The 2020 MLB Amateur Entry Draft has been limited to five rounds.
The Miami Marlins will pick third overall, and are limited to just six acquisitions, including their competitive “B” round pick. With this unprecedented change to shorten the draft, how will management choose to spend their selections?
The four players going first are generally assumed to be Arizona State’s first baseman Spencer Torkelson, Vanderbilt outfielder Austin Martin, Texas A&M left-hander Asa Lacy, and Georgia right-hander Emerson Hancock. The good news for the Miami Marlins is that they can’t really misfire with any of these four, as they all seem to be a year or so away from major league performance levels.
First Round: Third Overall
Asa Lacy – LHP – Texas A&M
If he’s still there, I believe the Marlins will go with lefty-starter Lacy. Six-foot-four and 215 lbs., Lacy was previously chosen in the 31st round of the 2017 draft by the Cleveland Indians. In hindsight, his decision to pitch at the collegiate level turned out to be a good one. With a fastball that tops out at 98 MPH, Lacy also has above-average offerings with his changeup and curveball, as well as a plus-plus slider. Pitching from a high-three-quarter slot, Lacy’s delivery is masked by hiding the ball behind his body until the last possible microsecond, and scouts are enamored of his mental makeup.
Along with Braxton Garrett, Sixto Sanchez, Edward Cabrera, and Trevor Rogers, Lacy could fit right in somewhere between one and three in the future rotation.
Second Round: 40th Overall
Dillon Dingler – C – The Ohio State
"There’s a nice trio of college catchers: Bailey/Wells/Dingler. I’d be ecstatic if one of the three made it to 40 – Greg Olsen – Discord"
Patrick Bailey out of NC State is ranked 14th, and Arizona product Austin Wells 21st. The Ohio State’s Dillon Dingler is the 37th ranked prospect, and far more likely to be available to the Marlins at number 40. Incidentally, prep catcher Drew Romo is ranked 38th.
Dillon Dingler played both center field and behind the plate as a freshman, and displays natural leadership traits. He threw out 50 percent of base stealers through his collegiate career, and could boast a 1.164 OPS through his first 13 games when the rest of the 2020 season was dropped. He’s shown good discipline at the plate, with 48 walks and 52 strikeouts for a nearly 1:1 walk to strikeout ratio. His five homers in that 13 games was already a career high.
Competitive “B” Round: 61st Overall
Colt Keith – SS – Arizona State
Arizona State is loaded. So much so that Baseball America’s 59th ranked prospect Colt Keith would be their fourth-best prospect if he were to remain at the amateur level. A six-foot-three, 195 lb. shortstop, Keith was named the Gatorade 2018-19 Mississippi Player of the Year when he hit eight homers on his way to a .527 seasonal average.
Still filling out, Keith is likely to grow into one of the more power positions that require less natural agility, such as third base or right field. A spray hitter offensively, left-handed-hitter Keith could one day hit homers to all fields, but for now drives them mostly to his pull side.
Third Round: 75th Overall
Tommy Mace – RHP – Florida
University of Florida right-hander Tommy Mace is a six-foot-six, 215 lb. 21-year-old. Already taken in the 2017 draft by the Cincinnati Reds in the 12th round, Mace added around six MPH to his fastball since graduating high school. Now armed with a fastball that reaches 96 MPH, Mace also has average-or-better offerings in his slider and changeup, with a breaking ball that still needs some work.
Not a big strikeout pitcher, Mace is more reliant on his sinking fastball to generate a majority of grounders and weak contact. If chosen, he’d be likeliest to make his major league debut with the Marlins around 2023.
Fourth Round: 105th Overall
Bryce Bonnin – RHP – Texas Tech
Texas Tech’s Bryce Bonnin is another guy who’s already been drafted, going in the 26th round to the Chicago Cubs three years ago. A six-foot-one, 190 lb. right-handed pitcher, he’s pitched to a 7-1 record and a 4.38 ERA through his college career. Although his career 1.51 WHIP could cause concern to major league drafting department, his 8.54 K/9 shows possibilities. Before the 2020 season was cancelled, he had racked up a 7.36 ERA and a 1.70 WHIP while whiffing 27 in only 14 2/3 innings.
Bonnin gets his strikeouts from his 97 MPH fastball and a power slider, along with a fringe-changeup. He’s projected as a long-reliever at the major league level.
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Fifth Round: 135th Overall
Brandon Fields – Outfield – South Carolina
South Carolina commit Brandon Fields could still chose to be a two-sport star Gamecock at running back and in centerfield, depending on whatever deal he gets from whoever drafts him. At five-foot-11 and 195 lbs., Fields has the tools to be an above-average major league centerfielder at some point in the future. With plus-running ability and bat speed, and slightly above average outfield arm-strength, his admittedly raw collection of tools have a chance to mature into something special were he to concentrate solely on baseball.
What do you think? Do you have your own theories, let us know in the comments. Thanks for reading.