The 2020 MLB Draft begins on Wednesday night. In an effort to cut costs amid the coronavirus pandemic, MLB has shortened the selection process from 40 rounds to just five rounds this year. That will save roughly $100 million in bonus money league-wide. It also means only 160 players will be drafted in the next two days. There were 1,217 names were called in the 2019 MLB Draft.
Here are the viewing details for the first day of the 2020 MLB draft:
- Date: Wednesday, June 10
- Time: 7 p.m. ET
- TV: MLB Network and ESPN
- Streaming: MLB.com
- Picks: 1-37 (Rounds: 1st, Competitive Balance Round A)
Unlike the NBA and NHL, there is no lottery for the MLB draft. The draft order is set at the reverse order of the previous year's standings, so the Tigers hold the No. 1 pick in 2020 after losing 114 games in 2019. This is the third time Detroit has held the top pick. They selected Rice closer Matt Anderson with the No. 1 pick in 1997 and Auburn righty Casey Mize with the No. 1 pick in 2018. .
Every team is given a set bonus pool for draft spending each summer, and savings from a below-slot bonus with one pick can be used for an over-slot bonus with another pick. The penalties for excessive spending are harsh enough (tax on overage, forfeiting a future first rounder, etc.) that the bonus pool effectively acts as a salary cap. Here are this year's five largest bonus pools:
The O's hold the No. 2 pick and the highest competitive balance pick (No. 30), nudging them ahead of the Tigers for the largest bonus pool. The Astros, , have the smallest bonus pool at $2,202,600.
R.J. Anderson recently ranked theand the in the 2020 draft class. . This is our fourth and final mock draft ( , , ), and although no amateur games have been played in weeks, draft boards are still changing. Here is our final mock draft based on the latest rumors and reporting. As an added bonus, we've included Competitive Balance Round A in this week's mock draft.
Pick: 1B Spencer Torkelson, Arizona State ($8,415,300 slot value)
The Tigers taking Torkelson is close to a lock at this point. The alternative is more likely Texas A&M lefty Asa Lacy than Vanderbilt super utility player Austin Martin, but it appears Detroit is strongly leaning toward Torkelson. He is the "safest" of the draft's three elite prospects as a potential impact hitter with a great track record. Teams don't draft for need, especially not with the No. 1 pick, but Torkelson's premium bat would nicely balance the Tigers' pitching rich farm system. Torkelson would be the first college first baseman ever taken No. 1 overall and only the second pure first baseman taken with the top selection, joining Adrian Gonzalez in 2000. .
April 15 mock pick: IF Austin Martin, Vanderbilt
Pick: IF Austin Martin, Vanderbilt ($7,789,900 slot value)
Rumblings the Orioles will cut a below-slot deal here so they can use the savings on a premium talent that falls to their competitive balance pick (No. 30) are growing louder, and it's worth noting GM Mike Elias employed that strategy effectively when he ran drafts for the Astros. That said, the most likely scenario still has the O's taking Martin, who is a modern front office's dream given his exit velocities and versatility. Should Baltimore cut a below-slot deal, New Mexico State infielder Nick Gonzales and Florida high school outfielder Zac Veen are the likely targets. Arkansas slugger Heston Kjerstad is another possibility..
April 15 mock pick: 2B Nick Gonzales, New Mexico State
Pick: LHP Asa Lacy, Texas A&M ($7,221,200 slot value)
In a sense, the Marlins have the easiest decision in the draft. They'll simply take whichever one of the three elite prospects is still on the board. Should the O's go off the board with a below-slot pick, Miami would likely take Martin over Lacy because elite position player prospects are valued more highly than elite pitching prospects thanks to the injury risk. Also, Marlins scouting director DJ Svihlik has strong ties to Vanderbilt (he coached there previously). With Torkelson and Martin off the board in our mock draft, Miami gets Lacy..
April 15 mock pick: 1B Spencer Torkelson, Arizona State
Pick: OF Zac Veen, Spruce Creek High School (Florida) ($6,664,000 slot value)
In a pitching rich draft class, the Royals have been connected mostly to bats in recent weeks. They'd pounce on Torkelson or Martin should either slide here, though that's unlikely. Veen has been connected to pretty much every team in the 4-9 range because he offers perhaps the most upside among players outside the top three prospects, and the Royals have been tied to him plenty. Gonzales and the remaining top college pitchers are other possibilities here..
