The 2020 MLB Draft is officially in the books. After a memorable Day 1, in which college players were taken with the first seven picks, setting a new Draft record, Day 2 picked up on Thursday with Rounds 2-5, beginning with the No. 38 overall pick and continuing through pick No. 160.
With this year’s Draft shortened from 40 rounds to five due to the coronavirus pandemic, teams were forced to be more creative with some of their picks, even if only as a means of saving money in order to sign their top picks.
American League East
Nick Frasso, RHP, Loyola Marymount (4th round)
After landing Austin Martin, the second-ranked player in the class, with the No. 5 overall pick, the Blue Jays shifted their focus to pitching early on Day 2, selecting college hurlers in Rounds 2-4. Frasso, a 6-foot-5 right-hander who is still coming into his own on the mound after playing both baseball and basketball in high school, is exactly the type of pitching prospect Toronto loves to develop, standing out for his athleticism, live arm and untapped potential.
Carter Baumler, RHP, Dowling Catholic (Iowa) HS (5th round)
The Orioles likely saved money by taking Heston Kjerstad No. 2 overall, allowing them to pursue some high school talent late in the Draft. They got power hitting Coby Mayo in the fourth round and then got Baumler to close out their Draft. The Iowa prepster is strong and athletic with the chance to add more to his 90-94 mph fastball and was considered a potentially tough sign away from his TCU commitment.
Hunter Barnhart, RHP, St. Joseph (Calif.) HS (3rd round)
The Rays selected two prep hurlers in this year’s Draft: first-rounder Nick Bitsko (24th overall) and Barnhart, an athletic and projectable right-hander committed to Arizona State. A two-sport standout at St. Joseph who garnered league MVP honors as a quarterback, Barnhart is inexperienced on the mound but has a projectable frame, a pair of potential plus pitches and some natural strike-throwing ability.
Blaze Jordan, 3B, DeSoto Central (Miss.) HS (3rd round)
Taking California high school infielder Nick Yorke 17th overall stunned the industry, but the Red Sox believe in his bat and wanted to save some money so they could go big in the third round after losing their second-rounder as punishment for sign stealing. They did exactly that with Jordan, one of the most famous high schoolers in the Draft on the basis of winning his first national home run derby at age 11 and swatting his first 500-foot home run at age 13. It will be fun to watch how well his immense raw power plays in pro ball.
Trevor Hauver, 2B, Arizona State (3rd round)
Arizona State might have had the best defensive infield in college baseball, which meant that high school shortstop Trevor Hauver became a left fielder. The Yankees will try him at second base, which could be an intriguing fit for a player who can hit for average and power while commanding the strike zone.
American League Central
Milan Tolentino, SS, Santa Margarita (Calif.) HS (4th round)
The Indians did a nice job of finding value in all five rounds of the Draft, including getting the son of former big leaguer Jose Tolentino in the fourth round. Milan had one of the highest baseball IQs and was one of the best defenders in the prep class, and he's a contact-oriented hitter with solid speed.
Nick Loftin, SS, Baylor (Competitive Balance Round A)
Loftin might stand out more for his high floor than his ceiling, but there is a lot to like in his track record of hitting at Baylor (.311/.370/.479) and his ability to play a host of different positions, including shortstop. Those qualities could help the 21-year-old move relatively quickly through the Minors, either as a super-utility type or regular at one spot.
Colt Keith, 3B, Biloxi (Miss.) HS (5th round)
Detroit’s Draft was centered around college hitters up until the final round, when they decided to roll the dice on Keith, a Mississippi prepster whom scouts viewed as one of the premier two-way talents in the 2020 class. The Tigers selected the Arizona State recruit as a position player, preferring the 6-foot-2, 220-pound prep star's left-handed bat and solid across-the-board tools over his abilities on the mound.
Kala’i Rosario, OF, Waiakea (Hi.) HS (5th round)
After going with college players in the first two rounds and not having a pick in Round 3, the Twins went the high school route with their final two picks. Rosario opened eyes with his power when he won the Area Code Games home run derby last summer and has the chance to fit the corner outfield profile well, though he can get pull happy at times.
