2020 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects: 31-40
40. Austin Wells, Arizona
Pos: C | B/T: L/R | Height: 6' 1" | Weight: 220 | Age: 20
Previously Drafted: 35th Round, 2018 (NYY)
Hit: 60 Power: 55 Run: 50 Throw: 45 Field: 40 Overall: 50
Finding a catcher with the offensive output that Austin Wells has is a rare occurrence, and usually these players find themselves taken in the first-round, often times inside the top ten picks. However, there are legitimate concerns about Wells’ ability to stay behind the plate defensively long-term.
As a hitter, Wells has done nothing but rake since stepping foot on campus in Tucson. In his two seasons for the Wildcats, Wells has put up a .357/.473 /.560 slash line in 353 career plate appearances. He also torn up the Cape Code League last summer finishing 3rd in the league in hits and T-6th in the league in home runs. Strikeouts are a bit of a concern for Wells, but it is nothing too drastic at this point in his career.
Defensively, is where Wells runs into a little bit of trouble. He is not the smoothest of catchers behind the plate and doesn’t show the natural feel for the position that is needed to play catcher at the MLB level. At Arizona, Wells has nabbed a decent 26 percent of potential base stealers, but he could struggle more with that against faster players at the professional level. If he needs to move from catcher, he will likely find a home as a corner outfielder or a first baseman, which drastically limits his future potential.
39. Nick Loftin, Baylor
Pos: SS | B/T: R/R | Height: 6' 1" | Weight: 180 | Age: 21
Previously Drafted: Never
Hit: 55 Power: 45 Run: 50 Throw: 55 Field: 55 Overall: 50
In a draft where pick safety might be of high importance to a lot of teams, a player like Nick Loftin could see himself going higher than he otherwise would. Loftin brings a combination of above-average defense at shortstop, with three seasons of solid offensive production while at Baylor.
Loftin, doesn’t have any loud tools that will blow you away, but he is a steady player across the board, which teams like to see from college players. While at Baylor, Loftin has put up a career .316/.374/.484 slash line with 14 home runs in 577 plate appearances. Loftin has excellent contact ability, which helps him stay away from strikeouts, but also keeps him from drawing too many walks, as he usually puts the ball in play before he can work deep into counts.
Loftin should have the ability to remain at shortstop as a professional. He likely won’t ever be a gold glove threat at the position, but if he can refine his play there a little bit more, he should be a steady defensive player at a premier defensive position.
38. Aaron Sabato, UNC
Pos: 1B | B/T: S/R | Height: 6' 2" | Weight: 230 | Age: 20
Previously Drafted: Never
Hit: 55 Power: 65 Run: 35 Throw: 45 Field: 40 Overall: 50
For a college first baseman, with no real potential to play anywhere but first or DH, you better bring a powerful bat if you want to be considered a potential first-round pick, and that is just what Aaron Sabato does.
As a draft eligible sophomore, Sabato’s time to impress scouts at the college level has been limited, but he has made full use of that time. After blasting 18 home runs in 64 games as a true freshman in 2019, Sabato belted another 7 home runs in just 19 games this spring, before the season was cut short.
Defensively, things aren’t always the smoothest for Sabato at first-base, though they aren’t bad enough to take his glove off the field just yet. Hopefully with some professional coaching, he can bring up his play closer to average at first base.
37. Dillon Dingler, Ohio State
Pos: C | B/T: R/R | Height: 6' 3" | Weight: 210 | Age: 21
Previously Drafted: Never
Hit: 50 Power: 50 Run: 55 Throw: 60 Field: 60 Overall: 50
One of just two Big Ten players to make my top 50, Dillon Dingler has a chance to be the first Ohio State Buckeye to be selected in the first two rounds of the MLB Draft, since the Twins took Alex Wimmers in the first-round of the 2010 draft.
The main draw to Dingler is his skills behind the plate. He is a defensive weapon from the catcher position, who has thrown out 50 percent of potential base stealers in his college career. In addition to his big arm, Dingler has athleticism that is rarely matched at the catcher position and has used his time at Ohio State to refine his catching ability to make himself into a great all-around defensive catcher.
The question with Dingler comes with the bat. While his bat was a little underwhelming in his first two college seasons, Dingler can out of the gates red hot in 2020. However, the season being cut short really hurt his possibility to establish what he can do with the bat. Unfortunately, that is not the case, so I’m still not entirely sold on Dingler’s bat based on just 13 games against a relatively weak non-conference schedule that Ohio State had played against.
36. Jordan Westburg, Mississippi State
Pos: SS | B/T: R/R | Height: 6' 3" | Weight: 190 | Age: 21
Previously Drafted: Never
Hit: 50 Power: 50 Run: 55 Throw: 55 Field: 50 Overall: 50
Jordan Westburg is a player I have gone back and forth on quite a bit. At one point I considered not having him even make the top 50 list, but in the end I find myself believing in his strong showing in the Cape Cod League last summer, followed up by a strong start to the 2020 season, which is why Westburg finds himself at number 36 on my list.
