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2020 MLB Draft Prospects Chat (6/5/20)

Carlos Collazo: Hey everyone, thanks again for joining me for another draft chat! If you haven't checked out our most recent mock or the staff draft that went up today on the site, definitely check those out. Pretty wild to think we are just five days away from the draft. Can't wait to see what happens and how it unfolds. Let's dive into your questions.

Lou (MD):

    Hey Carlos, what do you think the O’s ultimately do at 2 come Wednesday? You think they’ll go underslot so they can spend big at 30 and 39 or pay more for a player like Martin or lacy? Also what are some names that could be in that 30-40 range that would be really good value?

Carlos Collazo: Thanks for the question Lou. I think it’s still more likely that they grab Martin. In our last mock where we had the underslot deal going through we said that and acknowledged the mock was about trying to explore what that scenario would do to the first round. I think it’s a real possibility they do an underslot deal, but I think it’s more likely they just take Martin—based on the information we have now.

Robert (Ann Arbor):

    Thank you for the chat. Where do you see the Michigan Wolverines prospects being drafted?

Carlos Collazo: I could see RHP Jeff Criswell going in the 2nd-3rd rounds and I could see both Jesse Franklin and Jordan Nwogu being selected in the 4-5 round ranges.

Linc (Canada):

    Hi Carlos, Between the first five teams, are the Marlins and Blue Jays the only teams interested in taking a college pitcher? Do you think Max Meyer could go before the Blue Jays pick? Thanks!

Carlos Collazo: It sounds like the Tigers like Lacy, but just not enough to grab him over Tork. I think generally you have it right, but it’s probably more to do with the bats that are available in this range more than any animosity towards college arms. I think it’s more likely than not that Max Meyer is available for the Blue Jays at five.

Mike (Virginia):

    In your most recent mock you had Mick Abel to the Red Sox at 17. Two part question: what are the chances Abel actually makes it to the Red Sox at 17 and do you think the Red Sox would lean prep arm over prep bat given they don't have a second round pick?

Carlos Collazo: The prep arms have been easily the toughest to peg in the first round this year. I’ve heard mixed information on the Red Sox being entirely out on prep righties. I think it just depends on the bats who are still available there. Kind of a cop out answer, I know, but that’s the most accurate answer I have for you.

Zack S (Virginia):

    Do you think it's fair that Garrett Mitchell has slipped from early to middle first round? Even if he hasn't gotten to his power much in games, I don't think we've seen a draft prospect with his combination of raw power, speed, and polish in years - would you agree with that? I love Max Meyer and Heston Kjerstad, but I think teams could be making a big mistake passing over Mitchell for guys with big flashy numbers on the radar gun or in the SEC. My fiancee is also a diabetic athlete, so I may be a little biased on this one.

Carlos Collazo: His name definitely hasn’t gotten as much buzz in the top 10 as I would have expected. I do tend to agree. It’s hard for me to ignore all the tremendous feedback we got from the scouting community on Mitchell’s toolset and skill as a player. That’s primarily the reason I’m so in on him. I have also gotten very little clarity on how teams are assessing the diabetes in their models and their evaluations, and it’s something I’ve asked about pretty frequently. I don’t think teams have a great way to do it, other than assigning him more risk in some capacity… So, yes, I generally agree with everything you’ve said. Even if he never hits for power, you have a premium center fielder who’s an 80-runner who should hit for a high average and steal bases… That’s hard to not like.

Ivan (Miami):

    Could Bitsko end up being the #1 HS arm in your rankings after his recent bullpens?

Carlos Collazo: Our rankings are set currently. We have the order as Mick Abel, Jared Kelley, Nick Bitsko. But they are the clear top three guys. Order them however you want and I think you could have a convincing argument.

Sam (Illinois):

    What type of offensive ceiling does Ed Howard have? Is he someone that could end up having 20/20 potential?

Carlos Collazo: That seems perfectly reasonable, if more towards the higher end of what he could get to. So you’re thinking a guy like Tim Anderson, but I don’t know that I see a guy who’s going to lead the league in hitting. I see Howard as a bit more defensive oriented with less speed and average than Anderson, but that’s a comp that has been put on him before.

Zack (Baltimore):

    Any update on the rumors of Zac Veen possibly going #2 overall?

Carlos Collazo: Nothing has come out to make me any more convinced it’s going to happen. We generally get a ton of rumors around now. I would still lean towards going back to Martin for that spot on our next mock.

Pete (Toronto):

    What would the argument be for taking Max Meyer over Emerson Hancock? Do you think the 2 are that close or would you put Hancock in a different tier?

