The MLB draft has come and gone, and with the season nearly upon us (finally) we can start to take a look at where each of those players will slot into their team’s respective top prospect lists.
Dynasty leagues come in all different shapes and sizes, and first-year players are not always must-own guys right away. Still, there are still plenty of players joining the professional ranks that folks need to pay attention to, and some of them might even be relevant in redraft leagues thanks to the 60-man taxi squads, which are starting to finalize this week.
A group of five writers — myself, Shelly Verougstraete, Nick Randall, Travis Sherer, and Zach Lindgren — have stepped up to rewrite the top 15 prospects for each MLB team, showing where their new draft picks will slot in and explaining how you should value them in dynasty formats.
The Mariners used the sixth overall pick to snag Georgia right-hander Emerson Hancock, who was at one point considered the favorite to go No. 1 overall. Hancock has an excellent four-pitch mix with a fantastic fastball, but he has some polishing to do to take over as the team’s top arm. I have him No. 5 in the system behind Logan Gilbert, who probably has a lower floor but potentially a higher ceiling. I’m not one to chase pitching prospects right out of college, but Hancock is a good one who is worth a relatively high pick in a FYPD.
Seattle’s second round pick was Texas A&M outfielder Zach DeLoach, a late blooming power/speed guy who excelled in the Cape Cod league. There’s a little Jake Fraley to his game, as a guy who will probably do a little bit of everything but might not do enough of any one thing to be valuable outside of deeper leagues. Still, he’s worth a look in the later rounds of FYPD formats, and slots in just behind Fraley at No. 13 overall for the Mariners.
Connor Phillips is a very young right-hander with a big fastball who I think ends up in the bullpen long term, and who I would likely have in the late 30s to early 40s of this system.
Kaden Polcovich is a gritty utility infielder who can play every position and hits from both sides of the plate. I suspect his ceiling is as a low-grade regular, but that’s enough for him to likely be ranked in the mid 20s in this system.
Tyler Keenan is a massive third baseman who will almost certainly shift over to first base at the pro level. He has obscene power, however, and could reach the potential of a Hunter Dozier type at the next level, or at the very least a Ryon Healy type. He’s just outside the top 15 here, likely coming in in the 18-20 range.
Seattle’s final pick was Cal Poly right-hander Taylor Dollard. Dollard is a polished right-hander with a fine arsenal, but he’s likely nothing more than a No. 6 starter and will slot somewhere in the mid 30s on Seattle’s top-50 list.
Prep catchers are almost never going to be high on my prospect lists, and while Tyler Soderstrom is really good, I can’t in good faith rank him higher than seventh in this system, and he will not be among my top choices in a FYPD unless I am desperate behind the dish.
The rest of Oakland’s draft was rather boring, with three college arms: Jeff Criswell (Michigan), Dane Acker (Oklahoma), and Stevie Emanuels (Washington) going in the second, fourth, and fifth rounds, respectively. Criswell is probably a top-20 guy in this system, although I see some relief risk there. Acker and Emanuels should slot in the mid-to-late 30s, with the potential to be No. 5 starters if it all comes together.
The third rounder is Georgia Tech outfielder Michael Guldberg, who has a great hit tool but virtually no power and is likely limited to corner outfield duty. If the power shows up he could be a nice fourth outfielder or low-end regular, but there’s not enough here to put him in the top 15 of this system just yet.
The Astros were rightly punished in the sign-stealing scandal, which cost them their first and second round picks in the 2020 MLB draft. They still managed to land three of their four picks within their updated top 15, although that’s almost more of an indictment on their farm system as a whole than anything.
Alex Santos is the kind of pick you’d expect the Astros to make considering their situation. Many felt he would honor his commitment to Maryland if he fell out of the top 50 picks, but Houston likely went overslot to nab the New York-based prep pitcher. He has a major league build, a major league fastball and a good feel for all his secondaries, which is about as much as you can ask for out of a high school pitcher who is still available in the 70s.
Zach Daniels was really bad his first two college seasons, but he hit .357 with four home runs in just 17 games as a junior at Tennessee before COVID-19 shut the season down. I’m hesitant to overrank a guy based on such a small sample, but this system lacks toolsy hitters and they are the most dynasty relevant guys out there, so he might be worth a look in very deep leagues. I’m still probably not touching him until much later into a FYPD.
