Yesterday we unveiled the Top 30 2020 Major League Baseball Draft prospects list here at RedsMinorLeagues.com (you can see the list here). Today we are taking a look at some of the prospects beyond that list.
To get the list of “others”, we used an AP style points format for the Baseball America, Fangraphs, and MLB Pipeline top 50 prospects. In total there were 64 players that made up those three lists. 39 players made all three of the lists. Let’s start off by taking a look at the outliers on each list.
Outliers on the Baseball America list
The highest rated player they had on the list that didn’t show up on the other two lists was Jared Jones, who came in rated 41st on their list. The high schooler out of La Mirada High School in California is a right-handed pitcher who has a fastball that works in the mid-90s and can touch higher, but has mechanics that could push him into the bullpen in the future.
Perhaps someone at Baseball America likes the name Jared, because two spots further down their list is Jared Shuster at #43 as another outlier on their list. In his first season at Wake Forest the left-hander had a 7.41 ERA in 21 walks in 34.0 innings where he made 6 starts and 16 relief appearances. In 2019 his ERA dropped to 6.49 as he walked 37 batters with 94 strikeouts in 68.0 innings where he made 12 starts and 3 relief appearances. That summer he went to the Cape Cod League and dominated, posting a 1.41 ERA in 7 starts, walking just 5 batters with 35 strikeouts in 32.0 innings. This season he made 4 starts for Wake Forest with just 4 walks and 43 strikeouts in 26.1 innings.
The massive improvement in control since last summer has taken his draft stock and helped vault him into the first two round conversation. His velocity has also jumped up, going from fringe-average for a lefty to above-average to plus for a lefty.
Outliers on the Fangraphs list
The list at Fangraphs has a Clayton Beeter rated 19th overall. Beeter, a right-handed pitcher at Texas Tech, is not in the top 50 on either of the other two lists. Injuries have held him back a bit. In 2019 he walked 20 batters in 20.2 innings with 40 strikeouts and a 3.48 ERA after missing all of the 2018 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. In 2020 he made just 4 starts, but struck out 33 batters with just 4 walks in 21.0 innings with a 2.14 ERA. And he did so while flashing big time stuff that may include 3 plus pitches. His track record is very small, but the stuff is big.
Tanner Witt shows up at #31 on the list for Fangraphs. The right-handed pitcher out of Episcopal High School in Texas is listed at 6′ 6″ and 200 lbs. Strangely enough, despite being listed as a pitcher on the list, their blurb talks about his prowess as a third baseman – where he’s also a prospect, but not the same caliber as he is as a pitcher. The MLB Pipeline scouting report gives him three potential above-average pitches, a fourth average one, and average control.
Outliers on the MLB Pipeline list
The first player that shows up on the MLB Pipeline list that isn’t on any of the others is their #42 prospect Blaze Jordan. Sorry to crush your dreams, but the high school first baseman isn’t fast – in fact, he’s a below-average speed guy. But he does have plus raw power and a solid hit tool on his scouting report. He’s also one of the youngest players in the draft – he just turned 17 a week before Christmas.
The next player that’s only on the MLB Pipeline list is Logan Allen. The #46 prospect on their list, Allen’s a left-handed pitcher at Florida International. A bit of a 2-way player, he’s spent more time on the mound since his sophomore season began. As a freshman he made 13 appearances and threw 74.0 innings with a 3.89 ERA, 16 walks and 85 strikeouts. In 2019 he dropped his ERA to 3.11 in 84.0 innings over 14 starts with 25 walks and 120 strikeouts. In 2020 he made 4 starts with a 2.45 ERA in 25.2 innings with 6 walks and 41 strikeouts. The stuff doesn’t jump off the page, but he’s average to slightly better than average across the board and from the left side.
Who sticks out?
For the most part, the outliers are guys who are in that back-end of the 1st round to 2nd round range. And for me, personally, I’m shooting for upside there. And if you look at guys who could provide that there, Jared Shuster fits the bill better than anyone else. While his track record of success is limited to basically the Cope Cod League last summer, and 4 starts this season at Wake Forest, it’s a very different year than what he did in his first two seasons in college. He walked 58 hitters in 102.0 innings as a freshman and sophomore between 2018 and 2019. But in the Cape Cod League and his 2020 season at Wake Forest he walked 9 hitters in 58.1 innings and maintained his high strikeout rate.
When you mix in the fact that he has two plus offerings, a solid third offering – that’s just the kind of thing you’re looking for. He’s a bit of a late riser in the last year – but the changes are drastic. If those changes are real, he could be an absolute bargain of a draft pick.