additionally, teams will have to project on Montgomery’s changeup, which is firm in the upper 80s with little movement, but could become a reliable third pitch with additional usage. A team that likes his chance to start long-term could take him in the back half of the first, though most of the industry might have him slightly after that range. He could be a tough sign, particularly within a shortened 2020 draft.
Commit/Drafted: Florida State
Age At Draft: 17.8More Less
Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 180 | B-T: R-RScouts pegged Jones as a future first-round pick as a high school sophomore, and he’s done little to dissuade that notion. A three-time member of USA Baseball’s junior national teams, Jones is a twitchy, explosive athlete who stars both on the mound and in the outfield. His tremendous arm speed generates lively mid-to-upper 90s fastballs, and his elite athleticism has helped him make adjustments to his delivery and gradually improve his command and control. Jones dominates with his fastball, but he flashes a sharp, above-average slider in the mid-80s and is developing his changeup. Jones is slightly undersized and has an effortful delivery, leading some evaluators to project him to the bullpen. His improving command and elite competitiveness lead others to believe he can start. Jones is an above-average runner who gets excellent jumps in the outfield and makes jaw-dropping throws, earning 80 grades on his arm. He flashes big power at the plate, but he’s a free swinger who scouts aren’t sure will make enough contact against better pitching. Jones has strong baseball bloodlines in addition to his talent. His father, Keith, was a 1997 draft pick of the Diamondbacks and played two seasons in the minors. His cousins Randy and Ron Flores both pitched in the majors, and Randy is currently the Cardinals' scouting director. Jones made the right strides with his command this spring to remain a first-round talent as a pitcher. He is committed to Texas.
Age At Draft: 18.9More Less
Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 214 | B-T: R-ROne of the talented draft-eligible sophomore pitchers in the 2020 class, Henry ranked No. 225 on the BA 500 in 2018, when he showed a fastball up to 97 mph as a high school senior with a big frame to match. Henry has started to fill out that frame in two years with Louisiana State and is now listed at 6-foot-4, 211 pounds. With the increased strength he’s also improved his stuff, most notably a breaking ball that now has plus potential. He still can run his fastball up into the 97 mph range, but sits in the 92-95 mph range more typically, with a two-seam fastball in his arsenal as well. His curveball is a power offering with impressive depth, and he’s also shown feel for a changeup that scouts believe can be plus as well. With plus stuff across the board, Henry has all the pieces to be a frontline arm, but scouts have wanted to see more consistency. When everything’s on at the same time he can be electric, but that happens infrequently because he struggles at times to put hitters away or land his off-speed stuff for strikes. Henry established himself as LSU’s No. 1 weekend starter as a freshman, when he posted a 3.39 ERA over 58.1 innings with 72 strikeouts and 18 walks. He was once again the Friday arm in 2020 through four starts before the season was canceled. In that time, Henry posted a 1.89 ERA over 19 innings with 23 strikeouts and six walks. With sophomore eligibility, Henry could be a tough sign but is solidly a Day One talent.
Commit/Drafted: Tigers '18 (38)
Age At Draft: 20.9More Less
Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 215 | B-T: R-ROne of the top pitchers in the Northeast, Santos never got into a game for his high school this spring because of the shortened 2020 season, but got plenty of looks from scouts last summer. Santos throws from a three-quarters arm slot with a fastball that gets into the mid-90s and flashes plus. He pairs that with two secondary offerings that have plus potential, with plenty of spin on his curveball and a changeup he worked on over the offseason. After throwing in an Alabama event this spring, scouts noted the improvement of the changeup, though his velocity wasn’t yet quite as high as it had been over the summer. Santos added weight and strength to his frame and now stands around 6-foot-3, 215 pounds. He now has the build along with the strike-throwing ability and athleticism that portend a future starting role. There will be more risk with Santos due to the fact that teams simply couldn’t see him much this spring, but his father co-owns a facility in New York called Citius Baseball, and Santos has been able to regularly throw his bullpens and record his pitching data with a Rapsodo unit. That information will be useful for clubs who debate taking Santos early in the draft. He could sneak into the first round or go in the supplemental or second rounds. Santos is committed to Maryland.
