Our mock draft included five rounds with 12 teams, 60 picks total. Players selected in the 2020 draft, posted (or most likely to be) International players, as well as potential J2 signings were eligible to be selected. I had the ninth pick in the draft and I knew my players would have one thing in common (successful NCAA athletes).
Year after year I prefer college prospects over HS prospects, and with many HS players missing their last season of baseball, it made it even easier this year to pass up younger prospects. The one HS player I did consider to pick was Nick Bitsko, due to his elite fastball, plus curveball, a mechanic improvement from last summer to present, and proactivity on social media to showcase the data of his pitches. This year is no different as I did stick with my strategy of selecting college players and I was happy with the five players I picked up in this year’s FYPD.
Drafted at sixth overall in the 2020 MLB draft but fell to the ninth pick in our FYPD mock, I selected him immediately. Emerson Hancock finished his career at Georgia with a 206/55 K/BB rate, the Mariners think those numbers can improve and can increase his swing-and-miss rate. He is a power arm that features a fastball that sits in the mid-90s that can touch the upper-90s. The righty does have a lower arm slot (deceptive) that can cause a rising fastball that can work in the upper part of the zone. His off-speed pitches are going to need some development, the fastball is elite and has already shown success against top talent in the SEC. He has a spin rate of around 2500 on his fastball, which is already elite at the MLB level. Once he learns to locate the fastball up in the zone and gets into some pitch design with his off-speed pitches, this guy is going to be on a fast track to the big leagues.
I was able to add another college starting pitcher who I was a big fan of and could compete in the big leagues on day one in 2021. Reid Detmers is a three or four starter in the rotation with the Angels right now. He is a guy that competes on the mound to keep it simple: he attacks the zone, has plus command, and lets hitters know that it is his strike zone. He has average stuff on the mound. Detmers is in the low-90s with his fastball but hitters do not seem to pick it up easily, it plays like a heavy ball that produces swings and misses. There is room to improve in terms of velocity, he opens up his body too early which leads to his arm lagging behind him trying to catch up. It could be a number of things, but this means there is a higher ceiling. There were also reports he was working on a fourth pitch, a slider. Adding a four-pitch mix, experience at the alternate training site, and a year of development are showing signs that Detmers may be making his debut in 2021.
I was excited about this pick, Dillon Dingler is an athletic catcher that can swing it and has a chance to stay behind the plate. If catcher doesn’t work out or if he ever needs rest, he can play the OF (Played C/CF for Ohio State). He won’t have trouble handling the run game at the next level, throwing out 21 of 42 base stealers at OSU. Dingler has a chance to be a 25-30 HR catcher, standing at 6’3 he is a big body you want to see develop into a major league catcher. He had a solid showing at the alternate site, it was a good experience seeing live MLB arms in the box and behind the plate. He did struggle at first as expected but the PD department was satisfied with the improvement they saw. Receiving will improve as he gets experience with pro-level pitchers, and if the bat is playing early in his career, he may have a shot to be a part of the Tigers earlier than expected. Above-average hitting catchers don’t come around often, especially ones with plus power potential, and Dingler will be an exciting prospect to follow.
Successful athletic college hitters are my favorite prospects, so it was hard to stay away from Nick Loftin. He has great versatility, he came into Baylor as their starting LF before moving to SS halfway through the year, he even made a couple of pitching appearances during his three years there. In the summer with Team USA, he played 2B, SS, 3B, LF, and RF. He can play anywhere on the field and has a chance to be a solid infielder, where I think he’ll stay. I like his swing at the plate, he has a setup similar to the Khris Davis with more middle direction in his swing. He is narrow and relaxed in his stance, and can spray line drives to all fields. In 2018/2019 he hit 30 doubles and 12 home runs for Baylor, he does create some juice with the bat, and his power potential should develop further working with the Royal’s S&C staff. He had positive feedback from the alternate site, he was batting out of the leadoff spot, showed off a little pop, and displayed an advanced approach at the plate for a 22-year-old. I’m excited about Loftin’s future, if the bat does continue to develop there won’t be an issue finding a position for him on the field.
With my last pick, I went with someone who has a high ceiling but needs some fine-tuning. An athletic switch hitter that stands at 6’4 and one of the best infielders from the 2020 MLB Draft. Gage Workman was Arizona State’s 3B during his time there, but the Tigers have mentioned that they are trying him out at SS. The power potential is there but he struggled to make consistent contact. In three years at ASU Workman hit 25 doubles, 12 triples, and 14 HR but came with a K/BB rate of 138/48. The Tigers signed him for nearly twice his slot value for $1 million ($571k slot value), and it was clear they did not want him to go back to school. From instructional reports it sounds like the Tigers are excited about him, and while some rankings had him going as early as the second round, Detroit landed him in the fourth round. With the athleticism and body type, there is a chance this guy could be a star at the big-league level. He is only 20 years old (young for an NCAA Jr.) and may need to develop for a few years in their system. Workman has a chance to be a plus defender at SS or 3B, along with hitting 25+ HR as a switch hitter.
Design by Michael Packard (@designsbypack on Twitter & IG)