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Below, find our team-by-team analysis from the five-round 2020 MLB Draft.
Additionally, you can also find…
- Full Results In Our Draft Database
- The Five Most Interesting Classes
- Three Classes That Left Us Shaking Our Heads
- 12 Picks We Loved From Day 2
- Four Storylines We’ll Remember From The First Round
*Click each team to go directly to that team’s 2020 outlook. Capsules below are written by Carlos Collazo and J.J. Cooper.
The Diamondbacks didn’t take a single up-the-middle athlete with hitterish qualities this year, instead picking plenty of arms to put in a developing system that was focused more on position players.
Arizona jumped on the fastest-rising college arm in the country in Jarvis at pick No. 18. Jarvis showed a massive jump in stuff and command, and could have three above-average or better offerings to go along with plus command. Cecconi has pedigree dating back to his high school days and could also turn into a middle-of-the-rotation arm with a big fastball, deep mix of secondaries and pro-ready frame. The Diamondbacks final college arm, Pfaadt, has a solid fastball/breaking ball combination and improved his strikeout and walk rates this spring, but there is some reliever concern.
The team paired a few upside prep players with their college arms, taking lefthander Liam Norris and betting on his significant upside potential. Norris at his best has a mid-90s fastball and hammer breaking ball, but has struggled with consistency and strikes. Vukovich, the lone bat of Arizona’s 2020 class, is a big athlete with power potential, but needs more consistency in his load and approach to tap into that power regularly at the next level.
The Braves used to be one of the teams most likely to draft from the high school ranks, but under GM Alex Anthopoulos and scouting director Dana Brown, the Braves have shifted to a college-heavy approach. A year after picking nine college players out of 11 picks in the top 10 rounds, Atlanta’s four picks are all collegians.
Atlanta’s draft should produce a couple of solid major leaguers if it works out, but there’s not a draftee who has a particularly high ceiling or provides star potential. Shuster did take significant steps forward in the short 2020 college season. If his improvement this spring (his fastball gained 2-4 mph to pair even better with his plus changeup) sticks, he is an excellent pick at 25. Similarly, Elder is an excellent pick in the fifth round, although he’s more of a well-rounded, polished pitcher than a dominant one.
This has a shot to be a solid draft for the Braves, but Atlanta has clearly shifted its strategy. Once a team that loved tools and projection, now it relies much more on drafting production.
There was chatter leading up to the draft that the Orioles would be willing to pass on the No. 2 player in the draft, Austin Martin, in order to get an underslot deal and spread pool money around for later picks.
That’s exactly what the Orioles did by selecting OF Heston Kjerstad with the second overall pick. While Kjerstad is an accomplished hitter, he ranked No. 13 on the BA 500 and presumably will come on a significant haircut for the $7,789,900 slot value. However, we expected the Orioles would get more aggressive with their second-round pick considering some of the talent still on the board at No. 39.
A lot of their pool money instead is heading towards two upside prep picks in the fourth and fifth round. Coby Mayo has big power potential and a massive arm at third base, while Baumler is a classic, projection type righthander with a clean delivery and arm action. The Orioles got solid talents at every pick, but they’ll always be remembered for passing up Martin. How that decision plays out will determine how this draft class looks in five years.
After losing their second-round pick due to penalties from the team’s sign stealing scandal, the Red Sox could have opted to play things safe. That’s certainly not the strategy the team employed. Boston gave us the surprise of the first round by jumping on high school 2B Nick Yorke, and took another risky demographic in 3B Blaze Jordan at pick 89.
This could pay off in a big way for the Red Sox, as both Yorke and Jordan have been highly acclaimed for their hit and power tools, respectively, but both players carry significant risk. With their two final selections, the Red Sox opted for two college lefthanders with some upside, but both come with reliever risk.
The success or failure of Boston’s draft will likely be pinned on how Yorke pans out, as many consider him a bit of a reach. If he hits, the scouting department will look great. If he doesn’t, well, the Red Sox passed up many talents for their first pick who ranked significantly higher.
The pairing of Howard, the best prep shortstop in the class, and his hometown Cubs is a seemingly perfect match. Howard is arguably the top defender at the position in the 2020 class—college or high school—and has a strong, athletic frame that should continue to fill out.
