2020 MLB Draft Prospects Chat (3/5/2020)
Carlos Collazo: Hey guys, thanks for stopping by for another draft chat. This is the first 2020 march draft chat we've ever done! Wow. Big day. There are a number of questions in the queue so thanks for that, but before we jump in I'm sure there are questions about JT Ginn's injury. We just published a piece on his season-ending surgery and what that means for his draft stock here. Hopefully that can answer some of the questions you might have.
Carlos Collazo: But with that out of the way, let's jump in!
Tyler Jennings (Raleigh, NC):
- Hey Carlos, hope you're doing well. Seeing as North Carolina high schools have just started their seasons, are there any players that could make some noise this spring within the state?
Carlos Collazo: It's not a great year for the state at the high school level, but there are always guys. I don't think Koen Moreno is throwing just yet, but he would be at the top of that list. Panther Creek High in Cary, which is like a stone's throw away from the BA office. Nolan McLean and Liam Norris are also interesting, but a bit further down the board IMO. It's typically college heavy here and that' the case in 2020. No Blake Walstons or Austin Becks or MacKenzie Gores.
- The 2020 class is a large draft eligible class in Oklahoma and across the Nation. How many Oklahoma High School baseballers will be drafted this year?
Carlos Collazo: Good call. It's a strong year for the state. Last year there were six HS guys taken out of Oklahoma, and if you go back to 2014 there were eight. In between those years it's typically a handful of guys as well. I currently have eight prep guys who are in BA 500 consideration at this point and there could be more who I'm not aware of right now that make it, or guys who improve their stock to jump into that range. So we could be looking at a very strong year for the state. LHP Dax Fulton, SS/RHP Cade Horton, RHP Nate Wohlgemuth and OF Jace Bohrofen are some of the top guys.
- Thoughts on Garrett Mitchell's start to the season? Is his stock rising/falling/status quo?
- Love Garrett Mitchell as a prospect and enjoyed the piece about him in draft risers but I’m curious on how teams view his draft stock being a type 1 diabetic and if that will have an effect on where he lands come June?
Ken (San Diego):
- Good afternoon CC! Thanks for your time and insight. A lot of talk about UCLA's Garrett Mitchell having the largest tool box in the draft - a true 5 tool player. Have you seen any grades regarding his Hit, Power, Run, Defense, Arm??? Any player comps? Maybe Byron Buxton?
Carlos Collazo: Lots of Garrett Mitchell questions, so thank you guys for reading Stock Watch! If you didn't, you can get some dope on ten players who are rising, including Mitchell. So to tackle these questions: 1) Yes, I think his stock is "rising" but he was already pretty high on the board and can't go too much higher, so it's more like he's playing well and getting good reports than jumping into 1-1 favorite status.
Carlos Collazo: 2) The diabetic issues is probably the most complicated part of the puzzle with Mitchell, because I'm not sure every team views it the same way. The scouts I've talked to are concerned about how he's going to hold up over a full season and point to the fact that he has a limited summer track record. Sam Fuld is a guy that people point to, but Mitchell is in an entirely different phylum of prospect. It is a real concern though.
Carlos Collazo: 3) He's a legit five tool player, with the hit tool being the biggest question. As for grades, we've heard 80 runner, 70 raw power, 60 defense, 60 arm. I guess the bat is going to be different depending on who you talk to, but 55 seems reasonable given his bat-to-ball skills. I would imagine his speed inflates his average, but there are questions about how much of that raw power Mitchell will tap into in-game. He's never shown great ability to do that going back to his high school days, but players change and get better. Immense upside with him.
- What is the best case scenario for the Blue Jays at #5? Or better yet, what do you think their top 5 rankings would be? Anyone not in the top 5 that would be of interest for them? Thanks!
Carlos Collazo: I think in previous years I've had a tongue in cheek answer and said something like "the best case scenario is they look up in ten years and realize they took the best player in the class with that pick." So that holds true still. The top five we have currently sounds like the top five most teams are dealing with, at least with the scouts I've spoken to to this point. I think it's a pretty good year to pick fifth because there's not a ton of separation with those top five players IMO. Wouldn't shock me if Mitchell or Zac Veen pushed into that range, though I don't know who they love specifically just yet.
- Seems like Zac Veen is shooting up the boards. Any chance he is available for Cubs at 16?
