2020 D1Baseball Draft ChatChats
We might not have a College World Series to prepare for this June, but we have you covered like no one else on the Major League Baseball draft front.
With that in mind, our draft experts — David Seifert, Aaron Fitt and Kendall Rogers — will answer your burning questions throughout Wednesday afternoon leading up to the draft show in the evening.
Get your draft-related questions in, now!
Josh: Do you think that high school seniors that will be draft eligible sophomores will be more likely to go to school this year compared to previous years?
Aaron Fitt: Guys who will be eligible as sophomores are always more likely to go to school than players who won’t be eligible until they are juniors, but I do think we could see that even more than usual this year, given the uncertainty around pro ball, the deferment of most of a player’s signing bonus, and the fact that the draft is just so much shorter. A lot of times you might see a club roll the dice on a high-profile high school kid in round 11 and try to sign him with money saved from deals in the first 10 rounds, but that won’t be the case this year.
Vandychris: Where do you think the pitchers fall-Bryce Jarvis, Hancock, Asa Lacy, and Mad Max?
Aaron Fitt: I think Lacy, Hancock and Meyer are slam-dunk top-10 picks. Our latest mock has Lacy going No. 3 to the Marlins, Hancock going No. 6 to Pittsburgh, and Meyer going No. 8 to San Diego. There are plenty of rumors about Jarvis getting interest in the 18-25 range, and I suspect that’s where he’ll wind up.
JYD: Do you expect more High school or College players to take the $20k after the 5th round?
Aaron Fitt: Definitely more college guys; I think very few high school players will sign for $20K or less. Just makes so much more sense for those guys to go to college and try to boost their stock for a future draft with more rounds, while also working toward a degree. I suspect a lot of college seniors will take the $20K or less, and some juniors, but not nearly as many.
Ole Miss Logo: “Even though the season was so shortened, XXXXX did the most to improve his draft stock.”
Aaron Fitt: I feel like you’re setting me up to say “Anthony Servideo” — and I think that’s a pretty good answer! Frankly, I don’t know that he was regarded as a sure-fire top-10 round prospect heading into the season, but now I think he looks like a 3rd-4th round type. He could always really defend and run, but he clearly got much stronger and surprised people with his ability to drive the ball. His improvement with the bat really helped his value skyrocket. The other obvious answer to this question is Bryce Jarvis, whose velocity jump and dramatically improved breaking stuff vaulted him into the first round. He was 88-91 last year, and this spring he was 92-95 touching 96, with high-end command. That’s just a huge jump.
TxBall17: Any incoming signing classes that might be hurt by this years draft? Texas is probably going to lose Kelley, Jones, and Tucker even with the shortened format.
DSeif: Shooter Hunt of Prep Baseball Report wrote about 10 that he felt could be the most affected. Texas was No. 1. You can find it at D1 here- https://d1baseball.com/recruiting/ten-recruiting-classes-at-risk-headi…
And yes, the Longhorns could get hammered by the draft.
Alex: Binghamton 2B Alex Baratta has shown a consistently good hit tool and solid defense. Is there any chance he could be an undersold 5th round pick or a priority UDFA?
Aaron Fitt: I could certainly see Baratta being a priority UDFA; he’s a performer who had a great junior year and was off to an even better start as a senior this spring. Scouts up in the Northeast already regarded him as a good player, and I think he only helped himself more in the shortened season. I have not heard any top-five-round buzz on him though; it’s just going to be really hard to sneak into those top five rounds this year.
AgBBall: What players from Texas do you think have a chance to go in round 1 tonight?
DSeif: Asa Lacy, Heston Kjerstad (attended HS in TX), Tanner Witt, Jared Kelley, Nick Loftin, Drew Romo, Clayton Beeter, Justin Lange. Outside chance Jordan Westburg (attended HS in TX), Cam Brown.
Nate Habegger: What are your thoughts on juniors signing this year as a free agent. They would have 2 years of eligibility left but with the uncertain future of the 2021 draft, at $20K signing bonus plus tuition paid seems like something they should consider.
