The 2020 Major League Baseball Draft will take place on Wednesday (round 1) and Thursday (rounds 2-5). Over the last six weeks we’ve gone through scouting reports for the top 30 prospects on the Baseball America list (at the start of the series – their list changed over time), but today is that day that I put up my personal top 30 prospects for the draft. There were only three players who are on my list who didn’t get a full scouting report. They will have reports below the list. Everyone else on the list is linked to their report (just click their name).

Rank Player Position School
1 Emerson Hancock RHP Georgia
2 Max Meyer RHP Minnesota
3 Spencer Torkelson 1B Arizona St.
4 Asa Lacy RHP Texas A&M
5 Nick Gonzales 2B New Mexico St.
6 Mick Abel RHP HS (OR)
7 Austin Martin CF/2B Vanderbilt
8 Zac Veen CF HS (FL)
9 Nick Bitsko RHP HS (PA)
10 Jared Kelley RHP HS (TX)
11 Garrett Mitchell CF UCLA
12 Austin Hendrick OF HS (PA)
13 Robert Hassell OF HS (TN)
14 Pete Crow-Armstrong OF HS (CA)
15 Patrick Bailey C NC State
16 Reid Detmers LHP Louisville
17 Austin Wells C Arizona
18 Heston Kjerstad OF Arkansas
19 Garrett Crochet LHP Tennessee
20 Ed Howard SS HS (IL)
21 Tyler Soderstrom C HS (CA)
22 Chris McMahon RHP Miami
23 Cade Cavalli RHP Oklahoma
24 Cole Wilcox RHP Georgia
25 Bryce Jarvis RHP Duke
26 Carmen Mlodzinski RHP South Carolina
27 Jordan Walker 3B HS (GA)
28 Slade Cecconi RHP Miami
29 Nick Loftin SS Baylor
30 J.T. Ginn RHP Mississippi St.

While most of those players have reports already written, Bryce Jarvis, Jordan Walker, and Slade Cecconi are players that I haven’t written about yet. Their reports are below:

Bryce Jarvis Scouting Report

Height: 6′ 2″ | Weight: 195 lbs.

Bats: Right | Throws: Right

Position(s): Right-Handed Starting Pitcher

In his three seasons at Duke, Bryce Jarvis has more relief appearances, 28, than starts, 20. As a freshman he posted a 2.45 ERA with 22 walks and 67 strikeouts – mostly as a reliever. As a sophomore he made 11 starts and 8 more relief appearances with a 3.81 ERA with 37 walks and 94 strikeouts in 75.2 innings. In 2020 he made 4 starts before the season came to an end and allowed just 2 earned runs in 27.0 innings (0.67 ERA) that also included just 2 walks and 40 strikeouts.

Jarvis entered 2020 with more velocity than he had shown in the past, throwing 92-96 MPH during the short season. It wasn’t just the fastball that improved, though. Both his breaking balls got better, too. His slider and curveball now both grade out as above-average offerings. His change up may be his best offering, though, and grades out as a plus offering. The control took a big step forward.

Where the concern could be

Bryce Jarvis seemed to take a big step forward in 2020. But that step forward only showed up for a few starts before the season came to an end. Scouts didn’t get a chance to see if it would hold up over the span of 15 starts. Jarvis is also one of the older players in the 1st round conversation in the draft, turning 22-years-old in December of 2019.

Jordan Walker Scouting Report

Height: 6′ 5″ | Weight: 220 lbs.

Bats: Right | Throws: Right

Position(s): Third Base

A big, physical high schooler, Jordan Walker has some of the best power in the prep class. Listed at 6′ 5″ and 220 lbs, the right-handed hitter has plus to plus-plus raw power to tap into. His hit tool will range from average to slightly above-average depending on who you ask. A good athlete, he’s currently a third baseman – but some believe he may have to move to a corner outfield spot or perhaps first base down the line. If he had to move to right field, his plus arm strength would play well at the position.

Where the concern could be

At 18 he’s already very physical and he is likely to fill out some more. There’s a chance that he simply gets too big to provide much defensive value and has to hit a whole lot if he winds up at first base to provide good value.

Slade Cecconi Scouting Report

Height: 6′ 4″ | Weight: 212 lbs.

Bats: Right | Throws: Right

Position(s): Right-Handed Starting Pitcher

A top prospect in high school, injuries led to his slip in the draft where he was ultimately drafted by the Orioles in the 38th round in 2018. He wound up at Miami with the Hurricanes. As a freshman he posted a 4.16 ERA in 13 starts and 4 relief appearances, striking out 89 with 18 walks in 80.0 innings. In 2020 he made 4 starts and picked up 30 strikeouts with 7 walks in 21.1 innings to go with a 3.80 ERA.

