2020 MLB Mock Draft: 'Way Too Early' Edition
A 2020 mock draft just one day after the 2019 edition wraps up is, of course, ridiculous.
We understand that. And we embrace the fact that we are crazy for attempting to project the top 10 picks for next year's draft when we don’t even know the order in which teams will be picking.
However, teams will quickly start to focus on the 2020 draft class—starting next week at Perfect Game’s National showcase in Arizona, which will provide a look at some of the top prospects in the high school class. And after checking out our attempt to project the top 10 picks of the 2019 draft a year beforehand . . . it wasn’t terrible.
We accurately picked six of the top 10 selections, and while we didn’t get a single one dead-on, we were only one spot off with Adley Rutschman (mocked No. 2, drafted No. 1) Bobby Witt Jr. (mocked No. 1, drafted No. 2), Riley Greene (mocked No. 6, drafted No. 5) and Josh Jung (mocked No. 7, drafted No. 8).
Of the four players who weren't drafted among the top 10 selections in the draft, two were still first-round picks (Braden Shewmake and Logan Davidson), one was picked on the first day (Rece Hinds) and the final pick (Hunter Barco) we still view as a Day 1 talent, despite his slide to the 24th round.
So while this isn’t even a mock draft in the real sense of the term—mocks are based on information we are hearing about which players are linked to certain teams—there could still be some value here if you want to get a head start on what is shaping up to be a deep 2020 draft class. If there’s no value, hopefully it’s at least entertaining.
The order in which teams pick is based on their records as of June 5, 2019.
1. Orioles — Emerson Hancock, RHP, Georgia
Hancock was outshined by fellow Georgia product D.L. Hall in high school, but the now-Georgia ace has a good chance to beat Hall’s No. 21 selection in the 2017 draft and is one of the favorites to be the first overall pick. After a middling freshman season, Hancock broke out as a sophomore and was one of the best college pitchers in the country. He has plus stuff across the board with a fastball that’s routinely in the upper 90s, a slider, curveball and a changeup.
2. Royals — Spencer Torkelson, 1B/OF, Arizona State
Over the last two years, Torkelson has been one of the most productive hitters in college baseball and established himself as the top college hitter in the 2020 class. He hit 46 home runs in his first two years of college and last summer was one of the best hitters in the Cape Cod League. He has an abnormal profile for a top pick in the draft, but his power and hitting ability are enough to overcome his defensive limitations, much like Andrew Vaughn this year. Torkelson has exclusively been a first baseman at Arizona State, but last year on the Cape showed he could play right field.
3. Blue Jays — Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, Harvard-Westlake HS, Studio City, Calif.
The top high school position player in the 2020 class, Crow-Armstrong seems to play the game at a different speed than everyone around him. He’s a plus-plus runner and a plus defender in center field, with an advanced approach at the plate and terrific bat-to-ball skills. He’s more of a line drive hitter now and teams will be looking to see how much impact he has in the bat, but his offensive approach is as sound as anyone in the class.
4. Marlins — Casey Martin, SS, Arkansas
Martin had a sensational freshman season as the third baseman on Arkansas’ College World Series runner-up team and followed it up with another strong year as a sophomore, while also moving to shortstop. He has a good chance to stay at the position in pro ball and brings solid power and athleticism, as well.
5. Mariners — Patrick Bailey, C, North Carolina State
Bailey has established himself as the top catcher in the 2020 class. He has solid power and plate discipline as a switch-hitter to go with a sound overall skillset behind the plate.
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6. Tigers — Asa Lacy, LHP, Texas A&M
Well-regarded out of high school, Lacy broke out last summer in the Alaska Baseball League and carried that momentum into his sophomore year. He may have the best changeup in the 2020 draft class and also mixes in a mid-90s fastball and two quality breaking balls.
7. Giants — Dylan Crews, OF, Lake Mary (Fla.) HS
Crews was one of a number of underclass players to make the USA 18U National team last fall, and he stands out for his hitting ability, bat speed and power at the plate.
8. Nationals — Cole Wilcox, RHP, Georgia
A draft-eligible sophomore next year, Wilcox was a part of the incredible 2017 USA 18U National Team pitching staff. It took him a bit to find his footing in college, but by the end of this spring he was thriving in Georgia’s rotation. Wilcox runs his fastball into the upper 90s and mixes in a sharp slider and changeup.
9. Mets — Timothy Manning, LHP, Cardinal Gibbons HS, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
A polished and still projectable, 6-foot-2, 175-pound lefthander committed to Florida, Manning is one of the best lefties in the 2020 class and has good feel for a three-pitch mix.
10. Reds — Jared Kelley, RHP, Refugio (Texas) HS
A Texas commit, Kelley should be one of the top prep pitchers in the 2020 class as a physical, 6-foot-2, 200-pound righthander who’s gotten his fastball into the mid- to upper 90s and also has a promising curveball.