Aaron Fitt: It will certainly make sense for some guys — especially guys that probably weren’t going to get a lot more than $20K bonuses even in a normal year. But there were 400 players who got six-digit bonuses after the fifth round last year, and I think the vast majority of players in that situation this year would be better off going back to school than signing for $20K, not having a minor league season (and not drawing any salary while spending the rest of the summer in extended spring training). And then if MLB succeeds in its goal to dramatically slash the number of affiliates next year, there are going to be far fewer jobs available for those guys in pro ball. We just saw a host of minor leaguers released across pro ball, so there’s already huge competition for spots. Why not go back to school and work toward your degree, and take your chances in a 20-round draft next year? I just think that approach makes so much more sense for the majority of players.
Guest: Will KevIn Parada go in the late first or top of the 2nd?
DSeif: If those are my only choices, Top 2.
Pistol Pete: Do you think Kaden Polkovich (OKState) will be drafted tonight?
DSeif: Tonight, no. Tomorrow, yes.
Aaron Fitt: To follow up, we view Polcovich as a fourth- to fifth-round candidate, so he could very well get picked tomorrow night. He really helped himself by shining against premier competition with a wood bat in the Cape Cod League last year, and he continued to hit in the shortened spring season. Great athlete, switch-hitter with pop and speed; there’s a whole lot to like there, even though he’s undersized. If he doesn’t get picked tomorrow night, I suspect he’d be inclined to return for another year, because he could make a lot more in the draft in 2021.
Terry: Does Logan Hofmann gets drafted tomorrow?
DSeif: Outside chance he is selected tomorrow, anything is possible. But, typically pitchers with his profile are more likely to go closer to the 10th than the 5th.
David: How do you see Ragin’ Cajun pitcher Conor Angel fitting into the 5 rounds?
Aaron Fitt: I think he’s got a shot to go toward the back of the five-round draft tomorrow night. Great frame and pretty live stuff; he probably could have used a longer season to really boost his stock with scouts since this was his first year at the D1 level, but somebody might have gotten a good enough look at him early in the year to take a shot in round 5 or so.
Drew: Any changes to your most recent mock?
DSeif: Yes. I just got off the phone with Nathan Rode from Prep Baseball Report for our 3.0. We will be posting it around 4pm ET. Garrett Mitchell seems to be falling, while Justin Foscue is rising…
Zeb: Austin Hendrick doesn’t make it past….
DSeif: Rangers at No. 14.
Andy: The consensus #1 pick seems to be Torkelson but most outlets have Martin as the best overall player. What’s the rational behind Torkelson over Martin?
Aaron Fitt: Martin is a better athlete with more speed and more defensive value, but Tork’s power is the best in the draft, and you can make a case that his hit tool is also the best in the draft (though Martin has a case for that as well). Ultimately, premium power is just so valuable, and Torkelson is a can’t-miss slugger who I think has a chance to win homer titles and also batting titles. Sure, he’s just a first baseman — but if he’s a potential batting champ and home run champ, then you’re talking about Miguel Cabrera kind of value. That’s pretty special.
Ian: Which starting arms that get drafted tonight have the quickest path to the big leagues?
DSeif: In a starting role, I’d go with Reid Detmers. Max Meyer is a starter, but could be used as a reliever with most any club if there is a post-season in 2020, same goes for Garrett Crochet and Clayton Beeter.
Toan: Do you know the draft status of both Kevin Abel and Christian Chamberlain? Is there a good chance both of them could get drafted and sign or miss out and go back to Oregon State? I’m a Beavers fan so it’s interesting to find out.
Aaron Fitt: We’ve got Chamberlain valued as about a third or fourth-rounder, and I think he impressed scouts enough in the short season that he’s likely to be picked tomorrow and sign. He certainly answered any of my questions about whether he can start, despite his small size — his stuff is electric, and I was impressed with the way he held his velo in the look I got in Starkville. Abel is one of the big wild cards in this draft; we ran him up into the 30s in our most recent prospect list, which would translate to about round 2. It sounds like he has progressed well in his return from Tommy John surgery, and certainly he proved himself at the highest level of college baseball before his injury. I suspect he’s likely to get drafted and sign also, but there’s a little more uncertainty around that one since he didn’t get a chance to pitch this year.