April 15 mock pick: RHP Emerson Hancock, Georgia
Pick: RHP Emerson Hancock, Georgia ($6,180,700 slot value)
At this point the only thing close to a lock here is the Blue Jays taking a college player, even if it means passing on Veen. Gonzales is a possibility but it's more likely Toronto goes with a pitcher. Hancock was only so-so in four starts prior to the shutdown, ending any chance he had of pitching his way into No. 1 pick consideration. The upside is considerable though. The Blue Jays preferring Minnesota righty Max Meyer over Hancock would not surprise me. .
April 15 mock pick: LHP Asa Lacy, Texas A&M
Pick: RHP Max Meyer, Minnesota ($5,742,900 slot value)
The Mariners would pounce on Hancock should he remain on the board. Absent that, they've been connected most to Meyer and Gonzales in recent days. Meyer is the draft prospect most likely to join a 50-man roster and pitch in the big leagues this season, though that would not necessarily be Seattle's motivation for selecting him. It is a nice bonus that his ETA would line up with top prospects Jarred Kelenic and Julio Rodriguez though. .
April 15 mock pick: OF Garrett Mitchell, UCLA
Pick: 2B Nick Gonzales, New Mexico State ($5,432,400 slot value)
The Pirates have been consistently connected to college bats this spring and they'd have their pick of Gonzales and Kjerstad here, as well as North Carolina State catcher Patrick Bailey. When in doubt, bet on the middle infielder being picked over the corner outfielder. There's a chance Pittsburgh zigs after zagging for weeks, and grabs a high-end high school pitcher (Mick Abel or Nick Bitsko) or a prep bat (Pittsburgh area native Austin Hendrick?) rather than a safe-ish college position player they like but don't truly love..
April 15 mock pick: RHP Mick Abel, Jesuit High School (Oregon)
Pick: OF Robert Hassell, Independence High School (Tennessee) ($5,176,900 slot value)
This has been a steady connection all spring. The Padres are said to love Hassell. Enough to pass on Meyer or Veen should they fall here? I'm not sure about that, but that didn't happen in our mock draft, so Hassell it is. San Diego has consistently targeted pure upside early in the draft under GM A.J. Preller and Hassell is the best pure hitter in the high school ranks this year. .
April 15 mock pick: OF Austin Hendrick, West Allegheny High School (Pennsylvania)
Pick: OF Heston Kjerstad, Arkansas ($4,949,100 slot value)
Believe it or not, the perpetually pitching needy Rockies are said not to love any of the arms likely to be available here in a pitching rich draft class, and they'd likely prefer Hassell or Veen to Kjerstad. Since neither is available, we have Colorado taking the player with the most usable game power in the draft class outside Torkelson. It's not impossible the Rockies take an arm here. I just think it's unlikely. .
April 15 mock pick: LHP Reid Detmers, Louisville
Pick: LHP Reid Detmers, Louisville ($4,739,900 slot value)
Moreso than any other team in the top 10, the Angels will wait with bated breath until their pick comes around. The dream scenario is Meyer, who a somewhat desperate Angels team could put on their 50-man roster this year. They're said to love Hassell as well, and I'm sure they're trying to convince themselves Veen could make it this far. None of that happens in our mock draft. Detmers doesn't have Meyer's upside but he could pitch in MLB this year, and he's a reasonably safe bet to have a long career as a starter as long as he stays healthy. .
April 15 mock pick: RHP Jared Kelley, Refugio High School (Texas)
Pick: C Patrick Bailey, North Carolina State ($4,547,500 slot value)
The White Sox haven't used their first-round pick on a high school player in nearly a decade now, and while some prepsters would fit here (Abel, Bitsko, Hendrick, catcher Tyler Soderstrom), there are still lots of quality college players on the board. Bailey is the best all-around catcher in a draft class deep in catching, and the top backstop is always drafted higher than the public rankings would lead you to expect. The White Sox are a candidate to put Detmers on their 50-man roster this season should he be available for this pick. .
April 15 mock pick: RHP Max Meyer, Minnesota
Pick: OF Austin Hendrick, West Allegheny High School (Pennsylvania) ($4,366,400 slot value)
If anyone knows which way the Reds are leaning at this point, let me know. They've been all over the map this spring. The connection to Hendrick has been steady, though college pitchers like Oklahoma righty Cade Cavalli and Tennessee lefty Garrett Crochet are legitimate possibilities as well. Hendrick to the Reds in three straight mock drafts makes me seem more confident in this pick than I really am. .
