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Top Southern California 2020 MLB Draft Prospects



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State List Talent Ranking: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
(Stars are listed on a 1 to 5 scale relative to what the state typically produces, with 1 being the weakest)


Nat RankPlayerPosSchoolHtWtB-TCommit/Drafted
6Garrett MitchellOFUCLA6-3204L-RAthletics '17 (14)
Scouts eyed Mitchell as a potential first-round pick at Orange (Calif.) Lutheran High, but a middling senior season and concerns about his Type 1 diabetes caused him to fall to the 14th round, where the A's picked him. He opted for UCLA and became a three-year starter for the Bruins. After struggling as a freshman, Mitchell led the nation in triples during a breakout sophomore season and continued to raise his stock as a junior. He was batting .355/.425/.484 this spring when the season shut down. Mitchell possesses arguably the best package of tools in the 2020 draft. He's an 80-grade runner who changes games with his speed, is a plus defensive center fielder who effortlessly glides to balls and has a rifle for an arm. Mitchell shows massive, plus-plus raw power in batting practice, but his choppy swing produces mostly grounders and low line drives in games. His natural feel for contact gives him a chance to be an above-average or better hitter, and his natural speed and elite times out of the box should help inflate his batting average. Some evaluators are optimistic Mitchell can tap into his power with swing refinements in pro ball, but his in-game power production is concerning dating back to his high school career. Mitchell’s speed helps him to beat out infield singles and amass lots of doubles and triples, making him an offensive difference-maker even absent home run power. Mitchell has faced health and endurance concerns because of his diabetes throughout his career, but he played 62 of 63 games for UCLA in 2019 and all 15 games in 2020 before the season shut down. With a high probability to hit for average, steal bases and stay in center field, and the possibility of adding power, Mitchell is a top-10 talent, though his question marks make him a bit more polarizing than the other players around him.
17Pete Crow-ArmstrongOFHarvard-Westlake HS, Studio City, Calif.6-0175L-LVanderbilt
Crow-Armstrong has fame and baseball in his blood. His mother, Ashley Crow, is an actress who played the mom of the lead character in the 1994 baseball movie "Little Big League." His father, Matthew Armstrong, is an accomplished television actor as well. Crow-Armstrong starred for USA Baseball’s 18U national team two years in a row and entered last summer as arguably the top high school player in the 2020 draft class. A disappointing summer dropped his stock a bit, but he rebounded with a sensational spring before the season shut down. Crow-Armstrong has a sweet lefthanded swing geared for contact. He hits both lefties and righties, stays balanced in the box and lines the ball to all fields. Evaluators see at least an average hitter and possibly plus, with the potential to hit at the top of a lineup. Scouts differ on Crow-Armstrong’s power projections. Some see below-average power, while others believe he is a good enough hitter that he’ll run into more home runs than his raw power would indicate. Crow-Armstrong should stick in center field as a plus defender with a plus arm and above-average-to-plus speed. He plays fast and hard and has an advanced feel and intellect for the game. Crow-Armstrong’s tools and instincts have teams interested in the first round even with questions about his power. He is committed to Vanderbilt.
41Jared JonesRHPLa Mirada (Calif.) HS6-1180R-RTexas
Scouts pegged Jones as a future first-round pick as a high school sophomore, and he’s done little to dissuade that notion. A three-time member of USA Baseball’s junior national teams, Jones is a twitchy, explosive athlete who stars both on the mound and in the outfield. His tremendous arm speed generates lively mid-to-upper 90s fastballs, and his elite athleticism has helped him make adjustments to his delivery and gradually improve his command and control. Jones dominates with his fastball, but he flashes a sharp, above-average slider in the mid-80s and is developing his changeup. Jones is slightly undersized and has an effortful delivery, leading some evaluators to project him to the bullpen. His improving command and elite competitiveness lead others to believe he can start. Jones is an above-average runner who gets excellent jumps in the outfield and makes jaw-dropping throws, earning 80 grades on his arm. He flashes big power at the plate, but he’s a free swinger who scouts aren’t sure will make enough contact against better pitching. Jones has strong baseball bloodlines in addition to his talent. His father, Keith, was a 1997 draft pick of the Diamondbacks and played two seasons in the minors. His cousins Randy and Ron Flores both pitched in the majors, and Randy is currently the Cardinals' scouting director. Jones made the right strides with his command this spring to remain a first-round talent as a pitcher. He is committed to Texas.
48Kevin ParadaCLoyola HS, Los Angeles6-0192R-RGeorgia Tech
Parada won MVP of the 2018 WWBA World Championships as a junior and continued to perform at every major showcase last summer. He got off to a red-hot start this spring and had Southern California area scouts buzzing before the season shut down. Parada is widely considered one of the best prep hitters in the class. He’s a strong, powerful hitter who crushes both fastballs and offspeed pitches, and he has a long track record of performing against good competition. Parada stays in the strike zone, covers the whole plate and already posts exit velocities near 100 mph. Evaluators see a potential .280 or better hitter with a chance to hit 20 or more home runs. Parada is less certain to remain a catcher. He’s a good athlete, but he’s a fringe-average defender whose flexibility is a concern. His above-average arm strength is nullified at times by a long arm action. Some clubs want to make Parada an outfielder and let him focus on hitting. He is strongly committed to Georgia Tech and may be difficult to sign.
49Isaiah GreeneOFCorona (Calif.) HS6-1180L-LMissouri
Greene jumped on national radars last summer when he outplayed most of USA Baseball’s 18U National Team while facing them in scrimmages with a scout team. He got off to a slow start this spring before the season shut down, but still drew positive reviews from evaluators. Greene’s best asset is a smooth, lefthanded stroke that turns around high-end velocity. He drives the ball hard with ease, drawing comparisons to Garret Anderson and Michael Brantley, and projects as a consensus plus hitter with a chance to hit .300 in his best years. Greene’s power is still developing, but he has plenty of room to get bigger and stronger and makes enough hard contact to project above-average power. Greene is a plus runner with a chance to stay in center field, but his fringe-average arm and poor route-running have some scouts projecting him to left field. Like Anderson, Greene has a quiet demeanor and approach that is sometimes confused with a lack of effort. Greene’s hitting ability and overall athleticism have him safely among the top 50 players in the draft class. He is committed to Missouri.
