Why Jays Fans Need to Embrace the Losses for One More Year – A “Way-Too-Early” Look at the 2020 MLB Draft’s Top 10 Picks

    FBJ Draft Specialist Mason McRae encourages Blue Jays fans to think of the glass being half-full, as opposed to 90+ losses full.  You can follow Mason on Twitter:  @mason_mcrae

By Mason McRae

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The Blue Jays currently sit with the third worst record in MLB. Most Jays fans would look at that as a negative, when in reality, it’s much better to be sitting with a top 5 pick (more than likely)  in the 2020 Draft rather than being in ‘no mans land’ like the Jays have been the past two seasons, missing the playoffs both years and having mid round selections at 11, and 12 with a much worse chance of landing a superstar like you do in the top 3. You could get lucky and have the reigning college pitcher of the year and best arm in the class fall to you at 12, but that’s a rare exception. So anyway, here’s a look at the Blue Jays and the 2020 Draft.

 

Already pegged as one of the better drafts in awhile, there is no shortage of arms in the 2020 class, which was the biggest weakness of a top-heavy 2019 class that dropped off quickly after Witt and Rutchsman. The 2020 features one of the more hyped up college hitters in Spencer Torkelson, and easily the most publicized prep player since Bryce Harper, in Blaze Jordan. The class features dozens of arms in Emerson Hancock, Cole Wilcox, Asa Lacey, and Max Meyer, who all would have been the #1 arm in a weak 2019 Class for arms ahead of Nick Lodolo, the #7 overall pick. With all that being said, here’s my way, way, wayyy to early 2020 Mock Draft for the top 10.

 

  1. BAL: Spencer Torkelson, 1B/OF – Arizona St

After getting a franchise altering hitter in Adley Rutchsman, you wonder if the Orioles look for an arm to lead a rather depleted rotation, which would make Emerson Hancock an appealing selection. But with Spencer Torkelson on the board, you can’t pass up on him. “Tork” is the best pure hitter in the class. He has plus plus power, and has shown extremely good plate discipline while putting up video game numbers at Arizona State in his first two seasons. He has a similar draft profile as Andrew Vaughn, but his swing and hit tool is just slightly more polished and Torkelson’s versatility and athleticism in the field might allow him to shift into a corner outfield role.

2. KC: Emerson Hancock, RHP – Georgia

After taking the future face of their franchise, in Bobby Witt Jr, the Royals have many options at 2 – with an absolutely loaded group of arms in their system. In 2018, they took three arms on Day 1 in Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar, and Daniel Lynch. Do they really need ANOTHER college arm? Yes, Emerson is without a doubt the best arm in college baseball and you can never have too-many arms in your system. Emerson features a fastball that sits 95-97, and regularly gets up to 98, and 99. His arm action is a work of art, quick and whippy. His frame is great at 6’4, and his Delivery is quick and efficient. He features a four-pitch mix with all but one being ‘just good enough’, his curveball has some life to it and good depth. You could argue for Blaze Jordan at pick #2, but passing up on Hancock would be a mistake.

3. TOR: Tyler Soderstrom, C – Turlock HS

A somewhat unknown prospect, Soderstrom hasn’t been on a single 2020 Draft board that I’ve seen, but he might  possibly the best catching prospect since Joe Mauer in 2001. Tyler has an eerily similar comp to Adley Rutchsman, both with hands that work so easy and fast. Soderstrom features a good frame at 6’2 and sneaky athleticism behind the dish. His arm is amazing, as he sat 88-90 on the bump. Tyler should see a massive rise with eyes on him this upcoming summer, and it’s all because of his impressive hit tool that has plenty of pop. With Blaze Jordan on the board, whom some would say is the best player in the class,  passing up on ‘in my opinion’, the best prep player in the class for a R-R 1B would be a mistake by Toronto.

4. MIA: Blaze Jordan, 1B – DeSoto HS

Ah yes, Blaze Jordan. The man who was featured in  YouTube video at the age of 15 that hit a million views. Will he live up to the hype? If I was a betting man, I’d say so. Blaze has a plus plus plus name. But seriously, he features an extremely special power tool, with balls flying off his bat to both gaps. His loose and easy swing will be able to find a spot in a fortunate MLB teams lineup. Blaze’s sneaky athleticism on defense and underappreciated speed could land him a spot at 3B making his draft stock much more than a “R-R 1B” that lots of scouts put red flags on. The top four players in this draft could all be argued over one or another. After Pick #4 the slight drop-off begins.

5. DET: Dylan Crews, OF – Lake Mary HS

Crews features a similar swing to Cano, He might have the ‘prettiest’ swing in the entire class and he uses his legs extremely well. He has plus hands and features a decent arm, he can play catcher as well. Some would argue Patrick Bailey would be the pick at 5, but Crews’ raw power is something hard to pass on.

6. SEA: Patrick Bailey, C – NC St

Easily the best catcher in the class, Bailey saw a drop-off in production this season after a breakout freshman year. He still showed plenty of pop off the bat and saw a growth in gap to gap power. Defensively he’s sound. There’s a serious argument for Cole Wilcox, and Pete Crow-Armstrong. Both would be much higher in previous drafts. But as said many times, this class is absolutely loaded.

7. SF: Cole Wilcox, RHP – Georgia

Cole is one of the many ‘dudes’ on the mound in this class, Wilcox would’ve been last years #1 arm as well. Wilcox sits 93-96, and touches 99,100. He has lots of arm side run of his fastball and commands his fastball well to both sides of the plate. His frame is solid at 6’4. Cole’s offspeed shows flashes, his slider has lots of late action with some bite on it and his changeup isn’t special but compliments his FB/SL combo and makes his three-pitch mix deadly.

8. WSH: Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF – Harvard-Westlake HS

Really similar draft profile as Corbin Carroll, who went 16th overall this past draft. He has plus speed and can probably play CF, thanks to his athleticism. PCA has a level and compact swing that finds holes easily and allows his speed to take effect on the game. He doesn’t wow you offensively, but he will quietly go 2-4 with a diving catch, and a few bags stolen. Not a power guy, but has shown some growth. He might be a little high at 8, with guys like Daniel Cabrera, Austin Hendrick, Max Meyer, and Austin Martin available. But his raw potential his hard to pass on.

9. CIN: Max Meyer, RHP – Minnesota

The product of an underrated  program that’s been extremely successful in Minnesota. Max sits 94-96, with a very Quick and tight slider that mirrors his fastball. His Changeup has good sink to it making for a really good three-pitch combo, but he struggles to command all 3. Max’s ceiling might not be as high as Jared Jones, and some may argue JT Ginn of Mississippi State is the better pitcher. But Max’s advanced pitchability makes him a tough player to pass on.

10. CWS: Austin Martin, 2B – Vanderbilt

It’s Dansby Swanson all over again, Martin has an open stance and really level swing that finds a way to get on base at an elite level. He might have the best numbers in all of college baseball. Now he doesn’t have much power and has a similar draft profile as Nick Madrigal from 2018, which may scare off some teams. But Martin’s bat path is much better then Madrigal’s and Martin shouldn’t struggle vs high velocity. Similar to Pick 9, there are so many names you can take at 9 or 10, which shows how deep of a class this is. The fact that hitters like Casey Martin, Austin Hendrick, and Daniel Cabrera still available. The countless arms available like Asa Lacey, Jared Jones, Jack Leftwich, JT Ginn and Tommy Mace make it so hard to guess where they all would go. But that’s what makes it so fun.

 

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