2020 High School Preseason All-Americans, Best Tools
Righthanders Jared Kelley and Mick Abel headline the 2020 Baseball America High School Preseason All-America teams. The two were the only unanimous first-team selections, which is lower than the typical class and speaks to the jumbled nature of a solid group of prep prospects.
Baseball America is proud to annually poll major league scouting departments to determine the first, second and third teams. Major league clubs also vote on the best tools list and because of the voting process, the preseason All-American teams are routinely a solid predictor of the first round of the draft.
In 2019, seven of the 13 first-team members went on to become first round picks, while righthander Jack Leiter was thought of as a first round talent but had a high price tag and Matt Allan slipped to the third round, but got first-round money.
Outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong was a second-team preseason All-American a year ago as a junior, while Hendrick and catcher Drew Romo were named to the preseason third-team entering their junior seasons.
The release of our All-Americans coincided with our updated 2020 draft rankings, which now includes 200 players and scouting reports.
|C||Tyler Soderstrom, Turlock (Calif.) HS||UCLA|
|MIF||Ed Howard, Mount Carmel (Ill.) HS||Oklahoma|
|MIF||Milan Tolentino, Santa Margarita HS, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.||UCLA|
|CIF||Jordan Walker, Decatur (Ga.) HS||Duke|
|CIF||Blaze Jordan, DeSoto Central HS, Southaven, Miss.||Mississippi State|
|OF||Austin Hendrick, West Allegheny HS, Imperial, Pa.||Mississippi State|
|OF||Pete Crow-Armstrong, Harvard-Westlake HS, Studio City, Calif.||Vanderbilt|
|OF||Robert Hassell, Independence HS, Thompson's Station, Tenn.||Vanderbilt|
|SP||*Jared Kelley, Refugio (Texas) HS||Texas|
|SP||*Mick Abel, Jesuit HS, Portland||Oregon State|
|SP||Alex Santos, Mount St. Michael Academy, Bronx, N.Y.||Maryland|
|SP||Carson Montgomery, Windermere (Fla.) HS||Florida State|
|SP||Jared Jones, La Mirada (Calif.) HS||Texas|
First-team capsules, as well as the second team, third team and best tools are below.
Tyler Soderstrom, C, Turklock (Calif.) HS
Soderstrom narrowly edged out second-team catcher Drew Romo for the first team honors. He’s a first-round caliber player thanks to the strength of his lefthanded bat, which he showcased well last summer against high-level pitching. He needs to refine his defensive game, but he’s athletic enough to handle another position—perhaps third—if necessary at the next level.
Ed Howard, MIF, Mount Carmel (Ill.) HS
The top-ranked shortstop in a prep class that’s significantly weaker than usual at the position, Howard is athletic and slick defensively with a reputation as the best defender in the class. He is raw offensively, but has shown flashes of being a good gap-to-gap hitter with above-average bat speed and a frame that could put on more power in the future.
Milan Tolentino, MIF, Santa Margarita HS, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.
Tolentino handled shortstop for USA Baseball’s 18U National Team last summer after Ed Howard had to leave with an arm injury. He showed an ability to move well to both sides and make impressive plays coming in on the ball, and throwing from multiple angles. Tolentino has a light bat, but good hand-eye coordination and he slaps the ball the other way consistently.
Jordan Walker, CIF, Decatur (Ga.) HS
A massive, 6-foot-5, 220-pound third baseman who still has room on his frame to add more muscle, Walker has some of the best raw power in the class to go along with a polished hit tool. While he’s an obvious candidate to move to first base in the future, he has good athleticism for his size and moves around well defensively at third base, with a strong arm.
Blaze Jordan, CIF, DeSoto Central HS, Southaven, Miss.
Jordan reclassified from the 2021 class and is now one of the youngest players in the 2020 prep draft class. Despite his youth, Jordan’s raw power stacks up with anyone and he has a long history of getting to that power in games. He has a professional approach in the box, with quick hands and an all-fields mentality, though he has work to do to stick at third base.
Austin Hendrick, OF, West Allegheny HS, Imperial, Pa.
Hendrick came one vote shy of being a unanimous first-team member, and he seems to be in a slightly higher tier than the rest of a strong outfield class. Hendrick has massive raw power and exceptional bat speed, and he showed an impressive ability to adapt to high-quality pitching last summer. Defensively, he’s likely best in a corner, where he has plus arm strength.
Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, Harvard-Westlake HS, Studio City, Calif.
Crow-Armstrong has a solid all-round game as a plus runner with elite defensive ability in center field with an above-average arm. Offensively, he has a solid bat from the left side that is more hit over power at the moment, but he swung and missed more frequently than expected last summer. Still, his track record of performance is one of the lengthier ones in the prep class.
Robert Hassell, OF, Independence HS, Thompson’s Station, Tenn.