The fact that Houston’s fifth-round pick — the final pick in the shortened draft — is ranked inside the team’s top-15 prospects is a a bit frightening for Astros fans. However, Shay Whitcomb is a toolsy middle infielder with a potentially 50+ hit tool, who batted .310, .314, and .333 in three collegiate seasons, while also posting an excellent .976 OPS in 34 games in the Cape Cod league in 2019. Whitcomb will likely move to second base, but he has the potential to be a high-average regular at the next level, and could add some pop as well. Enough to make him a top-15 guy in this system.
Ty Brown is a reliever who has the potential to be a future closer, but that doesn’t carry enough dynasty relevance to put him in the top 15 just yet, even if he was Houston’s second pick in the draft.
|13||Julio Pablo Martinez||OF|
Wow, talk about a perplexing draft. Basically everyone the Rangers selected was taken well above where they were projected, with second-rounder Evan Carter not even ranked among the top 500 (!) prospects by Baseball America.
The only one who cracks their top-15 for me is first rounder Justin Foscue, a hard-hitting second baseman with defensive limitations whose power is limited to his pull side at this point. There’s potential for a big league regular here, maybe even with plus pop, but that’s rather underwhelming and, when coupled with the rest of their draft, is a disappointing result for a squad that needs to build up their farm if they want to stay competitive in the AL West.
Despite rumors the Angels might punt their first-round pick, they went ahead and took the player many mocked to them in left-hander Reid Detmers. Detmers fills a need for farm system —and MLB club — that desperately needs pitching, and I suspect he will be a very quick riser to the big leagues, possibly as soon as this season if injuries befell the big club and they put him on their taxi squad.
David Calabrese was one of the youngest players in the entire class, and he’s drawn comparisons to Jacoby Ellsbury for his speed, power potential and defense in center field. The Angels have a lot of toolsy outfielders, and Calabrese has a long way to go to prove he can reach his ceiling, but his is among the highest in the system at this point.
The Angels went with another prep bat in the fourth round, snagging infielder Werner Blakely. Blakely fits what the Angels have scouted a lot recently, uber-athletic infielders who are raw but have sky-high potential. Blakely is next on their list, and if they can hit on one of these guys (including Jahmai Jones, Arol Vera and Kyren Paris) they will be more than happy.
– Andy Patton
|14||Luis Alexander Basabe||OF|
6’6″ lefty Garrett Crochet saw his velocity spike last year, which boosted his value on draft day. He has a solid three-pitch mix, with a fastball now in the upper 90s, and he’s pegged as a spin-rate darling as well. It’s noteworthy, though, he made just 13 total starts in three years at Tennessee.
There’s an argument that Jared Kelley should be ranked ahead of Crochet. Considered one of the top prep arms in the draft class, Kelley is brimming with upside, thanks to an already advanced fastball-changeup combo. Landing him in the second round was a steal for the White Sox.
Adisyn Coffey, RHP (Rd. 3, Pick 83): Coffey is a JUCO pitching project and former infielder who would rank in the 40s range to start.
Kade Mechals, RHP (Rd. 4, Pick 112): Mechals excelled at Grand Canyon University but had TJ surgery this year. He’d fall at the back end of the top-50 list.
Bailey Horn, LHP (Rd. 5, Pick 142): A lefty college arm, Horn has a good fastball-slider mix and would fall somewhere in the mid 30s.
The Indians’ system is loaded with middle infield talent, so taking a HS shortstop in the first round was a little surprising. That said, Carson Tucker’s speed, athleticism and developing bat make him an appealing fantasy piece. He’s just 18, though, so it’ll be some time before he reaches the majors.
While Tanner Burns may not have the same upside as recent top picks Hankins and Espino, he’s already battled tested with three strong years in the SEC. Armed with a mid 90s fastball and diverse pitch mix, I expect the Indians to move him through the system fairly quickly.
Logan Allen, LHP (Rd. 2, Pick 56): The ‘new’ Logan Allen falls in the 20-30 range. He showed excellent command in college and would probably be a top-15 prospect in a weaker system.