Age At Draft: 18.3More Less
Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 205 | B-T: R-RVan Eyk established himself as one of the more polished prep pitchers in the 2017 draft class. He ranked No. 109 on the BA 500 that year and would have been solidly in the top 100 of the class if it weren’t for health questions that stemmed from a forearm injury. Perhaps because of that, Van Eyk made his way to Florida State, where he has been extremely consistent. After starting just five games as a freshman, Van Eyk made a successful transition to a starting role in 2019, when he posted a 3.81 ERA over 99.1 innings and 18 starts, with more than 11 strikeouts per nine innings. He was off to another successful season in 2020, posting a 1.31 ERA over four starts and 20.2 innings with 25 strikeouts and 12 walks. Van Eyk gets things done with a solid three-pitch mix, including a fastball in the 90-95 mph range, a sharp, 78-80 mph downer curveball and an 81-84 mph changeup with sinking action that fools hitters on both sides. All three of those pitches are solid-average or better. Van Eyk can also spin a slider, but the pitch has less depth and less swing-and-miss potential than his curve. Van Eyk’s operation is clean, with a loose, fluid arm that comes from a deliberate windup with very little coil or torque in his lower half, some hooking action in the back and an easy, balanced finish. Everything about the operation screams starter, but Van Eyk’s stuff isn’t quite as explosive as the top-end pitchers in the class, which could make him more of a late first- or second-round pick.
Commit/Drafted: Mets '17 (19)
Age At Draft: 21.8More Less
Ht: 5-11 | Wt: 180 | B-T: R-RPound for pound, Winn could be the most purely talented player in the 2020 class. A legitimate two-way player, the Arkansas commit is overflowing with plus tools on both sides of the ball. As a hitter, he has bat speed, surprising raw power for his size (5-foot-11, 180 pounds) and plus speed that plays out of the box and on the bases. At shortstop, Winn is an exceptional athlete with massive arm strength, solid hands and impressive natural instincts. On the mound, he’s as electric. He’s been up to 98 mph with his fastball and more typically sits in the 92-96 mph range. He pairs that with a hard slider that can get slurvy, but he’s shown good feel to manipulate the pitch and has also flashed a plus changeup. All of his stuff likely plays up thanks to some deception that comes from a short and quick arm stroke. Some inconsistency and his smaller frame lead to legitimate reliever question marks. Teams are mixed on whether his upside is better as a pitcher or a hitter. If you squint you can see an impact player on both sides of the ball, though he needs more refinement and maturity on both sides. He plays the game at a quicker speed than most, but that can get him into trouble. As a position player, scouts would like to see Winn slow the game down, be more consistent on routine plays at shortstop, stay within himself more at the plate and chase fewer pitches out of the zone. Some teams wonder if he should continue playing both ways like former Louisville star Brendan McKay. He did that in a Jupiter performance last fall that is one of the best two-way performances scouts have ever seen at the event—he flashed three plus pitches on the mound and produced exit velocities of better than 100 mph three times. Winn’s upside and talent are obvious, but questions about his size and the all-around polish to his game persist.
Age At Draft: 18.2More Less
Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 191 | B-T: R-RLange looked fairly pedestrian at the 2019 Area Code Games with a fastball that ranged from 86-93 mph, no real breaking ball and a lot of hard contact allowed. But he looked significantly better at the Future Stars Series at Fenway Park in the fall, when he was up to 95 mph, struck out four batters and also ran a 6.50 60-yard dash. He took an additional step forward this spring by getting his fastball all the way up to 100 mph, some of the best pure fastball velocity in the 2020 class. Lange has all of the foundational pieces to be an impact pitcher at the next level. He is tremendously athletic with easy, high-octane velocity and lots of natural life on his fastball as well. With a 6-foot-4, 191-pound frame, it is easy to see him filling out and maintaining his fastball velocity deeper into games. While Lange has some of the best natural arm strength in the country, he is extremely unrefined. His command is near the bottom of the scale and his slider is a work in progress, with well below-average grades and inconsistent spin at best. The pitch has impressive velocity, getting into the upper 80s, but the shape and spin need plenty of work. Perhaps 10 years ago, Lange’s arm, projectable body and athleticism would make him a no-doubt first-round pick. Today, teams are more skeptical of hard-throwing prep righthanders, but he has enough projection left and athleticism to believe he can make the necessary control improvements. Any player development program would love to work with Lange’s collection of high-end tools instead of watching him go to Dallas Baptist, and it’s possible a team buys into his upside at some point on the first day.
Commit/Drafted: Dallas Baptist
Age At Draft: 18.8More Less
- 53Michigan RHPNotes:
Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 225 | B-T: R-RCriswell showed promising stuff coming out of high school, with a fastball that got into the mid-90s at its best, and a projectable, 6-foot-3, 185-pound frame. He was a projection arm who scouts wanted to see go to college and add strength and consistency—which is exactly what he did. Criswell stepped into a high-usage reliever role as a freshman and led Michigan with 24 appearances while posting a 2.23 ERA. While his walk rate was a bit erratic, he improved that mark in his second season as he transitioned into a starting role. Again, he had success, posting a 2.72 ERA and improving his strikeout and walk rates. As a junior, Criswell is now listed at 6-foot-4 with a strong, 225-pound frame and a solid three-pitch mix. His fastball regularly gets anywhere from 94-97 mph, and he pairs the offering with a slider and changeup that both have average potential. Scouts would have liked to get more time to bear down on Criswell this spring, but he threw just 24 innings over four starts, getting hit around a bit by Pepperdine in his last outing. There is some concern about whether Criswell fits best in a starter or reliever role. He has enough stuff to succeed in either, but without improved control at the next level (he’s walked 4.5 batters per nine through his Michigan career) he might fit best in the bullpen. However, he has taken steps to improve the walk rate each season, so he could simply continue learning how to harness his repertoire and limit the damage he does to himself. Criswell is a day one pick in a normal draft and should be off the board by the third round.