- How high do you think Veen can raise his draft stock? Seems like there's a lot of buzz building.
- Is there a good chance the Zac Veen could end up as the first Prep off the board in June?
Carlos Collazo: As far as I'm aware, we've been on the Zac Veen train as long as anyone, going back to his days as a junior when he was hitting home runs every other day. 1) I do not expect him to be available at 16 at this point, no. 2) He sounds like a top 15 prospect from most people I talk with, though I have had conversations with some scouts who are more skeptical of his bat than others. 3) Yes, pretty good chance Veen is the first prep off the board.
- Where would Lodolo go in this draft class? Seems like 4-5 pitchers in this class would be taken before him or am I crazy?
Carlos Collazo: You're not crazy. That's about right. Last year was a dreadful class for college arms and this year's class is terrific, in despite the Ginn injury. I would guess Lodolo is a middle or back of the first round kind of arm in this class, not the seventh player taken. But what do I know?
- Where do you think this draft class ranks in the last 10 or so drafts? It seems like it's right up there with 2011 in terms of the top 30-40 prospects?
Carlos Collazo: I would hesitate to put with the 2011 group at this point, that class was loaded. But maybe the best since 2015? I've had that class brought up to me in conversations with smarter people about this very question. That was the Swanson, Bregman, Rodgers class, if you've forgotten.
- Cole Wilcox has performed pretty well this season so far is he now in the top 10-15 range for where he might get drafted?
Carlos Collazo: He's doing well, but there are still a number of guys who have him in the second half of the first now. If he keeps doing what he's already done against SEC competition though and maintains this level of success I would be surprised if he's not pushing closer to the range you mentioned. Just has to keep doing it.
Pete (The Bronx):
- What is optimistic view of Austin Martin's upside? A shortstop with 20 homers and 20 SB and great on base skills? Is he worth the first overall pick if he ends up in the outfield and falls short of those offensive expectations?
Carlos Collazo: I've had scouts tell me that he has the most upside of anyone in the draft thanks to the hit tool, speed and athleticism and potential for an impact defender at a premium position. So I think so. The bat is special and even if he's a center fielder... that's an incredibly valuable position. I probably think CF defense is closer to SS defense than most, in terms of the value of the positions, but either way I think he's talented enough to warrant being the No. 1 pick. If he falls short of his offensive expectations he still has a better chance to return value than Nick Gonzales or Spencer Torkelson if those two were to also fall short of their offensive expectations.
- Can you tell us more about Sam Weatherly?
Carlos Collazo: I can! Talked with a scout about him recently. He's trending in the right direction. Clemson lefthander who performed well in a big matchup against South Carolina and RHP Carmen Mlodzinski last weekend. He's got two plus pitches in a fastball and slider and strikes out loads, but he also has a poor track record of throwing strikes. He's cut his walk rate through three starts this year... but it's still 10 walks in 17 innings, which is no bueno. There are starter/reliever questions that need to be answered.
- What would Nick Gonzales have to do to improve his draft stock? He was already a top 5 guy after the Cape Cod league but is there any way to know if this is real? The better he does, the less I trust it. A 2.000 OPS? Really?
Carlos Collazo: Idk put a ball into orbit? What do you want the guy to do? He's hitting .500/.652/1.354 with 12 home runs in 13 games. That is twice as many home runs as Garrett Mitchell has hit in over two years of college baseball. That's absurd. And he hit .351/.451.630 with seven home runs in the Cape. And he hit .432/.532/.773 as a sophomore. And he hit .347/.425/.596 as a freshman. All Nick Gonzales has ever done in his career is hit. And hit and hit and hit. He is a good hitter. I promise you it is real. I don't care if he's playing on the moon.
Carlos Collazo: All future "is Nick Gonzales real?" questions are hereby banned in the chat. I won't stand for this blasphemy.
James (McHenry, IL):
- How early do you think Nick Gonzales will go and what do you think are the odds he will stay at shortstop?
Carlos Collazo: Top five right now; I think he's a second baseman.
James (McHenry, IL):
- How confident are you that Emerson Hancock will be the first pitcher selected in June, and are there any pitchers that you feel could surpass him?
Carlos Collazo: Asa Lacy could go in front of him and I wouldn't be shocked. Asa Lacy is a very good pitcher.
