Now thatis over, it’s time to turn our attention to the future. No, not to the second or third days, but all the way to next June. Yes, we’re going to partake in the fool’s errand of listing four players who, at least for the time being, are expected to jockey for position at the top of the 2020 draft.
Before we get to the players, let’s state three obvious caveats: 1) this is more of an art than a science; 2) twelve months is a long time, especially as it pertains to scouting 17-to-21-year-olds; and 3) there are more than four players worthy of consideration here. We could have included a number of others, including (though not limited to) Patrick Bailey and Cole Wilcox.
With that established, let’s get to the players.
Emerson Hancock, RHP, Georgia
Hancock is a big-bodied right-hander who posted a 1.99 ERA and struck out 97 batters in 90 innings as a sophomore. Predictably, he has good stuff, beginning with a fastball that can touch into the high-90s and ending with a quality slider. Factor in a repeatable delivery, and there’s front-of-the-rotation potential to be had here.
Blaze Jordan, SS, DeSoto Central High (Mississippi)
As we noted last week, Jordan recently reclassified — meaning he’ll be eligible for the 2020 draft rather than having to wait until 2021. He has well-above-average power potential and has been on the national radar since he was caught on film hitting 500-foot home runs as a 15-year-old. That’ll play. Jordan has an outstanding commitment to Mississippi State, but there’s a fair chance he goes high enough in next June’s draft to justify turning professional.
Spencer Torkelson, 1B, Arizona State
Anytime you’re breaking records that previously belonged to Barry Bonds, you deserve some attention. Torkelson shattered Bonds’ freshman record for home runs last season, and has kept on hitting: He’ll enter his junior season with 46 home runs in his first 439 collegiate at-bats. He nearly walked as often as he struck out last season, too.
Torkelson is probably just a first baseman or left fielder as a professional, but his selecting team is picking him for his bat.
J.T. Ginn, RHP, Mississippi State
Ginn, who was drafted last year by the Los Angeles Dodgers, will be a draft-eligible sophomore in 2020 due to his age. He has big-time arm strength and the chance for three average or better offerings when all is said and done, including a swing-and-miss breaking ball.
Ginn more than held his own against SEC competition as a freshman, and should go higher than 30th next summer.