Mike: How many rounds will we get back to for the draft? and do you see to $20K max staying around for those not taken in the draft?
DSeif: My guess is 20 rounds in 2021. Beyond 2021, my personal preference is 15-20 rounds, but more likely 25 could become the new standard. I do not see $20K sticking as a max.
David: Do you expect more, less, or the same amount of HS players to be drafted this year than the previous years for rounds 1 thru 5?
DSeif: I expect a similar amount to be selected in the first round, 10-12 total. But overall less will be taken (total of 47 were taken rounds 1-5 in 2019, 52 in 2018). I’m thinking around 35-40 total in 2020. More prep pitchers will likely go to college due to a very strong college crop of arms who will be preferred this draft by MLB clubs.
Lee: Can you take us through a conversation between a scout and a undrafted free agent in their living room, or on a Zoom Call, trying to sell them to sign with their organization for $20,000.00 vs going back to college. What will be their selling points to convince a player to sign?
Aaron Fitt: I’m sure the pitch will center around fulfilling a lifelong dream to play professional baseball, same as always. Scouts will play up the fact that players will be less valuable when they are another year older in 2021, and next year’s draft will be historically strong because this year’s draft is so short. There are certainly advantages to getting your pro career started now, especially if you’re a senior who already has your degree. But boy, I think it’s going to be a tough sell for any junior who could have been a six-figure guy in a normal draft.
Toan: What recruiting classes would benefit from this shortened draft with so many high school players not going to get drafted?
DSeif: Shooter Hunt of Prep Baseball Report wrote about 10 that he felt could be the most affect. Check it out here- https://d1baseball.com/recruiting/ten-recruiting-classes-at-risk-headi…
Tony: What do you see as Garret Mitchell’s floor? Even if he doesn’t figure out how to consistently drive the ball with authority, does he make enough contact to use his speed and become a productive major league player?
Aaron Fitt: Oh I certainly think so. He definitely has real feel for his barrel and is a very tough out, and his speed is a major weapon. I also think it’s only a matter of time before he learns to tap into his raw power potential; he’s just so big and strong, it’s definitely in there. He just needs to make some swing changes in pro ball to enable him to turn on the ball with more authority, because right now he’s more of a middle-away contact-oriented hitter. That still gives him value, but power rules in today’s game, so he’ll need to figure that part of it out in order to be a real impact player. Seif has compared him physically to Kirk Gibson, and I like that comp. That’s more of a ceiling than a floor, though.
Mike: How worrisome was Hayden Cantrelle’s start to the season this year?
Aaron Fitt: It was a rotten four weeks, that’s for sure… but that’s still such a small sample size that I don’t think scouts are going to bury him over it. We still have him ranked No. 57 on our college top 100, which means we view him as a likely 2nd/3rd rounder. He has enough of a track record and tool set that I think he still fits in that range.
billy: as far as the D1 baseball changes today does this mean that all programs can offer scholarships to as many as 32 players? and the amount of aid can be less than 25%? for 2021 season only?
Aaron Fitt: Correct on both counts. Although we wouldn’t be surprised to see both of those changes stick permanently. But right now they are for the 2021 season only.
Alex: Is there legit smoke to the rumor that Chase Antle could be an underslot fifth round pick? Do scouts buy into the fact he was hitting 99 at Coastal?
Aaron Fitt: You know, I haven’t heard that particular rumor about him being a fifth-round value pick, but I could see it — velocity is a quantifiable, valuable commodity, and he has it. I saw him up to 95 in the fall, but I did hear reports from scouts that he was in the upper 90s this spring, so yes, I think that’s legitimate.
Drew: Hearing that Max Meyer could bounce into the Top 3. How do you compare him to Asa Lacy in terms of risk and upside?
