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Which Teams Got The Most 2020 MLB Draft Value?

The contracts for every drafted player in the 2020 class are now signed. 

There has never been a draft where 100% of players selected came to terms on a deal until now. Obviously, the draft being just five rounds helps with that total. But even looking at just the top five rounds under the current draft structure—going back to 2012—the rate of signings is high. 

Only the 2019 and 2020 draft classes have seen every top five round player signed. Below you can see how many players didn’t sign from 2012-2020 after being selected among the first five rounds.

Year No. Who Didn’t Sign Players
2012 6
2013 4
2014 4
2015 4
2016 1 Nick Lodolo
2017 3
2018 4
2019 0  
2020 0  


Teams generally do a good job of signing players selected in the first ten rounds. But for the 2020 draft, it was even more important for teams to get their entire class under contract. 

First and foremost, with the draft being cut by 87.5%, each individual player means more for a draft class. Not signing a player in a 40-round draft is less of an issue than failing to come to terms in a draft class that is only 3-to-7 players deep.

From the player side, it’s perhaps easier to agree to a deal given the increased uncertainty that surrounds college baseball, scholarships, roster spots and playing time in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Another factor is the medical situation. With the college season lasting just four weeks, there was less time for players to accumulate injuries—particularly injuries just before the draft—that might have complicated or prevented signings. 

All of these factors led to signing 100% of the class. Now that the ink is dried on deals, we can take a deeper look at the 2020 class in its entirety. After previously looking at first round values, we can see which teams landed the most talent overall and got the best value with their money. 

Just like in our first round analysis, we’ll assign players slot values based on their ranking in the BA 500 and then compare that to what they actually signed for. Hopefully this serves as a proxy for value based on our current information, though it’s worth noting that evaluating and grading draft classes without allowing a few years of development is a fool’s errand.

Still, we might stumble into a few interesting nuggets. First, here are the top 50 signing bonuses in the 2020 draft:

Round Pick Club Player Signing Bonus
1 1 DET Spencer Torkelson $8,416,300
1 5 TOR Austin Martin $7,000,825
1 3 MIA Max Meyer $6,700,000
1 4 KC Asa Lacy $6,670,000
1 6 SEA Emerson Hancock $5,700,000
1 7 PIT Nick Gonzales $5,432,400
1 2 BAL Heston Kjerstad $5,200,000
1 9 COL Zac Veen $5,000,000
1 10 LAA Reid Detmers $4,670,000
1 11 CWS Garrett Crochet $4,547,500
1 8 SD Robert Hassell $4,300,000
1 15 PHI Mick Abel $4,075,000
1 12 CIN Austin Hendrick $4,000,000
1 13 SF Patrick Bailey $3,797,500
1 16 CHI Ed Howard $3,745,500
1 19 NY Pete Crow-Armstrong $3,359,000
1 26 OAK Tyler Soderstrom $3,300,000
3 80 SD Cole Wilcox $3,300,000
1 14 TEX Justin Foscue $3,250,000
1 20 MIL Garrett Mitchell $3,242,900
1 22 WSH Cade Cavalli $3,027,000
2 47 CWS Jared Kelley $3,000,000
1S 32 KC Nick Loftin $3,000,000
1 24 TB Nick Bitsko $3,000,000
2 52 NY J.T. Ginn $2,900,000
1 21 STL Jordan Walker $2,900,000
1 27 MIN Aaron Sabato $2,750,000
1 17 BOS Nick Yorke $2,700,000
1 18 ARI Bryce Jarvis $2,650,000
1 28 NYY Austin Wells $2,500,000
3 85 SF Kyle Harrison $2,497,500
2 40 MIA Dax Fulton $2,400,000
1S 33 ARI Slade Cecconi $2,384,900
1S 30 BAL Jordan Westburg $2,365,500
2 44 PIT Jared Jones $2,200,000
1 25 ATL Jared Shuster $2,197,500
1 29 LA Bobby Miller $2,197,500
2 54 STL Masyn Winn $2,100,000
1S 35 COL Drew Romo $2,095,800
1S 31 PIT Carmen Mlodzinski $2,050,000
1 23 CLE Carson Tucker $2,000,000
1S 34 SD Justin Lange $2,000,000
2 55 WSH Cole Henry $2,000,000
2 38 DET Dillon Dingler $1,952,300
2 39 BAL Hudson Haskin $1,906,800
1S 37 TB Alika Williams $1,850,000
2 42 TOR C.J. Van Eyk $1,797,500
4 103 BAL Coby Mayo $1,750,000
3 89 BOS Blaze Jordan $1,750,000
2 43 SEA Zach DeLoach $1,729,800


