MLB Draft 2020: Latest Predictions for Asa Lacy, Top Pitching ProspectsMay 17, 2020
The consensus building around Major League Baseball is that Texas A&M's Asa Lacy should be the first pitcher chosen in the 2020 MLB draft.
Lacy headlines a collection of collegiate arms that could land in the top 10, starting with the Miami Marlins at No. 3.
Since the Detroit Tigers and Baltimore Orioles are projected to take Arizona State first baseman Spencer Torkelson and Vanderbilt utility man Austin Martin, Miami is in line to pick any pitching prospect in the draft class.
Georgia right-handed pitcher Emerson Hancock and Louisville lefty Reid Detmers are among the prospects expected to be chosen once Lacy is selected.
Top MLB Draft Pitching Prospects
Asa Lacy, LHP, Texas A&M
Miami has a straightforward decision in the eyes of many experts.
MLB.com's Jim Callis wrote Miami's selection "could simply come down to whichever of Torkelson, Martin and Lacy remains on the board at No. 3."
The Athletic's Keith Law and ESPN.com's Kiley McDaniel also believe Lacy will be the third selection.
Lacy won three of his four starts in the 2020 season and went 14-5 with a 2.07 ERA in his three years at Texas A&M.
McDaniel noted that Lacy's big-game performances are one of the many intriguing factors about him: "Scouts who have followed Lacy since high school swear on his makeup and his performance on the biggest stages, where his command has been at its best."
Lacy recorded 224 strikeouts for the Aggies, 130 of which occurred in his sophomore season.
The southpaw's concession of eight home runs in 152 innings also sticks out since he was facing some of the premier college baseball talent in the SEC.
The consistency and power Lacy brings to the mound should be more than enough to convince the Marlins to take him at No. 3.
Prediction: No. 3 overall to Miami.
Emerson Hancock, RHP, Georgia
There is less agreement among experts regarding what will happen outside of the top three.
Hancock is projected as the No. 4 pick by Callis and McDaniel, but both noted some questions surrounding the right-handed hurler.
"There's talk that Hancock could slide because analytically minded teams think his career strikeout rate (9.7 per nine innings) isn't dominant enough, but that feels like a stretch," Callis wrote.
"Hancock had a slow start to this season, but some thought he'd work his way into that top tier with a strong spring," McDaniel said.
Hancock produced an 8-3 mark with a 1.99 ERA in 2019, but he conceded 10 earned runs on 22 hits over four appearances in 2020.
An argument can be made that those numbers would have been brought down at some point, but that will never be answered because of the cancellation of the 2020 college baseball season.
The slow start combined with Kansas City's strong crop of pitching prospects may convince the Royals to lean toward picking a hitter at No. 4.
Four of the team's top six prospects and six of the top 10 are pitchers, all of whom have played at Double-A or lower, according to MLB.com.
If the Royals pass on Hancock, the Toronto Blue Jays could scoop him up to bolster their young pitching collection led by previous first-round picks Nate Pearson and Alek Manoah.
Prediction: No. 5 overall to Toronto.
Reid Detmers, LHP, Louisville
There is a wider variance in where could Detmers could land.
Law projected him as the No. 6 pick, while Callis has the southpaw at No. 9 and McDaniel placed him at No. 11.
In McDaniel's projection, he noted Detmers "could be big league-ready" for a potential playoff push from the Chicago White Sox.
But Detmers may not fall that far with some demand for pitchers in the second half of the top 10.
Detmers made the most of his four appearances in 2020, as he went 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA and 48 strikeouts.
The Mariners displayed a commitment to improving their pitching ranks by taking Logan Gilbert and George Kirby in the last two first rounds. Even with those two hurlers in tow, Seattle has three pitchers ranked in its top 10 prospects and could be drawn to an experienced collegiate arm to bolster that unit further.
It is hard to believe Detmers would fall out of the first 10 selections, even if there is a run on hitters at some point.
The Colorado Rockies could be a good fit for Detmers, if he drops to No. 9, since they have few premier pitchers in their organization. Only two hurlers are ranked in their top 10 prospects, and there are four within the top 15.
Prediction: No. 6 overall to Seattle.
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Statistics obtained from Baseball Reference.