- How would you rank the State of Florida's "Big 5" College Pitching Arms and where do you see them in this year's draft? (FSU - VanEyk, UF - Mace/Leftwich, Miami McMahon/Cecconi).
Carlos Collazo: Fortunately we have them ranked for you already in the BA top 200 list:
Carlos Collazo: I think you're also doing a disservice to FIU lefty Logan Allen by not including him in that group. He's better than the two Gators you listed.
Drew (Neosho, MO):
- Ian Seymour was listed as the 9th best prospect in the Cape by BA. He has 26 K in 14.1 innings allowing just 8 hits and walking 2. Why don't we hear more about him as a draft prospect and where does he figure to go in the draft? Thanks!
Carlos Collazo: Scouts I've talked to so far think there's a decent amount of reliever risk, but we still have him ranked among the top 100 prospects in the country. There are simply a lot of pitchers in this class clamoring for attention. But you're right. He has been good and the track record at VT is impressive, with better strike history than the guys typically flagged for reliever risk. Think it's more of an operation/delivery concern.
- Players like Zac Veen, Dylan Crews, and Coby Mayo get alot of attention here in Florida. As we know, the Florida prep class is typically deep. Are there any names that you would pick for sleeper types teams should be aware of?
Carlos Collazo: I'd throw Enrique Bradfield into that group. He might be the fastest player in the country. I've written about C Jackson Miller and SS Colby Halter a bit so far (Shoutout to the Stock Watch readers), though I don't know if those guys are considered "sleepers." LHP Ryan Bruno, SS Alex Freeland, SS Sammy Infante could all qualify. But again, these are all players we have ranked currently.
- It seems like this years draft is very top heavy college in the early 1st round and maybe thru the 2nd. Do you think that will lead to many top highschoolers heading to college ? Especially if they dont get the dollar figures they might have wanted ....
Carlos Collazo: I can definitely see that happening. I'll be interested to see how many of the draft-eligible sophomore college prospects go back or get over-slot deals as well. It's a competitive class. Every year we see a few of the top prep guys go to college though.
Zack S (Virginia):
- Can you give an update on Jordan Walker? There seem to be a lot of parallels between him and Rece Hinds. It's an easy comp because of the size/handedness/big power/hit tool questions, but I'm curious as to where you think Walker's bat, particularly as it pertains to swing and miss, compares to where Hinds was a year ago. Thanks.
Carlos Collazo: Not a bad comp. I think I had a conversation a few weeks ago with an evaluator about just this. Hinds was more physically impressive for me and had better raw power (he still has the most impressive batting practice I've ever seen live from an amateur) but Walker has a significantly better current hit tool and less swing and miss concerns than Hinds did. Both are probably going to wind up being first base or corner outfielders IMO.
- Do you think Jordan Walker or Blaze Jordan end up going to college rather than signing?
Carlos Collazo: I think both will be tough signs, and I haven't heard much just yet about either of them skyrocketing up draft boards. It sounds like Jordan might be scuffling a bit. I could see them both getting to school and mashing and doing very well for themselves in a few years. You never know, plenty of time for one or both of them to really turn it on, and I admit I don't know how badly either wants to play pro/go to college.
- What are the chances the White Sox take a HS player in the first round something they haven't done since 2012. Zac Veen or Chicago's very own Ed Howard would be a welcomed addition to the their farm system.
Carlos Collazo: Both those players make sense in that range. Hopefully we'll get some more detailed info on which teams are looking to do what as we get closer to the draft.
- What are your thoughts on developing Masyn Winn as a two-way SS/RP?
Carlos Collazo: Not a fan. I think he has legitimate pro potential on both sides of the ball and I actually asked this question to a scout recently. He had a tough time choosing which side Winn had more upside with. I think there's enough rawness to his game on both sides that I would prefer he focused on one or the other full-time. If he prefers hitting, let him go out and do that and refine his defensive ability at shortstop and continue to get at-bats. If he likes getting on the mound, let him do that and improve his command and the consistency of his secondaries. I truly believe he's one of the most naturally talented players in this class; I personally wouldn't want to stunt his development on either side by having him try both at the same time.
Francisco (Norcross, GA):
- Bryce Jarvis a top 2 rounder ?
Carlos Collazo: Trending in that direction for sure. I think scouts just want to see him hold this sort of stuff over the full season and if he does that makes all the sense in the world. I'm excited to see him against Florida State this weekend in Bull City.