Petey Halpin, OF (Rd. 3, Pick 95): Halpin is a toolsy HS bat who could end up being a nice value in the third round. I have him ranked at No. 30 in their top-50 list.
Milan Tolentino, SS (Rd. 4, Pick 124): Viewed as one of the best defenders in the prep class, Tolentino will need to show he can hit to get on fantasy radars. He slots into in the mid 40s to start.
Mason Hickman, RHP (Rd. 5, Pick 154): Hickman was a proven winner at Vanderbilt, but his fastball only sits in the 89-90 mph range. I have him in the early 40s on their ranks, but don’t be surprised if he makes a climb in his first pro season.
|14||Jose de la Cruz||OF|
There’s no reason to overthink this one. Spencer Torkelson and his prodigious power make him the Tigers’ top-ranked prospect right away. He provides an impact bat the system desperately needed. It shouldn’t take him long to reach the majors, either. In fact, he might be included on their MLB taxi squad for 2020.
Daniel Cabrera is another college bat who could get to the majors quickly. He put up a career .910 OPS at LSU, where his smooth left-handed swing generated extra-base hits in bunches. He may never be a superstar, but I can see him as a regular in Detroit’s lineup for many years.
Dillon Dingler was on a tear at Ohio State (1.164 OPS) before the year was cut short. He has a plus arm behind the plate and a promising hit tool for a catcher. If Jake Rogers doesn’t pan out, Dingler will likely be the team’s catcher of the future.
Gage Workman is an impressive college athlete who was overshadowed a bit by Torkelson at Arizona State. At 6’4″, he hits from both sides and shows good raw power, though it didn’t always translate to his game numbers. He could really catapult up the list if everything comes together.
Trei Cruz, SS (Rd. 3, Pick 73): Cruz comes from a family with a deep baseball pedigree, but his profile isn’t all that desirable for fantasy. He falls in the 20-30 range to start.
Colt Keith, 3B (Rd. 5, Pick 132): Keith is an intriguing two-way prep prospect with developing power. His high ceiling lands him just inside the top-20 ranks.
|1||Bobby Witt, Jr||SS|
The rich get richer. The Royals’ top-10 list was already full of intriguing pitching prospects, and I’d rank 6’4″ Asa Lacy at the top of that group. Dominant across three years at Texas A&M, Lacy has an advanced four-pitch mix that puts him on the fast track to the big leagues.
All of a sudden, the Royals are stockpiling OF prospects. Newcomer Tyler Gentry mashed 17 HRs in 266 career ABs at Alabama. He injects some much-needed power into an org that has struggled to develop its offensive prospects in recent years.
Nick Loftin is heralded more for his defense, but he also makes a ton of contact with the bat. He strikes me as a high-floor player with limited fantasy upside. If he taps into more power or speed, though, he could crack the top 10 in short order.
Ben Hernandez, RHP (Rd. 2, Pick 41): HS arm with a standout changeup. I’ve placed Hernandez at No. 18 to start though he has top-10 upside.
Christian Chamberlain, LHP (Rd. 4, Pick 105): College lefty with a mid-90s fastball and some control issues. He slots into the mid 30s on their list.
This Aaron Sabato pick was a head scratcher since the Twins already have a gluttony of 1B/DH types. His bat is no joke, though, as he smacked 25 HRs in just 295 ABs at North Carolina. I expect the Twins to be aggressive with Sabato, but he’ll need to really impress to leapfrog similar players who are ahead in the pecking order.
Alerick Soularie showed fantastic plate discipline (49 BBs to 47 Ks) and sneaky power in his time at Tennessee. There’s some doubt about where he ends up defensively, but the bat is intriguing and just squeezes him into a loaded top 15.
Marco Raya, RHP (Rd. 4, Pick 128): HS arm from Texas with three solid offerings. I rank him in the 30-40 range to start.
Kala’i Rosario, OF (Rd. 5, Pick 158): Rosario is a big power bat out of Hawaii. He is just 17, so there could be some growing pains. I’d put him at around No. 30 on the top 50 list.
– Nick Randall
At first blush, I wasn’t overly impressed with Baltimore’s draft, but once I started to write the list, I liked it more and more. The O’s surprised everyone with the second pick of the draft when they went with Heston Kjerstad. He performed well in college and has plus raw power that he can get to easy in games.