Chicago took a pair of live-armed lefthanders that could impact the team’s bullpen. Carraway is the more polished of the two, and was the top-ranked reliever in the class. His control comes and goes but his fastball/breaking ball combination can get big league hitters out right now. Little has even scarier strike-throwing questions, but a massive fastball that regularly gets to triple digits out of a massive frame.
The Cubs other two selections are both athletes. Nwogu has a strong frame, plus-plus raw power and plus speed, but an unorthodox swing that might get challenged in pro ball—though he’s hit at a high level at Michigan. Righthander Koen Moreno is an excellent mover on the mound and was improving with each start he took last summer. He’s got a developing fastball, great natural ability to spin a breaking ball and advanced feel for a tumbling, swing-and-miss type changeup.
After landing Garrett Crochet in the first round and Jared Kelley in the second round, this class can officially be dubbed “Chicago Fire.” Crochet and Kelley earned scouting directors’ nods as having the best fastballs, respectively, in the college and high school classes and will make the Best Fastball category in the Best Tools section in the upcoming Prospect Handbook an exceptionally difficult challenge.
That task would get even trickier without a major league season, which would leave flamethrower Michael Kopech prospect-eligible. Both Crochet and Kelley come with an element of volatility—Crochet has struggled with control, command and injury history, while Kelley is part of the extremely mercurial high school righthander demographic. Kelley also needs to work to further develop his breaking ball to complement his electric fastball and excellent changeup.
All in all, though, Mike Shirley and his staff should be doing socially distanced cartwheels around their draft room after landing two pitchers who checked in at No. 12 and 15 on BA’s annual ranking of the 500 best available draft prospects.
The Reds have a real interest in massive power. They’ve gotten the premier power bats in the prep class in each of the last two drafts, with Rece Hinds in 2019 and now Austin Hendrick in 2020. Hendrick has much better hitting ability than Hinds did at the time, and was a top-10 talent on the BA 500.
After that, Cincinnati jumped on a righthander who was trending up in Christian Roa. His numbers in 2020 don’t speak to his development and his solid four-pitch mix and strike-throwing attributes. The other two arms the Reds selected have significant reliever risk, as Bonnin has below-average control but a power fastball and an above-average slider. Boyle has perhaps the best pure fastball in the class but has never shown an ability to consistently find the strike zone.
Wainwright appears to be a money-saver to help the Reds sign their entire class, but he was a talented two-sport athlete in high school with quite a few football scholarship offers. He’s an athletic center fielder who’s shown some feel to hit. Miller was one of three prep catchers selected in 2020, and he has a solid all-around game with few glaring holes.
Where the White Sox’s strategy seemed to be heavily putting resources to the team’s first two picks, the Indians had a more balanced approach, with top-100 players selected with their first five picks and a top-200 player with their final pick.
Cleveland seems to have a great feel for what its player development does well, as each of its college pitchers grade out well in the strike-throwing department, while the team has also done a good job with contact-oriented, athletic, up-the-middle players. It wouldn’t be surprising at all to see each of Burns, Allen and Hickman make jumps in the next year or so.
Perhaps the Tolentino selection jumps out the most, as his UCLA commitment could have made it difficult to sign him as the draft entered the fourth round. Tolentino is an immensely polished high school product to go off the board with the 124th pick, and if he adds strength in pro ball, he could be a dangerous all-around threat.
The Rockies coveted Zac Veen leading up to the draft but never could have imagined him getting all the way to them at pick No. 9. Dreaming about how Veen’s power might play in Coors Field is enough to get anyone excited.
By taking high school catcher Drew Romo in the supplemental first round, the Rockies went with a risky demographic, but you’d have to go back to Austin Hedges to find a prep catcher as polished and refined behind the plate.
Colorado got good value in the second round with Chris McMahon, who was a first-round talent with a polished pitch mix and impressive track record at Miami. Sam Weatherly has less starting track record to boast but has an electric fastball/slider combination that could play in a bullpen. Jack Blomgren is a high-floor type without flashy tools but a solid feel for both sides of the game, while Case Williams was one of the better pitchers in a down year for Colorado.
It shouldn’t be surprising the team with the top pick in the draft stands out. After taking the No. 1 player in the class in Spencer Torkelson, Detroit took three productive college hitters before getting exceptional value with their final two picks.
