MLB Draft 2020: Projected Order for Spencer Torkelson, Top Prospects

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistMay 20, 2020

Arizona State infielder Spencer Torkelson (20) during an NCAA baseball game against Arizona State on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020, in Phoenix, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

Arizona State's Spencer Torkelson is one of the best power prospects to enter the MLB draft in quite some time. 

The first baseman is one of two hitters who should be considered by the Detroit Tigers at the start of the June 10 event.

Vanderbilt's Austin Martin should also garner consideration from the American League Central side, but he does not have as much power as Torkelson.

While the top of the draft will not be any different than previous seasons, the rest of the event will be.

The two-day selection process will last five rounds, instead of the typical 40 rounds, because of complications due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 


2020 MLB 1st-Round Mock Draft

1. Detroit Tigers: Spencer Torkelson, 1B, Arizona State

2. Baltimore Orioles: Austin Martin, 3B/OF, Vanderbilt

3. Miami Marlins: Asa Lacy, LHP, Texas A&M

4. Kansas City Royals: Emerson Hancock, RHP, Georgia

5. Toronto Blue Jays: Max Meyer, RHP, Minnesota

6. Seattle Mariners: Nick Gonzales, 2B, New Mexico State

7. Pittsburgh Pirates: Zac Veen, OF, Spruce Creek HS (Florida)

8. San Diego Padres: Garrett Mitchell, OF, UCLA

9. Colorado Rockies: Heston Kjerstad, OF, Arkansas

10. Los Angeles Angels: Reid Detmers, LHP, Louisville

11. Chicago White Sox: Austin Hendrick, OF, West Allegheny HS (Pa.) 

12. Cincinnati Reds: Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, Harvard-Westlake HS (Calif.)

13. San Francisco Giants: Jared Kelley, RHP, Refugio HS (Texas)

14. Texas Rangers: Cade Cavalli, RHP, Oklahoma

15. Philadelphia Phillies: Robert Hassell, OF, Independence HS (Tenn.)

16. Chicago Cubs: Mick Abel, RHP, Jesuit HS (Ore.)

17. Boston Red Sox: Garrett Crochet, LHP, Tennessee

18. Arizona Diamondbacks: Nick Bitsko, RHP, Central Bucks East HS (Pa.)

19. New York Mets: Patrick Bailey, C, NC State

20. Milwaukee Brewers: Ed Howard, SS, Mount Carmel HS (Ill.)

21. St. Louis Cardinals: Tyler Soderstrom, C, Turlock HS (Calif.) 

22. Washington Nationals: Cole Wilcox, RHP, Georgia

23. Cleveland Indians: Carmen Mlodzinski, RHP, South Carolina

24. Tampa Bay Rays: Slade Cecconi, RHP, Miami

25. Atlanta Braves: Dillon Dingler, C, Ohio State

26. Oakland Athletics: Dylan Crews, OF, Lake Mary HS (Fla.) 

27. Minnesota Twins: Nick Loftin, SS, Baylor

28. New York Yankees: Justin Foscue, 2B, Mississippi State

29. Los Angeles Dodgers: Jordan Westburg, SS, Mississippi State


Top Prospects

Spencer Torkelson, 1B, Arizona State

Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

MLB.com's Jim Callis said Torkelson "might be the best all-around college bat (hitting ability plus power) since Mark Teixeira in 2001." 

Callis is one of many experts who have predicted the Arizona State first baseman will join the Detroit organization. 

The Athletic's Keith Law and CBS Sports' Mike Axisa both believe the two parties will join forces. 

The right-handed slugger produced 54 home runs over three years at Arizona State, and if the college baseball season was not cancelled, he may have had three consecutive seasons with 20 long balls. 

Torkelson recorded six home runs and 11 RBIs in the shortened 17-game season in 2020. He also had a .340 batting average and 1.378 OPS.

While the power is the main draw, Torkelson also had 33 doubles and struck out fewer than 50 times in his first two seasons. 

Torkelson could fill a direct need with the Tigers. First base could be open in 2021 since C.J. Cron signed a one-year deal for the 2020 campaign. 

If the Tigers land the Arizona State product, they could use him and their top pitching prospects, like 2018 No. 1 overall pick Casey Mize, as parts of the foundation that help them dig out of the AL Central basement. 


Austin Martin, 3B/OF, Vanderbilt

Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

If Torkelson is the No. 1 pick, Martin should be No. 2. 

Most draft experts believe the pair of hitters will go in that order, with Martin landing in Baltimore. 

Callis called Martin "the draft's top pure hitter" and Law pointed out that he displayed "more power last year to go with his elite contact rates and exit velocities." 

Martin hit over .300 in each of his three seasons at Vanderbilt, and he had an OPS over 1.000 in the last two. 

While his skills at the plate will not be questioned, Martin has to figure out which position suits him best at the professional level. 

He spent most of the 2019 season at third base, but he shifted to the outfield for 12 of his 16 contests in 2020.

Martin may have an easier path to the majors at third base since a single left-sided infielder is listed in Baltimore's top 10 prospects by MLB.com.

The Vanderbilt prospect could beat out Rio Ruiz at the hot corner, but he could also join Anthony Santander and Austin Hays in the outfield at some point. 

Even with his major-league position up in the air, Martin should land with the Orioles because of how strong his bat is. 


Asa Lacy, LHP, Texas A&M

Sam Craft/Associated Press

Just like Baltimore with Martin, Miami has an easy choice at No. 3 with Texas A&M southpaw Asa Lacy available. 

Lacy is viewed as the top pitching prospect in the draft class and he has been put in the same echelon as Torkelson and Martin as a consensus top-three selection. 

Law noted Lacy "would be the clear best player available if the two hitters go ahead of him." 

Lacy won three of his four starts in the 2020 season, which came after an 8-4 sophomore campaign. 

The left-handed hurler produced 13.2 strikeouts-per-nine innings and a 3.02 strikeout-to-walk ratio during his eight-win season. 

In his first two collegiate campaigns, Lacy kept his ERA under three and only walked 60 batters. 

If he replicates that control at the next level, he could end up as the top pitcher from the truncated draft. 

If he lands with Miami, Lacy would join a farm system with five pitchers, two of them lefties, ranked in the organization's top 10 prospects. 


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Statistics obtained from Baseball Reference