56Nick GarciaRHPChapman (Calif.)6-4215L-RNever Drafted
Garcia played third base his freshman year at Chapman before converting to pitching as a sophomore. He served as the closer on Chapman’s 2019 Division III national championship team and was named Most Outstanding Player of the College World Series. Garcia moved to the Panthers rotation this spring and became one of the fastest-rising prospects in the country before the season shut down. A strong 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, Garcia has an easy operation and smooth delivery, allowing him to maintain his stuff and pound the strike zone with all three of his pitches. He throws his fastball in the 92-95 mph range, touching 97-98, and backs it up with an upper-80s slider and mid-80s cutter that both have a chance to be above-average. Garcia has a limited track record as a starter and has rarely faced good competition, but he held his own pitching in relief in the Cape Cod League last summer. He is also young for a college junior and will be barely 21 on draft day. Garcia’s stuff, delivery, youth and fresh arm have teams interested on the draft’s first day. He is in line to be the highest Division III player selected since the Nationals drafted Jordan Zimmermann in the second round in 2007 out of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
62Hunter BarnhartRHPSt. Joseph HS, Santa Maria, Calif.6-3195R-RArizona State
Barnhart spent three years at Paso Robles (Calif.) High before transferring to St. Joseph (Santa Maria, Calif.) for his senior year. He was a standout quarterback at both schools, earning league MVP and All-Central Coast player of the year honors last fall. Barnhart is one of the more polished high school righthanders in the class. His fastball jumped from 88-91 mph to 90-94 mph this spring and he has one of the best curveballs in the class, a high-spin power curve that draws consensus plus grades. He also mixes in a developing changeup. Barnhart developed advanced command and feel before his velocity spiked. He is a plus strike-thrower with his fastball and curveball and has an aggressive, football mentality on the mound. Barnhart doesn’t have a ton of physical projection left, but his velocity keeps ticking up and he might throw harder with his focus solely on baseball. He is committed to Arizona State.
63Drew BowserSSHarvard-Westlake HS, Studio City, Calif.6-3192R-RStanford
Bowser had a weekend to remember at the Perfect Game All-American Classic last summer. He raised the most money of any player at the event for Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, won the pregame home run derby and then earned MVP of the game with a double and a walk. Bowser is a smart, mature hitter with big raw power that some evaluators consider plus-plus. He already posts exit velocities near 100 mph and hunts for mistake pitches he can drive. Bowser is an adept offspeed hitter, but his fringy bat speed and long swing leave him vulnerable to velocity and raise concerns about his future hitting ability. He often has to cheat to get to upper-end fastballs and is prone to swinging and missing against them. A shortstop now, Bowser projects to outgrow the position but has a chance to be an above-average defender with a plus arm at third base. Bowser has a strong commitment to Stanford and will be difficult to sign.
76Casey Schmitt3B/RHPSan Diego State6-2200R-RNever Drafted
Schmitt was a highly-regarded hitter out of Eastlake High but got to campus and went on to become one of the nation's top two-way players at San Diego State. He hit two home runs and pitched a scoreless ninth inning in the final game of the Cape Cod League championship series last summer and was named playoffs MVP. Schmitt had surgery on his right meniscus this spring and was never quite full strength for the Aztecs, but he still hit .323/.386/.452 and notched six saves before the season shut down. Schmitt has the look and the tools of a major league third baseman. He’s an above-average defender with excellent hands, and he has plus arm strength with the ability to throw from multiple arm angles. At the plate, Schmitt is a polished hitter with good rhythm and balance and makes hard contact, but he is prone to getting jammed and is still learning to tap into his above-average raw power. Evaluators believe Schmitt could be a middle-of-the-order hitter with the right offensive development, but he has a fallback as a power reliever if his bat stalls. Schmitt looks natural on the mound with a low-90s fastball that explodes late, an average splitter in the mid-80s and a usable curveball. Schmitt is in the mix to go as high as the second round. He will certainly be gone by the end of the fifth round.
80Ricky TiedemannLHPLakewood (Calif.) HS6-3200L-LSan Diego State
Few players raised their stock in limited time more this spring than Tiedemann, whose brother Tai is a pitcher in the Rangers organization. An interesting but hardly elite prospect entering the year, Tiedemann came out showing increased velocity and feel for his secondaries and put himself among the top players in a loaded Southern California draft class. Tiedemann is an elite athlete with a physical 6-foot-3 frame, big hands and a tantalizing left arm. His fastball sits around 88-91 mph and touches 93, and his projectable body and athleticism make it easy to envision him reaching the mid-90s once he fills out. He complements his fastball with a potentially plus changeup, and his average hard slider gives him a quality third offering. Tiedemann is one of the youngest players in the class and will still be 17 on draft day. His only drawback is he broke his right, non-throwing wrist on a collision at first base late in the season. Tiedemann is committed to San Diego State, but clubs are keen to buy him out of that commitment with his athleticism, youth and projection.
82Petey HalpinOFMira Costa HS, Manhattan Beach, Calif.6-0180L-RTexas
Halpin ranked as one of Northern California’s top draft prospects before transferring to Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach, Calif.) High in suburban Los Angeles for his senior year. A well-rounded, top-of-the-order type, Halpin is an above-average runner and has a short, line-drive swing with solid plate coverage. He controls the strike zone, makes adjustments and altogether projects as an above-average hitter. While Halpin doesn’t have a ton of power currently, scouts like the ease of his operation in the box and some believe he’ll add enough strength in the future to run into enough extra-base hits. Halpin is a high-energy player who has a chance to stick in center field, but he’s a divisive defender who figures to slow down as he ages and might have to move to a corner. His arm is wildly inconsistent, ranging from below-average to above-average. Halpin’s bat has him in second-to-fourth-round consideration even with questions about his power and future position. He is committed to Texas.