Baltimore went back to established college bats with their next pick, Jordan Westburg. He should be able to stick at shortstop and with his short, compact swing he should be a super-utility player at worst.
Hudson Haskin was a draft-eligible sophomore with pull side power. Coby Mayo plays third but could move to right field as he has a cannon for an arm. He also has plenty of raw power and good bat control.
The Red Sox shocked the world with their first pick, Nick Yorke. Yorke has excellent bat-to-ball skills and with a bit more work, could add some power to his bat. He should be able to stick at shortstop with his smooth footwork and hands. The Sox did not have a second-round pick and Yorke probably would not have lasted to the third round.
Blaze Jordan gained notoriety as a YouTube sensation, hitting 500+ foot jacks as a teenager. He is a first baseman or designated hitter long term and I hope the Red Sox, who have historically been great at developing hitters, will help Jordan channel that power in games.
Drafted as a catcher, most evaluators are unsure where Austin Wells will ultimately end up but one thing is for sure, he can hit. He has outstanding plate discipline, he walked more than he struck out in college, with plus raw power and great bat control. The idea of a lefty hitter with that short porch in Yankee Stadium is very enticing.
Nick Bitsko fell to the Rays at pick No. 24 not due to stuff or injury, but scouts and evaluators did not get many looks before the draft. He graduated early and did not throw in a game as his season was going to start in April. He has an easy delivery and a fastball that sits in the mid 90s. Tampa was probably the best landing spot for the prep righty due to the team’s history of developing pitchers.
|8||CJ Van Eyk||RHP|
For me, Austin Martin was the second best player in the draft and the Jays were lucky that he was available with the fifth overall pick. His combination of contact skills, plate discipline, and bat speed to go along with some developing power is very exciting. It is a bit up in the air where he will play defensively, but whether it is on the left side of the infield or in centerfield, he is going to hit.
The Jays added to their pitching heavy system when they selected CJ Van Eyk with the 42nd pick. He has a solid three-pitch mix with clean and repeatable mechanics. Look for him to move pretty quickly through the Jays system.
– Shelly Verougstraete
The very fact that only two of Arizona’s five picks are in the top 15 says more about the depth of its system than it does the quality of its picks.
Already starting out with a controversial stance here: Comp A pick Slade Cecconi is a better prospect than their first-round pick Bryce Jarvis. I totally get why other writers don’t like Cecconi as much as I do. He’s had a complicated injury history (shoulder/oblique), and as such, his velocity has been sort of all over the place. When he’s healthy, however, his 97 mph fastball combined with a plus slider, plus cutter, and plus changeup are as good of stuff as any college pitcher this year. He also could have plus control.
That said, I do like Jarvis. He’s not overpowering, but he was very good for three seasons at Duke. He features a plus changeup and flashes a plus slider.
Arizona’s other picks are 20+ in the team’s rankings for me. I like Liam Norris‘ stuff, but he is wildly inconsistent, even for a high schooler. 3B A.J. Vukovich features plus power, but I worry he won’t be able to generate that raw power due to his swing. Unless righty Brandon Pfaadt can figure out how to maintain his stuff longer into games, he’s a reliever. And even if he does, he’s on the back end of the rotation.
Both Zac Veen and the Rockies really lucked out on this pick. Basically plus across the board, Veen has big power and enough speed and an arm to stick in center field. With decent contact skills, projecting any prep hitter who isn’t elite at making contact is hard, but Veen got a boost by potentially making Coors his home park. This is what the Rockies should be doing: focusing on elite athleticism and tools. We’ve seen how well first-round picks on pitchers have done for Colorado in the past.
Speaking of pitchers, Chris McMahon is a pop-up righty from Miami. Basically posting mediocre numbers in Florida his first two seasons, McMahon blew up for Team USA last summer. Then he looked near untouchable in just shy of a handful of starts for the Hurricanes in 2020. Like most pitchers nowadays, he features a plus fastball and a plus slider. How much his control and his changeup improve will determine how far he goes.
Maybe the best fielding prep catcher in the draft, all eyes are on Drew Romo’s bat. I’m not a huge fan of picking prep catchers unless they are generational talents. Romo doesn’t feel like that kind of player. A light would really have to come on in the batter’s box for that to happen … even at Coors Field.