Workman had an outside shot to go in the first or supplemental first round thanks to his athleticism and power/speed combo as a switch-hitter. Strikeout concerns might have caused him to slip, but at pick No. 102 he is an excellent value. The same is true for Keith—Detroit’s lone prep selection—who has plus run, arm and power tools to go with solid athleticism and an impressive pedigree as a hitter dating back to his underclass days.
Torkelson is the star of this class, and rightfully so, but the Tigers did an exceptional job taking advantage of their draft position and putting plenty of quality hitters around him. It’s hard to not see Detroit’s system as top-10 worthy after this draft.
The Astros were the last team to make a selection in the 2020 draft after losing their first- and second-round picks due to their sign stealing scandal. They still got good value with their first selection at No. 72, as Santos was a fringe first-round candidate and fell just outside of the top trio of prep righthanders. With some projection, he could have three plus offerings.
Houston stuck to the college ranks after the Santos pick, taking another righty in Tyler Brown. Brown has spent almost all of his time in the bullpen at Vanderbilt, but because of his four-pitch mix and solid control, many scouts think he has a chance to start at the next level.
Daniels started to answer some questions about his natural feel for hitting this spring, by posting a .357/.478/.750 line with four home runs. He has plus-plus raw power and good speed, and some feel to play all three outfield positions, but with fairly significant strikeout concerns in his past. Whitcomb is a Division II hitter that many scouts are confident can hit. He had a loud Cape stint and has always performed well with UC San Diego, though he may be a better fit at second base than shortstop.
Coming into the draft, it looked likely the Royals would watch Spencer Torkelson, Austin Martin and Asa Lacy get taken off the board before they picked. Instead they ended up having their choice of Lacy or Martin. Kansas City opted to take Lacy and add yet another college pitcher to its deep group of pitching prospects.
The Royals kept adding pitchers later in the draft, all of whom have a clear above-average or plus pitch. Hernandez had one of the best changeups in the high school class, Chamberlain baffled hitters this spring with an above-average curveball and Klein has a plus fastball that touches 99 mph. Loftin was one of the best college shortstops in the class thanks to his ability to stick at the position and Gentry is a potential right fielder with big power, albeit with contact concerns.
Kansas City’s class will likely be measured by Lacy’s success, but the Royals have a number of other draftees who have chances to become solid contributors.
The Angels packaged polished college pitchers with uber-athletic prep hitters in the 2020 draft and got good value with each of their selections. Detmers could be one of the fastest moving arms in the class and is the highest-probability starter of a strong pitching class, while the team also got good value with Seminaris in the fifth round. Seminaris has a polished four-pitch mix and advanced command—if not massive upside—similar to Detmers’ profile.
The Angels didn’t have a second-round pick due to signing Anthony Rendon, but jumped on one of the youngest players in the class in Canadian OF Calabrese, who has plus-plus speed and projects to stick in center field, with a solid, contact-oriented bat from the left side.
Los Angeles went with a high-risk, high-reward player with Blakely in the fourth round. He is tremendously athletic and shows great defensive actions at shortstop, but he needs to refine his glovework, throwing accuracy and timing and pitch recognition at the plate.
There is a reason the Dodgers contend year after year and it’s not just because they are a large revenue team. Los Angeles consistently drafts well, and the 2020 draft should only add to that legacy.
Despite not picking until the last pick in the first round, the Dodgers landed a pair of high-upside, high-risk power arms in Miller and Beeter. Sandwiched in between them was Knack, who possesses of some of the best control in the draft to go along with plus stuff in relief. Vogel gave the team a speedy, high-ceiling outfielder as well.
The Dodgers haven’t picked higher than No. 20 overall in any of the last seven drafts, but have still nabbed Walker Buehler, Will Smith and Gavin Lux in the first round during that time. They have consistently emphasized impressive tools in the draft, trusting their player development and training staffs to develop them properly. It keeps working, and this year’s class gives the PD group plenty to work with.
The Marlins made history. No team had ever failed to draft a position player in the June draft. Of course, it’s a lot easier to go all in on pitching in a five-round draft than in a 40-round draft. The Marlins made Meyer the first pitcher off the board, opting for his devastating slider over Lacy’s bigger frame and longer track record of dominance.