89Jake VogelOFHuntington Beach (Calif.) HS5-11165R-RUCLA
Vogel has had scouts watching him for years at high-profile Huntington Beach (Calif.) High. Previously a toolsy athlete with a questionable swing, Vogel began hitting this spring and raised his stock dramatically before the season shut down. Vogel is undersized at 5-foot-11, 165 pounds but has plenty of tools. He’s a plus-plus runner, is a plus defender in center field and has an average arm. Though he’s small, Vogel has a feel for the barrel and produces loud contact when he connects, driving the ball to all fields and showing sneaky power to his pull-side. Scouts are still divided on Vogel’s hitting potential. Some see the athleticism and barrel control to project an average hitter, while others see a loopy, uppercut swing that produces too many swings and misses. Those who believe Vogel will hit consider him a third-to-fifth-round talent. He is committed to UCLA.
94Milan TolentinoSSSanta Margarita HS, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.6-1180L-RUCLA
Tolentino played shortstop for USA Baseball’s 18U National Team during the World Cup and excelled, making plays to both sides and in on the ball while showing exceptional body control and glovework. He came out to lofty expectations this spring and got off to a slow start before the season shut down. Tolentino is an accomplished defender, but his bat raises questions. He has a sound approach at the plate with loose hands, and has the ability to slap the ball the other way. However, but he lacks present power, struggles with pitches on the inner half and doesn’t sting the ball as often as evaluators would like, raising concerns about whether he is strong enough for pro ball. Tolentino is a smart, instinctive player who reads the game and understands situations better than most players his age. He is a below-average runner whose foot speed has some evaluators projecting him to second base, but his instincts allow him to handle shortstop for now. Those who like Tolentino’s glove and instincts consider him a potential second or third round pick, but others think he should go to college and get stronger. He is committed to UCLA.
97Trenton DenholmRHPUC Irvine5-11180R-RRed Sox '17 (26)
An unsigned 26th-round pick of the Red Sox out of high school, Denholm won Big West Conference pitcher of the year as a sophomore and did not allow an earned run in two years pitching in the Cape Cod League, totaling 32.2 innings including the All-Star Game and postseason. An undersized 5-foot-11, 180-pound righthander, Denholm is more steady than eye-popping. He locates his 89-93 mph fastball, gets off-balance swings with a plus changeup, mixes in an average slider and flips in the occasional curveball for strikes to keep batters guessing. He’s an elite competitor who fills up the strike zone with four pitches and never gives in, often outperforming pitchers who have better stuff. Denholm’s stuff ticked down this spring due to elbow inflammation, but he still found ways to compete. Like other accomplished collegiate strike-throwers, Denholm is in the mix to be drafted between the third and fifth rounds.
107Nick FrassoRHPLoyola Marymount6-5190R-RNever Drafted
Frasso impressed with four scoreless innings in his lone start for USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team last summer. He entered this spring considered a potential first-round pick, but he failed to get through five innings in either of his first two starts before being shut down with forearm tightness. Frasso is one of the most athletic pitchers in the 2020 draft class. He was a high school basketball standout capable of throwing down emphatic dunks, and he still has a basketball build at 6-foot-5, 200 pounds with room to fill out. Frasso still has a relatively fresh arm due to his two-sport background. His 92-95 mph fastball plays up with both a high spin rate and plus extension, and his high-spin slider gives him a second potential plus offering, although it is inconsistent. His changeup is rudimentary but flashes average potential. Frasso locates his fastball to both sides of the plate and fills up the strike zone. He projects as a plus strike thrower overall. Frasso checks a lot of analytical boxes with his spin rates and extension, while traditional scouts love his athleticism and projection. He is in second-to-third-round consideration on talent, but concerns about the health of his arm may drop him lower.
120Adam SeminarisLHPLong Beach State6-0180R-LNever Drafted
Seminaris stood front and center in Long Beach State’s rebirth this spring. After showing well in the Cape Cod League last summer, he began the year with six scoreless innings and 11 strikeouts against Cal in the season opener. Two weeks later, with dozens of high-level evaluators in attendance, he pitched eight scoreless innings with one hit allowed, two walks and 10 strikeouts against Mississippi State. Seminaris dominates with a feel to pitch so elite that one evaluator compared it to Tom Glavine's. He starts his four-pitch mix with an easy 88-92 mph fastball that plays up with deception from his crossfire delivery. He has two distinct breaking balls: a high-arcing curveball he can land for strikes or expand the zone with and a short slurve with late action that stays off of barrels. Seminaris’ out pitch is his changeup, a plus offering that dives in front of the plate to draw swings and misses and weak contact. Seminaris expertly mixes his four pitches, reads hitters and exploits their weaknesses, often giving the impression he’s toying with them. He is durable, efficient and lasts deep into his starts. Seminaris’ lack of big velocity or a plus breaking ball keeps him out of the top tier of the draft class, but his easy low-90s fastball and plus changeup from the left side have evaluators confident he’s a big leaguer.
126Holden PowellRHPUCLA6-0189R-RNever Drafted
Powell won the Stopper of the Year Award as college baseball’s best reliever as a sophomore. He was on track for a repeat bid this spring with eight scoreless appearances and a 20-to-2 strikeout-to-walk mark as UCLA’s closer before the season shut down. Evaluators consider Powell arguably the top reliever in the 2020 draft and expect him to move quickly to a major league bullpen. Powell’s fastball ranges from 91-96 mph, sitting 93-94, and he backs it up with a wipeout power slider that draws consistent plus grades. He commands his slider better than his fastball and has had flashes of control problems in the past, but he threw plenty of strikes this spring to alleviate those concerns. Powell has shown the ability to close or pitch multiple innings, giving him multiple pathways to a major league bullpen. He is a pure reliever with no chance of starting, but his stuff and competitive, closer mentality give him a chance to be an impactful late-inning arm.
127Jamal O'Guinn3BSouthern California6-4220R-RNever Drafted
O’Guinn was a divisive prospect in high school, but he became a solid three-year starter at Southern California and was named a starter in the Cape Cod League All-Star Game last summer. Listed at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, O’Guinn is big and physical with feel to hit and huge raw power. He covers the entire plate, drives the ball with authority from gap-to-gap and is one of the most patient hitters in the draft class. He posted a .420 career on-base percentage at USC and finished second in the Cape Cod League in walks. O’Guinn is at least an average hitter and hits the occasional huge home run, but he is still learning to incorporate his lower half into his swing to consistently get to his power in games. He is prone to swinging and missing in the zone and will need to tap into his power more to reach his everyday potential. Scouts are divided on whether O’Guinn will stay at third base. He’s a solid athlete who moves well for his size and has an average arm, but he may have to move to first base or left field if he gets much bigger. Even with concerns about his future position, O'Guinn's potential to post high on-base and slugging percentages has teams interested between the second and fifth rounds.
