Written by: Mason McRae (@mason_mcrae)
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The 2020 MLB Draft was intense, frantic and chaotic.
Despite this being one of the more unique drafts in league history, the end result is a tale as old as time. Some teams made out well, other’s didn’t. You know the drill.
So let’s hand out some grades for all 30 organizations. Something worth mentioning: financials and medicals are yet to be completed, so a prospect not signing with their suitor (think Cole Wilcox or Drew Romo) would certainly impact a team’s grade. So for the sake of this article, I’m assuming each prospect drafted will sign with their respective organization.
As you’re reading the overview for each team, please be aware I’ll constantly be referencing The War Room, which is my 766-player draft board for this class. I did my best to not comment too much on drafted players who aren’t on my draft board, as I could have blind spots and feel it isn’t best practice anyways.
For additional content, make sure you’ve checked out my first round ranks.
Let’s get to work.
Overview: Of their six picks, the lowest ranked on my board is Tolentino, who’s 183rd (he was selected 124th). The other five are all inside the top 70. The Indians crushed this draft, starting with Tucker (No. 37) at 23 and Tanner Burns (No. 39) at 36. Petey Halpin has (No. 48) been a favorite of mine for a while now, and getting him at 95 is just ridiculous. They grabbed a safe pitchability arm at 56 in Logan Allen, who’s 55th on my board. They capped-off their draft by grabbing Hickman (No. 69) at 154, another tremendous value. The Indians had an incredible draft, finding talent in numerous demographics and putting together a class that no team can match this year.
Overview: Al Avila just accelerated the Tigers’ rebuild with this draft. Starting it off with Torkelson at the top overall pick (No. 2 in The War Room)—the overwhelming top prospect in the industry—was a slam dunk. Following it up with Dillon Dingler (No. 21) at pick 38 was an absolute steal, and then the selection of Daniel Cabrera (No. 44) during the Comp B round appeared to be the icing on the cake. However, it somehow got even better. The selection of Trei Cruz (No. 230) wasn’t an astonishing pick, but they followed that up with Gage Workman (No. 82) and Colt Keith (No. 61), which was an incredible ending to an already-solid haul. Sure, Detroit had the top selection in every round, but they got monstrous value at all but one selection.
Overview: Mitchell was one of the best first round picks in my article released on Wednesday, which laid the foundation for a superb class by the Brewers. Freddy Zamora (No. 80) went 53rd but might have gone in the 20s had he not been injured. Hayden Cantrelle (No. 88) was one of my sleeper candidates prior to the college season and struggled, but the athleticism is there and getting him at 151 is a huge bargain. Warren is 123rd on my board and went inside the top-100, but his athleticism and feel for hit are worth it. He’s listed as the worst pick, but there really is no ‘worst pick’ in this group. Joey Wiemer Jr. (No. 125) went right around that spot (121st overall) and capping off a deep, talented class.
Overview: I feel like a scumbag making Hartman the worst pick, because I’ve never seen him and he wasn’t even on my board (766 total prospects). However, that’s more of a testament to the Pirates’ incredible draft, and not to the actual selection of Hartman. The Jones pick at 44 was incredible (No. 24) and grabbing Nick Gonzales at 7 is a huge get. The new front office (Cherrington/Sanders) couldn’t have asked for a better draft. Carmen Mlodzinksi in the sandwich round was tremendous value. Logan Hofmann is a Canadian who I’m familiar with; he’ll sign for less than slot and ranks 200th on my board. Nick Garcia (No. 95) was also a solid pick at 79.
Overview: Other than Seminaris (149th on my board, drafted 141st), every single player selected in this haul was higher on my board than where they were taken. I loved every single one of these picks. Calabrese and Blakely are both good enough values at 82 and 111 to be the ‘Best Pick’, but Detmers was a perfect pick at 10 and fits the security Los Angeles needs. We could look back on Blakely (No. 54) as one of the best picks of Day Two.
