And the second time in three years. The Tigers used the No. 1 pick in 1997 on Rice closer Matt Anderson — yes, they took a relief pitcher with the No. 1 pick — who played parts of six seasons with Detroit before getting hurt. As legend has it, Anderson injured his shoulder throwing an octopus at a Detroit Red Wings event in 2002, though that has been disputed.
Also, MLB hands out 14 extra draft picks each year to smaller market teams. Those 14 competitive balance picks are assigned via lottery. The first six competitive balance picks come after the supplemental first round and before the second round, and the final eight come after the second round and before the third round. These picks are tradeable! They are the only tradeable picks in the MLB draft. A few competitive balance picks are traded each year and this year will be no different.
Now here are a few things to know about the No. 1 pick and the 2020 draft in general.

  1. Detroit Tigers
  2. Baltimore Orioles
  3. Miami Marlins
  4. Kansas City Royals
  5. Toronto Blue Jays
  6. Seattle Mariners
  7. Pittsburgh Pirates
  8. San Diego Padres
  9. Colorado Rockies
  10. Los Angeles Angels
  11. Chicago White Sox
  12. Cincinnati Reds
  13. San Francisco Giants
  14. Texas Rangers
  15. Philadelphia Phillies
  16. Chicago Cubs
  17. Boston Red Sox
  18. Arizona Diamondbacks
  19. New York Mets
  20. Milwaukee Brewers
  21. St. Louis Cardinals
  22. Washington Nationals
  23. Cleveland Indians
  24. Tampa Bay Rays
  25. Atlanta Braves
  26. Oakland Athletics
  27. Minnesota Twins
  28. New York Yankees
  29. Los Angeles Dodgers
  30. Houston Astros

When Casey Mize was picked first overall in the 2018 draft, he dethroned former big-league closer Gregg Olson (No. 4 in 1988) as the highest player ever selected from Auburn. Mize shares a few commonalities with Olson — an alma mater, of course, and the possession of a high-grade out pitch. Olson had one of the best curveballs in recent memory, while Mize has a trapdoor split-change that has more GIF potential than a waterskiing squirrel. 

1. The Tigers have the No. 1 pick for the third time

The Tigers used the No. 1 pick in 2018 on Auburn right-hander Casey Mize. Mize is currently one of the top pitching prospects in baseball — he threw a no-hitter in his Double-A debut earlier this year — and he should make his MLB debut next year. Here is what our R.J. Anderson wrote about Mize last week: In the 2019 draft earlier this year, there were three extra first-round picks as the Braves (failed to sign No. 8), D-Backs (No. 25), and Dodgers (No. 30) failed to sign their 2018 first rounder. With every team signing their 2019 first-round pick, there are no extra picks in the 2020 first round. The first round is 30 picks in reverse order of the standings, and that’s it.

Back in June,’s Jim Callis projected Georgia right-hander Emerson Hancock to be the No. 1 pick in 2020 in a super early mock draft. Arizona State slugger Spencer Torkelson is perhaps the most famous player in the 2020 draft class — about as famous as an MLB draft prospect can be, anyway — and Callis has him going No. 2 overall. Baseball America‘s Teddy Cahill and Carlos Collazo also had Hancock and Torkelson going No. 1 and 2 overall, respectively, in their early mock draft.
The first-round order is final, but the next few rounds are not. First-round picks are protected from free agent compensation, so the first-round order will not change. Instead, teams now surrender picks in the later rounds to sign qualified free agents, including picks as early as the second round. Teams that lose qualified free agents generally receive a compensation pick in a supplemental round after the first round, though the compensation pick can be later in some cases.

Mize’s arsenal runs deeper than his splitter. He has three other offerings — a fastball, a slider, and a cutter — that grade as at least above-average. Those pitches often play up due to his polish. He has above-average command and has walked fewer than five percent of the batters he’s faced so far as a professional. 

2. No teams have an extra first-round pick

The Astros won 107 regular season games this year, had the best record in baseball and will try to win their second World Series title in three years. The last place Tigers, meanwhile, will begin preparing for the 2020 amateur draft. The Tigers lost 114 games this season and hold the No. 1 overall selection in next June’s draft. It is a significant moment for their rebuild.
The 2019 draft class was notably light on high-end college pitching, though that will not be the case next season. Granted, a lot can and will change between now and draft day next June, but the 2020 draft class appears loaded with college arms. Hancock, Texas A&M lefty Asa Lacy, and Georgia righty Cole Wilcox could all be top-10 selections next year, maybe even top-five.

3. The draft order is not yet final

Here is the first-round order for the 2020 amateur draft. The draft order is set in reverse order of the regular season standings, with last year’s record serving as a tiebreaker.
As the team’s record suggests, the Tigers are still fairly early in their rebuild, and the No. 1 pick in next summer’s draft will be a very important moment in the club’s return to contention. Pairing Mize with another star-caliber player will get Detroit on the right track.

4. Candidates to go No. 1

On Sunday, the 2019 regular season officially came to an end, and the postseason will begin Tuesday night with the NL Wild Card Game. The AL Wild Card Game will follow Wednesday, then the NLDS and ALDS will begin Thursday and Friday, respectively.
Every team signed their first-round pick last year. When a team fails to sign their first rounder, they receive a compensation pick the next year, one slot later. The Astros failed to sign No. 1 pick Brady Aiken in 2014, and received the No. 2 pick in 2015 as compensation. They used that pick on Alex Bregman