MLB Draft Day Two Rewind: Favorite Picks, Drafts & StorylinesAnalysis
SEE ALSO: Day One Analysis
Day Two and the entire 2020 MLB draft is in the books. With 160 total picks this year’s Rule 4 First-Year Player Draft was the shortest in history. The D1Baseball and Prep Baseball Report prospects team dissects Day Two below:
– Surprisingly, 47 preps were selected in the five rounds which totaled 160 picks. This number of preps is identical to the number taken in the top five rounds in 2019, but trailing 2018 (52) and 2017 (66). Additionally, five junior college prospects and 108 four-year college prospects were selected with four seniors among the 108 college picks.
– Of the 108 four-year college players, 105 came from the Division I ranks. Here’s how they broke down by conference: SEC (26), ACC (20), Pac-12 (12), Big 12 (nine), Big Ten (six). That adds up to 73 players from the Power Five conferences, compared with 32 from all of the other conferences.
– Arizona State led all college teams with five players drafted, followed by Michigan, Oklahoma and Vanderbilt with four apiece. Louisville, Miami, Mississippi State, Tennessee and Texas A&M had three players drafted apiece.
– Florida will get its top two weekend starters — righthanders Tommy Mace and Jack Leftwich — back on campus after the talented duo went undrafted in the five rounds. Mace, the No. 44 overall prospect on our Top 200 list, was the biggest surprise out of all the players who went undrafted. The Gators will be the early and heavy favorites for the No. 1 spot in 2021.
– Teams getting first-round talent in second/third included Chris McMahon (Rockies), Jared Kelley (White Sox), JT Ginn (Mets), Cole Henry (Nationals), Cole Wilcox (Padres) and Kyle Harrison (Giants).
TOP RANKED OVERALL PROSPECTS NOT SELECTED
Windermere (HS) FL
Flower Mound (HS) TX
Episcopal (HS) TX
Greenbrier (HS) AR
Plano Senior (HS) TX
Evangel Christian Academy (HS) LA
Norman (HS) OK
Harvard-Westlake (HS) CA
Loyola (HS) CA
Franklin (HS) CA
COLLEGE ONLY TOP 100 UNDRAFTED
29 Tommy Mace, RHP, Florida
34 Kevin Abel, RHP, Oregon State
44 Carson Seymour, RHP, Kansas State
53 Seth Lonsway, LHP, Ohio State
60 Mason Erla, RHP, Michigan State
61 Jack Leftwich, RHP, Florida
62 Parker Chavers, OF, Coastal Carolina
63 Michael Rothenberg, C, Duke
64 Andrew Abbott, LHP, Virginia
69 Gavin Williams, RHP, East Carolina
70 Luke Waddell, SS, Georgia Tech
72 Casey Opitz, C, Arkansas
80 Chris Lanzilli, OF, Wake Forest
86 Ryan Webb, LHP, Georgia
93 Kale Emshoff, C, Little Rock
95 Blake Dunn, OF, Western Michigan
96 Braiden Ward, OF, Washington
99 Jackson Leath, RHP, Tennessee
Nathan Rode: LHP Kyle Harrison is an absolute steal in the third round, 85th overall by the Giants. I love the upside and felt like you could argue for him late in the first. It’s a loose arm, projectable frame and sharp secondary. If he had gotten to Westwood, he’d easily have top 10 potential for 2023. I also love the Astros getting Alex Santos with the 72nd overall pick. With an extremely limited pool and few picks, that’s excellent upside. There were more high school picks in the third to fifth rounds than I was expecting and I’m fan of the guys that were taken.
Shooter Hunt: RHP Alex Santos (Mount Saint Michael Academy, NY), a Maryland recruit, was a guy that I had as a potential back end of the first round pick, so the Astros snagging him at number 72 was a steal. This was their first pick, so they essentially got a first-rounder. His Trackman metrics stand out, and I think his fastball will be in the upper 90s soon, and he has feel for four pitches. Given the success of the Astros player development department, his growth in the system could ultimately give them a frontline starter. LHP Dylan MacLean (Central Catholic HS, OR), a Washington recruit, was another one of my favorites. The PBR Oregon Player of the Year in 2019, I watched his rise firsthand for more than two years, and fully expected him to challenge as a second round pick with a strong spring. The Rangers selected him 115th overall, and though they likely paid significantly over slot, I believe the talent warranted it. He has a polished delivery with an easy arm stroke and feel for three pitches, and at more than a year young for the class (he won’t turn 18 until July), the Rangers will have a chance to mold him into a future starter.