Carlos Collazo: They’re very different pitchers, so it would just depend on what you prioritized for an arm. Meyer’s fastball and breaking ball are much more electric, but Hancock has a more traditional starter’s profile with four solid or better pitches, a taller frame and better command. We have Hancock in a different tier, but it’s not some huge gap and I wouldn’t be shocked to see Meyer taken in front of Hancock on draft night. The argument for Meyer is a bit more upside and swing-and-miss stuff.

Aaron (Pittsburgh):

    What are the chances Nick Gonzales sticks at SS?

Carlos Collazo: I’d say like 20 percent maybe? I think it’s much more likely he winds up at second base. I think he could handle shortstop if you need him to play there for a game or two, but don’t see him profiling as a regular at the position.

Landon (San Diego):

    How does Robert Hassell compare to Jared Kelenic at this point? Did Kelenic have more speed/power as a prep?

Carlos Collazo: Pretty similar. He’s been comped to Kelenic and Riley Greene at times just in terms of the hitting potential. I think Kelenic was more physical at the time with a tick more present power, but I think Hassell might be a hair quicker? It’s pretty closer for both of those grades but I would lean towards Hassell for speed and Kelenic for power. I’d give Hassell a bit more of a chance for center field than either Kelenic or Greene in the long term as well.

Evan (Austin, TX):

    Are you hearing any buzz for Tanner Witt in the 1st round?

Carlos Collazo: I have not heard that. He sounds like a tough sign.

Al (Orange, Ca):

    You mention Partick Bailey as an option for the Angels at #10? Is this purely speculation or have you heard that they are connected to him? I hate the idea of taking a defensive catcher in the 1st, so this is giving me pre-draft anxiety!

Carlos Collazo: It’s a pretty safe profile and Bailey has been a producer offensively for NC State in the ACC. I think it’s easy to put “defense only” on both Bailey and Shea Langeliers from a year ago, but they aren’t slouches with the bat. When you’re that good a defender at the game’s most premium defensive position I suppose it makes sense that that gets stuck in people’s heads, but he has above-average raw power from both sides of the plate. It’s not consensus, but there are scouts who think he could get to an average bat.

Brett (Reno):

    What type of statline would you project Kjerstad for? Would .260BA and 30HR be in the ballpark?

Carlos Collazo: That seems close. I think he has a chance to get to a bit better average and I would go a tick less on the HR total but we’re just picking nits at that point. It’ll depend on his strikeout rate in pro ball as well.

Mac (Denver):

    Could the argument be made that HS arms are less risky this year than usual since the college arms have so many questions given the shortened season?

Carlos Collazo: I can certainly be made but I don’t find it particularly convincing. The college guys still had prior years against significantly better hitters to build up more of a track record, and you don’t need to project as much on physicality, strike throwing, endurance, etc. The high school guys are still inherently more risky and more so in many cases since they didn’t pitch this spring. It's not like the high school kids pitched and the college guys didn't. The opposite is true.

Jack (San Diego):

    Based on talent alone (not considering risk involved in demographics), could an argument be made that Bitsko and Abel are top 5 talents?

Carlos Collazo: I don’t think in this class. You’d have to argue that *both* are better than two of the following players: Spencer Torkelson, Austin Martin, Asa Lacy, Emerson Hancock, Nick Gonzales. I don’t see it.


    Blaze Jordan- seems to be losing steam in mocks. Is this because of a lack of information from teams or is it looking like he will be playing in Starkville the next couple years?

Carlos Collazo: I have never mocked Blaze in the first round. So I don’t think you’ve actually been following the mock drafts.


    You have Lacy 3, Hancock 4, Detmers 8, and Meyer 10. Which combo would you rather have, Lacy and Meyer or Hancock and Detmers?

Carlos Collazo: Personally, I lean towards the first group simply because of more upside potential.

Will (Dallas):

    What type of power do you see Robert Hassell developing? Is his frame maxed out or should he be able to put on some weight?

Carlos Collazo: He’s pretty lean, I could see him adding a bit more. It’s definitely not a maxed out frame. Above-average pop doesn’t seem crazy considering his barrel accuracy. I don’t think he’ll ever be a massive power guy though.

Matthew (Boston):

    Could you compare Ed Howard’s current and potential offensive tools to PCA? Which player would you take at...ohhh let’s say 17?

Carlos Collazo: We have a 40 hit, 50 power, 50 run on Ed Howard and PCA 55 hit, 40 power, 60 run. I would rather have PCA’s bat at 17 as our rankings would suggest.

Alan (Rancho Cucamonga):

    Hello. Wondering what you are hearing on the White Sox with pick 11? Jim Callis noted yesterday that he thinks the Bailey link is overblown and that he is often mocked to them merely because of the teams draft tendency. He mentioned a bunch of the prep bats as options, specifically Soderstrom. Also noted they'd love for Detmers to fall in their lap. Hearing anything different? Thanks!

