The 2019 season is barely over for the Cincinnati Reds and most of Major League Baseball. But with that, it also means that we know the draft order for the 2020 Major League Baseball Draft. The Reds finished the season with a record of 75-87, an improvement over last season, but still nowhere near where they wanted to be in the win-loss columns.
The Cincinnati Reds 75-wins, a low number that would usually get you inside the Top 10 of the draft, places them with the #12 overall pick in 2020. With the “haves” and the “have-nots” in 2019, you had to lose 100+ games to even land a spot in the top four of the draft. Baseball is broken and needs fixing.
Baseball America released it’s “super early but fun to look at mock draft” yesterday (sub required). Their mock, however, only goes to the #10 spot in the draft, so we don’t get to see exactly who it is that they believe would go to the Reds if the draft were held today. The list is a bit different than the one they put out immediately following the 2019 draft, as a preview for next year. The player at the top of the new mock draft was not among the 10 players listed in the one from June.
Sitting at the top spot is Vanderbilt shortstop/outfielder Austin Martin. This past season he hit .410/.503/.619 for the Commodores. That line also came with 18 steals and more walks (38) than strikeouts (31). And while it doesn’t seem like it will have any bearing at all on his draft status, he was actually a pretty good pitcher as a freshman, posting a 3.46 ERA with 51 strikeouts in 52.0 innings for Vanderbilt – but didn’t pitch in 2019.
In the mock draft that Baseball America released right after the most recent draft, the Reds were mentioned (sub required). At the time they would have been selecting 10th overall and they were slated to take Jared Kelley, a right-handed pitcher out of Refugio High School in Texas. He’s moved up in the latest mock draft, though.
If you are ready to start taking a deep dive into your draft coverage already, Baseball America does have up the Top 50 college draft prospects, as well as the Top 50 high school draft prospects ready to browse (sub required for both lists). There are a few “sort-of-local” players on the lists. Left-handed pitcher Reid Detmers from Louisville is the highest rated player in the area. Teammate and right-handed pitcher Bobby Miller also made the Top 50 on the college list. Rounding out the college list is Seth Lonsway, a left-handed pitcher from Ohio State. The high school side of things is missing any sort of local flavor at this point.
If you are looking for some free draft rankings, as well as some reports on some players, Fangraphs has you covered. You can check out “The Board”, and choose a lot of different options. This link should get you there, but in case it doesn’t, once you click on the draft tab, you can then select which year of the draft you want to see.
The rankings at Fangraphs has Georgia right-handed pitcher Emerson Hancock rated at the top. And not that the rankings always line up, the player at #12 is right-handed pitcher Cade Cavalli. The starter from Oklahoma was a bit of a 2-way player in his first two years. As a freshman he racked up 193 at-bats, but struggled to hit and make any sort of contact. He struggled on the mound in limited action, too. Last season he made 12 starts as a pitcher and posted a 3.28 ERA with 59 strikeouts in 60.0 innings. His time as a hitter was cut back as he had just 72 at-bats. He struggled to make contact again, but did damage when he did, posting a 1.004 OPS.
It’s still far too early to have any sort of feel for who could be there for the Reds. That would be true even if the Reds were drafting in the top two or three spots, but at #12 there is so many variables out of their control today to really know. There’s a ton of baseball to be played still between now and the draft. Some players will improve their stock and others will drop off. The good news is that the 2020 draft is considered deep – particularly in the college class. Drafting in that middle part of the 1st round, for the Reds, hopefully that holds true.