129D'Andre SmithSSSan Dimas (Calif.) HS5-8180R-RSouthern California
The 5-foot-8 Smith stood out for his tools and bat speed at the Area Code Games and continued to play above his size through the spring. He earned consistently positive reviews from scouts across Southern California before the season shut down. Smith earns comparisons to Ray Durham as an athletic middle infielder who packs surprising power for his height. He has present strength and flashes above-average raw power, often getting to it in games against good pitching. He projects as an average hitter with average power overall. Smith is an average runner capable of swiping a bag and has the foot speed to stay at shortstop. He moves well to his glove side, has an average, accurate arm and turns double plays well. Most evaluators project Smith to move to second base like Durham, while others see him as an everyday utilityman like Josh Harrison. Regardless of his defensive role, Smith’s ability to hit and play the middle infield has him in top five rounds consideration. He is committed to Southern California.
156Shay WhitcombSSUC San Diego6-3200R-RNever Drafted
Whitcomb made waves in the Cape Cod League last summer when he hit .303 with eight home runs in 34 games while posting sizzling exit velocities. He continued mashing this spring at UC San Diego to solidify his rising stock before the season shut down. Whitcomb is the rare Division II prospect who scouts are confident will hit. He has a good swing, turns around velocity, consistently finds the barrel and has above-average raw power he gets to in games. Evaluators see him as at least an average hitter and possibly more. Whitcomb is a fringy defender with a below-average arm at shortstop, leading scouts to project him as an offensively-driven second baseman in pro ball. Whitcomb’s bat, solidified by his performance on the Cape, has him in top five rounds consideration. He has a chance to be the first Division II player drafted this year.
158Taylor DollardRHPCal Poly6-3195R-RNever Drafted
Dollard excelled in Cal Poly’s bullpen his first two seasons and continued his ace relief in the Cape Cod League last summer. He moved into Cal Poly’s rotation this spring and made a smooth transition to starting with a 1.67 ERA in four starts before the season shut down. Dollard intrigues evaluators as an athletic righthander with command of four pitches and a low-mileage arm. His fastball sits 88-92 mph, but it plays up with deception and command and gets more swings and misses than expected. He gets ahead of hitters with his fastball and finishes them with his slider, an above-average to plus pitch that draws swings and misses and projects to be an out pitch at higher levels. He has a usable curveball he can drop in for a strike at any time and a changeup that has a chance to be average with further development. Dollard still has room to fill out his frame and reminds many evaluators of what Shane Bieber looked like in college. Evaluators further suspect Dollard’s pitches have strong analytics traits, with one terming him an “analytics guy’s dream.”
162Tanner BibeeRHPCal State Fullerton6-2190R-RNever Drafted
Bibee struck out more than a batter per inning in the Cape Cod League last summer and began the year as Fullerton’s Friday night starter. He lived up to the assignment with a 2.73 ERA and 10.0 strikeouts per nine innings through four starts before the season shut down. Bibee is the latest in the long line of Fullerton strike throwers with solid but unspectacular stuff. His fastball ranges from 89-93 mph, he gets swings and misses with his above-average slider and his changeup is a usable pitch. Bibee has excellent fastball command and is an aggressive competitor who fills up the strike zone. That worked in college, but he lacks a true out pitch and will need to have pinpoint command of his slider in pro ball. Bibee’s ceiling isn’t overly high, but his track record and ability to throw three pitches for strikes have clubs interested near the fifth round.
164Kyle HurtRHPSouthern California6-3220R-RPhillies '17 (34)
The gap between Hurt’s stuff and performance makes him one of the most divisive prospects in this year’s draft class. Considered a potential first-round pick in high school before a knee injury sidetracked him, Hurt logged a 5.06 ERA in three years at Southern California and even lost his spot in the Trojans' starting rotation at one point. He began to turn a corner at the end of his sophomore year, however, and appeared to be putting things together as a junior this spring before the season shut down. Hurt has an appealing pitcher’s body at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds and has some of the best stuff on the west coast. His fastball reaches 95-96 mph as a starter, his changeup is a consensus plus pitch he locates well and his curveball and slider each flash plus at their best. While he throws hard, Hurt's fastball is too straight and plays down due to below-average command, often leaving him to rely on his secondaries. He struggles to put together more than a few good innings at a time and scouts have long held concerns about his work ethic and makeup. The quality of Hurt’s stuff has some teams interested as high the third round, but others are turned off by his history of underperformance and have minimal interest.
176Max RajcicRHPOrange (Calif.) Lutheran HS6-0200R-RUCLA
Rajcic rose to prominence as the ace of prep power Orange (Calif.) Lutheran High and got the most swings and misses of any pitcher at the 2019 National High School Invitational. He opened his highly anticipated senior season with 22.2 scoreless innings, six hits allowed, 32 strikeouts and one walk before the season shut down. Rajcic has advanced pitching ability and good feel to locate his entire arsenal for strikes. His fastball ranges from 89-93 mph, sitting 90-91, and he flashes both a slider with depth and a developing changeup. None of Rajcic’s pitches projects better than solid-average individually, but they all play up with his advanced pitchability and command. He’s an intense competitor who thrives in the spotlight and doesn’t back down from a challenge. Rajcic is physically filled out at 6-foot, 200 pounds and doesn’t offer much projection, so scouts have questions about his upside. He is committed to UCLA and will be expensive to sign.
212Billy CookOFPepperdine6-1100R-RNever Drafted
Cook helped key Pepperdine’s resurgence this spring. Batting primarily in the No. 2 spot, Cook hit .344 and led the Waves in OPS (1.124), home runs (four) and stolen bases (five) before the season shut down, doing enough against good pitching to generate excitement among area scouts. Cook is a strong, athletic center fielder whose calling card is his power. He makes loud contact when he connects and shows above-average power, with the potential for plus, that he can access in games. Cook has a long swing and is vulnerable to high-end velocity, but he makes enough damage on contact to project as a positive offensive contributor. Cook is a good runner for his size and played both center field and second base at Pepperdine. He projects as a left fielder in pro ball and has the above-average arm strength to play right as well. Cook comes from a long line of athletes—his father, Chuck, played baseball at Air Force before becoming an F-16 fighter pilot. His mother, Julie, played volleyball and basketball at Air Force. His grandfather, Dan Adair, played baseball at Wyoming and was teammates with longtime big league manager Art Howe.