Spending Efficiency

Next we’ll take a look at which teams got the most bang for their buck throughout the entire draft, based on BA 500 rankings. For this, we’ll take the difference of a team’s entire class of actual signing bonuses, minus the assigned BA 500 slot value. 

For instance, the slot value for the No. 1 pick in the 2020 draft is $8,415,300. So our No. 1-ranked draft prospect, Spencer Torkelson, is assigned that $8,415,300 value. Now we take his actual signing bonus ($8,416,300) and subtract his assigned value to get the difference—$1,000. So the Tigers paid a thousand dollars more than Torkelson’s assigned value, based on his BA 500 ranking. 

Players ranked outside of the top 10 round range were assigned $125,000 values, while players not ranked on the BA 500 were assigned $20,000 values.

After doing this for every player in the draft, we add up the totals for each team’s draft class to get an idea of which teams spent “wisely,” according to the BA 500, and which didn’t. That leads us to the following chart:

Team Difference (Actual $ – Assigned $)
Brewers -$2,463,500
Tigers -$1,852,700
Phillies -$1,236,500
Pirates -$1,216,900
Yankees -$815,100
White Sox -$676,900
Athletics -$595,800
Astros -$421,900
Yankees -$396,500
Angels -$323,200
Blue Jays -$304,975
Rays -$175,100
Rockies -$3,300
Indians $584,900
Reds $790,800
Nationals $840,500
Mariners $984,500
Dodgers $992,900
Twins $1,124,200
Braves $1,151,800
Royals $1,178,300
Cubs $1,599,600
Giants $2,025,500
Diamondbacks $2,058,100
Padres $2,649,304
Marlins $2,896,300
Cardinals $2,907,900
Red Sox $3,576,700
Rangers $4,560,100
Orioles $5,265,700


Based on this methodology, the BA 500 says the Brewers, Tigers, Phillies and Pirates all got more than a million dollars in surplus value, while teams like the Red Sox, Rangers and Orioles paid plenty extra for their collection of players. 

The Brewers aren’t too much of a surprise at the top, considering the No. 6-ranked prospect Garrett Mitchell at pick 20 is far and away the best value of the draft, signing for $2.5 million less than his BA value. Here’s how the entire Brewers’ draft class breaks down:

Rd Pick BA Rank Player Actual Signing Bonus Over/Under BA Assigned Value Difference (Actual – Assigned)
1 20 6 Mitchell, Garrett $3,242,900 $0 $5,742,900 -$2,500,000
2 53 73 Zamora, Freddy $1,150,000 -$220,400 $857,400 $292,600
3 92 122 Warren, Zavier $575,000 -$62,600 $469,000 $106,000
4 121 136 Wiemer, Joey $150,000 -$323,700 $410,100 -$260,100
5 151 138 Cantrelle, Hayden $300,000 -$53,700 $402,000 -$102,000

The Brewers got all of their efficiency in Mitchell’s signing, as their next four picks essentially canceled each other out in terms of the difference in money. It’s worth noting that the Brewers signed Mitchell for slot value and then went under slot for each of their next four picks. 

Milwaukee had a bonus pool of $6,078,300 but only spent $5,417,900, or 89% of its allowed total. Leaving $660,400 on the table in the draft is akin to having the 90th pick in the draft and simply passing on it.