Hassell is arguably the best pure hitter in the prep class and he made that evident with USA Baseball’s 18U National team, where he led the club in 10 major offensive categories and was the spark plug of the offense in the No. 2 spot in the lineup. He makes tremendous adjustments within at-bats, has exceptional plate coverage and has solid power potential as well.
Jared Kelley, RHP, Refugio (Texas) HS
One of only two players to be named unanimous first-team members, Kelley has the best fastball in the prep class and he always knows where it’s going. He pairs that with a plus changeup that he has exceptional feel for locating in the bottom of the zone and has shown flashes with a solid slider as well. Kelley is the most major league ready arm in the prep class.
Mick Abel, RHP, Jesuit HS, Portland, Ore.
Abel has now stuff and plenty of projection remaining as well, as a lanky, 6-foot-5, 180-pound righy. He’s gotten his fastball up to the 96-97 mph range at its best, but it’s more typically in the low 90s. His slider is consistently sharp and one of the better breaking balls in the class and he’s also shown feel for a changeup. He was also a unanimous first-team member.
Alex Santos, RHP, Mount St. Michael Academy, Bronx, N.Y.
A high-upside righthander out of the northeast, Santos has an athletic frame that scouts love to go along with a clean arm action and delivery. He has plus fastball and curveball potential and has shown glimpses of both at times, though he will need to refine his strike throwing this spring.
Carson Montgomery, RHP, Windermere (Fla.) HS
Montgomery has a loud fastball-slider combination and regularly got swings and misses on both pitches last summer against some of the best hitters in the country. His fastball is in the low 90s with slight cutting life at times and he lands a high-spin, two-plane breaking slider consistently for whiffs against both righties and lefties.
Jared Jones, RHP, La Mirada (Calif.) HS
Jones has some of the best pure arm speed in the class, and while he’s shorter than most pitching prospects, he makes up for that in big-time stuff and athleticism. His fastball gets into the upper 90s and he’s shown the makings of two plus secondaries in a power slider and a changeup that falls off the table at its best.
2020 Cincinnati Reds Instructional League Roster
The full Cincinnati Reds instructional league roster, plus a brief analysis on names that stand out.
|C||Drew Romo, The Woodlands (Texas) HS||Louisiana State|
|MIF||Masyn Winn, Kingwood (Texas) HS||Arkansas|
|MIF||Colby Halter, Bishop Kenny HS, Jacksonville||Florida|
|CIF||Yohandy Morales, Braddock HS, Miami||Miami|
|CIF||Drew Bowser, Harvard-Westlake HS, Studio City, Calif.||Stanford|
|OF||Zac Veen, Spruce Creek HS, Port Orange, Fla.||Florida|
|OF||Dylan Crews, Lake Mary (Fla.) HS||Louisiana State|
|OF||Chase Davis, Franklin HS, Elk Grove, Calif.||Arizona|
|SP||Alejandro Rosario, Miami Christian HS||Miami|
|SP||Victor Mederos, Monsignor Pace HS, Miami||Miami|
|SP||Masyn Winn, Kingwood (Texas) HS||Arkansas|
|SP||Max Rajcic, Orange (Calif.) Lutheran HS||UCLA|
|SP||Daxton Fulton, Mustang (Okla.) HS||Oklahoma|
|C||Kyle Teel, Mahwah (N.J.) HS||Virginia|
|MIF||Carson Tucker, Mountain Pointe HS, Phoenix||Texas|
|MIF||Steven Ondina, International Baseball Academy, Ceiba, P.R.|
|CIF||Coby Mayo, Stoneman Douglas HS, Parkland, Fla.||Florida|
|CIF||AJ Vukovich, East Troy (Wisc.) HS||Louisville|
|OF||Isaiah Greene, Corona (Calif.) HS||Missouri|
|OF||Enrique Bradfield, American Heritage HS, Plantation, Fla.||Vanderbilt|
|OF||Petey Halpin, Mira Costa HS, Manhattan Beach, Calif.||Texas|
|SP||Nick Bitsko, Central Bucks East HS, Doylestown, Pa.||Virginia|
|SP||Cam Brown, Flower Mound (Texas) HS||Texas Christian|
|SP||Kyle Harrison, De La Salle HS, Concord, Calif.||UCLA|
|SP||Ben Hernandez, De La Salle HS, Chicago||Illinois-Chicago|
|SP||Cade Horton, Norman (Okla.) HS||Oklahoma|
Best Athlete (Position Player)
Best Pure Hitter
Best Defensive Infielder
Best Defensive Outfielder
Best Defensive Catcher
Best Infield Arm
Best Outfield Arm
Best Catcher Arm
Best Fastball Movement
Best Breaking Ball
Best Athlete (Pitcher)
Closest To The Majors