2020 Top 50 High School Draft Prospects
Baseball America compiles draft rankings in consultation with major league scouts, front office executives, scouting directors and other professional evaluators. This list is an attempt to gauge the industry’s consensus on the top 50 players in the 2020 high school draft class at the current moment. While much is sure to change with plenty of time between now and the 2020 draft, we believe this gives a solid gauge of the strengths and weaknesses of the class as it stands now.
With the culmination of the summer showcase circuit, Baseball America has adjusted the high school rankings for the top 50 prospects in the 2020 draft class. Scouts were able to watch the top prep players in the nation at a number of high-profile events and with that competition, much has changed.
Scouts are still excited about the depth of the 2020 prep class, but there’s no clear-cut favorite to be the first high school player off the board at this point like Bobby Witt Jr. was a year ago at this point. There’s not much separating the top dozen or so players at this point, and that grouping of players could shuffle a lot in the months to come depending on performance and continued development.
Starting at the top, there’s a new No. 1 player in the class, though righthander Jared Kelley is not the sure-fire, no-doubt top player in the class, but he showed dominant stuff at every event he attended this summer, with impressive consistency from event to event as well.
Kelley has the best pure stuff of any pitcher in the class, with a fastball that regularly gets into the 97-98 mph range, a swing-and-miss changeup that projects as a plus offering and a slider that shows potential but will need improved consistency. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound righthander has a power game, but also commands the ball well even at his peak velocities and throws with an ease of operation that is enticing. While many prep righthanders with similar profiles have failed at the next level in recent years, at the moment, it’s hard to beat the package and future upside that Kelley offers.
Our previous top prospect, Southern California outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong, struggled throughout the Summer, leaving scouts to wonder about the impact of his toolset and the amount of swing-and-miss in his game. While Crow-Armstrong still profiles well as a plus defender with a smooth lefthanded swing with good running ability, Crow-Armstrong will have to show more with the bat to get back to “top player in the class” status.
Pennsylvania outfielder Austin Hendrick impressed early this summer and particularly at the East Coast Pro showcase, and moves up from the No. 5 player in the prep class to the No. 2 player behind Kelley. His pure raw power rivals any hitter in the class and a simplified offensive setup has translated to a more consistent approach at the plate with more contact and better vision. Hendrick is likely a corner outfielder, and there is some swing-and-miss in his game that will raise eyebrows, but his elite bat speed, power and arm strength are game-changing tools.
Oregon righthander Mick Abel rounds out the top three once again, and doesn’t move from his last ranking on our prep list. Abel is more of a projection prospect than Kelley and didn’t hold the sort of plus-plus velocity to the extent that Kelley did this summer, but his breaking ball is more refined and he has plenty of growth remaining in a 6-foot-5, 180-pound, athletic frame.
Virginia lefthander Nate Savino is in the same tier as Kelley and Abel, and turned in a strong summer as well. The 6-foot-3, 195-pound southpaw has plenty of running life on a fastball in the low- to mid-90s and also consistently lands a sweeping slider that’s disruptive to both righties and lefties. There are some Hunter Barco comparisons to make with Savino, but he’s been more consistent with his breaking ball this summer than Barco was at the same time last year.
Rounding out the top five is Illinois shortstop Ed Howard, who moves up eight spots from a previous No. 13 ranking. Howard is one of the better defenders in the class and has quick hands in the box from the right side as well, with a twitchy, 6-foot-2, 185-pound frame that should fill out in the future and provide solid power, though he’s more of a gap-to-gap hitter at the moment.
C Tyler Soderstrom (6) — Soderstrom wasn’t ranked among the top 50 of our initial high school ranking, but a strong summer made it obvious that he belongs near the top of the class. Scouts praised his hitting ability after watching him dominate at the Area Code Games, and believe he’s safely among the elite players of the high school class, some even preferring him to Texas backstop Drew Romo thanks to a more refined offensive game.
RHP Alex Santos (21) — Santos was another prospect who didn’t land on our initial prep top 50, but showed more than enough stuff to be thought of with the top dozen arms in the class. The top arm out of the northeast at the moment, Santos has a solid pitcher’s frame—6-foot-3, 185-pounds—with a high-spin fastball that gets into the 93-95 mph range to go along with a late-biting slider and a changeup.
3B Jordan Walker (23) — Walker ranked toward the back of the top 50 during our initial ranking thanks to his power potential, but he showed impressive feel to hit given his long frame and limbs, and scouts were also impressed with how he moved on the left side of the infield. Walker was one of the standouts at the Perfect Game All-American Classic and could continue to rise up draft boards with more consistent contact against quality secondary offerings.
OF Isaiah Greene (25) — Greene was a late addition to the list, but scouts raved about the 6-foot-1, 180-pound center fielder’s performance against the 18U National Team as it prepared for the 2019 WBSC World Cup. There’s some length to his swing at times, but he made consistent hard contact against some of the top pitchers in the class, makes all the plays in centerfield and turned in a few plus-plus run times down the line as well. Greene is currently the highest-ranked uncommitted player in the class.
LHP Kyle Harrison (28) — Harrison ranked towards the back of our original top 50 ranking, but his performance throughout the summer (and with the 18U National team in its first game at the World Cup) pushed him into the top 30. The lefthanded pitching depth of the 2020 class is much stronger than the 2019 cass a year ago and Harrison is one of the reasons why, creating tough angles with a low arm slot, a low-90s fastball and a sweeping, 75-78 mph slider with tremendous depth and movement.
- 1Last: 4
- 2Last: 5
- 3 –Last: 3
- 4Last: 6
- 5Last: 13
- 6Last: 51
Tyler SoderstromTurlock (Calif.) HS CVideoNotes:
Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 10- | B-T: L-R
Age At Draft: 18.6More Less
- 7Last: 14
- 8 –Last: 8
- 9 –Last: 9
- 10Last: 12
- 11Last: 1
- 12Last: 2
- 13Last: 16
- 14Last: 10
- 15Last: 20
- 16Last: 11
- 17Last: 18
- 18Last: 7
- 19Last: 27
- 20Last: 19
- 21Last: 51
Alex SantosMount St. Michael Academy, Bronx, N.Y. RHPVideoNotes:
Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 185 | B-T: R-R
Age At Draft: 18.3More Less
- 22Last: 45
- 23Last: 22
- 24Last: 21
- 25Last: 51
Isaiah GreeneCorona (Calif.) HS OFVideoNotes:
Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 180 | B-T: L-L
Age At Draft: 18.8More Less