On further review, I could see putting Sam Weatherly in the Rockies’ top 15. With the way he has been improving, and there is still some projection left to add velocity, Weatherly could look like a totally different pitcher in two years, in a good way. Right now nothing really stands out (he sits low 90s with a decent slider), but I’d keep an eye on the 6-4 lanky lefty. Case Williams is a big prep righty who is hitting 96 at 18, and Jack Blomgren looks like a career Double-A utility guy.
|15||Alex De Jesus||SS|
The Dodgers are super deep, which explains how pitcher like Bobby Miller be just No. 8 in their top 15. Miller has basically zero chance of becoming a reliever. The only real complaint that anyone has is that he lacks a strikeout pitch. That isn’t really what Miller does, however. He’s a power guy who makes you put the ball in the grass. He’s got heavy, sinking action on a 95 mph fastball, hits 90 on the slider, and has a borderline plus change. If he continues to not give up the long ball like he did in Louisville, this pick could be a real gold mine.
The Dodgers went with college pitchers the first three picks. Their third-round pick, Clayton Beeter, has the chance to be special. Right now, there is both a frontline starter and a high leverage reliever potential. He missed his freshman season at Texas Tech due to Tommy John surgery but came back in the bullpen during the next year at the College World Series and turned heads by hitting 98 on the gun and blowing his breaking pitches by just about anybody (when he wasn’t walking them). In the shortened 2020 season he looked even better, having honed in his control problems and getting slightly fewer Ks (14.14 K/9) and more swings and misses while transitioning to a starter role. What’s exciting about Beeter is he’s got three plus pitches: fastball, power curve, and tight slider. If the control he showed this year is his new normal, Better is a first-round talent.
Jake Vogel rounds out the 2020 picks in the top 15 for LAD. There is a lot to like about the local product prep outfielder. He’s got plus speed, plus-plus baserunning instincts and plus contact. He could be a legit leadoff hitter down the road. What don’t people like about him? He’s small and has a lack of power. How many all-stars have we heard that about recently?
I didn’t include the Dodgers’ Comp B pick Landon Knack because he is simply a good collegiate performer with a mixed skill set. And he’s old. The 6-2 righty, who will turn 23 this month, shows top-end velocity and the makings of a number of decent secondary pitches but none of them are top end. Take your pick: the slider can be a little long, the curve has a tendency to hang, and the change doesn’t stay down. All of these are fixable, but there is a lot to work on and not much time to do it. Carson Taylor is a potentially powerful fringy defensive catcher with first-base potential. Gavin Stone has fringe velocity and looks like a reliever.
|5||Robert Hassell III||OF|
As much as I like Robert Hassell III’s talent — he is the best pure prep hitter in the draft — I worry about a guy who lacks power heading to a franchise that plays 82 home games in maybe the worst hitters’ park in baseball. Obviously, the Padres front office thinks his power will grow, I just wonder if it will be enough. I could very well be wrong. Hassell hit everywhere he played in the last few years, including crushing the ball for Team USA. That said, he’s a corner outfielder. He doesn’t have the speed to play center.
Now that San Diego signed Cole Wilcox, they have arguably the combination of the three most talented picks in this draft. Wilcox features a plus fastball and a plus slider. How much he improves his change will dictate if he has to transition to a reliever (which he could probably handle at the MLB level in 2021). Maybe the Padres plan on making him a high leverage guy.
Justin Lange is the ultimate pop-up guy. A year ago he was a fringe velocity righty with questionable secondaries. In March, he was touching 100 with some improvement to the slider, but a lot of work is still needed on anything that isn’t a fastball. He’s just 18, so there is time to make more huge strides like he did this past year.
Owen Caissie is an all-around Canadian prep OF with no real strengths yet. Levi Thomas posted big K numbers at Troy. He’s a potential relief target down the road. Haynes Jagger is a 6-4 southpaw with a lot of projection. He hits the mid 90s and has a decent slider.
