Today’s the day, folks. There may not be baseball being played, but that doesn’t mean the 2020 Major League Baseball Draft isn’t happening. It does, however, mean it’s not happening like we usually see it. This year the draft will only be 5 rounds instead of 40. The draft will take place today and tomorrow. Tonight at 7pm ET the 1st round will take place on both ESPN and MLB Network. Tomorrow beginning at 5pm ET on MLB Network and ESPN 2 rounds 2-5 will air live.

What are the mock drafts saying for the Cincinnati Reds?

Baseball America’s Mock Draft version 7.0 was posted on Monday. In the most recent version they have the Cincinnati Reds selecting Austin Hendrick, a high school outfielder from Imperial, Pennsylvania out of West Allegheny High School.

The Reds select 12th overall tonight. Austin Hendrick was the 12th rated player in my Top 30 Draft Prospects. Seems like a good fit. You can read the full report I wrote on him here.

Fangraphs also released an updated mock draft on Monday. Eric Longenhagen, the lead Fangraphs prospect evaluator also has Cincinnati selecting Austin Hendrick, noting that the Reds haven’t shied away from drafting older high school hitters in the recent past (Hendrick is going to turn 19 next week).

MLB Pipeline’s Jonathan Mayo released his latest mock draft on Tuesday morning. He too had the Reds taking a high school outfielder, but it wasn’t Austin Hendrick. Mayo has Cincinnati selecting Pete Crow-Armstrong out of Harvard-Westlake High School in California. He was the 14th prospect on my Top 30 Draft Prospect list and you can read the full report on him here.

ESPN’s most recent mock draft was from two weeks ago, but Kiley McDaniel also had the Reds taking Austin Hendrick in that one. If you’re starting to see a pattern here, you aren’t alone.

An unsavory rumor

R.J. Anderson of CBS Sports tweeted this out early on Tuesday morning:

This leaves me with so many questions and very few answers. First, if this is about saving money, this doesn’t really save much money – at least for 2020. The most any player is going to get paid that is drafted this year is $100,000 (50% of what’s remaining due is paid out in July of 2021, with the other portion paid out in July of 2022). At most, this saves a team $500,000 this year if they were to punt every pick.

But that’s only the beginning of it. Players that are drafted can’t become free agents if they refuse to sign. And if the team is only going to offer the minimum 40% in order to get the same pick +1 spot in the draft next year, it’s leaving the player without options simply because the team wanted to be cheap. If a team truly is going to go this route, they need to be sure they are drafting players who have zero interest at all in signing and playing baseball. Doing anything else would be beyond pitiful as it would be taking away the livelihood of someone to enter their desired job market simply because a team wanted to be cheap.

2020 MLB Draft Resources

Baseball America’s Top 500 Draft Prospects (sub required)

Fangraphs Top 255 Draft Prospects (free)

MLB Pipeline Top 200 Draft Prospects (free)

My Top 30 Draft Prospects (free)

My Scouting Reports on potential first rounders (33 in total – free)

The Athletic’s Top 100 Draft Prospects (sub required)

What’s coming today?

Well, starting around 11am (give or take an hour), this post will be updated with various draft news and notes, as well as any updated mock drafts that come in during the day.

While it’s not exactly going to be an “all questions answered” thread, I will be hanging out in the comments section today and trying to answer what I can up until draft time. Once the Reds make their selection there will be a new article created with as much information as possible on the selection.

Draft Day Update #1

It’s 10am and the big guys have all released their mock drafts this morning. Baseball America, ESPN, and MLB Pipeline have all been on top of things this morning. Let’s take a look at what each publication is saying.

Baseball America

There’s a change from their latest mock draft for the Cincinnati Reds, which had them selecting high school outfielder Austin Hendrick. This morning that’s been switched to Louisville left-handed pitcher Reid Detmers. He’s put up absurd numbers since the start of 2019 for the Cardinals, throwing 135.1 innings with 39 walks and 215 strikeouts while posting an ERA of 2.53. His stuff doesn’t quite match the numbers, though. Detmers rated 16th on my Top 30 draft prospects list and you can read his full scouting report here.

ESPN

Kiley McDaniel had his final mock draft published at 7AM ET over at ESPN and he decided to go for the first two rounds. In the first round the former Atlanta Braves front office member has the Reds selecting Arkansas outfielder Heston Kjerstad. He’s got big time power, but he’s also got some big swing-and-miss concerns going on. He rated as the 18th best prospect in the draft in my top 30. You can read his full scouting report here.