Overview: The Cardinals snagged three talented arms in Hence at 63, Prater at 93 and Bedell at 122; all three are ranked inside my top-140. LJ Jones isn’t on my board and was the fifth round pick. The Cardinals went high upside early, drafting Jordan Walker 21st and Masyn Winn 54th. The former ranks outside of my top-100, as I have some concerns with the profile. Like Winn, Burleson is a two-way player who excels in the power (offense) and velocity (pitching) department. He profiles best as a corner outfielder professionally, and 70th overall was probably a bit too early.
Overview: Mick Abel, Baron Radcliff and Casey Martin all went well after the spot I had them on my board, and Martin especially was a higher value pick (he went 56 picks after his rank in The War Room). While I’m not a fan of Ragsdale, this was a slam dunk draft. Despite his scary demographic (right-handed prep pitcher), Mick Abel should provide a solid floor with tools you can dream on. While this haul was a but risky with lots of low floors/high ceilings, but if just one of Abel, Radcliff or Martin pop, the Phillies will likely have an all-star on their hands.
Overview: The Rays got Nick Bitsko—their dream player—at 24 and built the draft around him. Getting Williams at 37 (No. 64) was a solid pick, and I’m probably a little too low on him. The Barnhart (No. 156) selection at 96 was fantastic and the Seymour (No. 140) pick at 57 is such a Tampa Bay pick. Both Murray and Hakanson (fourth and fifth rounds) weren’t on my board, so judgment on them is reserved. Tampa Bay might have drafted the highest ceiling pitcher in this class, and they didn’t pick him until 24th overall.
Overview: Shane Farrell crushed this draft. They got my top overall prospect at 5 and picture perfect value at 42 with Van Eyk (who’s also 42nd on my board). Then, the Jays stayed safe and cheap with their final three picks, likely because of Martin’s immense number after sliding a few picks. Zach Britton and Nick Frasso were solid second half picks, but I would have loved to see Trenton Denholm anywhere after the second round (preferably in lieu of Palmer). Adding Martin to their nucleus is an achievement on it’s own, and Blue Jays fans could eventually look back at this draft as the turning point of their rebuild.
Overview: Both Haynes and Thomas weren’t on my board, but I actually saw a little bit of Thomas on Synergy a few weeks ago and kind of glossed over him. Haynes is a bit of a ghost to me as I’ve never heard of him, which is why I didn’t make him San Diego’s worst pick. The combination of Hassell (No. 12) in the first round, Justin Lange (No. 59) in the Comp A round and Owen Caissie (No. 214) in the second round are talented as a whole, but the drop-off in talent from Hassell to Caissie is quite notable, even if it saved the organization enough money to draft and sign Wilcox in the third round.
Overview: The Giants had a huge class, and Patrick Bailey (No. 6, selected 13th overall) was a great start. Both Kyle Harrison and Nick Swiney could be great values, but the Casey Schmidt pick was a bit weird. Glowenke and Dabovich can be decent role players or platoon options, and the last pick (Ryan Murphy) wasn’t on my board unfortunately.
Overview: Starting off the draft with Hancock (No. 3, taken 6th overall) and DeLoach (No. 45, taken 43rd overall) was a quick insertion of talent into the pipeline, and the selections of Phillips (No. 87, taken 64th) and Dollard (No. 148, taken 137th) were great value picks. The Mariners might have added four major league contributors in this class, and had to go cheap in the third round with Polcovich (No. 457) to make it work. Keenan was also a solid pick (No. 185, taken 107th).
Overview: The Nationals’ 4th round pick, Brady Lindsly wasn’t on my board. They took my 353rd-ranked prospect Mitchell Parker in the fifth round (153rd overall). Prior to that, they were a bit all over the place, targeting a college reliever in the 3rd (Holden Powell, No. 393) and a prep bat in the second (Samuel Infante, No. 124). In the first two rounds, the Nationals took two talented college guys in Cole Henry (No. 32) and Cade Cavalli (No. 19). They touched several demographics in their class, but the Nationals found good college talent and a lone prep bat with upside within this haul.
