Butch Dill/Associated Press
The unique structure of the 2020 MLB draft led to more college prospects chosen over high school products.
Some of the marquee high school players were left undrafted because they likely would have honored college commitments over signing for less money in the second to five rounds.
Carson Montgomery and Cade Horton are among the players now expected to go to high-profile college programs and test their draft stock in the coming years.
There are also a handful of premier college players headed back to that level for 2021, which could vault certain programs to the top of the list of College World Series contenders.
MLB teams can still try to sign the best undrafted players, but it will be a difficult task with less money at their disposal.
The full list of picks from the two-day, five-round event can be found on MLB.com.
Best Undrafted Prospects
Carson Montgomery, RHP, Windermere HS (Fla.)
Montgomery was a consensus top-60 prospect, but it appears he will have to wait some time to join others in a professional system.
The right-handed hurler, who is headed to Florida State, was the top-ranked player by MLB.com not chosen over the five rounds.
ESPN.com’s Kiley McDaniel, who ranked Montgomery at No. 48, noted the improvement he made in the brief spring season.
“A big name when he was throwing into the mid-90s a couple years ago, he took a step forward this spring with a mid-90s heater headlining three above-average pitches and the feel to start,” McDaniel said.
Montgomery will be a part of the No. 5 recruiting class in the nation, per PerfectGame.org, and he will have a chance to improve his pitching skills against top competition in the ACC.
Cade Horton, RHP/SS, Norman HS (Okla.)
Don’t feel too bad for Horton that he was passed up in the draft.
He is committed to play baseball and football at Oklahoma. He will be used as a pitcher and shortstop by the Sooners.
The Athletic’s Keith Law placed the Oklahoma native at No. 72 on his final big board and pointed out that he is a better pitching prospect.
“Horton is a prospect both as a pitcher and as a shortstop, but he’s better on the mound, where he shows a lot of feel and polish with a three-pitch mix, including a fastball up to 93-94 mph, a slider and changeup,” he wrote.
If Horton continues to shine on the diamond, he will likely have a better chance to go pro as a baseball player. And if that is the case, he will have more time to define his profile as either a premier arm or a middle infield bat.
Tommy Mace, RHP, Florida
Tommy Mace’s return to the Florida Gators will be met with open arms.
The Athletic’s Josh Tolentino confirmed during the draft that Mace will return to the Gators for his senior season:
Baseball america‘s Teddy Cahill noted that his return reinforces Florida’s position on top of the early rankings for the 2021 campaign:
Mace owns a 16-5 career record with 145 strikeouts and could use another season in the SEC to confirm a first-round position in 12 months.
The right-handed hurler was ranked 49th by McDaniel, who was impressed with his jump from high school to college.
“Mace was a projection arm in high school that made a jump early in college. Some scouts complained before the season that his heater was too hittable, but he was up to 97 mph against Miami and has an above average-to-plus slider and the feel to start,” McDaniel wrote.
If he extends his success into next season, Mace could help Florida contend for a College World Series title and land in the top 10 of the 2021 MLB draft.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90
Statistics obtained from Baseball Reference