214Jordan ThompsonSSHelix HS, La Mesa, Calif.6-0160R-RLouisiana State
An athletic two-way player, Thompson touched 93 mph on the mound at the Area Code Games and showed promise at the plate this spring before he suffered a pulled hamstring. He was unable to return before the season shut down, but in the ensuing weeks got healthy and started running well again. Thompson is a twitchy athlete who has a chance to stick at shortstop. He’s quick, shows advanced instincts for his age and has the plus arm strength to make throws from anywhere on the field. He plays hard and earns the “gamer” label from coaches. Thompson is progressing as a hitter and flashes raw power, but he still has a lot of work to do at the plate. He has a fallback option as a pitcher if the development curve as a hitter proves too steep. Thompson is committed to Louisiana State as a position player only. He is expected to play shortstop for the Tigers and will be difficult to sign.
217Brady KasperSSCapistrano Valley HS, Mission Viejo, Calif.6-0175L-ROregon State
A standout wide receiver and cornerback on his high school football team, Kasper didn’t spend much time on baseball’s showcase circuit because of his two-sport commitments. He quickly became a favorite of area scouts this spring for his athleticism and tools. Kasper is a high-level athlete with the ability to play both shortstop and center field. He is a plus runner with a quick first step, has plenty of lateral range and shows fluid, athletic actions at both spots. He has an average arm that projects better at second base than shortstop, but his overall athleticism makes him playable anywhere up the middle. Kasper frequently squares balls up with a line-drive stroke from the left side and projects as an average hitter. He may add power, but he projects as more of a singles and doubles hitter who lines balls into open spaces. Kapser’s contact stroke and potential to play all over defensively make him a potentially valuable utilityman. He is committed to Oregon State.
235Wil JensenRHPPepperdine6-3170R-RAthletics '19 (28)
Jensen led the nation in ERA his sophomore year until Tommy John surgery ended his season. He missed most of his junior year recovering but returned to make three appearances at the end of the season and was drafted by the Athletics in the 28th round. Jensen opted to return to school this spring and emerged as Pepperdine’s ace, going 3-0, 2.19 in four starts before the season shut down. Jensen is a mature righthander with four pitches he can throw for strikes. His fastball sits 90-94 mph, his slider is average and his curveball and changeup are both fringy but usable. Nothing Jensen throws is plus, but he knows how to mix and match and is efficient with his pitch count. Jensen is one of the oldest pitchers in the draft and has elbow surgery on his ledger. Even with those concerns, evaluators see the pitch mix, control and mentality to project him as a potential back-of-the-rotation starter.
241Josh SwalesRHPGrace Brethren HS, Simi Valley, Calif.6-3178R-RArizona
Pitching for a small, private school and with little history on the showcase circuit, Swales largely stayed under the radar until his fastball began touching 97 mph this spring. The velocity bump sent scouts racing to see him and made Swales one of the biggest risers on the West Coast before the season shut down. Swales is a good athlete with a loose, projectable frame. His fastball sits 91-94 mph and he began touching 96-97 more frequently as the season progressed. With plenty of room to fill out still, scouts think he could throw 100 mph someday. Swales is inconsistent with his release point on his 77-83 mph breaking ball, but it flashes as an impressive slider at its best. His changeup is a work in progress and shows average potential. Swales rarely faced good competition in high school and has had trouble throwing strikes. His athleticism and arm strength still have teams interested in buying him out of his Arizona commitment.
253Christian RodriguezRHPOrange (Calif.) Lutheran HS6-6185R-RCal State Fullerton
Rodriguez spent four years in the starting rotation at high-profile Orange (Calif.) Lutheran and led the Lancers to three consecutive National High School Invitational titles. He entered his senior year with high draft hopes, but his stuff went backward in limited time before the season shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. At his best, Rodriguez flashes a 90-93 mph fastball out of his wiry, projectable 6-foot-5 frame. This spring, he spent more time pitching in the 87-91 mph range, and scouts noted he lost some of his athleticism in his delivery. Rodriguez’s secondaries are still developing and he’s not as aggressive on the mound as scouts would like. Rodriguez’s projectable frame and natural arm strength still give him considerable upside. He is committed to Cal State Fullerton.
279Thomas SaggeseSSCarlsbad (Calif.) HS6-0170R-RPepperdine
Saggese hit .422 with 10 home runs as a junior to win MVP of San Diego’s Avocado West League, one of the top high school leagues in the country. He carried on this spring with a .440 batting average, three triples and three home runs in seven games before the season shut down. Saggese is an athletic shortstop with a history of performing against good competition. He has a loose, wristy swing that makes lots of contact and drives the ball hard to all fields. He already shows double-digit home run potential and should grow into more power as he matures. Saggese doesn’t wear batting gloves and is often described as a “gritty” or “throwback” player. He plays an average shortstop and has a chance to stick at the position, although his arm strength will need to improve for him to avoid a move to second base. He makes the all the routine plays and has good instincts for the game. He is committed to Pepperdine but has attracted draft interest as an athletic shortstop who has a chance to grow into power. Saggese popped onto national draft radars very late in the process, and because of that—in tandem with a five-round draft—many teams might be more inclined to let him get to campus with no plus tool to point to.
288Adam KernerCSan Diego5-10185R-RCardinals '17 (37)
Long regarded as a standout defensive catcher, Kerner was drafted by the Cardinals in the 37th round out of high school and took over as San Diego’s starting catcher as a freshman. He earned second-team Freshman All-America honors, continued to earn accolades as a sophomore and was on pace for his best offensive season as a junior this spring before the season shut down. Listed at 5-foot-10, 185 pounds, Kerner’s athleticism and arm strength make up for his lack of size behind the plate. He is flexible, quick and rangy and uses his size advantageously to set a low target and get down quickly to block. His quick footwork and quick release yield a plus, accurate arm. Kerner projects as an above-average-to-plus defender behind the plate, which will be his ticket up the minors. He is a decent contact hitter who occasionally flashes power, but he overall projects as a below-average hitter who won’t make much impact. He is an average runner capable of stealing the occasional base.