DSeif: We are hearing the same, but more likely to KC at 4. I personally love Meyer, but will stick to the lefty Lacy barely over the righty Meyer. Our latest rankings- https://d1baseball.com/prospects/2020-draft-reports-college-prospects-… They have similar upside for me, both potential #2 starters, maybe even a 1 for some clubs in their prime. Risk is similar too. Some want to bang Meyer for being 6’0-6’1 as a greater health risk, but I’m not in that camp. With that said, I don’t have access to 1/10 of the information that MLB clubs do, including medical examinations.
Luke: What round do you guys see Tyler Keenan going in? Any chance he makes it back next year for the REBS? Also, any high school prospects you guys see Ole Miss losing to to the draft?
Aaron Fitt: I see Keenan as a 2-4 rounder, and I’d be pretty shocked if he wound up back at Ole Miss next year. I suspect every college junior who gets drafted in the five rounds this year is highly likely to sign. Keenan’s bat and power are real, and I think he has a real shot to stick at third base. He’s certainly one of the top 3Bs in this draft class. I probably have him valued higher than our staff has him ranked.
Bob: Kenyon Yovan? What do you think will happen with him?
Aaron Fitt: Tricky one. I think he did succeed in reinventing himself as a hitting prospect this year, but I think he needed a longer season to establish himself as a top-five-round caliber hitter. I’m sure a lot of scouts still view him as an arm of interest, but he didn’t get a chance to work his way back to peak form on the mound this season either. So I don’t expect him to be drafted in the five rounds, and I don’t have a good feel for his signability as an UDFA.
Mike: When can undrafted free agents be contacted and do teams have the ability to offer college players who have graduated scholarship money if they forgo their last year?
DSeif: Yes, from my understanding it is within the rules for clubs to offer scholarship money for graduate students, but it’s not common.
Starting upon the conclusion of the Draft and ending at 9:00 AM E.T. on Sunday, June 14, no Club may contact, directly or indirectly, a passed over player, his family members or his representatives for any reason.
Additionally, any discussions before or during the Draft with a player, his family members or his representatives about the Club’s interest in signing that player as a passed over player are strictly prohibited. Beginning at
9:00 AM E.T. on Sunday, June 14, Clubs may communicate with passed over players, including negotiation over contractual terms.
Graham: Where does Casey Martin get picked?
DSeif: Early 2nd round.
Baller47: Looking at the Collegiate National Team last year. Of the outfielders outside of Kjerstad who’s stock would buy the most heading into pro baseball? Justin Foscue, Garrett Mitchell, Tanner Allen, or even 2021 Colton Cowser?
Aaron Fitt: I think Foscue is the safest bet of that group — he’s just a really gifted natural hitter, and I love his plate discipline and compact stroke. He also has extra value over those other guys because he’ll stick on the infield dirt, with the ability to play both second base and third. I remain very intrigued by Cowser’s upside though; I view him as a first-rounder next year. He and Mitchell have the highest ceilings of that group.
Josh: Where do you see a guy like Gabe Shepard going in a shortened draft like this one? Undeniable talent but also some question marks.
Aaron Fitt: Yeah, electric arm for sure. But I think he probably needed a longer season to prove he’s durable enough to hold up as a starter in order to fully establish himself as a top-five-rounds guy. I think he still has a shot to get drafted, certainly, but it would be toward the back end, and he’s by no means a sure thing to get picked.
Jerry: How expensive will JT Ginn be?
Aaron Fitt: I don’t have any inside information about Ginn’s asking price, but my hunch is if he gets drafted in the first round somewhere, this time he’ll be happy to sign for slot, considering he’s already had surgery and been in school for two years. He has much less leverage and more risk now than he had two years ago.
Tide: Any Pepperdine guys getting drafted?
DSeif: Jensen was impressive in his first start for me this spring against San Diego, as was Cooper Chandler vs Minnesota. I also liked the tools and athleticism from Billy Cook (also liked him in the Northwoods Lg in the last summer). And Aharon Modlin was a senior favorite of mine. However, I don’t believe any of those 4 will be selected today or tomorrow.
Eric: How signable is Jordan Walker?
DSeif: Rumors have him selected picks 35-50 and paid around $2M.
