MLB Draft: Reactions for Every 1st-Round Pick

MLB Draft: Reactions for Every 1st-Round Pick

by June 10, 2020 0 comments

The MLB season has yet to begin, but the MLB Draft is here, and we’ve got reactions for every pick from Night 1.

FIRST ROUND

  1. Detroit Tigers – Spencer Torkelson, 3B/1B, Arizona State

The only surprising thing about the Tigers selection was that he was announced as a 3rd baseman rather than a 1st baseman, but make no mistake–the Tigers selected him because of his bat. Torkelson was phenomenal at Arizona State, smashing the school’s freshman home run record, which was previously held by Barry Bonds. Al Avila and the Tigers are hoping that he blossoms into a middle-of-the-order slugger to anchor their rebuild.

  1. Baltimore Orioles – Heston Kjerstad, OF, Arkansas

There were rumors that the Orioles might try to cut a below-slot deal, but most analysts still agreed that Baltimore would select Austin Martin from Vanderbilt. Instead, Kjerstad is the pick. Kjerstad is heralded as the best left-handed power hitter in the draft and has the potential to hit plenty of home runs to right field at Camden Yards for years to come.

  1. Miami Marlins – Max Meyer, RHP, Minnesota

Another surprising pick as Miami goes for the 6-foot righty from Minnesota. Meyer is regarded as the most MLB-ready pitcher in the draft, and potentially could be placed directly onto a 50-man expanded roster during a shortened MLB season. It should be a great pick for Miami, as Meyer has ace-level stuff.

  1. Kansas City Royals – Asa Lacy, LHP, Texas A&M

The Royals have to be ecstatic that Lacy fell to them. Lacy was off to a torrid start to the 2020 season before it was shut down, striking out 46 batters in 24 innings. His fastball can reach high-90s, and his off-speed pitches are downright nasty. Kansas City may have found themselves an ace to be the running mate of Bobby Witt Jr. in their rebuild.

  1. Toronto Blue Jays – Austin Martin, SS, Vanderbilt

This is an absolute steal for the Blue Jays, and this should just add to the excitement surrounding this organization. Adding Austin Martin, who is arguably the best pure hitter in the draft, to Bo Bichette, Cavan Biggio, and Vladamir Guererro Jr. should set up Toronto as one of the more exciting teams to watch over the next two decades.

  1. Seattle Mariners – Emerson Hancock, RHP, Georgia

Hancock was slowed by an injury at the end of his sophomore season, but he returned healthy in 2020, and with a strong four-pitch mix, his dominating stuff has drawn comparisons to 2018 No. 1 overall pick, Casey Mize. Seattle has a clear need for pitching and this is a match made in heaven.

  1. Pittsburgh Pirates – Nick Gonzales, SS, New Mexico State

Gonzales put up video-game type numbers in his three seasons at New Mexico State. Pittsburgh had been connected to college position players in the lead-up to the draft, and they may have gotten the best college player in the country in the former walk-on, Nick Gonzales.

  1. San Diego Padres – Robert Hassell III, OF, Independence HS (Tenn.)

The Padres have long been connected to Hassell, who has raw power with very quick hands. Hassell has plenty of time to grow, as he is the first high schooler selected. Hassell is also a strong defender in the outfield. Look for Hassell, if given time to develop, to become a star alongside Fernando Tatis in San Diego.

  1. Colorado Rockies – Zac Veen, OF, Spruce Creek HS (Fla.)

Veen was the dream scenario for Colorado, as he has a very high ceiling. He has drawn numerous comparisons to Cody Bellinger, and he will be playing at Coors Field. Veen can play all three positions in the outfield and has the potential to be a star in Colorado.

  1. Los Angeles Angels – Reid Detmers, LHP, Louisville

The Angels seem to always need pitching, and all five of their top prospects are position players. Detmers is a winner, going 20-6 in 30 starts at Louisville. He mixes pitches very well and gives hitters different looks with ease. Along with Max Meyer, Detmers is also a guy that can move quickly up the ranks and help to surround Mike Trout in Anaheim.

  1. Chicago White Sox – Garrett Crochet, LHP, Tennessee

Crochet potentially has the best stuff in this draft class, with a fastball that touches triple-digits and the 6-foot-6 lefty has drawn comparisons to Chris Sale. Only made one start this season due to a combination of the shortened season and precaution over a sore shoulder, but he more than makes up for it with his stuff and could potentially contribute on an expanded roster this season.