David Seifert: In the non college sophomore-eligible category RHP Ian Bedell (Missouri) was selected 122nd overall by the St Louis Cardinals and ranked No. 84 on our Top 200 Draft Board. With four distinct pitches in his arsenal Bedell profiles as a mid-rotation starter with an easy delivery, quick arm and clean arm action. He’s a strike-thrower who will run his fastball into the low-90s with a plus changeup as his best secondary offering. Both his upper-70s curve and low-80s slider are average to better pitches as well. After graduating early from high school to attend Missouri in January of 2018, Bedell is still just 20 years old and was one of the younger four-year college arms in this year’s draft. Honorable mention goes to the three clubs who took the sophomore-eligible arms: Mets selecting JT Ginn with the 52nd overall pick, the Nationals selection of Cole Henry 55th overall and Cole Wilcox who went 80th overall to the Padres. All will be significant overpays, but are well worth the price of admission.
Aaron Fitt: In round two, the Tigers scored big with Ohio State’s athletic catcher Dillon Dingler leading off the day, the Rockies got great value with Miami righty Chris McMahon at pick No. 46, the Cubs landed an instant-impact bullpen arm in Dallas Baptist lefty Burl Carraway at pick No. 51, and the Nationals landed an arm that could have gone in the top 10 picks next year in LSU righty Cole Henry at pick No. 55. The Tigers hit paydirt again with LSU outfielder Daniel Cabrera at pick No. 62 in the second competitive balance round, and the Dodgers landed a huge power arm with Texas Tech righty Clayton Beeter at pick No. 66. Other favorite picks include NC State lefty Nick Swiney to the Giants at pick No. 67, Oklahoma State utilityman Kaden Polcovich to the Mariners at pick No. 78, Georgia fireballer Cole Wilcox to the Padres at pick No. 80, Ole Miss slugger Tyler Keenan to the Mariners at pick No. 107, Louisville hit machine Zach Britton to the Blue Jays at pick No. 136, and Auburn lefty Bailey Horn to the White Sox at pick No. 142.
Kendall Rogers: As the second round went by and the third round progressed, the one name that wasn’t scrolling across the screen was Georgia righthander Cole Wilcox. Wilcox was considered to be a difficult sign, but no one thought he’d drop to the third round, probably not even the mid-to-late second round. So, when the Padres came up to announce pick No. 80, it was a surprise to see the hard-throwing Bulldogs righty get selected. Clearly, the Padres have some money to play with and believe they’ll sign Wilcox. After all, he must’ve given them some sort of indication he’ll sign if he was drafted at all. Wilcox has a slot value of $767,800, but there’s zero doubt he’ll get significantly more than that. He could return for another season in Athens, Ga., and likely get an even more robust signing bonus, but we’ll see what he decides. Wilcox is an unfinished product, but he has what I call the Gerrit Cole starting kit. He’s a big and physical pitcher who can get up to 98-99 mph with his fastball, while the secondary stuff is still coming.
FAVORITE TEAM DRAFT ALL ROUNDS
Nathan Rode: I feel like I say this every year, but I like what Cleveland did. You could argue that Carson Tucker at 23 is a reach, but to see how everything unfolded and what they got after him, it makes sense. Always let things play out. They got two first-round-caliber arms in Tanner Burns and Logan Allen. Tucker is an excellent athlete. Milan Tolentino is a smooth defender with a strong left-handed bat—a second-round player they got in the fourth. And Mason Hickman gives them a guy with a high floor. As always, they managed to strike a good balance.