Carlos Collazo: I said something similar in our most recent mock. All those names make sense.

Keith (California):

    Who is a sleeper prospect you think could be a first-round steal?

Carlos Collazo: Kevin Parada has long been my guy and I’m sticking with him.

Billy G (CA):

    Which college hitter has the best tools in the 25-60 range?

Carlos Collazo: Casey Martin is probably the easy answer for this one.

D. Nielson (Hyrum, Ut):

    It appears by looking at draft mocks, Ed Howard and Carmen Mlodzinski have fallen off the first round planet. Is there any rhyme or reason or are they still first round material?

Carlos Collazo: Again, I don’t know that you’ve been looking at mock drafts. Here’s our most recent one ICYMI.

Andrew (Alberta):

    How does Veen compare to Greene and Abrams from last years draft?

Carlos Collazo: Those are all vastly different players. Greene is the best pure hitter, Abrams has the best pure bat-to-ball skills and is clearly the best runner. Veen has significantly more power potential. In terms of talent they are all pretty close I would guess, but they get there in wildly different ways.

Sentient Being (Everywhere):

    How many teams do you realistically expect to not spend their whole pool?

Carlos Collazo: Only a couple at most. It would be an exceptional waste to not get as much talent as you can in this system when you get to defer most of the money anyways. Teams who don’t use their money aren’t interested in improving their teams.

Freeman (Boston):

    Does Mick Abel have the potential to be a top of the rotation starter? I see some Jack Flaherty in his game, is that a good comp or do you have a different comp for Abel?

Carlos Collazo: Yeah, he absolutely has top-of-the-rotation potential. I don’t have a great comp for him. I’ve heard AJ Burnett a while back, but couldn’t really speak much to that one, so I’ll just pass it along for you. Flaherty seems reasonably based on his draft report I suppose, but I think Abel’s fastball is better at the same time and he is less physically filled out.

James (Chicago):

    It seems Carson Tucker and Masyn Winn have improved their draft prospects. Is there a good chance they both go in the top 37?

Carlos Collazo: I've heard both of their names mentioned in the comp range, so I wouldn't be surprised, but saying they both have a "good chance" to go in the top 37 would probably be a bit stronger than I would want to suggest.

Lloyd (Lakewood):

    If Meyer has a big fastball, and the “best amateur slider some scouts have seen”, what do Detmers, and Hancock have, that have them rated higher?

Carlos Collazo: Bigger frames, deeper pitch mixes, a longer track record of starting and better command. Both have better chances to start than Meyer at the next level. Maybe those aren't as sexy as Meyer's two-pitch combo, but they matter.

Ian (Oregon):

    Who would you consider the riskiest players inside your top 15?

Carlos Collazo: Garrett Crochet, Mick Abel, Jared Kelley would be the three I pointed to first, in no particular order.

Ryan (LA):

    Are there any guys that had successful mlb careers, that had the same type of BB/K ratio in college as Kjerstad?

Carlos Collazo: I would need to pour over the numbers a bit more to have a really good answer for this one, but it's a good question. Kris Bryan walked significantly more and didn't strike out as much, but he had some real strikeout concerns out of a lesser conference. He's the one who jumps to mind for me right away, but I admit I don't know if that's the best answer for your question. I'll try and think about this one some more. Good one.

Billy G (CA):

    Do you think Casey Schmitt has some pre-draft Matt Chapman vibes to him? Similar profiles coming out of school. Does Schmitt's bat have a chance to improve even more once he stops pitching, too?

Carlos Collazo: To your latter point, we've talked with scouts who believe that could be the case. He's not as toolsy as Chapman was, but I think the general comparisons are pretty solid actually. Nice one.

David (Camp David):

    Do you think Cole Foster, Werner Blakely, and Alex Freeland will get to school or get drafted?

Carlos Collazo: Probably get to school.

Owen (NC):

    Which top 100 guys (other than obviously Crews) are most likely to get to school?

Carlos Collazo: Tanner Witt and Drew Bowser are pretty good picks for this one.

Tom (Cleveland):

    Cleveland has not picked a college prospect in the 1st since 2014, why does a trend of mocks exist have them changing course? Is it what people are hearing?

Carlos Collazo: A lot of that is likely just due to how the board develops in that range this year. That's a range where a ton of college guys are mentioned, and in many all three prep righties have come off the board already.

Clint (Omaha, NE):

    What do you think the earliest we could see Landon Knack going off the board?

Carlos Collazo: Maybe like early third round? A team could get really aggressive and take him in the second I guess. His stuff and strikes are legit, but I imagine the age would have to push him down most teams boards.