One thing I like to see from college players is continued development year to year. That is something Westburg showed in his time at Mississippi State. After putting up a mere .707 OPS as a part time starter his freshman season in 2018, Westburg followed that up with a .859 OPS in 2019, followed by a .901 OPS in the Cape Cod League last summer, before putting up a .949 OPS in 16 games this spring.
Westburg plays a fine shortstop, but many scouts believe that he will find his future home at either second or third base, due to his size. If he needs to do so, this will make it a lot tougher for him to pave his way to the bigs, without continued improvement to his bat, especially in the power department.
35. Cole Henry, LSU
Pos: RHP | Height: 6’4” | Weight: 215 | Age: 20
Previously Drafted: 38th Round, 2018 (DET)
Fastball: 55 Curveball: 60 Changeup: 55 Control: 50 Overall: 50
Cole Henry was a member of the loaded 2018 LSU recruiting class, and after starting his freshman season as a weekday starter, he pitched his way to the top of the starting rotation, becoming the Tigers number one starter for the postseason.
Henry has great stuff, with three above-average pitches, and the prototypical build to be a frontline starting pitcher. His fastball with usually hover in the low-to-mid 90’s, with some good life. Henry can also break off a nasty curveball that gets hitters to swing-and-miss with regularity. Followed by a changeup, that can get hitters out from both sides of the plate.
Depending on how much teams are willing to pay for Henry, he could find his way back to Baton Rouge, for what will only be his junior season, and put together another strong season, and vault himself way up draft boards.
34. Dax Fulton, Mustang HS, OK
Pos: LHP | Height: 6' 6" | Weight: 220 | Age: 18
Fastball: 55 Curveball: 65 Changeup: 50 Control: 55 Overall: 50
Last summer, Dax Fulton was considered by many to be one of the top high school left-handers in the 2020 class. That took a hit last year, when Fulton injured his elbow requiring Tommy John surgery. A decade ago, this may have completely ruined Fulton’s chances of getting drafted, but with the advances in this surgery, it is no longer considered the career ender that it previously was.
Prior to his injury, Fulton threw a fastball that would hover around the 90 MPH mark with good control, but he has the frame to add a few more ticks to that fastball as he matures. He paired that pitch up with a big breaking curveball that is one of the better breaking pitches in this class.
It will be interesting to see if a team takes a flyer on Fulton, given the draft format for this season. In previous year’s he would be more likely to find a team willing to pay big on a riskier pitcher, but that might be hard to do this year.
33. Jordan Walker, Decatur HS, GA
Pos: 3B | B/T: R/R | Height: 6' 5" | Weight: 220 | Age: 18
Hit: 50 Power: 60 Run: 50 Throw: 55 Field: 50 Overall: 50
Jordan Walker is a big kid, with a smooth swing, that will generate a lot of power as he matures. Walker is my highest ranked third base prospect in this draft, so teams looking to add young depth at the hot corner in their farm systems will be looking at Walker as early as the latter part of the first round.
Walker’s best attribute, both now and into the future, is far and away his power. He uses the leverage generated from his 6’5” frame well to generate swing speed. His is a bit long and will need some work as he matures to shorten that down a bit.
Defensively, the team that drafts Walker should give him every opportunity to try and develop at third base. Despite his size, Walker is able to move around pretty well and has a big enough arm to play third base.
32. Carson Montgomery, Windermere HS, FL
Pos: RHP | Height: 6' 2" | Weight: 200 | Age: 17
Commitment: Florida State
Fastball: 60 Slider: 60 Changeup: 45 Control: 45 Overall: 50
Carson Montgomery is one of the more intriguing prospects to see where he ends up on draft night. He is a player that likely ranks is drastically different spots on different team’s draft boards, depending on how they project his skillset going forward.
Montgomery features an exciting combination of a mid 90’s fastball, coupled with a sharp breaking slider that he can use to dominate opposing hitters. He also won’t turn 18 until a couple of months after the draft, so he still has plenty of time left to develop.
What might give teams pause is the concern Montgomery could end up in the bullpen long-term. As of now he doesn’t have much feel for the changeup, which will be needed if Montgomery wants to stick in the starting rotation. The other concern is Montgomery can be quite wild at times. Both problems are fixable, but make Montgomery a riskier prospect.
31. Drew Romo, The Woodlands HS, TX
Pos: C | B/T: S/R | Height: 6' 1" | Weight: 205 | Age: 18
Hit: 45 Power: 50 Run: 45 Throw: 70 Field: 65 Overall: 50
In a catching class made up primarily of hitters first at the top of the draft, Drew Romo is unquestionably the best defensive catcher available. For me he is reminiscent of Will Banfield, who I had ranked as the 32nd best prospect in the 2018 MLB Draft.
Romo is extremely comfortable behind the plate, who excels at both his receiving ability and his blocking ability. However, Romo’s best trait from behind the plate is his cannon for an arm. He shows it off consistently, and his Pop Times are already up there with some of the top catchers at the major league level.
There were a lot of question marks with Romo’s bat, but he has shown at least enough ability to hit, to where he could one day develop into an average hitting major league catcher. With his defense, Romo’s floor is a great defensive catcher, but if he can get better with the bat, he has an incredibly high ceiling.
Rest of the 2020 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects
2020 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospect: 41-50
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