  1. Cincinnati Reds – Austin Hendrick, OF, West Allegheny HS (Penn.)

Hendrick is one of the most versatile players in the draft as an outfielder, with plus speed and a big power bat. The biggest thing to watch with Hendrick is his outstanding hands at the plate. The Reds are a team that is finishing up their rebuild, and Hendrick will be a good piece in the outfield for Cincinnati in the future.

  1. San Francisco Giants – Patrick Bailey, C, North Carolina State

The switch-hitting catcher is an interesting pick for San Francisco because their No. 1 prospect (Joey Bart) is a catcher. Bailey came into college known for his defense, but his bat has jumped ahead of that, as he set the Wolfpack freshman home run record with 13 in his first year, but it will be interesting to see how the Giants navigate having both Bart and Bailey.

  1. Texas Rangers – Justin Foscue, 2B, Mississippi State

Foscue has really improved over the past two years and is being compared to Dustin Pedroia as a strong defensive second baseman who can do damage with the bat. He was originally a third baseman, but when he moved to second, he looked much more comfortable and also got some more power. He should fit in well with this Rangers team as they move towards competing in the next few years

  1. Philadelphia Phillies – Mick Abel, Jesuit HS (Ore.)

The first high school pitcher is off the board, as Philadelphia grabs the Oregon native in Abel. Abel has three “plus” pitches and has ace-type stuff in the future for an organization that is going to be looking to compete for the next decade after they locked up Bryce Harper for years to come.

  1. Chicago Cubs – Ed Howard, SS, Mount Carmel HS (Ill.)

Howard is the best high school shortstop in the draft. He is an elite defender and has the hands and ability to translate those skills to the plate as well. The local kid has the upside to be an all-star on the north side of Chicago for years.

  1. Boston Red Sox – Nick Yorke, 2B, Archbishop Mitty HS (Calif.)

The Red Sox do not have a second-round pick, and they went and got a guy that they probably could’ve gotten there if they did. Yorke is an offensive-minded second baseman with a smooth swing, and there are questions about whether or not he will sign with Boston or go on to play at Arizona.

  1. Arizona Diamondbacks – Bryce Jarvis, RHP, Duke

Jarvis is a strong lefty who has been dominant for the Blue Devils. He was on the wrong side of Kumar Rocker’s 19-strikeout no-hitter in the NCAA Tournament. Jarvis added six miles-per-hour this offseason, and if Jarvis can keep that up while continuing to locate well, he has potential future ace written all over him.

  1. New York Mets – Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, Harvard-Westlake HS (Calif.)

Crow-Armstrong is an elite defender in the outfield, with an above-average arm and outstanding speed. He also is a great contact hitter with elite bat speed. The Mets have been very aggressive over the past few months and Crow-Armstrong could be a staple in center field at Citi Field for the next decade.

  1. Milwaukee Brewers – Garrett Mitchell, OF, UCLA

The Brewers have the worst farm system in the MLB according to MLB.com. Mitchell will definitely help that. He has been described as the “toolsiest guy in the draft” and is an absolute stud. He has plenty of power in his bat, is an outstanding defensive outfielder, and is a high-level elite speedster. The Brewers have to be psyched to have him fall to them.

  1. St. Louis Cardinals – Jordan Walker, 3B, Decatur HS (Geo.)

Walker has a lot of potentials to be a major leaguer, as a big, tall third baseman with major power in his frame. He also is a very good athlete for his size and is a candidate to move over the first base. The Cardinals have a really strong history of good draft picks, and they are hoping that Walker will be next.

  1. Washington Nationals – Cade Cavalli, RHP, Oklahoma

Cavalli is a smooth righty with a really high upside. He came to OU as a first baseman and transitioned to a pitcher after his freshman year. Cavalli is a big, physical pitcher that can be a solid starter for the defending champions down the road.

  1. Cleveland Indians – Carson Tucker, SS, Mountain Pointe HS (Ariz.)

Carson Tucker is the younger brother of Pirate Cole Tucker and is rumored to be eager to sign. Cleveland has a history of picking high schoolers with their first picks, and could potentially be a replacement to Francisco Lindor after his time in Cleveland comes to an end.

  1. Tampa Bay Rays – Nick Bitsko, Central Bucks East HS (Penn.)

Bitsko was projected to be the No. 1 prep pitcher in the class of 2021, but when he reclassified, the Rays swooped up the 17-year-old from Pennsylvania. With a fastball in the mid-to-upper 90s and a nasty slider, Bitsko could be a potential ace for the Rays in the future.

