We might not have had any college baseball for nearly two months now, and some high schools (most, actually) never even began to play this season. But there’s still going to be a truncated draft in 2020 and that means we’re going to still be looking at the draft rankings from various publications. Baseball America’s been going strong for a few months now, updating their rankings over that time period. Within the last week they expanded their rankings to the Top 400 players in this years draft despite the draft – at least right now – only being five rounds and 160 players.

The crew over at MLB Pipeline released their draft rankings on Tuesday afternoon, updating them for the first time since December. The top 10 for MLB Pipeline is very similar to the one from Baseball America. They feature nine of the same 10 players, and spots 3-8 are exactly the same. The top two players are switched, and they each feature one player that the other doesn’t. Baseball America has high school outfielder Austin Hendrick at the number nine spot on their list (#13 on the MLB Pipeline list). Over on the MLB Pipeline side of the ledger they have outfielder Heston Kjerstad at the #10 spot (#15 on the Baseball America list).

While the Baseball America list is behind a paywall and you will need to be a subscriber to see their Top 400 with scouting reports, the Top 150 at MLB Pipeline is free to check out for everyone. And it also comes with scouting reports (and video on most).

It’s tough to see how many of the spots would change between now and the draft since there’s no baseball being played, and players aren’t allowed to be scouted with any video’s post March 27th – so even if, say, a pitcher was able to increase their velocity, or start showing a new pitch that they’ve worked on while away from actual games, it wouldn’t matter. But even if scouts were allowed to account for stuff like that, it’s probably not moving the needle too much given that there’s a big difference between showing something in a bullpen session with no batter at the plate versus doing it a few times on video. Even with Trackman/rapsodo data, being able to do that in a competitive environment matters.

The Cincinnati Reds will pick 12th overall in the draft. As things currently sit there are only going to be five rounds, though Major League Baseball does hold the right to add more rounds if they choose. There has not been any rumor of that being the case, though. Assuming they stick with five rounds, the Reds will have six picks this year thanks to a competitive balance second round selection. Below is the breakdown of the pick and slot value for each.

Round (pick) Slot Value
1 (12) $4,366,400
2 (48) $1,543,600
2 (66) $1,003,300
3 (85) $710,700
4 (114) $507,400
5 (144) $379,000

Now, it’s also worth noting that the slot value will eventually be paid out in full (well, technically whatever the player/team agrees to). But in 2020 the player will only get 10% of that signing bonus. On July 1st of 2021 the player will get 50% of what is remaining, and then on July 1st 2022 they will get the rest of their signing bonus.

4 Responses

  1. Tom

    I remember Jeren Kendall being the #1 prospect at this point in time (prior to any games being played). Jason Groome. Etc.

    This may benefit the Reds or they may fall prey to the dynamic. It will be a tough and unpredictable draft year for many teams at the top.

  2. Tom

    Assuming the top 5 go before the Reds pick and that there might be some variability to allow anyone from 6-15 to be available to the Reds, here are my favorites:

    1 Jared Kelley RHP
    2 Mick Abel RHP
    3 Tyler Soderstrom C
    4 Reid Detmers LHP
    5 Ed Howard SS
    6 Garrett Crochet LHP
    7 Austin Wells C

  3. AirborneJayJay

    I really like the high school pitcher Nick Bitsko at #12 for the Reds. Still just 17 and won’t be 18 for 2 or 3 more months. It is similar, but not the same exactly as Hunter Greene. With the Reds pitching depth it would be an ideal pick. Would love to see what Kyle Boddy can do with him. Bitsko is going to be elite no doubt about it. The only question is will he be on the board at #12? Without a high school season being played the Reds could get him at #12. Otherwise Bitsko would have been able to play himself into the top 10, possibly top 5. This could be an ideal situation for the Reds.