Francisco (Norcross, GA):
- Any Boston College player getting drafted early ?
Carlos Collazo: Check back next year for Boston College prospects going early. They've got some good ones. Three in the college top 30 on our current 2021 list:
Big Ern (Compton):
- Best power in the draft belongs to??
Carlos Collazo: Spencer Torkelson
Nicholas C (Pennsylvania):
- outside of Austin Hendricks, is there any other Western PA players worth keeping an eye on as potential Top 5 round picks?
Carlos Collazo: Hendrick (no S) would also be the answer for best power in the HS class for me. I guess Nick Bitsko is eastern PA, so no I don't think so.
- Why hasn't Mercer hitting machine Aussie Brandon Michie been drafted in the past? He's an older red shirt senior now who continues to hit. Think he'll be drafted this year?
Carlos Collazo: I think there are a lot of guys who put up numbers at the college level who scouts don't think are pro-caliber hitting prospects. That's probably the simplest answer. This is not directed towards Michie specifically, as I'm admittedly not super familiar with him. I will ask around about him though. But there are a lot of guys who put up stats who I won't name who people routinely ask about that teams simply don't see as quality prospects for one reason or another. Stats are important, but they are far from the entire picture of a player.
- Do you think Veen or Jordan Walker could sneak into the top 6?
Carlos Collazo: I think Veen is in a different tier entirely than Walker currently. We don't see Walker in that range and I haven't talked to a scout yet who does. He's a very good player. But top six seems rich for him given the feedback we have.
- It sounds like scouts feel Wilcox's fastball is too hittable. Have you heard the same?
Carlos Collazo: I have heard from scouts who think his FB has played down from what you'd expect given the velocity. Whether that's a command/deception/spin question I think is the interesting question. I'm not entirely sure.
Kyle Weatherly (Florence, South Carolina):
- Do you think Nick Gonzales could be making a case to be the #1 overall pick?
Carlos Collazo: Yes, but barring good feedback on his defense at shortstop that's a tough profile to go 1-1. Rickie Weeks went No. 2 in 2003 and after that the highest-drafted college second basemen are Todd Walker (OK then) in 1994 and Keston Hiura in 2017. Walker went 8th and Hiura went 9th.
Mike Rotch (Moe's):
- Just curious, how long does it take to see a doctor in this country? I would guess 14-16 days.
Carlos Collazo: getroman.com/BA
Carlos Collazo: Shoutout to all of the podcast listeners! We thank you.
Michael McDermott (Gilbert, AZ):
- If there is a run on college arms early in the draft, is there a possibility that some of the top prep talents such as Mick Abel, Pete Crow-Armstrong, or Ed Howard slides to Arizona at 18?
Carlos Collazo: Yep.
Robert (Los Angeles):
- How can you say UCLA’s Garrett Mitchell has plus power....did he even hit an HR in high school and he has less than double digits in his college career.
Carlos Collazo: plus RAW power is key. He has shown exceptional power in batting practice. The key is obviously translating that into games. But the power is in the tank. I don't believe I've ever said he has plus game power, but if I have I apologize.
Mark (Los Angeles, CA):
- What are the early reports on Drew Bowser out of Harvard-Westlake? Also, what would it take for him to not make it to campus?
Carlos Collazo: I've heard he's doing well and hitting some bombs. He's a virtual lock to get to campus. Don't bank on him signing.
- Is this one of the best Prep Outfielder classes you have seen in recent history?
Carlos Collazo: It's one of the deepest that I've seen, for sure. Does that mean best? I don't know, it gets tricky. Jarred Kelenic looks like a monster and Riley Greene/Corbin Carroll is an impressive duo as well and that's just last year.
- There cannot be a 2020 draft chat without a Blaze Jordan question. How high could he go in the draft and what comp would you put on him?
Carlos Collazo: I think we're batting 1.000 on Blaze questions in the chat this year.
- Carter Kieboom a good comp for Austin Martin?
Carlos Collazo: I don't think so.
Carlos Collazo: OK everyone, that's going to wrap it up! Again, if you missed this week's stock watch you can check it out here. There might be answers to some of your questions that didn't get answered there.
Carlos Collazo: Thanks as always for stopping by. I really love the passion you guys have for the draft and the draft process on March 5th. You guys are responsible for the best draft chats in the industry and don't let anyone tell you otherwise! See ya next time.