Shooter Hunt: I went into the draft believing teams could have a couple avenues of thought: throw all the money at the top guys on the board or spread it out and get more prospects. The Royals had one extra pick, and the third highest bonus pool at $12,521,300, I thought they might try and spread it out to boost the system even more. However, when a premium left-handed arm like LHP Asa Lacy (Texas A&M), who might have challenged for the top spot overall, falls into your lap, you scrap plans and take him. Still, they added a high-floor shortstop in SS Nick Loftin (Baylor) who was a first round talent, and followed that up with one of the top prep right-handers in RHP Ben Hernandez (De La Salle HS, IL). Hernandez has a mid 90s fastball with a true plus-changeup, and his makeup stands out. OF Tyler Gentry (Alabama) and RHP Will Klein (Eastern Illinois) were great picks with Gentry getting of to a strong start for the Crimson Tide this year, and Klein, a former catcher, being a physical 6’5” 230-pound, power-arm who ran a fastball up to 97 mph in workouts with a hard breaking ball, and shows great upside in the backend of the bullpen. But my favorite pick of the bunch was LHP Christian Chamberlain (Oregon State). Though undersized at 5’10”, 173-pounds, Chamberlain was the heavy favorite as Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year, and would have challenged for multiple national awards as well. His fastball was into the mid 90s with high spin and hop, and allows his plus breaking stuff to play up even higher, as does his confident demeanor. His small frame likely deterred some clubs, but the stuff is smiled on from a metric standpoint, and as an outlier, his unique look could be something that the Royals are ahead of the curve on.
David Seifert: Let’s start by stating, I liked a lot of them. Picking at the top of the draft with a large amount of bonus pool cash, the draft classes of Detroit (2nd highest pool) and Miami (5th) really stood out for me. The Tigers picking up college performers in Spencer Torkelson, Dillon Dingler, Daniel Cabrera and Trei Cruz in addition to the high upside of Gage Workman plays right to my sweet spot. The Marlins all arms draft of Max Meyer, Dax Fulton, Kyle Nicolas, Zach McCambley, Jake Eder and Kyle Hurt carries some risk, but the reward could be immense with the high ceiling each one presents. A little further down with the 9th highest bonus pool, Toronto got a steal with the 5th overall pick in Austin Martin then added a first round caliber talent in CJ Van Eyk, a potential starter in Trent Palmer then took a gamble on the health of strong armed Nick Frasso. With the 19th overall pool I really, really like what the Cubs put together. A nice balance of prep and collegians, including Ed Howard, Burl Carraway, Jordan Nwogu, Luke Little and Koen Moreno. Another talented and balanced draft class that really impressed me is Cleveland which Nathan Rode detailed above, and the Rockies receive honorable mention for their nice haul of prospects as well with 46th overall pick Chris McMahon heading my list of top value picks.
Kendall Rogers: I went back and forth between the Rockies and Tigers, but sided with the Tigers. Let me give the Rockies some love, though. I love the two prep picks to begin the draft in Zac Veen and catcher Drew Romo. Both are very advanced players for their age. Then, the Rockies went with hard-throwing Miami righty Chris McMahon and rising Clemson lefty Sam Weatherly. Weatherly had gotten a lot of buzz to go much higher than the bottom half of the third round. But the Rockies got him there. They finished the draft by taking one of my absolute favorites in hard-nosed Michigan shortstop Jack Blomgren. Well done. As for the Tigers, it’s like a cornucopia of well-liked college players. It goes without saying Spencer Torkelson is a great pick. Ohio State’s Dillon Dingler is a versatile catcher, LSU outfielder Daniel Cabrera is tooled up like crazy and hits for some serious power, Rice’s Trei Cruz has made some serious improvements to his defense, and he already was a premier hitter with good power production. There’s also Arizona State third baseman Gage Workman, who has an excellent background of production at the collegiate level.
Aaron Fitt: Detroit is the obvious answer for me, but Kendall and Seif already covered the Tigers’ draft, so I’ve got two others to highlight. I liked all six of the Mariners’ picks, starting with Georgia ace Emerson Hancock (who entered the season as one of the favorites to go No. 1 overall), and continuing with Texas A&M outfielder Zach DeLoach and Oklahoma State dynamo Kaden Polcovich (two Cape Cod League standouts from last summer), followed by a power hitter I love in Tyler Keenan in round four. Juco righty Connor Phillips and Cal Poly righty Taylor Dollard gave this class two more quality power arms. And the Blue Jays followed a similar college-heavy blueprint, and drafted five players with impact tools in Austin Martin, Cj Van Eyk, Trent Palmer, Nick Frasso and Zach Britton. That’s two gifted pure hitters bookending three mid-90s righties who all have starter profiles. I like when teams spend all their picks on players with some standout tools, rather than cutting below-slot deals on some players in order to make runs at other more expensive players. Particularly in a draft that lasts just five rounds, I’d rather get five or six guys who are legitimate top-five-round talents, instead of using one or two of those precious picks on money-saving players who are widely viewed as later-round talents.