For those of you who are Giants fans, you may not want to read this. I only have two of their picks in the top 15 and that is not because of how much I admire their system’s depth. The Giants might have had the worst draft of any team. I’m not a Patrick Bailey fan for San Francisco — Joey Bart or no Joey Bart. He’s certainly an MLB catcher, but Bailey’s question marks center around his bat. Nobody disputes he has power, but can he make enough contact? That is a big gamble to take on a first-round catcher, considering that making contact is the one skill every player needs to succeed.
Nick Swiney wouldn’t make it on many lists. He’s likely a reliever, but there is a fairly good chance he becomes a high-leverage guy. He’s got good velocity and a plus curveball to go along with experience in the bullpen.
The Giants’ second-round pick Casey Schmitt is seen as a two-way guy, but I don’t see his skills on the mound as translatable at the highest level. I’m also not convinced he will have much power.
Jimmy Glowenke is the kind of bat you’d expect to get in the third round, right around where the Giants got him. He’s got some performance history and some power potential.
Kyle Harrison is a prep lefty with good life on his pitches and I think would benefit from enrolling at UCLA. Finally we have R.J. Dabovich and Ryan Murphy, a pair of college righties with limited stuff.
– Travis Sherer
Ed Howard was perhaps the best pure prep shortstop in the 2020 draft and a fantastic get for the Cubs. A local kid from Chicago, he grew up watching Cubs games and instantly will become their top prospect once Nico Hoerner graduates to the big leagues this season. Despite being better defensively than offensively, there is offensive potential for him to hit 20+ home runs a season while sticking at short.
In a normal season, Burl Carraway would have a good chance to be the first 2020 draftee to reach the show. A power lefty out of the pen, his stuff will play up and he can be valuable to any major league bullpen. While being limited to a reliever limits his fantasy upside, I am a believer that the position is often overlooked in fantasy leagues; especially ones that count holds as well as saves.
Jordan Nwogu is an interesting case of perseverance as he was almost cut by Michigan during his freshman year but went to work and managed to improve into a third-round draft pick. I am a big believer in the bat and probably have him ranked higher than some others might. I believe he can 100% be an MLB regular with the potential to even be a valuable fantasy commodity.
Luke Little gained a little bit of hype recently as a video went viral of him touching 105 MPH from the left side. Let me repeat that again, he hit 105! If the gun could be trusted, that would be the second hardest pitch ever thrown behind Aroldis Chapman’s 105.1 MPH when he was a member of the Reds. Little is still a little raw, but with an arm like that he has the potential to have overpowering stuff.
Last but not least, Koen Moreno isn’t currently ranked in Chicago’s top 15 prospects, but he does have an interesting profile as a prep pitcher coming out of North Carolina. With a fastball up to 93 and a plus changeup in the low 80s, he has the look of a starting pitcher and will have a chance to shoot up these rankings once he gets some minor league innings under him in 2021.
The No. 12 pick in the draft, Austin Hendrick has elite bat speed which generates a TON of power. He won the 2019 Under Armour All-America Home Run Derby at Wrigley Field and has shown the ability to tap into his power in games. He also has a solid hit tool and is someone you want to grab in dynasty leagues now before he shoots up prospect boards.
Christian Roa is a RHP out of Texas A&M with big time swing and miss stuff. He also benefited from some extra scouting looks due to the fact he often pitched the day after Royals draftee Asa Lacy, so the scouts were already in town. Roa is the type of pitcher that could have gone higher if the COVID-19 pandemic did not shut down the college season, but I do have some concerns about his command and ability to focus with runners on base.
Jackson Miller is a left-handed prep catcher out of Florida with good defensive skills and a bat that will play. Being a prep catcher, he will need some time, so keep an eye on how he develops when the minor leagues eventually return to play.
Bryce Bonnin is a RHP from Texas Tech who will run his FB up to 97 mph, while having a plus slider and a developing changeup. Unfortunately, he struggles with command so there is a risk he will have to transition to the pen, but his stuff has the potential to be effective at the major league level.
Not ranked in the top 15 prospects are fourth- and fifth-round picks Mac Wainwright and Joe Boyle. Wainwright was ranked lower on a lot of scouting boards due to a fracture in his tibia and thus being unable to play in some showcases, but he does have the tools to shoot up these boards if healthy. He is also good friends with first-round pick Austin Hendrick.
