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2020 MLB Draft: Top 25 Prospects

by Christopher Crawford
Updated On: June 10, 2020, 3:10 am ET

Over the last few weeks, I've given you my top 10 fantasy hitting prospects eligible for the 2020 MLB Draft, and also the top 10 hurlers eligible to be drafted starting June 10.

Now that we've done that, let's take a little broader look at the class. Regardless of position, we'll take a look at the top 25 prospects in this draft class. I've also broken the prospects down by tiers, to hopefully give you a better idea of where the class gets weaker -- or stronger, if you're a believer in quantity over quality -- as things progress. 

Before we get started, just a reminder that because of the COVID-19 shutdown on top of some other decisions, the draft has been dropped to five rounds in 2020. Those who are not drafted can sign for no more than $20,000 as an undrafted free agent, or they have the option to go back to school -- assuming they still have eligibility left. Also, a reminder that this list is completely from a fantasy angle; several of these players would rank higher or lower if we were doing just a straight prospect list.

With that out of the way, here's a look at the top 25 fantasy prospects eligible for the 2020 draft. 

Tier One 

1. Austin Martin, 3B/OF, Vanderbilt
2. Spencer Torkelson, 1B, Arizona State

These are clearly the two best prospects in this class, and while their skill sets are fairly different, they both have a chance to be upper-echelon fantasy players. Martin gets a slight edge over Torkelson for me because of his speed and the fact that he’s going to play somewhere other than first base, but Torkelson has as much offensive upside in his hit and power tools as any draft prospect we’ve seen Bryce Harper. The first baseman will almost assuredly be the first pick on June 10, but again, I think Martin is the better fantasy prospect right now. It wouldn’t shock me if we see both in the bigs before the end of the 2022 season.

Tier Two

3. Max Meyer, RHP, Minnesota

Meyer gets this tier all to himself. There are several quality collegiate pitching prospects in this draft, and if we were just doing a ranking without fantasy implications, Meyer would not be in this top spot. This is a fantasy publication, however, and the right-hander has two elite pitches in his fastball and slider, and his change is another pitch that can miss bats. There’s a chance Meyer may need to move to the bullpen because of his 6-foot -- or possibly shorter -- size, but if that happens, he’s a potential dominant relief arm. Either way, good things are going to happen for Meyer. 

Tier Three

4. Emerson Hancock, RHP, Georgia
5. Garrett Mitchell, OF, UCLA
6.Zac Veen, OF, Spruce Creek HS (FL)

Hancock is my top pitching prospect without fantasy considerations, as he has 6-foot-4 size, throws everything for strikes, and he also has four pitches that can miss bats. If you’re looking for more of a high-floor starter, you might prefer him to Meyer. Mitchell might be the most divisive prospect in the class, but I see a hitter who can hit for average, steal bases and also has some power to be untapped. Veen is easily the top prep prospect in this class, and has a chance to provide above-average totals in the power and average category.

Tier Four 

7. Ed Howard, SS, Mount Carmel HS (IL)
8. Nick Gonzales, INF, New Mexico State
9. Asa Lacy, LHP, Texas A&M
10. Robert Hassell, OF, Independence HS (TN)
11. Heston Kjerstad, OF, Arkansas 
12. Jared Kelley, RHP, Refugio HS (TX)

The drop from third tier to the fourth is a fairly substantial one, but this is a good draft class on paper, so it’s more of a compliment than a complaint. One area this draft doesn’t shine -- again, on paper -- is in terms of middle-infield prospects, but Howard and Gonzales are both more than the best of a bad situation. Howard is more likely to stay at shortstop and steal bases, but Gonzales has put up softball numbers at New Mexico State, and has a chance for a plus hit tool at the highest level. Lacy is likely to be the first pitching prospect selected in this draft, and while there are some command issues, he’s a southpaw who can miss bats with the best of them and has a strong track record. Hassell might have the best chance to hit for average of any hitter in this class, and Kjerstad has 30-plus power potential. Another area of “weakness” in this class is prep pitching, but Kelley has three pitches that get plus grades and should throw more than enough strikes to remain a starter. 

Tier Five 

13. Garrett Crochet, LHP, Tennessee
14. Casey Martin, SS, Arkansas
15. Dillon Dingler, C, Ohio State
16. Reid Detmers, LHP, Louisville
17. Austin Hendrick, OF, West Allegheny HS (PA)
18. Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, Harvard-Westlake HS (CA)

The drop from four-to-five is much gentler than the drop from three-to-four, which speaks to the depth in the class. Crochet is a risky prospect because he hasn’t pitched up to his abilities in the SEC, but his stuff competes with all but the “big three” in this class. Detmers has a much better track record, and while he doesn’t have elite stuff, his ability to locate could make him the first prospect to reach the majors from this group. Dingler is that rare catching prospect who has a chance to steal bases, and Crow-Armstrong is a potential leadoff hitter who only ranks this “low” because of concerns about his power. I have some doubts about whether Hendrick can hit at a high-clip, but his power/speed combination is certainly appealing and could make up for the lack of average. Martin, meanwhile, might be the most volatile prospect in the draft because of his extreme contact issues, but also because he's a shortstop that can steal bases and hit for power at well above-average levels.

Tier Six 

19. Jordan Walker, 3B, Decatur HS (GA)
20. Tyler Soderstrom, C, Turlock HS (CA)
21. Mick Abel, RHP, Jesuit HS (OR)
22. Daniel Cabrera, OF, LSU
23. Patrick Bailey, C, NC State
24. Austin Wells, C, Arizona
25. Bryce Jarvis, RHP, Duke 

Bailey and Cabrera are better “real-life” prospects than fantasy, but both have a chance to reach fantasy-relevance; Bailey as a backstop with above-average power from both sides of the plate, and Cabrera as an outfielder with at least average tools across the board. Soderstrom has a chance for a plus hit-tool from the left side, and while he’s not a lock to stick at catcher, the bat may play even if he does have to move to the outfield or a corner-infield spot. Abel offers projection and a fastball that already touches the mid 90s, and when he’s at his best, he shows a swing-and-miss slider and usable change. Jarvis may have improved his stock more than any pitcher in this class thanks to his work before the COVID-19 shutdown, and Wells is a right-handed hitter whose above-average hit and power potential plays up because he should be able to stick at a premium position.

Just missed: Tanner Burns, RHP, Auburn; Carson Tucker, SS, Mountain Pointe HS (AZ); Aaron Sabato, 1B, North Carolina; Nick Bitsko, RHP, Central Bucks East HS (PA); Isaiah Greene, OF, Corona HS (CA)

Christopher Crawford

Christopher Crawford is a baseball and college football writer for NBC Sports EDGE and also appears on the Circling the Bases Podcast.