April 15 mock pick: LHP Garrett Crochet, Tennessee
Pick: C Tyler Soderstrom, Turlock High School (California) ($4,197,100 slot value)
The Giants have two extra picks (Nos. 67 and 68) and a large bonus pool after losing Madison Bumgarner and Will Smith to free agency, giving them plenty of options. They can pay Abel or Bitsko like the top 10 pick their talent says they should be, or they could go the college route, and perhaps save bonus pool money for later. San Francisco has been connected to Soderstrom an awful lot the last few weeks, enough that I'm comfortable putting him here even though I imagine Abel or Bitsko would be awfully tempting. .
April 15 mock pick: OF Robert Hassell, Independence High School (Tennessee)
Pick: LHP Garrett Crochet, Tennessee ($4,036,800 slot value)
The Rangers are not afraid to take risks and Crochet was limited to 3 1/3 innings by a shoulder problem this spring. His upside as a hard-throwing lefty is enormous, however, and with not much separating available players at this point, betting on that upside is a reasonable move. I suspect the willingness to sign below-slot will be a major factor in how the draft plays out from this this pick on. .
April 15 mock pick: OF Zac Veen, Spruce Creek High School (Florida)
Pick: RHP Cade Cavalli, Oklahoma ($3,885,800 slot value)
As tempting as it would be to take Bitsko, a local kid from just north of Philadelphia, the Phillies haven't been connected to high school pitching much this spring, and they're short on cash after surrendering their second rounder (and more than $1 million in associated pool money) to sign Zack Wheeler. Cavalli offers considerable upside thanks to his premium stuff, and there's belief he'll really take off now that he's pitching full-time after spending his freshman and sophomore years as a two-way player. .
April 15 mock pick: OF Heston Kjerstad, Arkansas
Pick: OF Garrett Mitchell, UCLA ($3,745,500 slot value)
The Cubs want upside, but they also want a player who could move through their system fairly quickly, meaning the top prep arms like Abel and Bitsko are unlikely targets. Mitchell has loud tools -- he's a great athlete with big raw power and top of the line speed -- but also some swing issues, and he's a Type 1 diabetic, creating additional worries. Chicago has had quite a bit of success with college hitters though, and Mitchell has the upside they crave. .
April 15 mock pick: C Patrick Bailey, North Carolina State
Pick: RHP Mick Abel, Jesuit High School (Oregon) ($3,609,700 slot value)
Even though they were stripped of their second-round pick as punishment for the sign-stealing scandal and have the fifth smallest bonus pool, the Red Sox are prioritizing upside with this pick. Abel could be a top 10 pick on talent, though his high school did not play any games prior to the shutdown, so it's been a while since teams have seen him in game action. I think the Red Sox would prefer a top high school hitter over a pitcher here, making California prep outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong a possibility with Hassell and Hendrick (and Veen) off the board. .
April 15 mock pick: RHP Nick Bitsko, Central Bucks East High School (Pennsylvania)
Pick: OF Pete Crow-Armstrong, Harvard-Westlake High School (California) ($3,481,300 slot value)
This one just fits. The Diamondbacks have had success with speedy high school outfielders with high-end bat-to-ball skills in recent years (Corbin Carroll, Alek Thomas, etc.) and that describes Crow-Armstrong perfectly. Crow-Armstrong might be the best defensive outfielder in the draft class, and there's enough offensive ability to give him exciting upside. .
April 15 mock pick: RHP Cole Wilcox, Georgia
Pick: SS Ed Howard, Mount Carmel High School (Illinois) ($3,359,000 slot value)
Howard is arguably the best pure shortstop in the draft class and yet he's a difficult player to place in a mock draft. He could go anywhere from the 10-15 range to deep into the 20s because he projects to be a steady contributor more than a star with an impact tool. The Mets are reportedly eyeing various high school bats and Howard is the best available. I would not rule out Bitsko here given how aggressive the Mets were in GM Brodie Van Wagenen's first draft last year. .
April 15 mock pick: OF Pete Crow-Armstrong, Harvard-Westlake High School (California)
Pick: RHP Tanner Burns, Auburn ($3,242,900 slot value)
The Brewers surely want to replenish their pitching pipeline -- their pipeline of "out-getters," as manager Craig Counsell calls them -- and a college arm with the potential to climb the minor league ladder quickly makes sense here. This draft class is deep in pitching and about a dozen college players are possibilities here, though Burns has the best track record and great Trackman data (spin rate, etc.), something the Brewers prioritize during the evaluation process. .
April 15 mock pick: C Drew Romo, The Woodlands High School (Texas)
Pick: RHP Cole Wilcox, Georgia ($3,132,300 slot value)
It has been mostly college pitchers connected to the Cardinals the last few weeks even though they've been (surprisingly) heavy on high school players in first rounds. Wilcox is still learning to harness his nasty stuff, and St. Louis knows a thing or two about developing pitching. The Cardinals have a large enough bonus pool to meet his asking price as a draft-eligible sophomore with extra negotiating leverage. .
