Sam Craft/Associated Press
The 2020 MLB draft takes place Wednesday and Thursday with uncertainty hovering over the sport.
Negotiations between the league’s owners and the Major League Baseball Players Association are still ongoing, and with every day that passes, the potential of a minor league season for the top prospects diminishes.
Even though there is negativity regarding the start of the 2020 campaign, the five-round draft process will shed a positive light on the sport as high school and college players have their dreams of becoming a major league player come true.
The Detroit Tigers are expected to lead off the draft by taking Arizona State first baseman Spencer Torkelson.
A bevy of college prospects should follow the 20-year-old off the board, and there is a chance only one high school player is chosen in the top 10.
MLB Draft Selection Order
1. Detroit Tigers
2. Baltimore Orioles
3. Miami Marlins
4. Kansas City Royals
5. Toronto Blue Jays
6. Seattle Mariners
7. Pittsburgh Pirates
8. San Diego Padres
9. Colorado Rockies
10. Los Angeles Angels
11. Chicago White Sox
12. Cincinnati Reds
13. San Francisco Giants
14. Texas Rangers
15. Philadelphia Phillies
16. Chicago Cubs
17. Boston Red Sox
18. Arizona Diamondbacks
19. New York Mets
20. Milwaukee Brewers
21. St. Louis Cardinals
22. Washington Nationals
23. Cleveland Indians
24. Tampa Bay Rays
25. Atlanta Braves
26, Oakland Athletics
27. Minnesota Twins
28. New York Yankees
29. Los Angeles Dodgers
4 College Arms Chosen In Top 8
After Torkelson and Vanderbilt’s Austin Martin likely go off the board to Detroit and Baltimore, respectively, we could see a run on college pitchers.
Texas A&M southpaw Asa Lacy is viewed as the draft’s top pitching prospect, and he is expected to land with the Miami Marlins at No. 3. Georgia’s Emerson Hancock, Max Meyer from Minnesota and Reid Detmers out of Louisville could follow in quick succession.
Toronto, Seattle and San Diego are the likeliest destinations for hurlers since Kansas City is focused on bats at No. 4, per MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo.
Each of the four college hurlers are intriguing to teams with high draft picks because of the consistency produced over three years and the more robust scouting reports franchises have on them compared to high school products.
Lacy and Hancock are in line to join the group of eight SEC pitchers chosen in the top 10 since 2010.
Meyer is a rare first-round prospect out of Minnesota, after Glen Perkins was the last Golden Gophers player chosen in the opening round in 2004, per the Star-Tribune’s Ron Haggstrom.
If Detmers is selected early, he would be the third Louisville product in the last five years to land in the top 10.
Zac Veen Is Only High School Player Selected In Top 10
Zac Veen is the only high school prospect projected by a majority of experts to be a surefire top-10 pick.
Mayo predicted Veen falls to the San Diego Padres at No. 8, which would almost guarantee no other high school players are chosen in the top 10.
In that situation, Colorado and the Los Angeles Angels would likely target collegiate pitchers or NC State catcher Patrick Bailey.
Robert Hassell III is projected to land between No. 8 and No. 10 by all three experts, but all it takes is one surprise pick to drop him from the top 10.
In most years, the top 10 could be littered with high school players, but due to their lack of playing time in 2020 and the preference for more developed prospects in a five-round draft, those prospects could carry lower first-round value.
Veen, Hassell and other prep products could still turn into solid players, but with no minor leagues active at the moment, their development may not start until 2021.