The draft eligible sophomore has a fastball that works in the mid-90’s and can touch higher. He’ll mix in a plus slider in the mid-to-upper 80’s, as well as solid curveball and change up. With good control, size, four pitches and two that could be plus, there’s a lot to like here.

Where the concern could be

He’s only made 17 starts in college, and while he’s flashes good stuff, he hasn’t quite put it all together yet. The upside is clearly there, but there’s not been a time where he’s put it all there and that’s why he’s lower in the rankings than some others who have similar stuff.

10 Responses

  1. Bred

    As always your pre-draft articles have all been good reads. Thanks for all your hard work!

  2. Stock

    Fangraphs came out with mock draft 2.0 today and have the Reds taking Austin Hendrick at #12. He just happens to be your #12. Of all the drafts I have seen the pick I like the mock I liked the most were those that had the Reds taking Mick Abel. I know Fangraphs mock draft 1.0 had this selection for the Reds. Doug must have liked this mock too because he has Abel at #6.S

    • Colorado Red

      Seems to going to the Reds at 12, in the majority of the mock draft.
      I like the pick

  3. Chi Reds Fan

    Is there a player above #12 on your list that you wish would fall to the Reds?

  4. Stock

    I think the Reds should be gathered some much needed insight by now. I am not sure I would let it impact my day one pick but if I knew I was signing 5+ pitchers to $20k contracts I would focus on position players on day 2.

    Again this is the one year where the Reds could have a great post draft.

    I would offer 2-4 college pitchers $20K and a spot on the 40 man roster. They know they will either be in the majors in 3 years or FA and can then sign the big contract. For HS pitchers I would sign 4-10 to $20K contracts and guarantee them a spot on the 40 man roster in 2 years. This gives them a one year advantage on a big contract vs. choosing college or a guarantee they will be in the show by age 23. Bonus is the Reds should focus on pitchers Boody can work with and improve the most, ala Abel (per fangraphs).

    • IndyRedsFan

      Stock,

      I’m not 100% sure of this, but I believe MLB put a rule in place a few years ago to prevent teams from offering a new signee a spot on the 40 man.

      • Daryl

        I think that is for draftees. Technically these guys are Free Agents therefor you could do this I believe. However I dont think you would be able to sign any high schoolers to this, they would rather go to college to prove themselves and come into the draft when they can get higher bonuses.

      • Stock

        This is a good point Daryl. From the players perspective here is how it works. If a player is going to college for an education no chance he signs for 20k. But the other players should consider this.

        The Reds have many players on their 40 man roster that they simply can’t let go.

        SP: Bauer, Castillo, Mahle, Desclafani, Gray and Miley
        RP: Bowman, Garrett, Iglesias, Lorenzen, Reed, Shafer, Sims, Stephenson, Strop
        IF/C: Barnhart, Casali, Farmer, Galvis, Moustakas, Suarez, and Votto
        OF: Shogo, Castellanos, Ervin, Senzel, VanMeter and Winker

        Hard to drop from the 40 man: Antone, Hendrix, Kuhnel, Santillan and at least one of Aquino/Payton/Schebler. In other words best case scenario a team has 5-7 spots that may be available.

        1. If the Reds focus on SP Boody thinks he help create an uptick in velocity suddenly all these players are worth more money and have a better chance of reaching the majors exclusively because they sign with the Reds.

        2. Assume the Reds fill the last 5-7 “potential” spots by signing 5-7 college pitchers. These pitchers make the 40 man loaded and leave the Reds with decisions about India, Greene and other required to be added. Some of these 5-7 pitchers will be let go and sign for much larger signing bonus than they would have signed for this year.

        3. 15 HS pitchers have turned 20 and need to be added to the 40 man roster or released. The Reds 40 man is already jammed packed because of the college pitchers. 10-13 will be released and several of them will receive much larger contracts than they would after one more year of college. Advantage one is that they are FA as opposed to drafted players locked into a signing bonus. Advantage two they are free agents after 2 year as opposed to draft eligible after 3 years. Advantage 3 is they get 2 years working with Boody.

        I know I would sign and I also know I would request a no trade clause to maximize my chances of becoming a FA.

  5. Tom

    The most underrated profile is Soderstrom. To have a plus hit and plus power tool is a rare combo. I don’t care if he doesn’t have a position. I’m sure he’ll be a Cardinal or a Dodger or a Red Sock or an Athletic.

  6. Warren Willey

    “The most underrated profile is Soderstrom. To have a plus hit and plus power tool is a rare combo.”
    Yes, I definitely agree with this statement. He is one of the most underrated players today. He really can do a lot, but it seems to me that he does not have enough money to be seen. Or is he just playing fun. That would be really cool, because now few people are able to do something not for money.