299Jacob GonzalezSSGlendora (Calif.) HS6-2185L-RMississippi
Gonzalez was a standout quarterback who threw 59 touchdown passes against just 13 interceptions in two years as the starter at Glendora (Calif.) High, but his future is on the baseball diamond. Gonzalez is a prolific hitter whose athleticism shines at the plate. He has a loose, easy lefthanded swing, stays on plane and drives balls hard on a line. He has room to gain strength and add power, altogether projecting as a potential impact hitter once he reaches physical maturity. Gonzalez is a slow mover despite his athletic background and will have to move off of shortstop, likely to third base. He has the arm strength necessary for the hot corner. Gonzalez is committed to Mississippi. If he isn’t drafted early enough to sign, scouts expect him to be a high pick out of college in three years.
302Zach PettwayRHPUCLA6-1210R-RNever Drafted
Pettway combined to throw the first no-hitter in Area Code Games history in high school and spent three years in UCLA’s starting rotation. He was a freshman All-American and served as the Bruins’ Opening Day starter both his sophomore and junior years. Pettway succeeds on deception more than stuff. His fastball sits 87-91 mph but plays up with his stop-and-start, crossfire delivery. Batters struggle to find the ball and have trouble adjusting their timing. Pettway’s elite extension further helps his fastball get on hitters quicker than they expect. Pettway’s best secondary is his above-average changeup, while his slider is fringy but usable. He avoids the middle of the plate and works the corners with plus command and control. Pettway is an elite strike-thrower and competitor who pitches above his pure stuff. Analytically-inclined teams are higher on him than traditional clubs due to his track record, extension and command.
324Ben RamirezSSSouthern California6-3190L-RCubs '17 (35)
Ramirez was a two-sport star in basketball and baseball at Eastlake (Calif.) High and carried the Titans to a CIF (California Interscholastic Federation) baseball championship as a senior. The Cubs drafted him in the 35th round after high school, but he opted for USC and became a three-year starter in the Trojans infield. Ramirez looks the part at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds and can move all around the infield. He is a reliable defender with excellent hands, above-average arm strength and the ability to make accurate throws from awkward angles. Ramirez played shortstop, second base and third base in the Cape Cod League and at USC, with scouts citing third base as his best position. Ramirez got stronger over the summer and set a new career high in home runs (three) in only 15 games this spring, but scouts still see a below-average hitter who doesn’t have the power to profile at third base. Barring significant gains at the plate, Ramirez’s ticket up the minors will be his defensive versatility.
342Clay Owens1BSouthern California6-0196L-RNever Drafted
Owens was considered one of the top prep hitters on the west coast at Norco (Calif.) High and cemented that reputation at USC. A draft-eligible sophomore, Owens was the only freshman to make the Pac-12 all-conference team last year and led the Trojans in slugging percentage (.577) this spring before the season shut down. Owens is a strong, physical lefthanded hitter who projects to hit for both average and power. He tracks pitches well, makes good swing decisions and has a sound swing that produces hard contact in the air. Owens is a consensus above-average hitter who can drive balls over the fence to both center and right field, projecting for average power overall. No one doubts Owens’ bat, but he’s a question mark defensively. He’s a poor runner with a below-average arm and is strictly limited to first base or designated hitter. He’s better off at DH than he is at first base. Owens’ lack of a position puts a lot of pressure on his bat, but he may be a good enough hitter to make it work.
343Julian AguiarRHPEl Camino (Calif.) JC6-3180R-RLong Beach State
Aguilar primarily played third base in high school but showed promise on the mound as an upperclassman. He began focusing on pitching full time at El Camino (Calif.) JC and quickly emerged as one of the state’s top junior college prospects. Aguilar is a slim, projectable athlete with a loose delivery and quick right arm. His fastball sits 89-93 mph and will touch 95 mph early in outings. His 78-81 mph slider is inconsistent and needs to be tightened up, but it shows the makings of an average pitch. He also has feel for a developing changeup. Aguilar overwhelmed hitters at the juco level with a 44-to-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 47.1 innings. He has the athleticism to repeat his delivery and continue throwing strikes. He is a hard worker with plenty of room for growth.
353Shane McGuireC/1BSan Diego6-0195R-RNever Drafted
McGuire hit .320 in his college career at San Diego and was off to a scorching start this spring before the season shut down. He’s a contact hitter with a good feel for the barrel and flashes hints of solid-average power. He has elite strike-zone discipline and rarely swings at bad pitches. McGuire split his time between catcher and first base at USD. He is quick with a strong, accurate arm behind the plate, but his receiving needs work. He is the younger brother of Blue Jays catcher Reese McGuire.
356John BellerLHPSouthern California5-11188L-LNever Drafted
After spending his first two seasons primarily in USC’s bullpen, Beller transitioned to starting in the Cape Cod League last summer and impressed with a 2.95 ERA and 40 strikeouts over 36.2 innings. He continued his dominance with a 1.13 ERA through four appearances (two starts) this spring, capped by holding Vanderbilt to two hits and one run over eight innings in his final outing. Beller is a pitchability lefty who pitches above his stuff. His 87-90 mph fastball plays up with an element of deception from his high leg kick, and he finishes batters with a sharp, above-average slider that draws swings and misses. His low 80s changeup is another average or better weapon and he mixes in an effective backdoor curveball when needed. Beller throws all four pitches for strikes and is fearless going after hitters. He is an elite competitor who pitches his best against top competition.
