2020 MLB Draft Results: Full Listings of Grades for 1st-Round Picks

Joel Reuter@JoelReuterBRFeatured ColumnistJune 11, 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

As expected, Arizona State slugger Spencer Torkelson was selected by the Detroit Tigers with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 MLB draft.

After that, it was time to rip up your mock drafts.

Arkansas outfielder Heston Kjerstad going No. 2 overall blew up what was widely regarded as a consensus top three, and that laid the groundwork for an unpredictable first round.

Ahead we've provided grades for each of the first-round picks, as well as a closer look at a few of the more notable selections. For the full analysis behind each grade, check out this article.

     

2020 MLB Draft: Round 1 Results and Grades

1. Detroit Tigers: Spencer Torkelson, 1B, Arizona State, Grade: A+
2. Baltimore Orioles: Heston Kjerstad, OF, Arkansas, Grade: B
3. Miami Marlins: Max Meyer, RHP, Minnesota, Grade: C-
4. Kansas City Royals: Asa Lacy, LHP, Texas A&M, Grade: A
5. Toronto Blue Jays: Austin Martin, SS, Vanderbilt, Grade: A+
6. Seattle Mariners: Emerson Hancock, RHP, Georgia, Grade: A
7. Pittsburgh Pirates: Nick Gonzales, SS, New Mexico State, Grade: A
8. San Diego Padres: Robert Hassell lll, OF, Independence High School (TN), Grade: B
9. Colorado Rockies: Zac Veen, OF, Spruce Creek High School (FL), Grade: A+
10. Los Angeles Angels: Reid Detmers, LHP, Louisville, Grade: A+
11. Chicago White Sox: Garrett Crochet, LHP, Tennessee, Grade: A
12. Cincinnati Reds: Austin Hendrick, OF, West Allegheny High School (PA), Grade: A+
13. San Francisco Giants: Patrick Bailey, C, NC State, Grade: D
14. Texas Rangers: Justin Foscue, 2B, Mississippi State, Grade: C
15. Philadelphia Phillies: Mick Abel, RHP, Jesuit High School (OR), Grade: B+
16. Chicago Cubs: Ed Howard, SS, Mount Carmel High School (IL), Grade: A+
17. Boston Red Sox: Nick Yorke, 2B, Archbishop Mitty High School (CA), Grade: D-
18. Arizona Diamondbacks: Bryce Jarvis, RHP, Duke, Grade: A
19. New York Mets: Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, Harvard-Westlake High School (CA), Grade: B+
20. Milwaukee Brewers: Garrett Mitchell, OF, UCLA, Grade: A+
21. St. Louis Cardinals: Jordan Walker, 3B, Decatur High School (GA), Grade: B+
22. Washington Nationals: Cade Cavalli, RHP, Oklahoma, Grade: A
23. Cleveland Indians: Carson Tucker, SS, Mountain Pointe High School (AZ), Grade: B
24. Tampa Bay Rays: Nick Bitsko, RHP, Central Bucks East High School (PA), Grade: A+
25. Atlanta Braves: Jared Shuster, LHP, Wake Forest, Grade: B
26. Oakland Athletics: Tyler Soderstrom, C, Turlock High School (CA), Grade: A
27. Minnesota Twins: Aaron Sabato, 1B, North Carolina, Grade: B+
28. New York Yankees: Austin Wells, C, Arizona, Grade: B+
29. Los Angeles Dodgers: Bobby Miller, RHP, Louisville, Grade: A

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Notable Picks

1. Detroit Tigers: 3B Spencer Torkelson, Arizona State

Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

As expected, the Detroit Tigers added the consensus top player in the draft to their ongoing rebuilding efforts when they selected Arizona State first baseman Spencer Torkelson with the No. 1 overall pick.

In a bit of an unexpected twist, he was announced as a third baseman, and the team intends to try to move him across the diamond to begin his pro career.

Wherever he winds up defensively, there's little question his bat will play.

After launching 48 home runs during his first two collegiate seasons, he hit an absurd .340/.598/.780 this spring with six home runs and 31 walks in 82 plate appearances.

The Tigers farm system is headlined by pitchers Casey Mize, Matt Manning and Tarik Skubal, so adding a high-ceiling bat to the mix will help provide some balance.

Don't be surprised if Torkelson is the first player from the 2020 class to reach the majors.

        

2. Baltimore Orioles: OF Heston Kjerstad, Arkansas

Matt Patterson/Associated Press

Most expected the Orioles to choose between Vanderbilt outfielder Austin Martin and Texas A&M left-hander Asa Lacy, but they instead reached for Arkansas slugger Heston Kjerstad at No. 2 overall.

The decision was likely motivated by their plans for the remainder of this shortened five-round draft, with Kjerstad presumably agreeing to sign below slot value and the Orioles using that saving to aim high with their Day 2 picks.

It's a bold strategy, but it's not like Kjerstad was an off-the-board pick.

Most mock drafts had him going near the back end of the top 10 or shortly after, and outside of Torkelson, he might have the most playable power in the class.

He hit .343/.421/.590 with 37 home runs in 150 games for the Razorbacks, and he backs his plus power with a good enough hit tool to be a difference maker offensively.

     

4. Kansas City Royals: LHP Asa Lacy, Texas A&M

Sam Craft/Associated Press

What a pleasant surprise for the Royals.

Expected to be choosing between prep outfielder Zac Veen and New Mexico State infielder Nick Gonzales, they instead found Martin and Lacy both still on the board when their turn to pick came up at No. 4 overall.

They went with the pitcher, adding the consensus top arm in the class to a farm system that is already loaded with quality pitching talent.

Two years ago, the Royals drafted Brady Singer, Jackson Kowar, Daniel Lynch and Kris Bubic in the first 40 picks of the 2018 draft, and those four have all developed into top-tier pitching prospects.

Lacy now joins that collection of arms after posting a 2.07 ERA and 1.01 WHIP with 224 strikeouts in 152 innings at Texas A&M, including a dominant 46-to-8 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 24 innings this spring.

The future is extremely bright in Kansas City.

        

All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference, unless otherwise noted.

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