8/25/19

Draft News

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MLB.com has these three guys as their top college prospects in the upcoming June 2020 draft:

1.     Emerson Hancock, RHP, Georgia

Hancock has several similarities to 2018 No. 1 overall pick Casey Mize as a Southeastern Conference right-hander who pounds the strike zone with a deep repertoire and missed some time with physical issues as a sophomore. He has top-of-the-rotation upside with a fastball that reaches 98 mph, a slider that can be an out pitch, a changeup that shows flashes of becoming a plus offering and an effective curveball. He allowed a total of eight runs in his first 10 starts last spring but didn't dominate as much after missing two weeks with a lat issue.

2.      Spencer Torkelson, 1B, Arizona State

Like Vaughn, Torkelson generates almost all of his value with his bat but will go near the top of the Draft because he generates a lot of value at the plate. He's not a much of a pure hitter as Vaughn but may have more right-handed pop -- he broke Barry Bonds' Sun Devils freshman home run record with 25 in 2018, then encored with 22 homers last spring.

3.     Austin Martin, 3B, Vanderbilt

Martin had a sophomore year to remember, leading the SEC in hitting (.392) and on-base percentage (.486) while helping the Commodores win their second national title. The best pure hitter in the college crop, he has great feel for the barrel and developing power from the right side of the plate plus the versatility to play solid defense at multiple positions -- perhaps even shortstop.

As for the high school kids…

1.     Jared Kelley, RHP, Refugio (Texas) HS

Kelley was in the discussion for best high school pitcher at the beginning of the summer and cemented his spot atop this list with a dominant three-inning performance at the Area Code Games, where he worked from 94-98 mph while striking out six in three innings. He generates premium velocity with ease and has a quality changeup he'll throw in any count, though his low-80s slider could use more consistency.

2.     Mick Abel, RHP, Jesuit HS (Portland, Ore.)

Abel would have ranked No. 1 on this list if his stuff didn't dip slightly in August, though that's somewhat understandable because he spent three weeks at the Prospect Development Pipeline League in June while Kelley skipped that event. Abel's more projectable than Kelley at 6-foot-5 and 185 pounds, has a fluid delivery that yields plenty of strikes and shows flashes of three plus pitches (93-95 mph fastball with downhill plane, 82-86 mph slider, deceptive 86-88 mph changeup with tumble) when he's fresh.

3.     Austin Hendrick, OF, West Allegheny HS (Imperial, Pa.)

Hendrick clearly has established himself as the top high school position prospect at this point, pounding the ball all summer and showing the best bat speed and raw power in the class. He'll need to get better against off-speed pitches but he fits the right-field profile perfectly with his huge left-handed pop and strong arm.


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