373Cole PercivalRHPUC Riverside6-5220R-RD-backs '17 (31)
A top draft prospect in high school, Percival fell to the D-backs in the 31st round because of his strong commitment to UC Riverside to play for his dad, Highlanders coach and former all-star closer Troy Percival. The younger Percival missed all of 2019 after a freak injury where he suffered a stress fracture in his elbow falling down a flight of stairs, but he returned at full strength this spring before the season shut down. Percival throws his fastball 92-94 mph with angle and sink from his long-limbed, 6-foot-5 frame. It’s a plus fastball when he stays on top of it, but he occasionally gets around the ball and it loses its effectiveness. Percival complements his fastball with a 78-82 mph slider that shows average potential and a usable, if inconsistent, 79-81 mph changeup. Percival pitches from the stretch full time and has below-average control because he struggles to repeat his delivery. As such, most evaluators project him to the bullpen. Percival has added velocity every year and stands to gain more with a move to the bullpen. While not considered a potentially elite closer like his dad, Percival’s body and stuff project well as a big league reliever.
407Zach TorraLHPUC Santa Barbara6-1195L-LNever Drafted
Torra transferred from Cuesta (Calif.) JC and emerged as arguably the top draft prospect at UC Santa Barbara this spring. He went 3-0, 0.36 with 39 strikeouts in 25.1 dominant innings before the season shut down. Torra is a competitive lefthander who fills up the strike zone. His fastball sits 88-90 mph, occasionally touching 91, and he has feel for both an average curveball and an average slider. He throws all three pitches for strikes and gets ahead of hitters quickly. Torra has a long track record of pitching above his pure stuff. He’s solidly on draft radars as a lefthander who can throw three quality pitches for strikes.
411Lucas GordonLHPNotre Dame HS, Sherman Oaks, Calif.6-1190L-LTexas
When Hunter Greene stopped pitching after five appearances in 2017 to protect his draft status, Gordon stepped up to become Notre Dame (Sherman Oaks, Calif.) High’s ace as a freshman. He had Tommy John surgery as a sophomore but returned to the mound with no issues the next two years. Gordon is a competitive lefthander with advanced pitchability. He moves his 87-90 mph fastball around the strike zone and draws more swings and misses than his velocity would otherwise indicate. He mixes his average changeup and fringe-average slider to keep hitters guessing and lands them both for strikes. Gordon is a bit undersized, has surgery on his ledger and doesn’t throw overly hard, so most teams aren’t quite ready to draft him yet. He is committed to Texas and has a chance to pitch in the Longhorns’ rotation quickly.
413Jason WillowOFUC Santa Barbara6-2180R-ROrioles '17 (24)
Willow starred for Canada’s 18-and-under national team at the 2017 U-18 World Cup and was drafted by the Orioles in the 24th round that year. He instead went to UC Santa Barbara and started all three years for the Gauchos, spending his first two years at third base before transitioning to right field this spring. Willow is a toolsy athlete whose production has never quite matched his potential. He’s an above-average runner, has above-average arm strength and has the versatility and athleticism to play both the infield and outfield. Willow has never hit for average or power and slumped badly this spring as he tried to play through an injured left shoulder. He shows patience at the plate but swings and misses too often. Willow is a candidate to return to school next year, but some clubs like his tools enough to potentially take him.
422Marcos Castanon3BUC Santa Barbara6-0185R-RNever Drafted
Castanon was something of a hidden gem in high school who frequently outplayed more famous players in talent-rich Southern California. UC Santa Barbara was one of the few schools to recognize his talent, and he rewarded the Gauchos by becoming a three-year contributor in their middle infield. He led UCSB in hits (17), home runs (four) and RBI (17) through 15 games this spring before the season shut down. Castanon’s top asset is his bat. He has a strong lower half, swings hard to do damage and hits the ball a long way when he connects. He is extremely aggressive and prone to swinging and missing, but he still made enough contact to hit .308 in his final two seasons at UCSB. He did struggle with a wood bat in the Cape Cod League last summer, batting .189 with 30 strikeouts in 24 games. Castanon is a second baseman who projects to stay there with his thick build and below-average speed. He will go as far as his bat takes him.
423Chandler ChamplainRHPSouthern California6-5220R-RAngels '18 (38)
Champlain looks the part of a professional pitcher but has yet to put it all together. A draft-eligible sophomore who was taken by the Angels in the 38th round out of high school, Champlain flashes a 93-96 mph fastball, an above-average 12-to-6 breaking ball and an average changeup at his best. His fastball is often straight, however, and his control is below average, resulting in too many walks and hits allowed. He’s allowed 51 hits in 52.1 career innings at USC, with nearly as many walks (33) as strikeouts (38). Champlain has promising raw ingredients but is a strong candidate to return to school. His father, Jay, played football at USC and was a member of the Trojans’ 1978 national championship team.
427Jonathan Vaughns3B/OFSt. John Bosco HS, Bellflower, Calif.6-2210L-RUCLA
A standout safety on St. John Bosco (Calif.) High’s nationally-ranked football team, Vaughns is committed to UCLA to play both baseball and football and is one of the best pure athletes in the draft. A physical 6-foot-2, 210 pounds, Vaughns developed a reputation as a fearsome hitter on the football field and plays with the same intensity on the diamond. He is a plus runner who plays hard, has plus arm strength and shows plus raw power. Vaughns’ tools are loud, but he is still raw as a baseball player because of his two-sport background. He projects as a below-average corner outfielder because he takes bad routes and he swings and misses too much to get to his raw power. Vaughns needs lots of reps on the baseball field and will take time to develop. His tools and athleticism give him upside if teams are willing to be patient.
429Bradlee BeesleyOFCal Poly5-10180R-RNever Drafted
Beesley started all four years at Cal Poly and hit well in the Cape Cod League two years in a row while swinging a wood bat. He’s an undersized contact hitter who sprays the ball around. Beesley lacks power and could walk more, but he knows his game and gets the bat to the ball. Beesley is a plus runner with an above-average arm and plays an average center field. He has the tools and mature instincts to play all three outfield positions.
430Matt RudickOFSan Diego State5-9170L-LNever Drafted
Rudick started for three years at San Diego State and hit at least .310 in every season. He added to his hitting credentials by batting .287/.374/.409 in the Cape Cod League last summer. Rudick lacks big tools, but he can hit. He controls the strike zone, has a mature approach and possesses excellent bat-to-ball skills from the left side. Rudick is undersized at 5-foot-9 and possesses little power, but he knows his game and doesn’t try to do too much. He’s a pest and a tough out from the leadoff spot who sets the tone for his team. Rudick is a below-average runner with an above-average arm who profiles as a corner outfielder. His lefthanded bat would have teams interested in the 11-15 round range, but he will likely return to school due to the shortened draft.