April 15 mock pick: RHP Carmen Mlodzinski, South Carolina
Pick: RHP J.T. Ginn, Mississippi State ($3,027,000 slot value)
The defending World Series champions have been connected to college players all spring and I'm sticking with Ginn, who fits their M.O. as a top talent who slides for non-performance reasons. They're willing to roll the dice on talented players with injuries (Lucas Giolito, Erick Fedde) or makeup questions (Seth Romero) because getting a premium talent in the back half of the first round isn't easy. Ginn was a potential top 10 pick before having Tommy John surgery in March. I am stubbornly sticking with the Nationals going back to that well. .
April 15 mock pick: RHP J.T. Ginn, Mississippi State
Pick: RHP Nick Bitsko, Central Bucks East High School (Pennsylvania) ($2,926,800 slot value)
If the Indians have a first round type, it's high school players who are younger than their peers and have seen their stock slip for non-performance reasons (Ethan Hankins, Brady Aiken, etc.). In Bitsko's case, it was announced he is graduating a year early back in January, so he is essentially a high school junior. His talent suggests he could be a top 10 pick, but he's slipping in our mock draft because his high school didn't play any games prior to the shutdown, and teams didn't really bear down on him last summer because they expected him to be a 2021 draft prospect. He's been under-scouted, basically. The Indians have a competitive balance pick (No. 36) and thus a fairly large bonus pool, and can make the money work (i.e. pay Bitsko like a top 10 pick). .
April 15 mock pick: RHP Tanner Burns, Auburn
Pick: SS Jordan Westburg, Mississippi State ($2,831,300 slot value)
Hard to pin the Rays down two days before the draft. High school pitching is a popular rumor and they have the bonus pool money to make someone like Bitsko or Texas prep righty Jared Kelley work. The Rays also love middle infielders with offensive upside. Westburg passes the analytics test thanks to strong exit velocities and he was very good with wood bats against elite competition in the Cape Cod League last summer. In a draft light on quality shortstops, Westburg could sneak into the first round as a below-slot bonus guy, which would set Tampa up to do something creative with their competitive balance pick (No. 37). .
April 15 mock pick: SS Casey Martin, Arkansas
Pick: RHP Bryce Jarvis, Duke ($2,740,300 slot value)
The Braves have the third smallest bonus pool after forfeiting their second rounder to sign Will Smith, but they're supposedly targeting upside here, and aren't necessarily planning to be conservative. Jarvis raised his stock considerably this spring after training at Driveline Baseball, a leading independent data driven facility, last summer and adding nearly 10 mph to his fastball. Jarvis is an older college junior (22 1/2 on draft day) and is a prime candidate to sign below-slot, which fits Atlanta's bonus pool situation nicely. .
April 15 mock pick: C Tyler Soderstrom, Turlock High School (California)
Pick: SS Nick Loftin, Baylor ($2,653,400 slot value)
The Athletics lean heavily on the college ranks when picking late in the first round and, depending how you feel about Austin Martin's defense, Loftin might be the best college shortstop in the draft class. He can defend and he's one of the toughest hitters to strike out in the country (career 8.3 percent strikeout rate at Baylor). Loftin passes both the analytics test and the traditional scouting eye test. The alternative here would be one of the many quality college right-handers still available. .
April 15 mock pick: C Austin Wells, Arizona
Pick: RHP Clayton Beeter, Texas Tech ($2,570,100 slot value)
Beeter is one of the most fascinating players in the draft class. He's shot up draft boards these last few weeks even while college baseball has been shut down because his Trackman data (spin rate, etc.) so off the charts good. There's risk here -- Beeter had Tommy John surgery as a freshman and walked 20 in 20 1/3 innings as a sophomore -- but analytical inclined teams like the Twins see untapped potential. .
April 15 mock pick: SS Ed Howard, Mount Carmel High School (Illinois)
Pick: SS Carson Tucker, Mountain Pointe High School (Arizona) ($2,493,900 slot value)
The Yankees gave up their second and fifth-round picks to sign Gerrit Cole and, as a result, they have the second smallest bonus pool. They're said to want a position player now and pitching with their later picks, and Tucker fits their M.O. as an athletic up the middle player with offensive upside. Tucker, the younger brother of Pirates prospect Cole Tucker, is also said to be very motivated to sign, even if it means taking a below-slot bonus. That works well for New York. .