Jared Kelley, RHP, Refugio (Texas) HS (2nd round)
Kelley, MLB Pipeline's second-rated high school pitching prospect, has a 93-98 mph fastball, advanced changeup and developing slurve. He was linked to the White Sox in the first round and somehow dropped to them in the second.
American League West
David Calabrese, OF, St. Elizabeth Catholic (Ont.) HS (3rd round)
Without a second-round pick, the Angels didn’t make a selection until pick No. 82 in the third round. That’s when they nabbed the speedy Calabrese. The Canadian prep standout was committed to Arkansas and has the kind of speed that will work well in center field for a long time and make him a basestealing threat. He’s more of a gap-to-gap hitter now, but could grow into a little more pop in the future.
Alex Santos, RHP, Mount Saint Michael (N.Y.) Academy (supplemental 2nd round)
The Astros lost their first two choices as punishment for sign stealing but still came away with a high-upside prep right-hander in Santos. He'll need time to develop but could wind up with three plus pitches in his high-spin fastball, downer curveball and advanced changeup.
Jeff Criswell, RHP, Michigan (2nd round)
While he spent all of 2019 as a starter, Criswell truly stood out as a reliever during Michigan’s long College World Series run a year ago. He had become the Wolverines’ Friday night starter this spring and maintained his stuff. He has a solid three-pitch mix and a strong build for starting, though he’ll have to command the baseball more consistently to remain in a rotation.
Connor Phillips, RHP, McLennan (Texas) CC (Competitive Balance Round B)
There’s some upside with this junior college talent who opted to head to McLennan rather than LSU so he could be drafted again this year (he was a 35th-round pick in 2019). He has quick arm that delivers fastballs up to 98 mph and has a solid curve. He’ll have to improve his changeup and command, but the projectability makes him intriguing.
Tekoah Roby, RHP, Pine Forest (Fla.) HS (3rd round)
More polished than most high school pitchers, Roby already shows the ability to throw strikes with three pitches. His best present offering is a downer curveball with plus potential, and he also utilizes a low-90s sinker and a low-80s changeup.
National League East
Bryce Elder, RHP, Texas (5th round)
After pitching in relief as a freshman, Elder spent 2019 and 2020 as the Longhorns’ ace. He has one of the highest floors among college pitchers in this class. He has a four-pitch mix and commands them all well with a very good sinker-slider combination, a distinct curve and a solid changeup. He doesn’t have a huge ceiling, but he’s a safe bet to be a No. 4 or 5 starter.
Dax Fulton, LHP, Mustang (Okla.) HS (2nd round)
The Marlins grabbed tremendous pitching value in each round of the Draft, including getting the best lefty in the high school class in the second round. Fulton wouldn't have lasted that long if he hadn't had Tommy John surgery in September, but it's easy to bet on a projectable 6-foot-6 southpaw who should have a mid-90s fastball and a wipeout curve once he's fully healthy and developed.
J.T. Ginn, RHP, Mississippi State (2nd round)
Ginn reportedly turned down an over-slot deal of $2.4 million when the Dodgers drafted him 30th overall out of high school in 2018 and honored his commitment to Mississippi State, where he posted a 3.13 ERA with 105 strikeouts in 86 1/3 innings en route to SEC freshman of the year honors before undergoing Tommy John surgery this spring. When healthy, the Draft-eligible sophomore can run his fastball up to 97 mph -- throwing it with some of the best life of any hurler in the class -- and complement it with a plus slider.
Cole Henry, RHP, LSU (2nd round)
When it comes to drafting and developing pitching prospects, the Nationals are known to have a type -- big, strong guys with power stuff who can throw strikes and still have room to improve. Henry, a 6-foot-4, 211-pound Draft-eligible sophomore, fits that description to a T with his blend of size, stuff and control, though he did battle injuries in both of his LSU campaigns.
Casey Martin, SS, Arkansas (3rd round)
Based on pure tools alone, Martin might’ve belonged in the first round. He has an exciting power-speed combination that could result in at least 20-20 seasons in the future if it all clicks. He does need to slow the game down on both sides of the ball in order for him to stick at shortstop and hit enough to get to that power, but this selection more than made up for the Phillies not having a second-round pick.