In the second round McDaniel has Cincinnati selecting right-handed pitcher from Florida, Tommy Mace. If that name sounds familiar, it should. The Reds selected him in the 12th round in 2017 and thought they had a way to get him signed, but couldn’t quite meet his asking price at the last second. He flashes good stuff, but hasn’t been a stand out with the Gators. He posted a 4.16 ERA – mostly out of the bullpen – in 2018. In the 2019 season his ERA jumped to 5.32 in 16 starts. This season he posted a 1.67 ERA in 4 starts. You can see his stats here for his college career.

MLB Pipeline

Both Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis have published their mock drafts today at MLB.com. They both have the Reds selecting right-handed pitcher Cade Cavalli out of Oklahoma. He ranked 23rd on my top 30 prospect list. He’s got big time stuff, but his performance has been inconsistent at best as he’s struggled to throw strikes prior to 2020 and with big fastball velocity, hitters still seem to see the pitch well. He’s only thrown 101.1 innings at Oklahoma and he’s walked 53 batters with 114 strikeouts in that span to go along with a 4.09 career ERA. You can read his full scouting report here.

Draft Day Update #2

Eric Longenhagen has just updated his mock draft at Fangraphs. He still has the Reds selecting Heston Kjerstad, but thinks if outfielder Robert Hassell is there that he’ll be the pick. If neither are there, then right-handed pitcher Mick Abel would be the go to.

26 Responses

  1. Stock

    If a team provides a qualifying offer of 40% as a means to not take a pick this year I don’t think it is about money at all. I would think it is one of two things.

    1. They love next year’s draft class much more than this year’s class so they would rather have 2 first round picks next year as opposed to one this year and one next year.

    2. They are not prepared for this years draft. As a result they feel it is not worth the risk. Every pick this year involves more risk even for the most prepared teams. There were far fewer games to watch. A team that was not out there early is just guessing.

    Be prepared for a record number of first round picks left unsigned. Teams will not punt picks they will not be compensated for in 2021.

    • Doug Gray

      With #1, that’s tough to buy because this years draft is one of the better ones in years. #2 could be true – it’s been speculated that the team that could be considering this may be one of the teams that basically cut their scouting staff at the start of June. We’ll find out.

  2. LB

    I think Cavalli is the only one who seems to be in the discussion that would leave me very unhappy. Personally, I’d pounce on Detmers if he’s there, and probably go Hendrick otherwise

  3. Brad

    Reading between the lines, seems like Reds prefer to draft hitters early and use their advanced pitching development to identify pitchers to sign for $20k with some creative recruiting pitches attached.

  4. Brad

    Draft hitters and trade for pitching would be my philosophy, it helps avoid injury risk.

  5. Tom

    Jo Adell and Kris Bryant were a couple of power hitters that were highly rated who also had this question of swing and miss – that I didn’t respect. I’m really hoping Hendrick is in that category. Seems like he’s the pick if he’s there.

    Cavalli is another who would not pass my filter, but because of control issues.

    I suppose you’re looking for upside when you take these kinds of players. To me, that is unnecessary at the top half of the draft because the “safer” high end talent is there.

    I want projectable pitchers with control and command, or batters that barrel consistently with in game power and strike zone control.

    There are a lot of those profiles in this draft, but rarely are they being mentioned with the Reds. Maybe Hassell or Detmers.

  6. Tom

    The Reds are pretty well set through 2023 on position players, assuming health:

    Year 2023 pos
    Starter Stephenson c
    Backup Casali c
    Starter Votto 1
    Backup 1
    Starter Moustakas 2
    Backup India 2
    Starter Garcia ss
    Backup Blandino ss
    Starter Suarez 3
    Backup India 3
    Starter Castellanos lf
    Backup lf
    Starter Senzel cf
    Backup Fairchild cf
    Starter Winker rf
    Backup Aquino rf

    To me questions still hover over 1b, SS, CF, and RF. I could see where players like Hinds, Callihan, Hendrick, and Keirstadt could help in a RF/1B roll.

    Moustakas might be in a 1b/2b/3b roll at that time, leaving a CF/RF HS bat like Hendrick or Hassell an interesting fit in the pipeline.

    Ed Howard is a bit risky without a lot of in game power on display yet, but getting the top HS SS is not a bad thing. I’ve seen no indication the Reds are looking though.

    • Tom

      In 2024 Moustakas, Suarez, and Castellanos, and Senzel are off the books. It will be Votto’s last year. Expect a college bat next year, or maybe even this year in round 1 or 2.

      • AllTheHype

        Not sure what you mean by “off the books”, but Senzel and Suarez are both controlled thru the 2025 season.

  7. kevinz

    -BPA seems like the best bet.
    -Hopeful an upside bat is there for the taken.
    -Sorta like Bruce in that draft Slot.
    -excited nervous for this weird Draft.
    -if Reds Nail it could make them good for a Long time.

