MLB MLB Draft Grades

2020 MLB Draft Grades: NL East

MLB Draft Grades: NL East: Casey Martin

Alex Kielar | June 15th, 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, and continue with the NL East as the Marlins had the third pick. Keep in mind these grades are initial reactions without putting any potential futures into the equation.

Miami Marlins: B+

Best Pick: Daxton Fulton, LHP, Mustang HS (OK)

The Marlins first pick in righty Max Meyer was still a solid pick, but Asa Lacy would have been the better pick. So that’s why I graded the Fulton pick a little higher as I also think Fulton has a higher ceiling. Either way, the Marlins get two potential stud pitchers for their rotation down the line. 

Worst Pick: Kyle Hurt, RHP, USC

The Marlins really didn’t have any bad picks, but there are a lot of questions about Hurt that were left unanswered because of the canceled season. He was up-and-down in his college career, but he does have the size and stuff to be successful. 

Philadelphia Phillies: B+

Best Pick: Casey Martin, SS, Arkansas

The Phillies were able to grab Martin late in the third round. This pick is a steal as he was ranked as the 30th overall player by MLB.com and I had him going in the first round to the Yankees. Martin is a fierce competitor and explosive athlete, with a great combination of power and speed. He has 25-25 potential and his slide to the third round will only motivate him more.

Worst Pick: Carson Ragsdale, RHP, South Florida

None of the Phillies’ picks were really that bad, but Ragsdale is a pitcher who has question marks about whether he can start. He also missed all of the 2019 season due to Tommy John surgery, so he wasn’t able to do much at South Florida; Ragsdale pitched just 50.1 innings in his college career. He didn’t appear as a starter until 2020 as he made four starts before the shutdown.

New York Mets: B

Best Pick: Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, Harvard-Westlake HS (CA)

Crow-Armstrong is a great hitter and is also very fast. He has been on the national radar from very early on in his high school career and he makes a lot of hard contact. He is hit over power, but as he gets stronger and progresses, he should tap more into the power. Crow-Armstrong is also a very good defensive outfielder and could one day be their leadoff hitter with the right development. Fun fact: Crow-Armstrong’s mother played the mother in Little Big League.

Worst Pick: Anthony Walters, IF, San Diego State

With the Mets drafting another high school player in the third round in addition to Crow-Armstrong, they needed to save money on their final three picks, which started with Walters. He projects as more of a utility infielder with average hitting ability. I see him as a Tyler Wade-type player without as much speed, so he would still give the Mets some production. His utility ability will help him move up the minors quicker.

Washington Nationals: B

Best Pick: Cole Henry, RHP, LSU

The Nationals sure do love pitching, which is understandable as that is what carried them to their World Series victory last year. Man, that seems like three years ago now. They used their first pick on the righty from Oklahoma Cade Cavalli and followed that up with Henry. Henry has the potential to be a middle of the rotation arm and could add more velocity to already 96 mph fastball with added strength. I grade this pick a tad bit above Cavalli as I believe Henry has the better potential with better command.

Worst Pick: Brady Lindsly, C, Oklahoma

This pick seems more of a depth pick, which is a weird choice to make in a short five-round draft. Lindsly wasn’t even in the top 200 MLB.com draft prospects but is also from Oklahoma like Cavalli so maybe they are trying to pair the two. But not like both or either one of them will certainly make the majors. Cavalli has a good chance, but Lindsly is a defensive-first hitter with not much hitting ability.

Atlanta Braves: C-

Best Pick: Bryce Elder, RHP, Texas

This was the Braves’ last pick, and I’m not sure how to even give the Braves a “best pick” as they had one of the worst drafts in my opinion. They had just four picks and did not use them very well, to be honest. Elder has four good pitches that he commands the zone with very well, a mid-80s slider, a tight downward breaking curve, low-90s sinker, and an average fastball and changeup.

Worst Pick: Spencer Strider, RHP, Clemson

This pick just doesn’t make any sense at all in a five-round draft, Strider was unranked by every major publication. He has health concerns with the lack of a track record, as he was out the entire 2019 season after Tommy John surgery. When he was healthy and pitched, he didn’t put up great numbers. The only good thing is Strider does have some upside if he can stay healthy. But still, he would’ve been in play in the undrafted free agent market.

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