Early 2020 Draft Preview: Top 10 College Prospects
Scouting directors begin bearing down on the 2020 draft class as soon as the 2019 draft concludes. The top of the college class is already well defined, and scouts have a long history with many of the players. Everything is subject to change, particularly as players improve their stock this summer.
1. Spencer Torkelson, 1B
Torkelson has some of the biggest raw power in the 2020 class and is one of college baseball’s most dynamic hitters. After breaking Barry Bonds’ program record for home runs by a freshman, he followed that by hitting .348/.447/.687 with 21 home runs. His impact has translated just fine to wood bats, in both the Cape Cod League and with Team USA. Primarily a first baseman, Torkelson has a chance to play the corner outfield in pro ball.
2. Emerson Hancock, RHP
The Friday night ace for one of the best college pitching staffs in the country, Hancock broke out as a sophomore after a middling freshman campaign and was one of the most dominant pitchers in the country. Over 14 starts, he recorded a 1.99 ERA with 97 strikeouts in 90.1 innings and walked just 18 hitters. Hancock has potential plus pitches across the board, headlined by a fastball that reaches the upper 90s and a putaway slider.
3. Casey Martin, SS
Martin starred as a freshman third baseman for Arkansas in 2018, hitting 13 home runs in his first crack at the Southeastern Conference. This spring he moved to shortstop and continued to shine by hitting .293/.370/.556 with 15 home runs and 10 stolen bases. Martin is a plus runner with arm strength and projects to stay at short.
4. Patrick Bailey, C
North Carolina State
Bailey was one of the best catch-and-throw backstops in the country coming out of high school in 2017, but at the time scouts worried about his offensive potential. He has proven to have power from both sides of the plate in two seasons in the Atlantic Coast Conference. As a complete catcher with exceptional feel for receiving, blocking, throwing, handling a staff and hitting from both sides, Bailey has obvious first-round talent.
5. Cole Wilcox, RHP
One of several touted pitchers from the 2018 draft to make it to campus, Wilcox will be a draft-eligible sophomore and has emerged as one of the better talents for 2020. He has a fastball that reaches the upper 90s as well as a sharp slider and a solid changeup, and he has first-round potential if he performs as a starter in 2020. Wilcox struck out 64 batters in 59.2 innings as a freshman but will need to cut down his walk rate.
6. Asa Lacy, LHP
The projectable lefty was drafted out of high school in 2017 but made it to campus at Texas A&M, where he has been lights out over two seasons. In 2019 he posted a 2.13 ERA over 88.2 innings with a team-best 130 strikeouts while leading the nation with just 5.0 hits per nine innings. Lacy has a 92-95 mph fastball and one of the best changeups in the country.
7. J.T. Ginn, RHP
The Dodgers’ liked Ginn’s elite fastball/breaking ball combination enough to draft him 30th overall in 2018 out of high school. He didn’t sign and quickly established himself as one of the best college freshman arms in the country. Through 16 starts and 80.1 innings, Ginn posted a 3.36 ERA with 103 strikeouts and 18 walks.
Torkelson, Jordan Could Be 2020 MLB Draft Trendsetters
Historically, righthanded hitter-thrower first basemen are largely shunned on Day 1 of the draft. That trend is changing.
8. Reid Detmers, LHP
Detmers came into his own as a sophomore and was briefly in the running for Player of the Year with his early-season dominance. He significantly improved his walk rate this spring and has a solid four-pitch mix that he locates well, with a fastball that gets into the mid-90s. Through 17 starts and 107 innings, Detmers posted a 2.85 ERA with 162 strikeouts—the second most in the country behind Ethan Small.
9. Austin Martin, SS
Martin hit a team-best .410 this season while playing multiple positions and was the only underclassman to be named a first-team All-American. He should have a chance to play shortstop as a junior, and if he performs as well as expected he should be one of the first college hitters off the board next June.
10. C.J. Van Eyk, RHP
Van Eyk put his name on the map with a strong freshman campaign while working as both a starter and reliever, but he truly shined for USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team that summer with exceptional feel for spin. He can land a 79-84 mph two-plane breaking ball with ease. Van Eyk has zip on a low-90s fastball as well and posted a 3.80 ERA over his first 17 starts and 94.2 innings this spring.