Overview: While Sabato’s bat is certainly powerful, he didn’t impress in my live looks. Marco Raya has been one of my favorites in this class for awhile, and the Twins absolutely stole him in the penultimate. Depending on who you ask, Rosario was a fantastic pick in the last round (he’s a bit low on my board). Soularie (No. 56) in the second was a decent choice, he’s got some raw power and a bit lower of a floor than you’d like in the second round. If the Twins had taken a player closer to their slot on my draft board in the first round, I would’ve given this class an A- because of Raya, Rosario and Soularie alone.
Overview: The Mets basically went all-in ton heir first three selections, including no. 17 Pete Crow-Armstrong (19th overall), no. 28 JT Ginn (52nd overall), and no. 93 Isaiah Greene (69th overall). Both Anthony Walters and Eric Orze weren’t on my board, so Matt Dyer is the worst pick within this group by default (though he has some contact abilities relative to his frame). Mets fans should feel great replacing Jarred Kelenic with Pete Crow-Armstrong.
Overview: The picks of Weatherly (No. 196) in the third, Williams (No. 273) in the fourth, and Blomgren (No. 360) in the fifth all were decent picks (Blomgren especially is probably a little too low on my board). However, I have to make a ‘worst’ pick, and Weatherly’s relief risk came off the board a bit to early in my eyes. Veen (No. 7, taken 9th overall) and Romo (No. 27, taken 35th) were slam dunks, and McMahon (No. 41, taken 46th) was the cherry on top.
Overview: Oakland’s first two picks were home runs, and Criswell especially should fit really well within this organization. Both Acker and Guldberg weren’t on my board unfortunately, but I liked the Stevie Emanuels pick, so I didn’t want to make him the worst pick. Soderstrom could’ve gone as early as 9 or 11, and Oakland has to be amped to draft the talent he brings to the table at 26th overall.
Overview: The Crochet pick was a bit earlier than I’d like (he’s 22nd on my board), but they made up for it with Kelley in the second round. Bailey Horn was a serviceable fifth rounder, but the White Sox’s 3rd and 4th round picks both weren’t on my board. I’ve only seen minimal video of Coffey (taken 112th overall), so he’s the worst pick by default (I haven’t seen enough to have a negative opinion, though).
Overview: I didn’t really love any of the Dodgers’ picks too much, but Knack served a tactical purpose in opening up money for Jake Vogel and Clayton Beeter. Vogel could really become something in Los Angeles’ system; he’s the contact-oriented type of bat they’ve targeted in the past and found success with. Beeter is a solid pick (rumors were he could’ve gone in the first), but he’s 85th on my board and even a slight reach at 66, especially considering his relief risk. Taylor is a vanilla fifth round pick (I liked it), and Bobby Miller could become something in this system, though I think he’s a long term reliever.
Overview: The Orioles’ plans on saving money for Nick Bitsko at pick 30 failed when he was selected 24th overall, but they still managed to get fantastic value in Westburg (No. 36, selected 30th), who’s ranked higher than Kjerstad on my board (No. 38, selected 2nd). Had they taken Gonzales instead of Kjerstad, this would have been a fantastic draft, even with the Hudson Haskin (No. 184, selected 39th) pick. The trio of Anthony Servideo (No. 75), Coby Mayo (No. 114), and Carter Baumler (No. 139) were all great picks, and it helped salvage the poor start to the day with Haskin. Unfortunately, nothing will make up for the the head scratcher at pick 2, where they fumbled an opportunity to select Austin Martin or Nick Gonzales.
Overview: The fact that Eder is (No. 77, selected 104th) my favorite pick in this haul when the Marlins also took Max Meyer (No. 4) 3rd overall is just a testament to how great the selection was. Some in the industry love Fulton, but he’s 74th on my board, and Zach McCambley (No. 258) and Kyle Hurt (No. 217) just aren’t my cups of tea. Nicolas (No. 131) is head-to-head with McCambley for the worst pick, but neither were overly impressive from a value standpoint.
Overview: It’s tough to really make too much noise with just three picks, but Trevor Hauver (No. 94) 99th overall was an outstanding pick and Beck Way has risen up boards recently. I’m not a big fan of Austin Wells because of the glove, but the stick has qualities the Yankees tend to covet. Even if he’s a long-term left fielder, he could turn Yankee Stadium into his own, personal playground.