April 15 mock pick: LHP Jake Eder, Vanderbilt
Pick: RHP Chris McMahon, Miami ($2,424,600 slot value)
The available player pool suggests the Dodgers will nab a college righty here, though that is hardly set in stone. Los Angeles has targeted bat first college infielders in recent years (Michael Busch, Kody Hoese, etc.) and someone like Mississippi State second baseman Justin Foscue or Arkansas shortstop Casey Martin could fit (ditto Westburg if he's still on the board). Ultimately, I think McMahon's upside as a four-pitch pitcher with athleticism and know-how will be hard to pass up. It's worth noting the Dodgers acquired a competitive balance pick (No. 66) in the Kenta Maeda trade and have a little extra pool money to play around with. .
April 15 mock pick: RHP C.J. Van Eyk, Florida State
Pick: RHP Carson Montgomery, Windemere High School (Florida) ($2,365,500 slot value)
The Orioles probably won't save much bonus pool money with the Martin pick, but that's fine. They have plenty of money to throw around this year. Montgomery has the size, stuff, athleticism, and feel for pitching that teams want to see in a top high school pitching prospect -- he has the skill set to emerge as a No. 1 overall pick candidate after three years in college -- and the O's have the money to buy him away from Florida State. Baltimore also holds the No. 39 pick, it should be noted..
Pick: RHP Jared Kelley, Refugio High School (Texas) ($2,312,000 slot value)
Conventional wisdom says the Pirates will balance out the relatively safe Gonzales pick by taking a shot on upside with their extra pick (not that Gonzales lacks upside). There was talk Kelley could be a top 15 pick weeks ago, but rumor is analytically inclined teams don't love the Trackman data (spin rate, etc.), and teams in the back half of the first round don't really have the bonus pool money to pay him. Bonus pool money is not an issue for Pittsburgh..
Pick: LHP Dax Fulton, Mustang High School (Oklahoma) ($2,257,300 slot value)
A below-slot deal with Veen would give the Royals the bonus pool flexibility to target whichever top talent slips here, be it Fulton or Kelley or Montgomery. Fulton had Tommy John surgery last September but is very easy to dream on as a 6-foot-6 lefty with good velocity and a hammer curveball. The Royals are loaded with near MLB ready pitching prospects (Jackson Kowar, Daniel Lynch, Brady Singer, etc.) and that allows them to be patient with Fulton, whose upside is enormous. .
Pick: RHP Bobby Miller, Louisville ($2,202,200 slot value)
Miller has shot up draft boards the last 14 months or so, starting when he moved into the rotation full-time last March and continuing this spring when he showed improved velocity. The D-Backs seem to prefer pitchers with higher arm slots and I'm guessing Miller fits the preference. There is some reliever risk here. There's also a chance Miller is a tweak or two away from being an impact starter..
Pick: RHP Carmen Mlodzinski, South Carolina ($2,148,100 slot value)
As noted earlier, the Padres always focus on upside early in the draft, and Mlodzinski has as much upside as any college hurler still on the board in our mock draft. His numbers with the Gamecocks aren't great (career 4.74 ERA), but he chewed up elite competition with wood bats in the Cape Cod League last summer (40/4 K/BB in 29 1/3 innings), and he has a chance for three above-average pitches..
Pick: C Dillon Dingler, Ohio State ($2,095,800 slot value)
If I had to put money on it, I'd bet on Dingler being off the board long before this pick comes around on draft day. He's a good all-around catcher and those guys usually don't stay on the board long. That all said, he's still on the board in our mock draft, and the catcher position has been a black hole for the Rockies throughout franchise history (their career leader in WAR by a catcher is Chris Iannetta at 7.0.). .
Pick: LHP Burl Carraway, Dallas Baptist ($2,045,400 slot value)
The Indians will have to skimp on bonuses somewhere to pay Bitsko in the first round and this is as a good place to do it as any. Carraway is the best pure reliever in the draft class and perhaps Cleveland could convince him to sign well-below-slot by promising to put him on the 50-man roster this season, though that would technically be illegal (MLB has rules against promising draftees additional compensation to skirt around the bonus pool)..
Pick: RHP Justin Lange, Llano High School (Texas) ($1,999,300 slot value)
The Rays are a premier pitcher development organization and Lange is easy to dream on as a 6-foot-4 righty who's touched 100 mph and shown the makings of two out-pitch secondaries. He can also hit a little bit, so maybe the Rays would try him as a two-way player. The consensus is his future is on the mound though. Another name to watch here: UNC first baseman Aaron Sabato, an exit velocity king who's been tied to Tampa in recent weeks. The Rays acquired this pick from the Cardinals in the Jose Martinez trade. .