Keith Patrick: I’m wondering what you guys are thinking about Texas Tech. I think we’ll see Beeter go in the 20s tonight and maybe Bryce Bonnin in later rounds. But what about John McMillon? I’ve heard he’s on some 5th round boards but does he make it in? Anyone else the Red Raiders may see going including signees?
Aaron Fitt: Yeah, there’s all kinds of buzz about Beeter climbing up into day one, though I don’t think he’s any lock to go in the 20s. He’s got a shot though, for sure. Bonnin should get picked also, probably in the 3-5 round range. And it wouldn’t surprise me for somebody to cut a deal with McMillon as a money-saving senior with big arm strength; I think he’d have value for sure, especially for a club that is trying to be aggressive with some of its other picks.
Toan: What are some top high school prospects that are rumored to be tough signs and could attend college even if drafted?
DSeif: I highly doubt there are any preps drafted, but not signed this year. Clubs need/want 100% certainty and although it’s against MLB rules to have pre-pick signing bonus agreements, there will be many. With that said Kyle Harrison and Carson Montgomery are the highest-rated by Prep Baseball Report who come to mind as preps that will seek more bonus $ than the market will pay and they will not be selected. Harrison is committed to attend UCLA and Montgomery Florida State.
Guest: Will Eric Orze go by the 5th or is he more UDFA?
DSeif: Orze is a good name to consider in the 5th round for less than slot bonus. And there will be numerous others in the same boat. It only takes one club, but I think Orze is more likely a UDFA after Thursday.
Matt: Who is your favorite prospect that is not in everyone’s top 10 picks?
DSeif: Garrett Crochet
Aaron Fitt: I’m pretty much all-in on Bryce Jarvis. I just think he has the best four-pitch repertoire in the draft.
strat: Not that familiar with Dillon Dingler. What has he shown to warrant first round talk out of Ohio State?
DSeif: College catchers rise in the draft and Dingler is no exception. He’s athletic with a big arm and has a chance to hit for both power and average. You can find our full report on him here, ranked No. 23- https://d1baseball.com/prospects/2020-draft-reports-college-prospects-…
BruinBall: How concerned are you/teams about Garrett Mitchell and his diabetes? No question the guy can hit, but is that going to severely hurt his draft stock?
DSeif: Depends on your definition of severe. Will it affect his stock by sliding a few picks, I believe yes. It’s a hard sell to ownership, especially for the amount of $ involved, especially during a draft with these circumstances.
Fan: Could there be an extended fall season to make up for the shortened spring season and loss of summer ball? I can imagine scouts are behind on preparing for next year’s draft with all of the eligible players missing their chances at exposure because of canceled seasons.
Aaron Fitt: I don’t think that’s in the cards. Right now, I’m just hoping we have any fall ball, given the uncertainty around COVID and the fear of a second wave…
Ferris: Will Romo be drafted ahead of Parada? I think if Parada doesn’t get enough he will stick with Gtech
DSeif: Talent-wise Prep Baseball Report has Romo ranked ahead of Parada- https://www.prepbaseballreport.com/rankings/PBR/2020-PBR-Draft-Board-1…, but as far as where each could be selected, who knows, really depends on how much $ they are seeking. I think the same can be said with Romo, if he doesn’t get his $, he will attend college as well. LSU in his case.
Fan: How much is the cancellation of this spring season and most prestigious summer ball leagues (Cape Cod) going to impact the draft stock of college draft eligible players next season?
Kendall Rogers: I think the evaluation period will still be fine. You’ll have the entire fall (I hope, at least!) along with the full spring season. Sure, there’s a lot of stock put into the Cape, Team USA… see Nick Gonzales’ stock over the past few months. But ultimately, I think scouts will have more than enough.
PatEdMartin: Any chances for late round lower than slot picks from LSU like Garza or Labas? Any word on guys that may take the $20k?
Kendall Rogers: No idea on Garza or Labas taking 20K at this point, but I wouldn’t be “that” surprised if Labas snuck into the fifth round if he’s willing to take less money. Labas was good when I saw him back in the spring. He’s got some size, the stuff was up to 92-93 and the breaking breaking ball was solid.