Overview: In some aspects, the Lacy pick could be considered a win. However, he’s 18th on my board (I’m definitely the low man), and I’m unsure how Dayton Moore could pass on Austin Martin when you consider the Royals’ draft pool. I wasn’t a fan of the Gentry and Chamberlain picks, but Hernandez (No. 51, picked 41st) was a value pick and Klein (No. 128, picked 135th) in the 5th round could be viewed as a steal in a few years. Excluding the likelihood a fifth round punt, this class would look fairly similar had they selected Austin at 4th overall instead of Lacy.
Overview: The Cubs added a combination of everything, including a homegrown product (Howard), a social media sensation (Little) and a quick mover (Carraway). Even Nwogu in the third is a solid pick. Moreno is not on my board, so I can’t rank him fairly when judging best and worst picks. Carraway worries me with his aggressive head and relief role at 51st overall, but he could move through the minors with relative ease.
Overview: I’m a bit low on Jarvis, but he’s the reason Arizona will be able to afford Norris, Vukovich and Cecconi (and his command and changeup are both plus). The meat of this haul—to me— is Cecconi, and he’s the guy they’re gambling on. I’ll be interested to monitor Norris as he’s uber-projectable. Vukovich was a solid pick and can play third base and right field, though the power is the profile headliner.
Overview: Given the circumstances, Houston really did a solid job with just four picks and the lowest pool amount. The selection of Alex Santos (No. 53, taken 72nd overall) was such an Astros pick, and I could definitely see him becoming a backend rotation guy at some point. Whitcomb (No. 121, drafted 160th) was another value pick at 160 and ended the night with a home run for the organization, but the middle picks weren’t overly eye-opening. Tyler Brown doesn’t have the stuff to be a high-leverage reliever as he’s more soft stuff oriented opposed to power. Daniels is 468th on my board, but he was drafted before Whitcomb at pick 131.
Overview: Alex Anthopolous tends to target college performers, and he took four this year. It was tough to find money without a second round pick, but Jesse Franklin 97th overall is good value as he’s 71st on my board. I’m not too high on Shuster (No. 177, selected 25th), and he was one of the bigger reaches throughout the draft in my eyes. Strider is 614th on my board (drafted 126th) and Elder is 193rd (drafted 156th); both were a bit of a reach in the fourth and fifth rounds, but Elder has good Trackman data and could surprise us.
Overview: Hendrick is certainly an exciting prospect, and it’s a bit of a nitpick to say taking him at 12th was a reach (he’s 15th on my board). Someone like Patrick Bailey in that spot would’ve been more appealing, though. Outside of Joe Boyle, I wasn’t a fan of this class. Miller and Wainwright are both alright, but the Reds didn’t add a player (outside of Hendrick) who is a definitive big leaguer in my eyes. It’ll be interesting to see what Kyle Boddy and the Driveline guys do with Roa, Bonnin and Boyle
Overview: Starting with Foscue—who was beloved by Texas’ model—the Rangers were expecting to go cheap all draft. The org made this notion abundantly clear when they took Evan Charter 50th overall (which I reported a few minutes beforehand). They followed it up with Tekoah Roby in the third round (220th on my board). The MacLean pick in the fourth round saved an otherwise atrocious second day. Even if you’re high on Foscue, it’s easy to conclude this wasn’t a great haul altogether. Thomas Saggese wasn’t on my board, so I won’t comment on him being selected in the fifth round.
Overview: Boston probably had the weirdest draft this year, selecting zero players in my top 80, including Blaze Jordan (No. 81, selected 89th), Nick Yorke (No. 159, selected 17th), Jeremy Wu-Yelland (No. 215, selected 118th), and Shane Drohan (No. 351, selected 148th). Jordan possesses massive upside, and he could make up for the lack of overall talent selected. I’m hesitant to jump on the Yorke pick as I see the upside, but he’s just way too low on my board to prop up too much. Trust in Chaim Bloom, I guess?
Follow P365 MLB Draft Analyst Mason McRae on Twitter! @mason_mcrae
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Featured image courtesy of UCLA Athletics