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  • 2020 MLB Draft Top 50 Prospects: 41-50


    Andrew Thares

    The 2020 MLB Draft will be one like we have never seen before. With the fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, many adjustments to the normal operations of MLB were made, one of them being to the MLB draft. Instead of the typical 40-round draft, this year’s draft will consist of just five rounds. It will be additionally tricky, given that all of the amateur seasons this spring were either cut short, or never started at all. This makes scouting a little more difficult than usual, but nonetheless will be very important. So, let us take a look at the players that I have ranked in my top 50 for this year’s draft, starting with players ranked 41 through 50.

    50. Drew Bowser, Harvark-Westlake HS, Studio City, CA

    Pos: 3B | B/T: R/R | Height: 6' 3" | Weight: 205 | Age: 18

    Commitment: Stanford

    Scouting Grades

    Hit: 50 Power: 65 Run: 50 Throw: 55 Field: 50 Overall: 50

    Drew Bowser has about as much raw power as any prospect in this draft, college or prep. He has a big frame that still has room to fill out and develop even more pop than he already has. Bowser used this power to win the home run derby at the Perfect Game All-American classic last year.

    The question mark for Bowser will be his all-around hitting ability. He has shown a little inconsistency at many of the major prep showcases, which gives scouts pause. However, if he can get in with the right hitting coaches to refine his swing, Bowser has the potential to be a middle-of-the-order hitter in an MLB lineup.

    Like many high school infielders, Bowser currently plays shortstop, where he can hold his own defensively pretty well, but his size will force him over to third base at the professional level, where his big arm will play nicely.

    49. Chase Davis, Franklin HS, Elk Grove, CA

    Pos: OF | B/T: L/L | Height: 6' 1" | Weight: 210 | Age: 18

    Commitment: Arizona

    Scouting Grades

    Hit: 55 Power: 60 Run: 50 Throw: 65 Field: 50 Overall: 50

    Just like Drew Bowser, Chase Davis is a California prep star with plenty of pop in his bat. However, Davis does it playing in the outfield, where he has all of the physical tools that are necessary to be a major league caliber right-fielder.

    Davis possesses excellent bat control for someone that swings the bat as hard as he does. This is a big part as to why I gave him an above-average grade to go along with his plus power. He will need to have these parts of his game carry him in order to make it one day at the major league level.

    Defensively, Davis isn’t anything to write home about, but he does have enough speed to be at least a decent right fielder. However, Davis does possess possibly the strongest arm of any prep outfielder in this class.

    48. Burl Carraway, Dallas Baptist

    Pos: LHP | Height: 6’0” | Weight: 175 | Age: 20

    Previously Drafted: Never

    Scouting Grades

    Fastball: 65 Curveball: 65 Control: 40 Overall: 50

    If there was any player in this draft that had a shot at making an MLB roster during the 2020 season it would be Dallas Baptist closer Burl Carraway. His stuff is already at a high enough level to fit into an MLB bullpen, and given that he has thrown only 9 1/3 innings so far this spring, he should have plenty in the tank to pitch deep into the season.

    Burl makes his money with an electric fastball and a big breaking curveball. This two-pitch combo has helped Carraway strike out 15.7 batters per nine, while collecting 11 saves for the Patriots over the past two seasons.

    The only drawback with Carraway, however, is the erratic control he has shown. Between 2019 and 2020, Carraway has walked 28 batters in just 51 innings pitched. This will need to be improved before he can make any real impact for a major league club.

    47. Tanner Burns, Auburn

    Pos: RHP | Height: 6’0” | Weight: 215 | Age: 21

    Previously Drafted: 37th Round, 2017 (NYY)

    Scouting Grades

    Fastball: 55 Curveball: 55 Changeup: 50 Control: 50 Overall: 50

    Tanner Burns has put up some impressive numbers against SEC competition in his three seasons at Auburn. He has been in a full-time starting role since 2018, and in that time, Burns has a 2.86 ERA, with 10 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 across 36 starts.