As for Boyle, he is a 6-foot-7 RHP with an overpowering fastball that can reach triple digits. Due to a lack of command he runs the risk of becoming a reliever, but he will have the chance to work with Reds new pitching coordinator Kyle Boddy, who as the founder of Driveline Baseball will be the best man to unlock Boyle’s untapped potential.
Garrett Mitchell is a top-10 talent with plus plus speed and a hit tool to match. In my opinion, the Brewers got a steal with him at the 20th pick and he instantly becomes the top prospect in a system devoid of top-100 talent. The only concern is health, as Mitchell is a Type 1 diabetic which could potentially lead to problems down the road. Hopefully, he stays healthy and becomes the type of player we know he can be.
Freddy Zamora is an elite defensive shortstop who slipped a little because of concerns over a suspension at the University of Miami. He also suffered a season ending knee injury which did not help his cause. Despite that, he has an interesting speed profile at the plate and should factor in 20+ steals a year while hitting for a decent average. That combined with elite defense should make him an MLB regular and someone you should keep an eye on in the near future.
Zavier Warren can hit. That much was never in doubt and with the DH coming to the NL in 2020 and likely staying for good they should be able to find a spot in the lineup for him if he continues to hit. Despite being limited defensively, he does have experience at catcher and a multitude of other positions. Look for him to continue hitting in the minor leagues and worry about his position if and when it becomes a problem.
Joey Wiemer is the type of prospect whose stock was deeply hurt by the cancellation of the college baseball season. Despite that, he was still drafted in the fourth round and is a good solid all around OF who could contribute in the future. None of his tools are standout in any way, yet none of them are particularly weak either.
Hayden Cantrelle likely could have and should have been a third-round pick but reportedly turned down several offers due to not getting the money he was looking for. Eventually drafted in the fifth round when he agreed to a deal with the Brewers, Cantrelle is an advanced OF who has the ability to hit and move up the minor league ladder.
Nick Gonzales just flat out rakes. He hits for AVG, OBP, and HRs. Before the season was shut down due to COVID-19, he was on pace to have his best season yet with insane power numbers to go with his average. In my opinion, the Pirates got an absolute steal at No. 7 and must be ecstatic about the pick.
Carmen Mlodzinski is another first-round talent that the Pirates must be over the moon about. He has a plus sinker that sits in the mid 90s and a fastball that has touched 99. He also mixes between a cutter and a slider, offering two different speeds on a breaking pitch that jams lefties in and makes righties chase away. He also tore up the Cape Cod league this past summer and had a fast start to his junior season so it is likely he would have gone much higher without the cancellation of the season.
Jared Jones has been in the spotlight for ages for a prep player, as he has been on Team USA for multiple years and absolutely tore up the high school scene in Southern California. He was listed as a pitcher by the Pirates, but he has a legitimate chance to be an OF prospect as well, giving him a fallback option should he not attain success on the mound.
Nick Garcia is a RHP out of Division III Chapman University and only recently converted into a pitcher. His fastball reaches up to triple digits and he has a wipeout slider to go with it. He is obviously very raw but has some interesting tools so it will be interesting to see how he fares against better competition.
Unranked are pitchers Jack Hartman and Logan Hofmann, both of which will need to get some minor league reps before considering them in dynasty leagues.
Jordan Walker has big time potential and is another fantastic add to the Cardinals system. He was Georgia’s high school Gatorade player of the year and can flat out rake while playing consistent defense. At 6-foot-5, he has size to add even more muscle and will be able to contribute across the board with his hitting, power and even some steals.
Masyn Winn is an intriguing prospect, as he is a legitimate two-way player that will see time both on the mound and as SS. On the mound, he runs his fastball up into the mid 90s and has a solid three-pitch mix. At the dish, he has a smooth right-handed stroke that will be able to play up, to go along with elite defense and a cannon from SS. He is a player to keep an eye on for sure.
Tink Hence is another upside pick as he has the stuff to potentially become an impact starter at the MLB level. His fastball runs up the mid 90s and he has developing secondary options. He is very raw, so look for him to continue to develop against advanced competition.
Alec Burleson is another two-way player in college but was announced primarily as an OF, meaning the Cardinals might want to look at his bat before giving him any looks on the mound. At the plate, Burleson is a smooth left-handed hitter who dominated the AAC and had an extremely productive collegiate career. Look for him to continue his success once he begins minor league play in 2021.