432McClain O'ConnorSSUC Santa Barbara5-10165R-RNever Drafted
O’Connor is a high-effort, scrappy player who teams like as a potential senior sign. He can play shortstop, makes contact and is a good athlete who won all-state honors in both baseball and football in high school.
433Trevin Esquerra1B/OFLoyola Marymount6-1205B-BNever Drafted
Esquerra led Loyola Marymount in nearly every offensive category last spring to lead the Lions to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in 19 years. He returned as a senior this year and again led LMU in most categories before the season shut down. Esquerra is a switch-hitter with above-average power from both sides of the plate. He makes loud contact when he connects, but he is extremely aggressive and swings and misses at an alarming rate. He struck out in nearly 30 percent of his collegiate plate appearances and rarely walks. Esquerra was previously a switch-thrower as well. He primarily throws lefthanded only now and is limited to first base defensively.
437Nolan McCarthyRHPOccidental (Calif.)6-5220R-RNever Drafted
One of this year’s top Division III prospects, McCarthy won conference pitcher of the year honors as a junior at Occidental (Calif.) and followed with solid relief work in the Cape Cod League. He returned to school this spring and showed enough to keep scouts interested before the season shut down. McCarthy is a 6-foot-5 righthander with a good delivery and an 88-89 mph sinker. He still has room to add strength and evaluators believe his velocity could tick up with professional instruction. McCarthy has a loopy breaking ball, a solid changeup and throws all three pitches for strikes. He is a candidate to sign as a nondrafted free agent with the shortened five-round draft.
443Wyatt HendrieCSan Diego State5-11200R-RCubs '19 (10)
The Cubs drafted Hendrie in the 10th round out of Antelope Valley (Calif.) JC last year, but he instead headed to San Diego State as one of only two players selected in the top 10 rounds to not sign. He hit .286/.417/.367 in 14 games with the Aztecs this spring before the season shut down. Hendrie is a converted outfielder who is a good athlete behind the plate. He has a plus arm and his receiving has improved to average as he’s gained more experience at catcher. Hendrie is a contact hitter with a flat, compact swing and below-average power, which raises concerns about how he’ll profile behind the plate. He didn’t have time to prove himself offensively with the shortened season and is a strong candidate to return to school.
462Blake Baumgartner1BUC San Diego6-1200R-RNever Drafted
Baumgartner took advantage of all the scouts watching teammate Shay Whitcomb this spring and drew some attention to himself. He hit .343/.515/.514 before the season shut down. Baumgartner is a big first baseman with plus raw power and a feel for the strike zone. He had as many walks as strikeouts (88) in his college career and showed the ability to get to his plus raw power in games, albeit against Division II competition. Baumgartner is a pure first baseman whose value is tied to his bat. His mix of power and patience give him the potential to do damage in pro ball.
472David MorganSSOrange Coast (Calif.) JC6-0180R-ROregon
Morgan helped lead Orange Coast (Calif.) JC to a state championship as a freshman. He was the Pirates’ only returning starter this season and helped guide the team through the tragic death of coach John Altobelli in the helicopter crash that also killed former NBA star Kobe Bryant and seven others. Morgan is a good athlete with a plus arm who is a capable defender at both third base and shortstop. He runs well and makes enough contact to project as a below-average but playable hitter. Some teams want to make Morgan a catcher with his athleticism, arm strength and leadership intangibles. He was committed to Oregon but has opted to return to OCC after the coronavirus pandemic shut down the season.
486Connor BurnsCDon Lugo HS, Chino, Calif.6-1180R-RLong Beach State
Burns is one of the better defensive catchers in the 2020 high school class. He is a plus receiver with good footwork behind the plate and has a plus, accurate arm. He is a good athlete who has a quick release, gets down quickly on blocks and is generally quick in all aspects of catching. Burns hit for a high average in high school and shows flashes of power, but he still has a lot of development left as a hitter. It’s unlikely a team will take a flyer on him in a shortened draft. He is committed to Long Beach State.
488Michael WeisbergRHPCal State Fullerton6-4195R-RNever Drafted
Weisberg has struggled in two years at Cal State Fullerton and did not pitch particularly well in the Cape Cod League last summer. As a freshman, he went 1-1, 6.50 in 18 appearances and over the summer he posted a 10.64 ERA in 11 appearances. This spring he pitched just 3.1 innings before the season ended, allowing two runs and earning one save. The biggest allure for scouts regarding Weisburg is his erratic fastball. He throws it hard, around 94-95 mph, but often doesn’t know where it’s going. He is a redshirt sophomore who most scouts think should return to school to work on harnessing his fastball.
495Mike PeabodyOFUC Irvine6-4200L-RNever Drafted
Peabody intrigues scouts with his athleticism and frame even though he hasn’t consistently performed in games. A thin 6-foot-4, lefthanded-hitting center fielder, Peabody oozes potential with plus speed, an average arm and average raw power. He has a chance to stick in center field and has plenty of room to get stronger and increase his power production. Peabody knows the strike zone and has a penchant for getting hit by pitches, but he struggles to make consistent contact and doesn’t get to his power in games. He also isn’t much of a threat to steal bases despite his speed. Peabody is a candidate to return to school to work on his offensive game. His tools and profile have some clubs interested.
500Kyle CarrLHPSan Marcos (Calif.) HS6-0165L-LSan Diego
Carr impressed during the Area Code Games and showed improved stuff this spring before the season shut down. He is an undersized lefty at 6-foot, 165 pounds with an 88-92 mph fastball he commands and a mid-70s breaking ball he can land for strikes. He also flashes a low-80s slider and upper-70s changeup. Carr stays composed on the mound and goes right after hitters. He is a good athlete who is also dangerous at the plate. Carr left his first Area Code Games start with an injury and was scratched from a few starts this spring, leading to some concerns about his health. That, plus his lack of physicality, has most scouts willing to let him go to college. He is committed to San Diego.
Pete_Crow-Armstrong_BillMitchell.jpg

Mets Covet Pete Crow-Armstrong For His Tools, Mental Toughness

Pete Crow-Armstrong has some of the loudest tools in the high school class, but what set him apart for the Mets in the first round were his mental skills.

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