Baseball America has updated their Top 100 Draft Prospects for the 2020 Major League Baseball Draft. The Cincinnati Reds hold the 12th overall pick in the draft this upcoming season.

As the draft gets closer the list will be both updated and expanded to 500. For now, though, we’ve only got the Top 100 to go on. This year’s draft class is loaded, particularly at the college level. The top five rated players in the class according to Baseball America are all college players.

At the very top of the list is Arizona State first baseman Spencer Torkelson. Undrafted out of high school, the 6′ 2″ and 215 lb. infielder made an immediate impact for Arizona State in 2018. He hit an absurd .320/.440/.743 as a freshman with 25 home runs, 38 walks, and he struck out just 44 times in 257 plate appearances. He then went to the Cape Cod League where he did more of the same, hitting .333/.472/.704 with 16 extra-base hits in just 25 games played.

The then 19-year-old followed things up last season with the Sun Devils by hitting .351/.446/.707 with 17 doubles, 23 home runs, 41 walks, and 45 strikeouts in 289 plate appearances. He returned to the Cape Cod League again, but only played in five games due to his joining Team USA in the summer.

The top pitcher on the board is Emerson Hancock. Georgia’s big right-hander was selected by Arizona in the 38th round of the 2017 draft but chose to head off to college instead of signing. His first season in the SEC didn’t turn out as well as he had hoped, posting a 5.10 ERA in 77.2 innings. Things turned around in a very big way last season for the sophomore. In his 14 starts he posted a 1.99 ERA in 90.1 innings where he allowed just 58 hits, walked just 18 batters, and he picked up 97 strikeouts.

We are still a while from the 2020 season starting for colleges, and even further out for high school baseball to get going. That means there’s a lot of time for this list to change. What seems clear, at least as of right now, is that the class has a lot of college starting pitching in it. That probably won’t change, even if the names are rearranged a little bit.

Nick Bitsko is now draft eligible

Last week saw right-handed pitcher Nick Bitsko become eligible for the 2020 draft. He had been the top rated prospect for the 2021 draft, but is graduating early in order to become draft eligible this year. He would have been an old junior this year, but graduating early and entering the 2020 class puts him at the same age as most of the rest of the class. He’ll be 18-years-old on draft day.

At MLB Pipeline, Bitsko slid into the 9th spot on their 2020 draft board. He wasn’t quite as high on the Baseball America board, finding himself behind two other prep pitchers and a few prep hitters in the middle of the first round.

5 Responses

  1. Kap

    With how loaded this draft class is, the Reds might get another blue chip prospect. Would be nice to get, especially if they do make a trade soon to replenish the system.

  2. Tom

    Fortunately the draft is loaded this year. There looks to be four or five great options available at pick 12. Maybe they can get a top eight player to slide down by offering more.

    This pick is really important. It marks the end of opportunity to acquire an affordable young star that might keep the window open in 2022 and beyond.

    That is, assuming they have a winning record this year and next year.

    As we saw from 2011 two 2014 there is a small guarantee that you’ll have a player available later in round 1.

    Generally speaking near the 12th pick I like the top outfielder available.

  3. Doc

    Sounds as though the Reds will line up about right for drafting another Nick.

    • Oldtimer

      Nick (Senzel) has a decent (not great) rookie year and projects about the same, just a little better his sophomore year. He has been injury prone thus far.

      Pete Rose (1963) had a very good rookie year and (1964) decent sophomore year. He blossomed in his third MLB season.

      Similar for Bench. Very good rookie year (1968). Good sophomore year (1969). Great third year (MVP in 1970).

  4. DaveCT

    Former Reds draftee Tommy Mace is eligible again. He was drawing some interest here, among other places, in 2017 coming out of HS.