Spencer Torkelson, Austin Martin Top ESPN's Kiley McDaniel's 2020 MLB Mock Draft

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMay 26, 2020

Arizona State first baseman Spencer Torkelson during an NCAA college baseball game against Notre Dame, Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

Two weeks away from the 2020 Major League Baseball draft, the race to be the top pick appears as if it will come down to Arizona State first baseman Spencer Torkelson and Vanderbilt second baseman Austin Martin. 

In his latest mock draft released Tuesday, ESPN's Kiley McDaniel has Torkelson going No. 1 overall to the Detroit Tigers and Martin second to the Baltimore Orioles. 

Rounding out the top five is Texas A&M left-hander Asa Lacy to the Miami Marlins, Florida high school outfielder Zac Veen to the Kansas City Royals and Minnesota pitcher Max Meyer to the Toronto Blue Jays. 

One wrinkle McDaniel added to this mock draft was providing "the percentages of who I think could be taken" in each of the first seven picks. He lists two options for each of the first four selections, with three listed for pick Nos. 5 through 7. 

Torkelson is listed as a heavy favorite at No. 1 to the Tigers with an 85 percent chance, but it's Lacy—not Martin—who received the remaining 15 percent. 

McDaniel noted that Lacy "fits Detroit's preferences to a T." The 6'4" southpaw only made 12 college starts over the past two seasons but was dominant with a 1.54 ERA, 116 strikeouts and 39 hits allowed in 70.1 innings. 

Per The Athletic's Keith Law, Lacy works with a fastball that touches 98 mph, a slider and changeup, with a "solid delivery that keeps him online to the plate." That package adds to a potential No. 2 starter in the big leagues. 

Torkelson's offensive profile is special, so much that it doesn't appear teams are concerned about his already being a first baseman. He posted a .337/.463/.729 slugging percentage with 54 home runs in 129 games at Arizona State. 

Things are much more unsettled at No. 2, with McDaniel giving Martin a slight 50-40 edge over New Mexico State shortstop Nick Gonzales in a potential cost-saving move that could benefit the Orioles later:

"I'll always bet on the most talented player being taken, but Orioles GM Mike Elias was running the Houston Astros' draft when they cut at 1-1 to take Carlos Correa, which helped them net an over-slot Lance McCullers Jr. at a later pick.

"Baltimore is also one of a handful of teams lining up with likely savings from its first pick to pluck Oklahoma prep lefty Dax Fulton, who was projected as a mid-first-rounder until he had Tommy John surgery this summer, with its second pick."

Not surprisingly, McDaniel has 21 of the first 29 picks being college players. This was already a college-heavy draft to begin with, but the limited scouting time teams had before baseball was shut down around the country because of the coronavirus pandemic made it impossible to get extensive evaluations. 

Since college players often have longer track records, teams could be more comfortable investing in them rather than take a risk on a high school player who may only have a handful of showcase events from past years and a few games this season. 

This year's draft format will only include 160 picks over five rounds. The first round, which includes eight picks in Competitive Balance Round A, will be held June 10, with the final four rounds taking place the following day.