Commit/Drafted: Tigers '17 (35)
Age At Draft: 21.3More Less
- 56Last: 57Chapman (Calif.) RHPNotes:
Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 215 | B-T: L-RGarcia played third base his freshman year at Chapman before converting to pitching as a sophomore. He served as the closer on Chapman’s 2019 Division III national championship team and was named Most Outstanding Player of the College World Series. Garcia moved to the Panthers rotation this spring and became one of the fastest-rising prospects in the country before the season shut down. A strong 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, Garcia has an easy operation and smooth delivery, allowing him to maintain his stuff and pound the strike zone with all three of his pitches. He throws his fastball in the 92-95 mph range, touching 97-98, and backs it up with an upper-80s slider and mid-80s cutter that both have a chance to be above-average. Garcia has a limited track record as a starter and has rarely faced good competition, but he held his own pitching in relief in the Cape Cod League last summer. He is also young for a college junior and will be barely 21 on draft day. Garcia’s stuff, delivery, youth and fresh arm have teams interested on the draft’s first day. He is in line to be the highest Division III player selected since the Nationals drafted Jordan Zimmermann in the second round in 2007 out of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
Age At Draft: 21.2More Less
- 58Last: 59Texas Tech RHPNotes:
Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 205 | B-T: R-RBeeter was a freshman All-American as a redshirt freshman in 2019, coming off a season in which he saved eight games in 21 appearances with a 3.48 ERA. He transitioned into a Friday night role for Texas Tech this spring, and performed well over four starts. In 21 innings Beeter posted a 2.14 ERA with 33 strikeouts (14.1 per nine) and four walks (1.7 per nine). As he’s gotten further from a Tommy John surgery he had in high school his stuff has gotten better and he’s thrown more strikes. Beeter was extremely erratic in 2019 (8.7 walks per nine) but showed significantly better control in a shortened 2020 season. Additionally, Beeter has a powerful pitch mix with a fastball that has gotten up to 97 mph, with a hammer curveball with top-to-bottom shape that has plus potential. Teams would have liked to see Beeter over a full season to see if his stuff and control were maintained the entire year in a starting role. The pitch analytics on both his fastball and curveball are reportedly impressive, and he has a solid arm action with a higher slot. Without a full 2020 season to scout him, teams will have to determine if the real Beeter is the 2020 version, the 2019 version or some hybrid between the two. He could be drafted as high as the second round to a team that believes he’s a starter.
Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
Age At Draft: 21.7More Less
- 59Last: 60Notes:
Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 215 | B-T: R-RA two-time Under Armour All-American, Mederos has been seen early and often by the national scouting community and brings a physical, workhorse’s frame to the table at 6-foot-3, 220 pounds. Mederos was running his fastball up into the mid-90s and showing a hammer of a curveball before his junior season and showed similar stuff last summer. Over the offseason, Mederos worked on improving his body. Scouts say he came out early this spring looking much better in that regard, but his results were inconsistent. When Mederos is at his best, he looks like one of the better pitchers in the 2020 class. He runs his fastball up to 95-96 mph consistently and backs it up with a two-seam fastball, curveball, slider and changeup. In previous years Mederos focused on throwing all of his off-speed offerings in any count, and has developed a good feel for landing those pitches consistently, but his fastball command has been more erratic. He has shown a tendency to overthrow at times, and repeating a consistent release point with the pitch has been a challenge, leading some scouts to question his athleticism. Others believe he has solid athleticism for a big-bodied pitcher but also acknowledge that he needs to be more consistent in his delivery. While he has typically shown a 60-grade fastball, the pitch appeared closer to fringe-average in his final starts before the season ended. His curveball is his best secondary pitch, with a spin rate in the 2,600-rpm range as well as excellent power and finish. Some scouts have graded the pitch as high as a 70 on the traditional 20-80 scouting scale. However, Mederos needs to improve the consistency of that offering, like the rest of his operation. Each of his other offerings have a chance to be at least average, giving him plenty of weapons to mix and match from at-bat to at-bat. Mederos has a big league-caliber frame and repertoire, but teams will need to be confident in his ability to refine his entire game to sign him out of a Miami commitment. His natural talent fits as high as the first round, but inconsistencies and questions about strike-throwing could push him into the second or third.
Age At Draft: 19.0More Less