  1. Atlanta Braves – Jared Shuster, LHP, Wake Forest

Shuster really struggled as a freshman but improved quite a bit since then and he was dominant this spring with a fastball at 97 miles-per-hour and an outstanding changeup. The Braves may have found a pitcher that they can develop to a solid starter to go with the young core of starters that they already possess.

  1. Oakland Athletics – Tyler Soderstrom, C, Turlock HS (Calif.)

Soderstrom was linked to the Giants at No. 13, but the left-handed-hitting catcher fell to the A’s at No. 26. There is talk that he might be able to move to third base or a corner outfield position because of his athleticism as a catcher and his strength at the plate. Nonetheless, the A’s got a potential steal late in the first round.

  1. Minnesota Twins – Aaron Sabato, 1B, North Carolina

Sabato has a lot of power in his bat, but might be a little limited in the field. The Twins could be a good fit for Sabato with Nelson Cruz getting older, and potentially opening up a spot at DH within the next few years that the power-hitting Sabato could fill with ease.

  1. New York Yankees – Austin Wells, C, Arizona

Austin Wells could be a Kyle Schwarber type player for the Yankees, as a player who projects to be a strong power hitter at the next level, but there are questions as to whether he can remain at catcher. The Yankees found another great bat late in the first round.

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers – Bobby Miller, RHP, Louisville

Bobby Miller can light up the radar gun with a fastball consistently in the high 90s with an explosive fastball and a solid changeup. The Dodgers may have found themselves a “diamond-in-the-rough” in Miller, who not only has the ability, he also has the swagger needed to succeed in a market like Los Angeles.

COMPETITIVE BALANCE ROUND A

  1. Baltimore Orioles – Jordan Westburg, SS, Mississippi State

The Orioles went with Heston Kjerstad out of Arkansas with their first pick and went back to the SEC with their second. Westburg has good power and strong defensive ability on the left side of the infield.

  1. Pittsburgh Pirates – Carmen Mlodzinski, RHP, South Carolina

Mlodzinski was a high riser due to his dominant performance in the Cape Cod League and has battled injuries throughout his career, but he has a very strong fastball that gets a lot of groundballs, and a could be an impact starter for Pittsburgh.

  1. Kansas City Royals – Nick Loftin, SS, Baylor

Kansas City got Texas A&M lefty, Asa Lacy, with their first pick, and stayed in the state of Texas to grab Baylor shortstop Nick Loftin. Loftin is a guy that doesn’t strike out often and is very versatile as a player that can not only play at shortstop but also in the outfield. Loftin also has sneaky power and is a great leader, which could be a big piece in the Kansas City rebuild.

  1. Arizona Diamondbacks – Slade Cecconi, RHP, Miami

The Diamondbacks took Bryce Jarvis in the first round, and now add another top power arm in Cecconi out of Miami. There is talk that he may end up as a reliever, but with his
“plus” fastball-slider combination, Cecconi has a chance to be a solid pitcher for the D-Backs.

  1. San Diego Padres – Justin Lange, RHP, Llano HS (Tex.)

San Diego went with a high schooler in Robert Hassell in Round 1 and now went back to the high school ranks in Competitive Balance Round A. Lange is definitely an upside pick but has the potential to be a major-leaguer in the young Padres rotation within the next few years.

  1. Colorado Rockies – Drew Romo, C, The Woodlands HS (Tex.)

The Rockies got prep outfielder Zac Veen with their first-round pick and stayed in the prep ranks to pick Drew Romo. Romo is one of the best defensive players in the draft and could be a potential future gold-glover for Colorado.

  1. Cleveland Indians – Tanner Burns, RHP, Auburn

The Indians went with Carson Tucker in the first round, and they select Burns with the next pick. The Indians need good, young pitching, as only three of their top 10 prospects are pitchers. Burns projects as a potential middle-of-the-rotation starter that could grow into a workhorse for the Indians in the future.

  1. Tampa Bay Rays – Alika Williams, SS, Arizona State

Tampa Bay snagged pitcher Nick Bitsko in the first round and went with a solid shortstop in Williams. Williams is a very good contact hitter with good speed, but he is known for his outstanding defense. The league’s No. 1 farm system got even better tonight.

 

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