John (Poway):

    Be kind, tell me that Zac Veen gets to San Diego.

Carlos Collazo: That seems more and more unlikely with the number of teams interested in him in front of them. Our last two mocks have had him gone before No. 8.

SBNY (Philadelphia PA):

    How would you rank Matthew Allan vs. The top 3 high school pitchers from 2020?

Carlos Collazo: I'd probably go Mick Abel, Jared Kelley, Matthew Allan, Nick Bitsko. There are actually a lot of similarities in my mind with Allan and Bitsko. Similar frames and fastball/curveball combinations.

John (WV):

    Thanks for the chat. If late 1st round teams focus on college bats then which arms do you see slipping into the comp round; Wilcox, Beeter, Jarvis, Mlodzinski, Miller? I know you already highlighted Bitsko & Kelley may slip but I was just curious about the college arms that may get pushed by bats.

Carlos Collazo: All of those guys are the right names that could be pushed if everyone in the final third of the first round goes for bats, particularly Mlodzinski and Miller.

Chris (Syracuse NY):

    is there any chance Hassell or Hjerstad get to 15? If not, is there a player phillies fans should be excited about that IS projected in their range? Thanks a lot!

Carlos Collazo: Both seem unlikely to make it that far. Check out our scouting reports on all the guys in the 10-25 range on the BA 500 and get excited about whichever one pulls you in! Lots of different players you might be intrigued by. Defensive and offensive oriented high school position players, big upside college arms, more safe college arms with long starting track record, etc.

Matt (Baltimore, MD):

    Can you help me get excited about Martin at #2? Yeah, he's got a great bat, but I don't see the upside like I do with a guy like Zac Veen.

Carlos Collazo: If you can't get excited about a potential 70-grade hitter who plays up the middle... I don't know what to tell you man. Go check out his swing. It's beautiful. The hit tool is far and away the most important and you can't get excited about Martin?? To each his own, I suppose, but man... that swing is special.

Jaime (Miami, Forida):

    What are you hearing on FIU's Logan Allen. Could he be a back of the 1st sleeper?

Carlos Collazo: Could be. I was surprised with Ryan Jensen last year, but I think the stuff isn't quite loud enough for that, particularly in this year's class of college arms. Wake LHP Jared Shuster would be more likely there than Allen I think.

Drew (Arkansas):

    If Masyn Winn was just a pitcher or just a SS where would he rank at each individual position this draft?

Carlos Collazo: 7-9 at shortstop and somewhere around the 20 range or a bit lower if he were just a RHP.

Peter G. (Miami, Forida):

    Do you think there really is much separation between Detmers and Logan Allen? Other than one being a FB/CB and the other a FB/CH mostly pitcher, they seem very similar.

Carlos Collazo: There's a pretty massive gap between those two, as evidenced by our rankings.

Mr Irrelevant (A 40th round in the past):

    Where does Logan Allen project to go? Where would you rank him among the best college lefties in this draft?

Carlos Collazo: Second or third round. He's the fifth-ranked college lefthander.

Leandro (Dominican Republic):

    Bryan Reynolds could be a guy with similar BB/K ratio in college to Kjerstad? Reynolds improved much in his senior season tho.

Carlos Collazo: Yeah, his are closer and it's the same conference, which helps. Reynolds had a career 11.09 BB% and an 18.73 K% compared to Heston Kjerstad's 7.77 BB% and 19.50 K%. Kjerstad's came with significantly more power production however.

Brandon (San Diego):

    What is the first thing you look at for hitters and pitchers when analyzing their stats? Would BB/K rate be a good place to start for both?

Carlos Collazo: For hitters I honestly still go to the triple slash line. It's just so familiar and an easy place to start. For MLB guys I look at wRC+ and wOBA pretty quickly just because I think those are the best stats to give you an idea of the offensive value in one number. I think BB/K rates are a better place to start with pitchers than hitters. ERA+, and FIP are two others that I quickly go to for pitchers. Again, some of these are irrelevant for amateur players and the stats mean less and less the further down the competition ladder you go.

Jack (Hollywood):

    Are teams not considering the potential for automated strike zones when evaluating the catchers this year?

Carlos Collazo: They really should be when you consider the gap between when these players are going to make it to the majors and when teams expect robo umps to become implemented... I've talked with some scouts who have had general conversations about this, but haven't made any changes to their process because that change just isn't here yet... If we had a real timeline for when robo umps were coming I think it would help scouting departments adjust how they are scouting catchers.

Carlos Collazo: All right everyone. That's going to wrap it up for today. Thanks again for taking the time to join the chat. These have been fun. We might have another chat closer to the draft that will be dedicated solely to the rumors we've been hearing for mock stuff, but until then, take care!

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