No team added more projectable arms than Miami. Fulton was one of the better prep lefties in the class and a first-round talent when healthy. After that, the Marlins added college pitchers with big arms and some starter/reliever questions because of control issues in the past—although most of their draftees showed improvement in the abbreviated spring.
Miami went hitter-heavy in 2019 by taking position players with their first four picks. They flipped the script this year, helping the Marlins build a pretty balanced farm system.
The Brewers got one of the best values in the first round by taking Garrett Mitchell with the 20th pick in the draft. Mitchell’s tools are more befitting of a No. 1 overall pick than the 20th pick, but questions about his Type I diabetes and whether he can tap into his big raw power caused him to slid. If Milwaukee can develop Mitchell offensively, they have an all-star caliber talent on their hands.
The Brewers continued to target college bats in this draft, helping add some offensive talent to the system around Brice Turang. Zamora could have easily been a first-round talent if healthy this year, with skills on both sides of the ball, while Warren has athleticism, utility value and a solid all-around tool set. He’ll provide additional value If he can stick at catcher.
Wiemer has a massive frame and a collection of plus tools, but his bat was inconsistent at Cincinnati. Cantrelle is a plus runner who can play both middle infield spots, but was off to a slow start at the plate this spring.
The Twins had just four picks after losing their third-round pick when they signed Josh Donaldson. They took a big swing with their first-round pick, getting massive power potential with Aaron Sabato, who likely had the most usable power on the board at that point. Sabato will offer little to no defensive value, so an American League team is a good fit.
Their second and third picks were a bit of a reach based on the BA 500. Soularie has solid tools but projects as a left fielder and doesn’t have the power to profile there. He can handle velocity, but is too often a guess hitter according to scouts. Raya was trending in the right direction early this spring and could develop three above-average offerings with his fastball, curveball and slider, but he’s close to maxed out physically.
The Twins got good value with their fifth-round pick. The clear top prospect out of Hawaii, Rosario has huge power potential and an athletic frame, though he might be best suited to a corner outfield spot in the future.
The Mets continued an aggressive, top-heavy strategy in the draft this year, even with only five rounds to work with. The team selected Crow-Armstrong at the bottom of the range we expected him to get off the board and then got great value with Ginn in the second round.
Their third pick, Greene, is closer to Crow-Armstrong than many people might believe, with a sweet lefthanded swing that proved itself against some of the top high school pitchers in the class last summer, plus running ability and a chance to stick in center field—though he is much more raw defensively than Crow-Armstrong.
Walters appears to be a money-saving pick to help pay for the Mets’ trio of top-50 players and doesn’t have much track record due to injury, though he does offer some utility value. Dyer also brings utility value and can play all over the field, while Orze is a solid senior sign with a viable three-pitch mix that could work better in a relief role.
The Yankees forfeited their second- and third-round draft picks for signing RHP Gerrit Cole, leaving them with just three selections and a $3,520,000 bonus pool—second-lowest behind only the Astros.
New York put all of its draft resources into college players and came away with two top-100 talents. Their best value was Way, who was the top-ranked junior college prospect in the class. Wells is an interesting pick considering the Yankees drafted high school catcher Anthony Seigler in the first round in 2018, but Wells is a bat-first backstop and there’s a chance he will move off the position.
Hauver is a bat-first college player as well, and scouts believe he has a chance to move to left field or possibly third base at the next level, so the second base designation is interesting. New York will need both of its position players to hit to get much value, but they took two solid hitters and a pitcher with two plus pitches who was trending in the right direction. Overall, it’s a a solid haul considering their limitations.
The Athletics got solid value with their first selection, getting one of the better prep bats to fall to them at 26 in Soderstrom. There was buzz Soderstrom would be off the board long before Oakland was on the clock, with rumors of him going as high as No. 9 to the Rockies.
In Soderstrom, the A’s have a powerful hitter who will play at a corner position if he has to move off catcher. The A’s collected three college righthanders after Soderstrom, the best of whom is Criswell, who has a plus fastball and two above-average secondaries. He’ll need to improve his strikes, but he was trending in the right direction at Michigan.
Acker was a high-level performer this spring and has above-average control that helps his average arsenal play up, while Emanuels has a more limited track record but was the talk of Northwest scouts this spring thanks to a solid fastball and a potential out-pitch breaking ball. Guldberg is a bit of an off-the-board selection, but has always hit when healthy at Georgia Tech despite lacking much in the way of tools.