Levi Prater could potentially be a late round steal, as he had a productive career for the University of Oklahoma and has a unique delivery that allows his velocity to play up. He has the make-up to be a mid- to back-of-the-rotation starter.
Ian Bedell is the first player from the University of Missouri that the Cardinals have taken in a long time and like Prater, he has the potential to be a solid contributor at the big-league level. Bedell was a Cardinals fan growing up, which might give him a little extra incentive to get to St. Louis.
Not ranked is OF LJ Jones IV, who we will need to see have some success in the minors before being warranted any dynasty league consideration.
– Zach Lindgren
Jared Shuster started shooting up draft boards after a great summer on the Cape last year. His control drastically improved and he was throwing a couple of ticks higher this spring before everything was shut down. Seeing a southpaw with velocity in the mid-nineties with improving command, it is no surprise the Braves drafted him 25th overall. If he can keep the gains he made over the past year, he will also shoot up fantasy ranks, but things could come crashing down if they don’t stick around.
The Marlins went all pitchers with their six picks in the draft. With the third overall pick, the Marlins went Max Meyer over Asa Lacy, in a pretty surprising move. His fastball sits in the high nineties and easily had the best slider in the draft class. He is a bit on the smaller side, at 6 feet and 180 pounds, but should be able to stick as a starter, especially with the Marlins’ recent track record of developing pitchers.
Dax Fulton fell in the draft as he had Tommy John surgery that ended his high school season before COVID-19 shut everything down. He is already a 6-6, 225-pound southpaw with a low 90s fastball, upper 70s curve with a bunch of depth. He occasionally throws a changeup but it still needs some work. He projects to be a No. 2 or No. 3 starter.
The Mets had a pretty impressive draft and their first three picks made it into their top 15. Pete Crow-Armstrong has one of those pretty left-handed swings you dream about and has great bat-to-ball skills. He should be able to stick in center field due to his above-average arm and speed.
Isaiah Green has a pretty left-handed swing and hits the ball with authority and above-average bat-to-ball skills. He will probably move over to left, due to Crow-Armstrong and Greene’s below-average arm, but his bat will play at the position.
JT Ginn fell in the draft after having TJS this spring. Prior to the injury, Ginn was easily one of the best starters in the SEC. His fastball and slider are both plus offerings and a developing changeup.
|12||Enyel De Los Santos||RHP|
Mick Abel was my favorite prep arm in the draft. He has this perfect combination of current stuff and future projection. His fastball sits in the low to mid 90s. He also had the best slider in the prep class and a developing changeup. While I’m not the biggest fan of the Phillies’ player development, the strides Spencer Howard made this year gives me hope for Abel’s future.
Casey Martin is a very toolsy shortstop which makes him very exciting but also very risky. If everything clicks, he can be an All-Star, but there is a risk that his extremely aggressive approach will prevent him from reaching that potential.
Baron Radcliff has double-plus power but swing-and-miss issues. The Phillies have struggled to develop players like Radcliff, but the potential is pretty tantalizing.
|9||Jeremy De La Rosa||OF|
You can bet your bottom dollar that Washington was going to take a pitcher with their first pick. Since Mike Rizzo has been a GM, he has made 14 first-round picks. 10 of those picks were pitchers, and eight of those were college pitchers. Cade Cavalli is 6’4” and has a prototypical starter build. He has a fastball that sits in the mid 90s, a sweeping slider in the mid 80s, and an above-average curve and changeup. His delivery is very smooth and easy, which is pretty impressive with the amount of velocity on his fastball. He has a bit of a history of back injuries in high school and missed some time in 2019 with a stress reaction in his arm. That being said, Cavalli has No. 2 upside, if he can stay healthy.
Cole Henry became LSU’s Friday night starter as a freshman and was a draft-eligible sophomore this year. He is a 6’4”, 211-pound right-hander with two fastballs, a curve with a bunch of depth, and developing changeup. He profiles as a No. 2 starter but needs to work on consistency to reach that ceiling.
– Shelly Verougstraete
Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)
Kristian Robinson at #5 in the D-Backs list? Hmmmmm…..