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MLB MLB Draft Grades

2020 MLB Draft Grades: NL West

Diamondbacks draft pick Slade Cecconi

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, finishing up with the NL West and the Padres who had the eighth pick. Keep in mind these grades are initial reactions without putting any potential futures into the equation.

San Diego Padres: B+

Best Pick: Cole Wilcox, RHP, Georgia

Wilcox fell all the way to the third round as the 23rd ranked player on MLB.com and I had him going to the Cardinals at the 21st overall pick. He entered the draft as a draft-eligible sophomore, so the reason he fell was because of signability concerns. Wilcox has some of the best pure stuff in the draft class. His fastball sits around 92-97 and can touch 100, and both his breaking pitches, a fading changeup and power slider, are plus offerings. The Padres continue to stock their farm system with pitching and Wilcox is one who could move up quickly.

Worst Pick: Levi Thomas, RHP, Troy

The Padres signed Thomas, a fourth-round pick, for $80k which is 4x the amount he would have gotten if he had gone undrafted. It helps the Padres free up money to go towards signing Wilcox, freeing up almost half-a-million dollars. Thomas is also a potential gem, he was tied for tenth in the country with 42 strikeouts in 23 innings this season through four starts and also held opponents to a .117 average.

 Colorado Rockies: B

Best Pick: Zac Veen, OF, Spruce Creek HS (FL)

Veen is the perfect fit for Colorado and the high altitude with his raw power and pure hitting ability. He was a steal at the 9th overall pick and if and when he makes it to Colorado, he should be able to crush balls out there. Veen will only add more strength and tap more into his power. He swings to contact and stands to hit for average in the pros. Check out the draft profile on Veen here.

Worst Pick: Jack Blomgren, SS, Michigan

Blomgren became the highest-drafted Michigan shortstop since Barry Larkin in 1985 when he was drafted in the fifth round. He is a formidable shortstop with above-average defense and he should be able to stay there in the pros. He doesn’t have much power with just five homers in his college career, but he can hit for average with a .276 career average in 137 games, including hitting .314 in 2019.

San Francisco Giants: B

Best Pick: Kyle Harrison, LHP, De La Salle HS (CA)

The Giants have signed Harrison, a third-round pick, to a $2.5 million deal which is well above slot value. He was ranked 63rd by MLB.com and was selected by the Giants 22 picks later at 85th overall; the recommended slot for that pick is $710,700. He drew Chris Sale comparison while at De La Salle, which is ironic because of the school name with an extra L. The southpaw has a good chance to be a solid starter with a three-pitch mix with a low-90s fastball with good life, upper-70s breaking ball as his out pitch, and a changeup. He also has excellent command and a good feel for all three pitches. Harrison went 21-1 in his high school career.

Worst Pick: Jimmy Glowenke, SS, Dallas Baptist

The Giants made this selection in order to save slot money to put towards Harrison. Glowenke was ranked much lower than where they picked him. He was ranked 171st and they picked him at 68th overall. This allowed the Giants to go significantly under slot value. Glowenke was named the Missouri Valley Conference freshman and defensive player of the year in 2018, and he finished fourth in the league in batting (.328) last spring and then hit .296 on the Cape. Hitting his only above-average tool, however, as he has below-average speed and range, and an average arm.

Arizona Diamondbacks: B+

Best Pick: Slade Cecconi, RHP, Miami

Cecconi was ranked as a first-round potential player and our own John Lepore and Joey Ricotta had him going in the first round in our 2020 MLB Mock Draft. The Diamondbacks were able to grab him with their Competitive Balance A selection at 33 overall. The right-hander is strong, durable, and he has solid stuff to match at times. He can sometimes struggle with location and his fastball velo falls off as he gets deeper into starts; it sits at 96 mph to start games. He has plenty of upside as a college arm but has plenty of refinements to be made to his game.

Worst Pick: Bryce Jarvis, RHP, Duke

I feel that this pick would have made more sense if the Diamondbacks didn’t select Cecconi with the next pick. I think Cecconi has the higher upside and was more worth a first-round pick and that the D-backs sort of reached on Jarvis with their first pick. Jarvis may have been gone at their next pick if they went with Cecconi first, but they both have question marks about maintaining as a starter. Jarvis doesn’t have much of a track record, but he did post a 40-2 K-BB ratio in 27 innings this season. Either way, the Diamondbacks continue to work towards developing some solid pitching.

Los Angeles Dodgers: B+

Best Pick: Clayton Beeter, RHP, Texas Tech

Beeter was ranked 51st by MLB.com and some scouts even believed he belonged in the first-round as the Dodgers were able to get him with the 66th pick in the Competitive Balance B Round. Beeter had Tommy John surgery in 2017 after blowing out his elbow during fall practice in what was supposed to be his freshman year. In 2019, he led the College World Series semifinalists with eight saves as a redshirt freshman, then followed that up with almost twice as many strikeouts (33) as baserunners (18) in 21 innings in 2020. He obviously has a lack of track record, but he has solid stuff and only improved his control and feel for pitching after his surgery.

Worst Pick: Landon Knack, RHP, East Tennessee State

Knack was selected by the Dodgers much lower than where he was ranked and he was ranked outside the top 100 in most rankings. But he has some really good stuff as he pitched to a 2.60 ERA and had a 94/16 K/BB ratio in 2019, while he had a crazy impressive 51/1 K/BB in 2020. His fastball made a big jump, going from low-90s to topping out at 97-98 while sitting around 92-95.

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Main Credit Image: https://hurricanesports.com/sports/baseball/roster/slade-cecconi/12667

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