    Burns sits in the low-to-mid 90’s with his fastball, and pairs that with a strong curveball that may just be his best pitch. He also shows a changeup, that at times flashes some potential, but is still a little inconsistent at this point.

    For a team looking for a safe pick, Burns might be a pitcher to target, as he has already shown what he can do against quality hitters. However, his upside is limited to at most a number three starter in an MLB rotation, which will likely push him into day two of the draft.

    46. Kevin Parada, Loyola HS, Los Angeles, CA

    Pos: C | B/T: R/R | Height: 6' 0" | Weight: 200 | Age: 18

    Commitment: Georgia Tech

    Scouting Grades

    Hit: 55 Power: 55 Run: 50 Throw: 60 Field: 45 Overall: 50

    We are just five players in, and Kevin Parada is already the third prep position player from California to make the list. Parada is one of the better prep hitting prospects at the catcher position that I have seen over the past few years.

    Parada has an excellent feel at the plate, and attacks pitches with a smooth and contact swing that helps him compete with some of the best arms in the country. He can also generate some power with his swing, that could make him a rare all-around offensive threat at catcher.

    The concern with Parada, however, is his ability to stay behind the plate. He hasn’t shown the greatest feel for receiving pitches and isn’t the greatest blocker. If he can’t stay at catcher long term, he could make the transition to right field, where he has adequate speed, a big arm and enough offensive ability to play the position.

    45. Jared Shuster, Wake Forest

    Pos: LHP | Height: 6’3” | Weight: 210 | Age: 21

    Previously Drafted: Never

    Scouting Grades

    Fastball: 55 Slider: 50 Changeup: 65 Control: 50 Overall: 50

    Jared Shuster is player that first caught my attention last summer in the Cape Cod League, where he had a remarkable 1.41 ERA, and a 35 to 5 strikeout to walk ratio in 32 innings, going up against many of the best college hitters in the county. He backed that up in his four starts this spring, where he posted a 3.76 ERA, and an incredible 43 to 4 strikeout to walk ratio.

    While normally it would take a lot more than just nine impressive starts to make me think Shuster is far improved from the pitcher who had a 6.49 ERA last spring, but for Shuster that has been the case. A big reason for this is the newfound life on his fastball, which is an easy three or four ticks higher than it was this time last spring. Additionally, Shuster has drastically cut down on the walks, which was his main bugaboo previously.

    If Shuster had the entire 2020 college season to showcase the new pitcher that he has become, he would be an easy first-round pick. However, it will be hard for a team to pull the trigger on Shuster in the first round, based solely on such a small sample size.

    44. Dylan Crews, Lake Mary HS, FL

    Pos: OF | B/T: R/R | Height: 6' 0" | Weight: 190 | Age: 18

    Commitment: LSU

    Scouting Grades

    Hit: 55 Power: 55 Run: 50 Throw: 50 Field: 55 Overall: 50

    Prior to the 2019 summer, Dylan Crews was thought of by many as one of the top prep hitters in the 2020 class. That stock took a bit of a hit due to a poor performance during the summer circuit. But he still has enough ability, and potential, to land him firmly inside my top 50.

    Crews possess a combination of hitting ability and power, that is coveted in this day and age. He also has a good eye at the plate, which helps him draw a lot of walks, while staying away from bad offerings.

    With his athletic skill set, Crews profiles better as a corner outfielder long term, as he just doesn’t have the range needed to play center. Many scouts like his arm, but I often find many of his throws to be a little underwhelming, compared to some of the better arms in this class.

    43. Masyn Winn, Kingwood HS, TX

    Pos: RHP/SS | B/T: R/R | Height: 5' 10" | Weight: 180 | Age: 18

    Commitment: Arkansas

    Scouting Grades

    Hit: 50 Power: 55 Run: 65 Throw: 65 Field: 55 Overall: 50

    Fastball: 60 Slider: 55 Changeup: 50 Control: 45 Overall: 50

    When talking about the best pure athletes in this draft class, you would be remiss not to mention Masyn Winn. He is a true dual threat on both the mound and as a shortstop. Personally, I see Winn as a player with a higher ceiling at shortstop, but a higher floor as a pitcher.

