The 2020 Major League Baseball draft is less than one month away. And that means that it’s mock draft season around the internet. Today’s contribution comes from ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel. The article is behind the ESPN+ paywall, so be forewarned before clicking the link to see the entire mock draft. But, if you have an ESPN+ subscription, it’s an article with tons of outstanding information within.
We’ve been working our way through scouting reports on the top 30 prospects for the draft here at RedsMinorLeagues.com, and on Monday the player we wrote about was Minnesota right-handed pitcher Max Meyer. On Sunday in the Reds Mailbag article I referred to him as the most underrated player in the entire draft based on the public rankings from Baseball America, Fangraphs, and MLB Pipeline. In McDaniel’s mock draft he has the Gophers righty making it to the Cincinnati Reds at the 12th pick in the draft.
12. Cincinnati Reds: Max Meyer, RHP, Minnesota
The Reds have leaned toward high ceilings in recent years and are rumored to want one of the top prep outfielders at this pick, but none of them make it in this scenario. Meyer has shades of Walker Buehler to his game, but he is slight enough that he could be a power relief type.
As I wrote on Monday about Meyer – he’s been absolutely dominant, posting a 2.13 ERA in 148.0 innings at Minnesota with 187 strikeouts and just 41 walks. He’s split time between the rotation and the bullpen, but has made all 15 starts in his career consecutively over the last two seasons. He’s got arguably the best stuff in the entire draft, with the only real concern being that he’s a bit smaller than your typical starting pitcher in the Major Leagues – listed at 6′ 0″ and 185 lbs.
The size concerns may have been something worth arguing over a bit more a decade ago. With how the game is played today, most starting pitchers aren’t expected to go more than 5-6 innings in most games. Love that or hate that, it’s where the game is at in the year 2020. The “big bodied starter who can hold up for 200+ innings” is not nearly as valuable as it used to be because unless you are a certified ace, no one is expecting someone to throw 200+ innings anymore. It’s a nice luxury to have if you can get it, of course, but if you can get a Sonny Gray like performance of 175 innings and a sub 3.00 ERA, you’re going to be absolutely thrilled with that. Gray, for the record, is listed at 5′ 10″ and 192 lbs and has topped 200 innings twice in his career.