We heard rumors the Phillies could be going for a safe profile with their first pick under first-year scouting director Brian Barber. That’s certainly not what happened.
The Phillies jumped at upside early and often, taking the best prep righthander in the class at 15—a spot that lines up perfectly with his talent—and then gambling even more with their third-round pick. Martin has an exceptional tool set with the power, speed and athleticism teams covet, but there’s a chance he doesn’t stick at the shortstop and an even greater chance pro pitching could overwhelm him after he struggled to hit in college.
Ragsdale is one of the taller pitchers in the 2020 class and was an up-arrow guy this spring after coming out with better control, while Radcliff has massive raw power but real strikeout concerns. We can’t fault the Phillies for shooting for upside with most of their picks. Now it’s up to the player development staff to get the most out of the talent the scouting department just gave them. It’s interesting that Abel is the sole prep player Philadelphia selected, but probably the most refined player in its draft class.
Pittsburgh took a top-three bat in the class in Gonzales, who was a good value at pick No. 7, and then surrounded him with plenty of exciting arms.
Mlodzinski was a potential top-10 prospect entering the spring before a few middling starts. He has major upside if he can rediscover his Cape Cod League form from last summer. Jones is potentially the most athletic prep pitcher in the class and has two potential plus pitches to go with improving command, while Garcia was arguably the biggest riser in the class this spring. Jones and Garcia were the clear-cut top pitchers in Southern California, and Pittsburgh was still able to add two interesting arms with their fourth- and fifth-round picks in Hartman and Hoffman. Hartman has loud stuff but questions about his control, while Hoffman didn’t allow an earned run early this spring with a solid fastball/curveball combination.
There’s plenty of pitching talent here. Now the Pirates have to develop it.
San Diego never hesitates to target upside and did that with its second, third and fourth picks after taking the best prep hitter in the class in Hassell at No. 8.
Lange’s pure arm talent and fastball rivals anyone in the high school class, including Jared Kelley, and could be a monster if San Diego can teach him the finer aspects of pitching. Caissie was thought of as the top Canadian prospect in the class by some scouts and offers plus power with a big frame. Wilcox has loud enough stuff that even general manager AJ Preller had to pause on the high school selections and take him when he fell to the third round and the 80th pick. This pick was arguably the best value of the draft, as Wilcox is a legitimate first-round talent with a big frame and even bigger pure stuff.
The Padres already have a top-three farm system in the game. It doesn’t look like that’s changing any time soon.
Two years after the Giants picked Joey Bart with the second overall pick in the 2018 draft, they picked another college catcher in the first round. Bailey is viewed as a better defender than Bart, although his bat doesn’t compare. The current Giants regime, led by Farhan Zaidi, didn’t draft Bart, but the club talked about the desire to have the two share time in San Francisco eventually.
The Giants pair of supplemental picks (for losing Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith in free agency) allowed the team to load up on solid second-to-third round talents. Schmitt is potential everyday third baseman with a strong arm and has a fallback position as a relief pitcher. Harrison is a promising prep lefty with plenty of feel and upside and Swiney, a college teammate of Bailey’s, could be a steal if his early 2020 improvement is a sign of a true step forward.
San Francisco’s draft is likely to produce solid players rather than stars, but having seven picks in a five-round draft and an approach of playing it straight with the picks (there are few money savers here) gives the Giants a lot of options to have a productive draft.
We had consistently heard the Mariners tied to college pitchers at pick No. 6 this year, and with a few surprises in front of them they managed to land the top-ranked righthander in the class in Emerson Hancock. That makes three straight drafts Seattle has gone for a college righty with its first pick.
Unsurprisingly, the Mariners stuck to the college demographic throughout the draft, taking DeLoach in the second round. The Texas A&M outfielder has a solid all-around toolset and exploded on the Cape last summer, which significantly elevated his stock. Keenan saw his stock rise this spring after he emerged as one of the top power hitters in the nation. He has legitimate plus power and a good approach at the plate, but his size could push him to first base.
Seattle dipped into the junior college ranks for Phillips, who showed flashes of dominance early this spring with a fastball up to 96-97 mph and a slider that could get to plus. Dollard doesn’t have that sort of explosive stuff, but he’s athletic with good deception and solid command. Polcovich was the team’s biggest off-the-board selection in the third round with no real defensive home, but he has major league bloodlines and a solid track record of hitting.