National League Central
Zavier Warren, C, Central Michigan (3rd round)
Milwaukee took college hitters who can play premium positions with each of their five picks this year. Warren, the first position player drafted out of Central Michigan in the first five rounds since 1980, is a pure hitter from both sides of the plate who has played all around the diamond in his baseball career. He hasn’t caught since high school and spent much of the past two seasons on the left side of the infield, but the Brewers clearly are interested in seeing what he can do with a return to his former position.
Masyn Winn, SS/RHP, Kingwood (Texas) HS (2nd round)
A legitimate two-way prospect as a shortstop and right-handed pitcher, Winn arguably has a higher ceiling on the mound thanks to his high-spin-rate fastball-curveball combo, but he can also really impact the ball from the right side of the plate. His entire skillset was on full display at the WWBA World Championship last October, when he hit 98 mph with his fastball, flashed a pair of plus secondary pitches and homered in the same game. Meanwhile, the fact that the Cardinals announced him as both a shortstop and pitcher suggests they plan to audition him as a two-way player.
Burl Carraway, LHP, Dallas Baptist (2nd round)
Carraway is a good bet to be the first 2020 draftee to reach the big leagues because he's a pure reliever with one of the best 1-2 punches available. He features high spin rates on a 93-98 mph fastball he throws by hitters up in the strike zone, as well as on a power curveball with excessive downward break.
Nick Garcia, RHP, Chapman (3rd round)
Yes, Garcia is a Division III product, so there might be a learning curve when he begins his pro career. Then again, he did pitch well in the Cape Cod league last summer after just one year as a pitcher (he came to Chapman as an infielder) and was making a very strong transition to the rotation this spring before things were shut down. He’s up to 97 mph with his fastball to go along with a slider and a cutter and there’s a ton of upside to tap into here.
Jackson Miller, C, J.W. Mitchell (Fla.) HS (Competitive Balance Round B)
The Reds nabbed a strong high school left-handed hitter in the first round with Austin Hendrick, then got another solid one at No. 65 overall. While Hendrick brings power, Miller brings a more solid, contact-oriented approach, one that generates line drives, and there could be more pop to come. He’s more athletic than most catchers, and that agility should help him behind the plate.
National League West
Liam Norris, LHP, Green Hope (N.C.) HS (3rd round)
After nabbing a pair of high-upside college hurlers with their first two picks on Day 1 (Bryce Jarvis and Slade Cecconi), the D-backs tapped the North Carolina prep ranks in the third round to get Norris, a 6-foot-4 left-hander. The big-bodied hurler struggles to repeat his delivery and will need time to develop, but when he’s right, Norris can operate with a 90-94 mph fastball that he backs up with a pair of plus breaking balls along with a developing changeup.
Clayton Beeter, RHP, Texas Tech (supplemental 2nd round)
One of the more fascinating arms in the Draft, Beeter had little track record but big-time stuff. He had Tommy John surgery and totaled just 41 2/3 innings in three years at Texas Tech, but he came out this spring firing 93-98 mph fastballs, low-80s curveballs that some scouts considered the best in the 2020 class and mid-80s sliders that can be just as nasty.
Kyle Harrison, LHP, De La Salle (Calif.) HS (3rd round)
The best healthy left-hander in the high school crop, Harrison could have landed in the second round but lasted until the third (and the fifth of the Giants' seven picks). Polished and deceptive, he goes after hitters with a low-90s fastball, a nasty slider and an advanced changeup.
Cole Wilcox, RHP, Georgia (3rd round)
Wilcox may have been a third-round pick, but the Georgia right-hander’s stuff was worthy of a first-round selection. Ranked by MLB Pipeline as the No. 23 prospect in the 2020 class, the 6-foot-5 right-hander has an electric arm that produces a consistent mid-90s fastball along with a pair of swing-and-miss secondary offerings.
Chris McMahon, RHP Miami (2nd round)
Many thought the Miami ace was going to go in the first round of the Draft, so for the Rockies to get him here was a nice find. He took a nice step forward over the summer, was touching 98 mph in the fall, and carried it all over during his brief spring season. He can spin a breaking ball and has very good feel for his changeup, giving him all the ingredients to be a workhorse-type big league starter.