As teams are discussing Minor League cuts we are going to look at who they will be adding to their farm system when the 2020 MLB draft occurs. The 2020 MLB draft is going to be shortened to 5 rounds this year. In previous years the draft has been 40 rounds. Every undrafted player would be free to sign with any team but only for a maximum of $20,000. I touched on this in a recent post but that means more prospects will likely choose college as their route over signing with a team. It will mean leaving money on the table for a lot of players. It will mean the end of a dream for some.
There are a total of 160 picks for the 2020 MLB draft
The 2020 MLB draft is something I’ve been thinking about for a while now. I’d love for Texas A&M pitcher Asa Lacy or UCLA outfielder Garrett Mitchell to fall to the Rangers. That would be like a ray of sunshine sneaking past a rooster, it won’t happen. I saw both Lacy and Mitchell at the Frisco Classic and they are legit. The Rangers aren’t that lucky as both of those guys are predicted to go in the top 10. Some mock drafts actually shave Mitchell falling out of the top 10 due to concerns over his Type 1 diabetes.
We are going to look at players that have been mentioned in some of the mock drafts that I have seen.
A little History with the Texas Rangers 1st round pick
Since 2010 the Rangers have favored pitchers as they have made up 6 out of 10 picks. The always pitching starved Rangers could go that direction again this year. We all know that you can never have enough pitchers! The Rangers have also favored prospects coming out of High School as 7 of their last 10 have come out of High school.. Cole Winn was the last pitcher out of High School they selected in 2018.
The Texas Rangers last 10 draft picks
- 2019: Josh Jung, 3B, College
- 2018: Cole Winn, SP High School
- 2017: Bubba Thompson, CF High School
- 2016: Cole Ragans, SP High School
- 2015: Dillon Tate, SP College
- 2014: Luis Ortiz, SP High School
- 2013: Chi Chi Gonzalez, SP College
- 2012: Luis Brinson, CF High School
- 2011: Kevin Matthews, SP High School
- 2010: Jake Skole, CF High School
The Texas Rangers have the 14th pick in the first Round and then #50, #87, #117, and #147 in the 2020 MLB Draft.
Each of the Rangers last 4 picks are still in the organization. Matt Purke is the lone first round pick (2009) that the Rangers have not been able to agree to terms with.
This seems like a perfect year for the Rangers to commit to drafting a College prospect rather than a High School prospect, especially if it is after the 5th round.
I’ve looked at quite a few mock drafts and will give a run-down on some of the prospects that may fall to the Rangers.
2020 prospects that the Rangers may select
Age: soon to be 18 | Height: 6’4 | Weight: 220 | Position: RHP | School: Central Bucks East HS
The video gives an idea on the movement of his pitches.
Bitsko was originally going to be a part of the 2021 draft class but he is graduating early, making him eligible for this 2020 draft. He throws the heat with his fastballs ranging from 92-96 and has reached even higher. He’s got another plus pitch in the form of a curveball that in my opinion shows great movement. I’ve seen reports that he’s got a changeup that he throws infrequently that ranges from 86-87 MPH. I dont think the Rabgers could go wrong here but he’d be years away from Arkington.
Age: 20 | Height: 6’6 | Weight: 218 | Position: LHP | School: Tennessee
Crochet is a southpaw and stands at 6?6? 220 pounds. With his fastball he sits 96-100 mph and has near elite-level spin rates. Crochet also has a plus slider with a changeup. There are a couple of concerns: 1. is the shoulder injury that kept him sidelined except for 3.1 innings before Covid-19 shut things down. 2. He does not have much experience as a starter in his college career; 13 starts.
In 2019 he pitched 65 innings and had a earned run average of 4.02 in 65 innings. He walked 26 and struck out 81 and earned 3 saves.
Reports are that he can reach the mid to upper 90’s on his fastball and he’s got a couple of secondary pitches in the form of a slider and changeup.
Age: 18 | Height: 6’1 | Weight: 220 lbs | Position: RHP | School: Refugio HS (Refugio, TX)
Kelley won the Texas Gatorade High School Player of the Year award and it is safe to say he is going to be a first round pick. With a repertoire that includes a fastball that ranges from 94-98 , a curveball between 74-79 and a changeup from 81-83 he is a solid pitcher.
Age: 18 | Height: 6’1 | Weight: 175 | School: Harvard-Westlake High School | Bats: L | Throws: L
Being a Texas Rangers fan all of my life, most of the time my preference is for a pitching prospect to be selected. I wouldn’t complain if the Rangers select this kid. From all of the reports I’ve read he is pretty impressive. According to the report by Perfect Game, he has the chance to be an elite-level Centerfielder. He possesses speed (6.51 ) in the 60 yard dash and has good defense making accurate throws.
Age: 21 | Height: 6’3 | Weight: 210 | Position: C | School: The Ohio State University | Bats: R | Throws: R
If Sam Huff isn’t enough for you for a catching prospect, maybe you’d like the Rangers to snag Dinlger if they have the chance. Dingler is an outfielder turned catcher. Although it’s a small sample size, in 13 games this year he slashed a line of .340/.404/.760 and hit 5 home runs with 14 runs batted in. In fewer games this year he hit more home runs than last year with 3 in 2019.
He played 39 games as catcher in 2019 and 10 this year before baseball shut down.
Age: 18 | Height: 6’2 | Weight: 185 | Position: SS | School: Mount Carmel High School | Bats: R Throws: R
As much as we love Elvis Andrus, could the Rangers draft his replacement? They have Jonathan Ornelas or Chris Seise waiting in the wings but by all accounts, Howard would be another solid pick. With good defense, a solid arm and good speed, he should stick at the shortstop position. He ran a 6.76 in the 60-yard dash. According to a few publications, Howard is the best shortstop in this draft.
Age: 21 | Height: 6’3 | Weight: 205 | Position: RF | School: Arkansas | Bats: L | Throws: R
Prospects365 has the Rangers taking Kjerstad at pick 14. Before Covid-19 shut things down, Kjerstad was hitting .448/ .513/ .791 in 16 games. His college numbers are solid overall, with a .343 average with a 1.011 OPS in three college seasons. The Rangers have Leody Taveras and Bubba Thompson in the pipeline for centerfield. Kjerstad would be a solid pick at a corner outfield position.
Age: 18 | Height: 6’1 | Weight: 205 | Position: OF | School: West Allegheny | Bats: L | Throws: L
Age: 21 | Height: 6’2 | Weight: 230 | Position: 1B | School: University of North Carolina | Bats: S | Throws: R
As you can see, there is plenty of talent listed in this post. It is not all encompassing and the Rangers may draft a player not listed. With things changing daily, we will probably add a name or two before the draft so stay tuned.
I’d like the Texas Rangers 2020 1st round pick to be Garrett Mitchell but I think they will go with a pitcher. My guess is Nick Bitsko. Who do you think the Rangers will draft?