The Cardinals went for upside more than almost any other team. Walker has massive power potential with a big, physical frame that has plenty of room to fill out, but there are some significant swing-and-miss concerns.
They followed up by drafting Winn as a two-way player. It’ll be interesting to see how they develop the tooled-up shortstop and righthander, as Winn has loud stuff on the mound, as well as plus running ability, arm strength and defensive potential at shortstop with quick hands as well. He has real upside on both sides of the ball. Hence is undersized but has a whippy arm and good feel to spin a breaking ball.
The Cardinals balanced their class with four college players to round out their draft, taking an advanced hitter in Burleson, two solid college performers on the mound in Prater and Bedell and a bat that analytically-inclined teams like in Jones. With seven picks, the Cardinals got a diverse portfolio of talent with some upside and some safety.
Tampa Bay hasn’t shown strong tendencies with specific demographics in the recent past, and its 2020 class doesn’t show any strong tendencies either. The club does seem to be fine taking chances on prep righthanders who slip and pounced on Bitsko in the first round—presumably spoiling a few teams’ plans that picked later.
Outside of front-of-the-rotation upside with Bitsko, Tampa Bay added Barnhart in the third round. Barnhart was trending in the right direction early this spring and some scouts loved his fastball, projection and athleticism. Tampa Bay landed arguably the best college defender in the class with Williams, and took a shot on a versatile hit tool with Murray in the fourth.
Seymour was off to a career-year at Virginia Tech this spring and had a strong Cape showing last summer as well, though some scouts have raised reliever concerns thanks to a less-than-ideal delivery. Hakanson could be a money-saver in the fifth to help afford the high school righties, but he has a solid fastball. With six picks, the Rays landed four top-100 talents.
There is no question that the Rangers had the most unconventional draft of 2020. Foscue was seen as a reach for pick 14, but he was one of the better college middle infielders in the class.
The draft got much weirder after that. The Rangers are much higher on Carter than most teams. Others saw him as a young, projectable outfielder but one with enough swing-and-miss concerns they would have let him go to Duke to prove he can hit college pitching. MacLean has plenty of command and projectability and showed an uptick in his velocity in workouts this spring, but he sat in the mid-80s last summer and didn’t get pitch in any games this year.
The Rangers’ four high school picks are all players they believe would have broken out if there had been a full high school season. But taking four high-risk, non-consensus high school players in a five-player draft is risky for any team, especially one that has had a spotty track record in the draft.
The Blue Jays got the steal of the draft by landing Martin with the fifth overall pick. We never imagined a scenario where the best pure hitter in the class lasted that long, and the Blue Jays should be thrilled to get him.
The rest of the class could be an afterthought and Toronto would still get great feedback, but the Blue Jays continued to get solid value. Van Eyk does a lot of things well and projects to start, while RHPs Palmer and Frasso have exciting upside if they can maintain their frames (Palmer) and stay healthy (Frasso) moving forward.
Taking Britton with the final selection gives the Blue Jays yet another solid bat—if very little defensive or positional value—and there doesn’t seem to be a money-saver in the group, despite getting a top-two talent to fall to No. 5. It’s hard to critique much of anything about this class, and it’s worth reiterating that you don’t have to search far to find scouts who thought Martin was the best player in the 2020 class.
The Nationals went with pitching and college heavy this year, getting a pair of arms who had a chance to go higher than where Washington selected them with its first two picks. Many scouts believe Cavalli was the best college pitcher outside of the Asa Lacy/Emerson Hancock/Reid Detmers/Max Meyer quartet, while Henry had plenty of comp-round buzz leading up to the draft.
Both pitchers are big and physical, with loud stuff, which matches Washington’s recent preferences. The Nationals also acquired a fast-mover candidate in Powell, one of the best college relievers in the draft. Parker racked up plenty of strikeouts in his junior college career, while Lindsly is a typical senior sign without many loud tools to speak of.
Washington’s sole high school selection, Infante, brings several above-average tools. He’s a good runner with a strong arm and also has some power potential. He’s old for the prep class, but that doesn’t usually faze the Nationals. Washington did a nice job adding arms that could move reasonably quickly to help the major league club, and took a shot on some upside with Infante.