Our second team in efficiency, the Tigers, went in the opposite direction:

Rd Pick BA Rank Player Actual Signing Bonus Over/Under BA Assigned Value Difference (Actual – Assigned)
1 1 1 Torkelson, Spencer $8,416,300 $1,000 $8,415,300 $1,000
2 38 27 Dingler, Dillon $1,952,300 $0 $2,570,100 -$617,800
2S 62 42 Cabrera, Danny $1,210,000 $107,300 $1,771,100 -$561,100
3 73 140 Cruz, Trei $900,000 $42,600 $394,300 $505,700
4 102 51 Workman, Gage $1,000,000 $428,600 $1,436,900 -$436,900
5 132 57 Keith, Colt $500,000 $73,400 $1,243,600 -$743,600


Detroit spent $13,978,600 total on bonuses, a 4.9% overage of its assigned bonus pool of $13,325,700. After getting Torkelson for essentially his exact assigned value, the Tigers got excellent value with catcher Dillon Dingler, outfielder Daniel Cabrera and third basemen Gage Workman and Colt Keith

The Tigers were the only team to sign five players with assigned value of $1 million or more—the Pirates were second, and the only team with four such players—and went over slot with every player outside of Dingler.

Only shortstop Trei Cruz was an overpay based on the BA 500 and each of the other players in the class more than made up for that signing bonus, in terms of overall value. It’s hard to not like a draft class that features five players ranked among the top 60, with the lowest-ranked player checking in at No. 140.

On the opposite end of the value spectrum is the Orioles: 

Rd Pick BA Rank Player Actual Signing Bonus Over/Under BA Assigned Value Difference (Actual – Assigned)
1 2 13 Kjerstad, Heston 5,200,000 -2,589,900 4,197,300 1,002,700
CB-A 30 33 Westburg, Jordan 2,365,500 +0 2,202,200 163,300
2 39 211 Haskin, Hudson 1,906,800 +0 211,500 1,695,300
3 74 91 Servideo, Anthony 950,000 +105,800 647,300 302,700
4 103 79 Mayo, Coby 1,750,000 +1,184,400 780,400 969,600
5 133 147 Baumler, Carter 1,500,000 +1,077,700 367,900 1,132,100


Baltimore chose to go a bit off the board with its second overall pick, signing Arkansas outfielder Heston Kjerstad to a significantly underslot deal and put its savings toward high-upside preps later in the draft. 

But even with a significant haircut, the BA 500 value saw the Orioles overpaying around $1 million for Kjerstad, whose assigned BA value was just over $4 million as the No. 13 player in the class. 

But that wasn’t the steepest payment in Baltimore’s class, as the Orioles signed No. 211 prospect Hudson Haskin for an overslot deal at No. 39 in the second round, which is $1,695,300 more than his assigned value. In fact, each of Baltimore’s players were signed for more than their assigned value and their fifth-round pick, prep righthander Carter Baumler was again signed for more than a million more than his assigned value.

Haskin is the biggest name to watch, as his pure toolset could make him a much better talent than this method would suggest, but in pre-draft reporting Baseball America talked with plenty who were skeptical that an unorthodox swing could run into difficulties against pro pitching.

After the Orioles, the Rangers were the second team that stood out at the bottom of the list:

Rd Pick BA Rank Player Actual Signing Bonus Over/Under BA Assigned Value Difference (Actual – Assigned)
1 14 36 Foscue, Justin 3,250,000 -786,800 2,045,400 1,204,600
2 50 NR Carter, Evan 1,250,000 -219,900 20,000 1,230,000
3 86 155 Roby, Tekoah 775,000 +75,300 340,000 435,000
4 115 258 MacLean, Dylan 1,200,000 +697,700 159,200 1,040,800
5 145 280 Saggese, Thomas 800,000 +424,800 150,300 649,700


The Rangers certainly had one of the more unconventional drafts in 2020, taking Mississippi State infielder Justin Foscue in the middle of the first round to start things off. Foscue was a bit of a reach at No. 14, but was one of the better college middle infielders in the class. Even so, the BA 500 values saw his $3.25 million bonus as a $1.2 million overpay. 

