On Wednesday night MLB conducted the Rule Four amateur draft. With Rob Manfred announcing names from a podium, most executives in their offices or at home, and all the players selected live-streaming, the virtual-draft went off pretty much without a hitch.
29 of the 30 teams selected players, with the Astros missing-out as punishment to their sign-stealing scandal.
Here are Wednesday night’s results:
2020 MLB First Round Draft Results
|Detroit Tigers||Spencer Torkelson||1B||Arizona State|
|Baltimore Orioles||Heston Kjerstad||OF||University of Arkansas|
|Miami Marlins||Max Meyer||RHP||University of Minnesota|
|Kansas City Royals||Asa Lacy||LHP||Texas A&M|
|Toronto Blue Jays||Austin Martin||SS||Vanderbilt|
|Seattle Mariners||Emerson Hancock||RHP||University of Georgia|
|Pittsburgh Pirates||Nick Gonzalez||SS||New Mexico State|
|San Diego Padres||Robert Hassell III||OF||Independence HS (Tennessee)|
|Colorado Rockies||Zac Veen||OF||Spruce Creek HS (Florida)|
|Los Angeles Angels||Reid Detmers||LHP||University of Louisville|
|Chicago White Sox||Garrett Crochet||LHP||University of Tennessee|
|Cincinnati Reds||Austin Hendrick||OF||West Allegheny HS (Pennsylvania)|
|San Francisco Giants||Patrick Bailey||C||North Carolina State|
|Texas Rangers||Justin Foscue||2B||Mississippi State|
|Philadelphia Phillies||Nick Abel||RHP||Jesuit HS (Oregon)|
|Chicago Cubs||Ed Howard IV||SS||Mount Carmel HS (Illinois)|
|Boston Red Sox||Nick Yorke||2B||Archibishop Mitty HS (California)|
|Arizona Diamondbacks||Bryce Jarvis||RHP||Duke|
|New York Mets||Pete Crow-Armstrong||OF||Harvard-Westlake HS (California)|
|Milwaukee Brewers||Garrett Mitchell||OF||UCLA|
|St. Louis Cardinals||Jordan Walker||3B||Decatur HS (Georgia)|
|Washington Nationals||Cade Cavalli||RHP||University of Oklahoma|
|Cleveland Indians||Carson Tucker||SS||Mountain Point HS (Arizona)|
|Tampa Bay Rays||Nick Bitsko||RHP||Central Bucks HS East (Pennsylvania)|
|Atlanta Braves||Jared Shuster||LHP||Wake Forest|
|Oakland Athletics||Tyler Soderstrom||C||Turlock HS (California)|
|Minnesota Twins||Aaron Sabato||1B||University of North Carolina|
|New York Yankees||Austin Wells||C||University of Arizona|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||Bobby Miller||RHP||University of Louisville|
A few highlights: of the 29 players selected, 11 were drafted directly out of high school, though the first seven picks were all drafted out of college. From a position perspective, 11 of the players drafted are pitchers (four lefties, and seven righties).
Looking at the top of the draft, it’s not surprising that the Tigers selected Arizona State first baseman Spencer Torkelson with the first pick. He was the consensus best-player in the draft, with excellent power (54 home runs in 127 games at ASU). He and the Tigers likely will get a deal done.
One thing that became clear as the draft progressed, is that several teams choose players who are likely to sign underslot, meaning they are adjusting their draft budgets to overpay for other players selected Thursday evening. The first evidence of this was the Orioles selection of Heston Kjerstad, who was a top-ten prospect, but who few thought would go this high in the draft.
The Royals ended up getting Asa Lacy, who surprisingly fell to them at number four. Lacy is a hard-throwing left handed pitcher whose power-stuff could be the best of the 2020 draft.
Similar to Royals, the Blue Jays were unexpectedly in a position to draft a consensus top-two pick, with Vandy third baseman Austin Martin. While technically a shortstop, Martin has the potential to move into the outfield since Bo Bichette looks to be the Jays’ SS of the future.
With the number six pick, the Mariners selected a pitcher (the third time they’ve got the pitcher-route in the last three years) by taking Georgia righty Emerson Hancock. The Ms need the arm-help as they think about the future, and Hancock is projected a potential front-end starter.
The Pirates selected middle-infielder Nick Gonzales with the seventh pick of the draft. A fantastic story, Gonzales was a walk-on at New Mexico State who ended up with a near .400 batting average and .500 OBP during his time in college.
The Padres broke the trend of college players with the eighth pick, taking outfielder Robert Hassell. Number eight is the latest a high school player has ever been selected in any draft.
Number nine saw another high schooler taken, when the Rockies selected Zac Veen, who is perhaps the best HS hitter in the draft.
Rounding out the top-ten, the Angels selected southpaw Reid Detmers out of Louisville, a player who had been linked with LA for a while. Detmers won’t need much work in the minors, so he’s probably one of the players we’ll see in the Majors sooner-rather-than-later.
Beyond the top ten, there were some interesting developments and fun narratives.
Mick Abel of Jesuit HS ended up going number 15 to the Phillies. He was the first high school pitcher on the board.
At number 16, the Cubs selected hometown kid Ed Howard out of Mount Carmel High School in Chicago.
The underslot theme reared its head again when with the Red Sox surprising selection of Nick Yorke in the first round. Yorke may end up going to Arizona as a freshman next year. The pick is is either an opportunity to take more chances on day two of the draft...or further evidence of a cheap front office that is saving money at every possible turn.
A couple of picks that look like they fell further then expected benefited the Mets, who took Pete Crow-Armstrong out of high school. The A’s ended up drafting Tyler Soderstrom out of high school, but will have to likely pay him overslot to entice him away from his commitment to UCLA.
At number 28, the Yankees drafted Austin Wells out of Arizona. Clearly they like him, since they had previously drafted him out of high school.