    At shortstop, Winn has all the makings of a premier defensive shortstop, thanks to his incredible range, his massive arm and fluid footwork. The question will come with his production at the plate. If he can develop into an even average MLB hitter, Winn could be a star in the making.

    On the mound, Winn has plus stuff. He can blow hitters away with a fastball that has been clocked as high as 98 MPH, and he can make hitters look silly with his wipe-out slider. He also has a changeup that still needs to be refined, but at times looks like it could be a third above-average pitch. However, Winn lacks the ideal size for a starting pitcher, and can struggle with his control at times, which could lead him to the bullpen in the future.

    42. Justin Foscue, Mississippi St.

    Pos: 2B | B/T: R/R | Height: 6' 0" | Weight: 200 | Age: 21

    Previously Drafted: Never

    Scouting Grades

    Hit: 55 Power: 50 Run: 50 Throw: 50 Field: 50 Overall: 50

    Justin Foscue is not a player that will wow you with an impressive skill set, but rather with bring a consistent everyday approach to the game. He had a very productive 2019 season in the SEC, which has helped bring Foscue into the second-round conversation.

    At the plate, Foscue is a polished hitter who had a .331/.395/.564 slash line, with 14 home runs in 2019. Foscue was backing that performance up again this spring, before the season was shorted. Despite the 14 home runs Foscue hit last season (which is an impressive number in the college game), Foscue really projects for just average power at the professional level.

    Foscue leaves a little to be desired defensively, but with improvement he should be able to play solid enough defense to stay at second base. He has a tendency to let plays get away from him, which resulted in an ugly .937 fielding percentage in 2019. However, he did show that he cleaned up much of that with his play early in 2020.

    41. C.J. Van Eyk, Florida State

    Pos: RHP | Height: 6’1” | Weight: 200 | Age: 21

    Previously Drafted: 19th Round, 2017 (NYM)

    Scouting Grades

    Fastball: 55 Curveball: 60 Slider: 45 Changeup: 55 Control: 45 Overall: 50

    C.J. Van Eyk is a name that has been on scouts' radars for a number of year’s now. He was a highly regarded pitcher coming out of high school and found his way to Florida State. Van Eyk possess a solid four-pitch mix, with three of them already being above-average offerings.

    Van Eyk’s best pitch is his curveball, which helped him strike out 11.5 batters per nine innings in his career at Florida State. He also has an above-average fastball that sits in the low-to-mid 90’s, but can reach upper 90’s when he rears back on it, along with a changeup that is above-average also, when he locates it properly.

    The big concern with Van Eyk is his control, as he walked 83 batters in 176 2/3 career innings pitched at the collegiate level, including 12 in just 20 2/3 innings this spring. If he can clean that up, Van Eyk has the potential to be a number 2 or 3 starter in an MLB rotation.

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    Thanks for the draft analysis. 

     

    I would like to add something to the fifty man roster discussion we had a few days ago. 

     

    It's very possible many of the players will contract covid 19 and have to sit out 14 days quarantine. This will place an added pressure on having to replace them from players that are not on the 29 man roster. I feel the Twins are deep and will not effect us as much as many other teams.

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    This draft will be a very interesting draft to look back on and see were the diamond in roughs were.  We will say how was this person missed by so many teams.  Think about how often a guy shoots up boards because of his season leading up to draft.  Twins have in recent drafts made picks based on that.  The HS kids are so hard to judge as a junior some times because of how they grown from ages 16 to 18.  For college kids similar the lower classmen may not have the same exposure as they would normally because of loaded programs.  

     

    I would read so many scouting reports about how a guy jumped up boards because of breakout seasons or after finally getting a shot at being regular at specific position that was blocked by a previous star player.  The good front offices will need to read more into players with less to work with.  I hope our front office is one of them, and believe they are, but you never know. 

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    Explain to me why every player's "Overall" grade was a 50.  

    That is a great question. The overall grade represents the quality of player I expect that prospect to be if they reach their potential. The scale for this system is 20 to 80, with 50 being average. So, in this case, I am projecting these players to become roughly average Major League caliber players.

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