Alex Kielar | June 13th, 2020
The MLB Draft is now over and it is time to hand out grades for every team. There were a few surprise picks and steals, and mostly every team had at least a couple of solid selections. I am splitting these draft grades up by division, starting with the AL Central as the Tigers had the first pick. Keep in mind these grades are initial reactions without putting any potential futures into the equation.
Detroit Tigers: A
Best Pick: Spencer Torkelson, 1B/3B, Arizona State
This pick was a no-brainer for the Tigers and their future is off to a great start. Even though he was a first baseman in college, the Tigers drafted him as a first baseman. I’d imagine they will look start him out at third and then move him to first once Miguel Cabrera‘s contract is up.
The Tigers select Arizona State First Baseman Spencer Torkelson with 1st pick in #MLBDraft
He hit 54 HR’s in 498 career at-bats.
Yes, the kid can rake. pic.twitter.com/fWqfId6IbO
— Ryan Field (@RyanFieldABC) June 10, 2020
Worst Pick: Trei Cruz, SS, Rice
The Tigers really didn’t have any bad picks, so this is only their “worst” because the other ones were very solid. Cruz was also the only player they selected who was ranked lower than where they drafted. He is a switch-hitter with solid hitting-over-power ability and he was born into an extensive baseball family. His father Jose, grandfather Jose, and great-uncles Hector and Tommy all played in the majors, while his uncle Enrique was the starting second baseman for the Rice team that won the College World Series in 2003.
Kansas City Royals: B
Best Pick: Asa Lacy, LHP, Oklahoma
Once the Marlins passed on Lacy, this was the easy pick for the Royals, as he was the best overall pitcher in the draft in my opinion. He held opponents to a .162 average and had a 13.2 strikeout per nine rate over his college career. It was either Lacy or Zac Veen, and they couldn’t have gone wrong either way.
Asa Lacy, 14Ks in 5IP (in 36 seconds). 🔥 pic.twitter.com/W8zPi9PVAV
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 10, 2020
Worst Pick: Christian Chamberlain, LHP, Oregon State
This pick came in the fourth round and may have been a better selection with their last pick. Chamberlain has good strikeout stuff (12 K/9) but he has struggled with command; his fastball/curveball combination might play up more as a reliever. Waste of a pick in my opinion with more certain options at their selection.
Chicago White Sox: B+
Best Pick: Jared Kelley, RHP, Refugio HS (TX)
With concerns about his signability, teams passed on him as he fell to the middle of the second round. Going in, he was the 12th ranked player overall by MLB.com. This is a huge steal for the White Sox as they get a potential frontline starter who pounds the strike zone with a lethal fastball-changeup duo.
New White Sox pick Jared Kelley ranked No. 12 on our big board.
MLB scouting departments were clearly impressed.
He had the…
No. 1 fastball.
No. 2 changeup
No. 3 control
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) June 11, 2020
Kelley and the White Sox reached an agreement, and he tweeted this after being drafted:
A moment you dream about as a little kid. I’m so grateful to be given this opportunity with the @whitesox. Still doesn’t feel real. Can’t wait to get started!!!🖤⚾️ #WhiteSox #MLBDraft pic.twitter.com/1sAyIjCkSa
— Jared Kelley⚾️ (@JaredKelley4) June 12, 2020
Worst Pick: Adisyn Coffey, RHP, Wabash Valley College (IL)
To make sure they had enough pool money to sign Kelley and not lose him to his college commitment at the University of Texas, the White Sox pretty much punted their last three picks but stuck to all pitchers. All three of them weren’t even ranked in the top 200 draft prospects on MLB.com. Coffey is a two-way player, being a middle infielder along with pitcher, and all signs point to him keeping his commitment to Louisville. He only pitched 3 1/3 and had 17 plate appearances before the pandemic shutdown.
Cleveland Indians: A-
Best Pick: Logan Allen, LHP, Florida International
No, not that Logan Allen. But very similar to the one the Indians already have, who they acquired in the Trevor Bauer trade last year. This one is another lefty pitcher but is projected as a potential starter. The track history the Indians have with developing pitchers, he will only get better as he moved through the system. Allen attacks hitters with a solid fastball offering, a changeup with fade, and a decent curve.
— FOX Sports Cleveland (@FOXSportsCLE) June 12, 2020
Worst Pick: Carson Tucker, SS, Mountain Point HS (AZ)
Drafting Tucker late in the first round could have had something to do with his signability. He may have only been willing to skip school with first-round money. This is definitely not a bad pick, and it is up to par with what the Indians have done for the last several years. They have drafted prep prospects in the first round in seven of the last eight years. Tucker, the younger brother of Pirates’ Cole Tucker, slashed .390/.455/574 with 68 RBI, 20 doubles, nine triples, and five homers in 92 games in his high school career.
Minnesota Twins: B-
Best Pick: Aaron Sabato, 1B, North Carolina
The Twins only had four picks, and this was easily the best one. The Twins clearly love the long ball, as Sabato is a clear hit and power first baseman, who doesn’t possess much defense ability. He has power that is MLB-ready at 21 years old, but his other tools will take a bit longer to progress. With Miguel Sano, Josh Donaldson, and Nelson Cruz under contract, there isn’t a spot for him anyway. Once one or more of those guys are gone, he could be ready to slide in.
The #MNTwins have drafted UNC first baseman Aaron Sabato with the 27th overall pick. He hit 18 home runs during the 2019 season, and seven more in the virus shortened 2020 campaign. pic.twitter.com/SGy9AJ012C
— Twins Dingers (@TwinsDingers) June 11, 2020
Worst Pick: Marco Raya, RHP, United South HS (TX)
Raya is a high school arm who wasn’t ranked in the top 200, but he has plenty of upside. It will take him several years to develop, but once he does the Twins may have nabbed a good one here. He also decided to skip his commitment to Texas Tech and signed with the Twins.
Source: #MNTwins 4th round pick Marco Raya has an agreement with Minnesota. He'll forgo his commitment to Texas Tech.
— Ted (@tlschwerz) June 12, 2020
Fun tidbit: The Twins drafted another Rosario with their final pick – Kala’i Rosario.
Stay tuned for the AL East grades next, as the Orioles had the second pick.
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