  8. Tom

    The pitching thins out prior to the positional chart. Bauer and Disco unsigned beyond 2020. Iggy and Lorenzen are not signed past 2021.
    The bullpen has vast holes in it after 2021.

    2022 2023
    SP Gray Gray
    SP Castillo Castillo
    SP Lodolo Lodolo
    SP Miley Miley
    SP Greene
    SP Sims
    SP
    CL
    8th
    8th Garrett Garrett
    7th Stephenson Stephenson
    7th Reed Reed
    LR DeLeon DeLeon
    LR Shaffer Shaffer
    Mahle Mahle
    Santillian Santillian
    Kuhnel Kuhnel
    Bowman Bowman

    A lot of the arms at the end might make a big impact. Again, a big college arm might make sense this year in round 1 or 2.

    • kevinz

      -Right i can agree with that Tom
      -The best Pitchers Reds have were all Traded for though.
      -Not against taking a Pitcher early rather BPA whoever that might be.

      • Tom

        Detmers at 12 would help the Reds as early as 2022, other than that I’d rather get a deal in the 2nd round on an arm. I agree this is a draft that could make the Reds great for a long time if they have a good one. I like the draft a bat, acquire pitching strategy too.

      • kevinz

        -Well Put Tom i agree.
        -Lets go Reds excited as Heck as always for the Draft.
        -Good day to you.

  9. James Phillips

    Kjerstad has been a solid All-Star in my OOTP career.

    • Sean D

      I’m not sure how I feel about high school pitching but it seems like it’d be hard to pass on Mick Abel. He seems to have great stuff which control and command and doesn’t seem to have many concerns, seems to be as safe a pick as high school pitchers go, clearly has plenty of upside.

  10. Chris B

    For the first time in years I really haven’t looked into the draft at all. With that said who do you guys want in a realistic situation?

  11. donny

    Personally , i don’t like any of the players that the reds have been linked to. This is the first time in my life for as long as i can remember that i have felt this way. I have been following the draft and ties to the reds for over 20+ years at least.

    When it comes to Reid Detmers i feel like he is one of the most overrated prospects in the draft. I don’t think i would even draft him in the second round. I feel like he is a 4 or 5 pitcher at best in the rotation. I don’t see much upside there at all.
    I also been paying attention to former players who played for Louisville . And i can’t honestly think of one player from louisville who has actually done anything in MLB over the last say 15 years that i can remember. And those kind of things factor in my decision as well. Louisville program, with the coaches that they have had over the years don’t have a good track record producing MLB players.

    So i feel like this is a weak draft . I feel like there is a lot of 2 and 3 round talent being projected in the first round.

    • Tom

      Interesting take. We may get to see what McKay does this year in the rotation. His MiLB numbers are bonkers. Detmers is not McKay, though.

    • donny

      Let me rephrase it; it is not that i don’t like the players the reds are tied to. I just don’t feel that the ones they are tied to are first round talent like in years past. I feel like this years draft is loaded with 2 and 3 round talent.

      And they’re players that i feel the Reds can get in that first round that i feel are better than the ones the Reds are tied to.
      Example; Mick Abel who has not been linked to the reds interest.

      • Tom

        I agree that in general I’m not feeling who they are linked to but I’ve got a bias for safe picks. If Hendricks is really just some adjustment period away from doing what Adell did, then let’s go. That’s what the experts are for. I’m hoping the Reds can get as much value in picks 48 and 65 as teams are getting from picks 20-48. I’ve heard people say the draft is “deep” in that sense.

    • LB

      Umm look I’m a UofL hater, so I didn’t expect to come to their defense, but they’ve produced plenty of good talent in the last 10-15 years. Will Smith is a budding star for the Dodgers, Nick Solak had an incredible offensive profile in his brief time in the majors last year. Brendan McKay is an elite prospect who showed decently last year. Chad Green is a good relief pitcher. Hell, Adam Duvall has mustered a solid career. Adam Engel is a bit of a bust, but he’s an MLB guy. The only major flop I can think of is Corey Ray, and I suppose even he still has a chance. There aren’t *that* many schools that produce a ton of good big leaguers, so UofL has a pretty good resume tbh.

      But regardless, don’t “helmet scout.” Only scout the player and his skills, not the team (although imo taking level of competition into account is smart, but that’s it)

  12. kevinz

    -So close to Draft time getting more hyped up.
    -BPA just stack up the Best Talent as Possible.
    -can flip for MLB talent or If a star like Prospect you can have him for yourself.
    -Felt different before but Now Reds not afraid to spend for MLB talent.