The 2020 Major League Baseball draft is in less than two weeks, taking place on June 10th and June 11th. We’re in the home stretch, as they say – but it’s a lot different than years past. There’s no baseball happening right now. No College World Series. No high school playoffs. Nothing. It’s going to make for an interesting draft given that the college guys have played somewhere between 3-17 games depending on if they are a pitcher or position player, and what school they play at, and some high school guys never started their seasons at all. Scouting the 2020 year is a mess, and many players are being evaluated on past reports, and some video from training complexes.

With all of that said, we’re getting more and more mock drafts to look at. Here at RedsMinorLeagues.com we’ve been pounding away at scouting reports on the players who look to be potential 1st rounders, and will keep doing so up until the week of the draft. In the last two days we’ve gotten three different mock drafts from major publications and all three of them have the Cincinnati Reds going in different directions.

Baseball America’s latest Mock Draft

Yesterday saw Baseball America drop their latest mock draft on the world and in this version they have the Reds going the high school outfielder route, selecting Austin Hendrick with the 12th overall pick. You can read our full scouting report on Hendrick here, but here’s a quick refresher:

Potential 5-tool player with some of the best raw power in the entire draft. Left-handed hitter who has had some good showings on both the national and international scene with Team USA. Elite bat speed, power to all fields. Some concerns he could be a swing-and-miss guy. Small chance he’s a center fielder, but fits in well in either corner spot if he has to move.

Fangraphs first Mock Draft

Eric Longenhagen published the first mock draft over at Fangraphs on Wednesday. He has the Reds selecting right-handed starter Mick Abel out of Jesuit High School in Oregon. He also notes that the team could be looking at Austin Hendrick here, or maybe other high school outfielders. We wrote about Mick Abel two weeks ago, and you can see his full scouting report here. Here’s a quick refresher, though:

Fastball in the low-to-mid 90’s and touched 97. He’s got room to fill out his frame, and potentially add velocity down the line. He’s bringing an above-average slider and change up, along with a solid curveball and good control with him. Arguably the most polished high school pitcher in the draft.

The Athletic’s Mock Draft version 2.0

Keith Law published his second version of his mock draft at The Athletic this morning. He has the Reds selecting the subject of our most recently published draft scouting report, Oklahoma right-handed starter Cade Cavalli. Here’s a quick refresher on his report:

May have the best pure stuff in the draft with a plus fastball and a plus slider to go with an above-average curveball and a solid change up. He’s athletic, he’s got an ideal frame, good mechanics, and early on in 2020 he looked like he took a big step forward. Historically, though, he’s battled some injuries and he’s struggled with his control.

Reminder of the Draft rules

This year there are only going to be five rounds in the entire draft instead of the usual 40. The Cincinnati Reds have six picks in those five rounds, getting a competitive balance pick following the second round this year along with their regular pick in each round.

Signing bonus slots are the same as they were in 2019 and teams are still being held to the overall pool amounts. For the players that sign, though, it’s going to feel a lot different than if they had been drafted last year. Players that sign in this years draft will get up to $100,000 of their bonus paid out immediately. Whatever is remaining beyond that will be paid out in two installments. The first half of the remainder owed will be paid out in July of 2021 and the second half will be paid out in July of 2022.

For players who are undrafted they will be eligible to sign as free agents. But unlike years past where they could sign for whatever they could get a team to pay, the most they can get as a signing bonus is $20,000. Teams can sign as many of these players as they would like.

What will the Cincinnati Reds do?

When you are drafting in the middle of a round, or later, it’s tough to really formulate a “for sure” plan on who you are going to draft. Too many things can happen in front of you for you to make such a concrete plan. Keith Law mentioned in his first version of the mock draft that he had been hearing the Reds were going the college route, which makes sense because the draft is very college heavy. But we’re also seeing plenty of other reputable places having them select a high school player.

With a new scouting director in place, there’s not exactly much of a track record to look at when it comes to whether he leans in one direction or another when it comes to 1st round picks between high school players or college players. The fact that there’s not much baseball at all in 2020 to look at could leave the draft playing out in unpredictable ways as some teams simply have more information on guys than others because they scheduled the trip to see Player A before things shut down, while another team was planning on seeing that guy two weeks later and never got a chance to see him this season. 13 days and we’ll find out – but I’m personally expecting some guys to be selected in spots that don’t match up with their “ranking” this season more than others.

5 Responses

  1. RobL

    I love Abel for the Reds. Already has good stuff with tons more of projection left in that frame. Give Driveline a chance to work with him.

    With all of the uncertainty in the process this season, it is easy to see the Reds going “safe” with a college player, but the college guys in their range all seem to be long on tools, but questionable on production and/or health. Hendrick’s questions about his hit tool would make him seem to not be a serious consideration for the Reds in round 1. Hassell seems more in line with the Reds’ tendencies.

    I am always in favor of cutting a deal if you really like someone who is projected to go lower, but the Reds are more of a team that goes BPA. I can’t really complain about that.

    Max Meyer was my favorite player out of the ones who could possibly make it to 12. However, Meyer looks increasingly unlikely to make it there. My next two would be Abel and Ed Howard. My preference would probably change each day.

  2. donny

    If we go by what the reds did in 2019 draft with some new members in the scouting department and if you look at their second and third pick last year. Which seemed different than in years past. When you look at the guys they could have pick. They seem to like guys with power.

    So i wouldn’t be surprised if they select a guy known for power.
    Heston Kjerstad
    Austin Hendrick

    Jordan Walker later in the draft
    exc,exc

    • donny

      Looking back at the 2019 draft and who they could have chosen in the second and third round. It could have been a money crunch issue as well.

  3. donny

    Last year the Reds decided to select Rece Hinds with second pick who was ranked in the 50’s for 1.8 mill.
    They also decided to select Tyler Callihan in the third round who was ranked in the 40’s for 1.5 mill.

    Instead of signing a guy like Matthew Allen who was ranked in the top 15 of the first round. Who latter signed with the mets for 2.5 mill in the third round. And if you remember they the reds where linked to Allen at one point.

    Also instead of signing a guy like Josh Wolf who was considered a late first round pick who also signed with the Mets in the second round for 2.15 mill.

    I guess the Reds decided to go with 2 guys with the money instead of one of Matthew Allen or Josh Wolf.

    • donny

      I will also mention that there was a concern by scouts of Rece Hinds swing and miss issues as well.