Texas followed that up with another $1.2 million overpay, but of a completely different variety. While Foscue was highly thought of in the 2020 class, prep outfielder Evan Carter was much less widely regarded entering the draft and was both the highest-drafted and highest-paid unranked player in the 2020 class.

Texas’ third million dollar overpay came with fourth-rounder Dylan MacLean, a similar pick to Baltimore’s Baumler selection. Two prep arms who have clear talent, but plenty of projection that still remains and adds to the risk of the profile.

Total Value

While it is interesting to look at the efficiency of team spending, at the end of the day the only thing that matters is the amount of talent you add to a system.

Here are how each of the 30 teams did when simply summing the BA 500 value of each draft class. We’ve also kept the difference in actual money and assigned value to show that you don’t have to spend “wisely” in order to add a significant amount of talent (Royals, Marlins) and at the opposite end you can spend efficiently and still come out without much talent relative to other clubs (Astros, Yankees). 

Where you pick and how many picks you have to work with very much matter. It doesn’t matter how well you scout and evaluate the best talent in the class if you don’t have your first crack at things until the 72nd pick.

Team Total BA Assigned Value Difference (Actual $ – Assigned $) Total Picks
Tigers $15,831,300 -$1,852,700 6
Pirates $12,284,300 -$1,216,900 6
Royals $11,341,700 $1,178,300 6
Blue Jays $10,507,300 -$304,975 5
Rockies $10,336,100 -$3,300 6
Marlins $9,108,400 $2,896,300 6
Mariners $8,976,600 $984,500 6
Padres $8,530,700 $2,649,304 6
White Sox $8,434,400 -$676,900 5
Orioles $8,406,600 $5,265,700 6
Mets $8,314,100 -$815,100 6
Brewers $7,881,400 -$2,463,500 5
Reds $7,755,200 $790,800 6
Rays $7,649,300 -$175,100 6
Giants $7,432,000 $2,025,500 7
Phillies $6,936,500 -$1,236,500 4
Indians $6,805,100 $584,900 6
Angels $6,777,400 -$323,200 4
Athletics $6,043,200 -$595,800 5
Nationals $5,806,500 $840,500 6
Cardinals $5,382,100 $2,907,900 7
Cubs $5,267,200 $1,599,600 5
Dodgers $5,231,100 $992,900 6
Diamondbacks $5,126,800 $2,058,100 5
Yankees $4,083,900 -$396,500 3
Twins $3,205,800 $1,124,200 4
Braves $2,840,000 $1,151,800 4
Rangers $2,714,900 $4,560,100 5
Astros $2,704,900 -$421,900 4
Red Sox $1,673,300 $3,576,700 4


Detroit at the top is unsurprising. The team picked first overall, took the best player in the class, and got great value with every other pick as well. The gap between them and the next best team is notable, and perhaps that tells us something about just how well the Tigers did in this draft.

The next four teams on the list all picked among the first 10 picks and each benefitted by getting players to fall who we expected to be off the board in front of them. The Pirates landed No. 5 prospect Nick Gonzales with the seventh pick (-$748,300 difference), the Royals landed the top pitcher in the class in Asa Lacy with the fourth pick (-$551,200), the Blue Jays grabbed Austin Martin at pick No. 5 (-$789,075) and the Rockies saw Zac Veen fall all the way to No. 9 (-$432,400).

The Marlins are the first team on the list that didn’t spend efficiently, according to the BA 500 (+$2,896,300), but when you add five prospects who ranked among the top 80, that value adds up. Righthander Kyle Hurt was the only Miami pick who didn’t rank among the top 80, but he still slotted in at No. 164.


In addition to trying to provide currency analysis of the 2020 draft class, this exercise should help us refine and evaluate our own process in the future. In five years, if the best and worst draft classes don’t align at all with the charts above, we can dive in and see why. Did we have some players ranked too low (players like Nick Yorke, Max Meyer and Hudson Haskin come to mind) and others too high (Garrett Mitchell, Jared Kelley, Tanner Burns)?

Finding the answers to those questions and then figuring out why should make us better at evaluating future draft classes. For now, this is how we see the 2020 draft class. 

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