MLB Mock Draft 2020: Latest Predictions for Zac Veen, Top High School Prospects

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistJune 2, 2020

Daniel Espino, a right handed pitcher from the Georgia Premier Academy, in Statesboro, Ga., places his name on the draft board after being selected No. 24 by the Cleveland Indians in the first round of the Major League Baseball draft, Monday, June 3, 2019, in Secaucus, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
Julio Cortez/Associated Press

The MLB draft typically has a handful of high school prospects land in the top 10, but that may not be the case in 2020. 

At the moment, Zac Veen is the only surefire top-10 pick from the prep level in a year when franchises may value collegiate players more because they have a longer scouting report on them. 

The 18-year-old might be joined in the top third of the selection order by Robert Hassell III on June 10, but there likely won't be a run on high school players until the middle of the first round. 

If only one or two high school players are chosen in the top 10, it would buck a trend from the last decade in which at least three prep prospects were taken in that area of the draft.

                   

2020 MLB 1st-Round Mock Draft

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

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

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

4. Kansas City Royals: Zac Veen, OF, Spruce Creek HS (Fla.)

5. Toronto Blue Jays: Emerson Hancock, RHP, Georgia

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

7. Pittsburgh Pirates: Heston Kjerstad, OF, Arkansas

8. San Diego Padres: Max Meyer, RHP, Minnesota

9. Colorado Rockies: Reid Detmers, LHP, Louisville

10. Los Angeles Angels: Robert Hassell III, OF, Independence HS (Tenn.)

11. Chicago White Sox: Patrick Bailey, C, NC State

12. Cincinnati Reds: Austin Hendrick, OF, West Allegheny HS (Pa.)

13. San Francisco Giants: Tyler Soderstrom, C, Turlock HS (Calif.)

14. Texas Rangers: Garrett Mitchell, OF, UCLA

15. Philadelphia Phillies: Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, Harvard-Westlake HS (Calif.)

16. Chicago Cubs: Garrett Crochet, LHP, Tennessee

17. Boston Red Sox: Mick Abel, RHP, Jesuit HS (Ore.)

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

19. New York Mets: Cade Cavalli, RHP. Oklahoma

20. Milwaukee Brewers: Jared Kelley, RHP, Refugio HS (Tx.)

21. St. Louis Cardinals: Clayton Beeter, RHP, Texas Tech 

22. Washington Nationals: Cole Wilcox, RHP, Georgia

23. Cleveland Indians: Justin Foscue, 2B, Mississippi State

24. Tampa Bay Rays: Casey Martin, SS, Arkansas

25. Atlanta Braves: Tanner Burns, RHP, Auburn

26. Oakland Athletics: Nick Loftin, SS, Baylor

27. Minnesota Twins: Carmen Mlodzinski, RHP, South Carolina

28. New York Yankees: Dillon Dingler, C, Ohio State

29. Los Angeles Dodgers: Slade Cecconi, RHP, Miami

         

Top High School Prospects

Zac Veen, OF, Spruce Creek HS (Fla.)

After loading their system with pitching prospects in recent years, the Kansas City Royals should target a hitter at No. 4. 

Veen is expected to be one of their two targets, along with New Mexico State infielder Nick Gonzales. ESPN.com's Kiley McDaniel reported the Royals prefer Veen and assigned a 50 percent chance to the American League Central side taking the top prep product. 

"The Royals are in on Gonzales, but my latest intel is that they slightly prefer Veen as their best option after the consensus top three," McDaniel said. 

Veen, who is committed to Florida, has been likened to Christian Yelich, among others, per MLB.com's Mark Feinsand: "Veen has drawn comparisons to MVP winners Cody Bellinger and Christian Yelich, while other names such as Charlie Blackmon and Kyle Tucker have also been mentioned as comps for the 18-year-old," he wrote. 

Kansas City has eight outfielders listed in its top 30 prospects ranked by MLB.com, but Veen would likely jump above most of them if he lands there. 

In the best-case scenario, Kansas City could pair Veen with 2019 first-round selection Bobby Witt Jr. to form the core of its order for the long term. 

Prediction: No. 4 overall to Kansas City. 

              

Robert Hassell III, OF, Independence HS (Tenn.) 

The wait for the second high school player to go off the board could last anywhere from four to six picks. 

Hassell may be chosen as early as No. 8, but there is a scenario in which he falls to the Los Angeles Angels or Cincinnati Reds. 

McDaniel reported the San Diego is "the first spot where he's in play," but there might be some collegiate arms available there as well. If Max Meyer or Reid Detmers drops to No. 8, the Padres may be more inclined to take an experienced arm over a high school bat. 

The Angels do not seem to be interested in an outfielder since each of their top three prospects plays the position, but they may be willing to take Hassell and be patient with his development. 

MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo described the 18-year-old as "the best pure high school hitter in the class, he's pretty athletic and his makeup is off the charts." 

If the Angels are drawn to the skill set of the Tennessee native, the pick could make sense, especially if the top college arms are off the board. 

Prediction: No. 10 to Los Angeles Angels

                       

Austin Hendrick, OF, West Allegheny HS (Penn.) 

Based on McDaniel's intelligence, the Cincinnati Reds could be the perfect landing spot for Hendrick. If that is the team's strategy, Hendrick and Pete Crow-Armstrong would be the two most reasonable targets. 

There is also a chance the Pennsylvania native drops a few positions to the Chicago Cubs, which is where Mayo and The Athletic's Keith Law have the 18-year-old landing. 

A fall past No. 16 seems unlikely given the demand for outfielders in the top half of the first round. 

Hendrick may be part of a collection of five outfielders chosen in the top 15 along with Veen, Hassell, Crow-Armstrong and UCLA's Garrett Mitchell.

Prediction: No. 12 overall to Cincinnati. 

                 

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90

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