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MLB Draft Tracker 2020: Live Results and Picks from Round 1

Paul KasabianSenior ContributorJune 10, 2020

FILE - In this Feb. 17, 2019, file photo, Arizona State's Spencer Torkelson bats during an NCAA college baseball game against Notre Dame in Phoenix. The Detroit Tigers are rebuilding around an impressive group of minor league pitchers. Now, it might be time to add a star hitting prospect to the mix. Whether it’s Arizona State slugger Spencer Torkelson or somebody else, Detroit has a chance to add another potential standout when it makes the No. 1 selection in Wednesday night’s Major League Baseball draft. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

The beginning of the 2020 MLB season is currently delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but a shortened five-round draft will still take place on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Detroit Tigers kicked things off in the first round, which will play out in its entirety on Wednesday. Rounds 2-5 will follow on Thursday.

The draft has been shortened from 40 rounds as a cost-cutting measure, per the Associated Press.

Stick right here to get live results from the first round alongside some analysis on a few notable selections.

         

Round 1

1. Detroit Tigers: Arizona State 3B Spencer Torkelson

2. Baltimore Orioles: Arkansas OF Heston Kjerstad

3. Miami Marlins: Minnesota RHP Max Meyer

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

5. Toronto Blue Jays: Vanderbilt SS Austin Martin

6. Seattle Mariners: Georgia RHP Emerson Hancock

7. Pittsburgh Pirates: New Mexico State SS Nick Gonzales

8. San Diego Padres: Independence HS (Thompson's Station, TN) OF Robert Hassell III

9. Colorado Rockies: Spruce Creek HS (Port Orange, FL) OF Zac Veen

10. Los Angeles Angels: Louisville LHP Reid Detmers

11. Chicago White Sox: Tennessee LHP Garrett Crotchet

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

13. San Francisco Giants: North Carolina State C Patrick Bailey

14. Texas Rangers: Mississippi State 2B Justin Foscue

15. Philadelphia Phillies: Jesuit HS (Portland, OR) RHP Mick Abel

16. Chicago Cubs: Mt. Carmel HS (Chicago) SS Ed Howard

17. Boston Red Sox: Archbishop Mitty HS (San Jose) 2B Nick Yorke

18. Arizona Diamondbacks: Duke RHP Blake Jarvis

19. New York Mets: Harvard-Westlake OF (Los Angeles) Pete Crow-Armstrong

20. Milwaukee Brewers: UCLA OF Garrett Mitchell

21. St. Louis Cardinals: Decatur HS 3B (Georgia) Jordan Walker

22. Washington Nationals: Oklahoma RHP Cade Cavalli

23. Cleveland Indians: Mountain Pointe HS (Phoenix) SS Carson Tucker

24. Tampa Bay Rays: Central Bucks HS East (Doylestown, PA) RHP Nick Bitsko

25. Atlanta Braves: Wake Forest LHP Jared Shuster

26. Oakland Athletics: Turlock HS (California) C Tyler Soderstrom

27. Minnesota Twins: North Carolina 1B Aaron Sabato

28. New York Yankees: Arizona C Austin Wells

29. Los Angeles Dodgers: Louisville RHP Bobby Miller

* The Houston Astros were stripped of their first-round pick following MLB's investigation into their sign-stealing schemes during their 2017 World Series-winning season.

           

Competitive Balance Round A

30. Baltimore Orioles: Mississippi State SS Jordan Westburg

31. Pittsburgh Pirates: South Carolina RHP Carmen Mlodzinski

32. Kansas City Royals: Baylor SS Nick Loftin

33. Arizona Diamondbacks: Miami RHP Slade Cecconi

34. San Diego Padres: Llano HS (Texas) RHP Justin Lange

35. Colorado Rockies: The Woodlands HS (Texas) C Drew Romo

36. Cleveland Indians: Auburn RHP Tanner Burns

37. Tampa Bay Rays (from St. Louis Cardinals): Arizona State SS Alika Williams

       

Torkelson Goes No. 1 Overall, Announced as 3B

No surprise occurred when the Detroit Tigers announced Spencer Torkelson as the first overall pick, but some shock occurred when MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred called him a third baseman.

Torkelson played first base at Arizona State, but that apparently won't be the case with the Tigers.

Kyle Glaser of Baseball America called it an "interesting" move while also noting that he should "hit more than enough to be a force."

Torkelson hit 23 home runs with 66 RBI and a 1.153 OPS in his last full season with the Sun Devils in 2019. He played 17 games in the 2020 season before the campaign was shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic and smashed six homers with 11 RBI and a 1.378 OPS.

Dalton Johnson of NBC Sports also called it "interesting" and supported the move.

"Really interesting to see Spencer Torkelson announced as a third baseman. Honestly, I'm happy they did that. He played third base in high school, has a strong arm and is really athletic. This isn't new for him. Great high school football player, too."

For his part, Torkelson seems game for wherever the Tigers place him in the field, per Chris McCosky of the Detroit News.

"I pride myself as a baseball player and a baseball player isn’t stuck at one position...I pride myself on winning and getting the job done. If that's on third base, then that's what it is. I will do my best over there and make it happen."

Tigers general manager Alex Avila offered an explanation for the decision on ESPN (h/t Jim Parker of the Windsor Star).

"Well, we know he can play first, but our scouts strongly feel that he can play third base and that's our intent at this point. At this point, we’re going to send him out as a third baseman. We feel he's more than capable of handling that."

Detroit, which finished 47-114 last season, is in desperate need of home run power. The Tigers finished last in the American League with 149 homers last year, and no one on the team hit more than 15.

Torkelson can help turn the power switch back on whenever he's ready to hit the bigs, which doesn't seem like it will be long for the talented and polished ex-Sun Devil.

      

Orioles Land Surprise Pick in Kjerstad at No. 2

The shock of the first round occurred when the Baltimore Orioles selected Arkansas outfielder Heston Kjerstad second overall.

Kjerstad was on his way to a dominant season in 2020, posting a 1.304 OPS with six home runs, 20 RBI and a .448 batting average in 16 games. However, he wasn't ranked near No. 2 in predraft lists, with MLB.com (No. 10), CBS Sports (No. 17), FanGraphs (No. 7) and ESPN (No. 9) all placing him outside the top five.

The presumptive pick at No. 2 was Vanderbilt infielder Austin Martin, who ended up going fifth to the Toronto Blue Jays. Martin was ranked in the top two in the four aforementioned lists.

Some analysts explained why the Orioles took Kjerstad while praising the ex-Razorback's potential and exploits.

Jim Palmer @Jim22Palmer

Heston Kjerstad to O’s. Out of Arkansas . A surprise but apparently, great power. Analysts compare him to Todd Helton , had a fabulous career. @masnOrioles

Kendall Rogers @KendallRogers

Heston Kjerstad has incredible raw power and can do it to all fields. He has improved his defense as well. There’s some swing and miss there for sure, but he absolutely hammers the ball. @Orioles

Aaron Fitt @aaronfitt

Boy Heston Kjerstad at No. 2 overall is a neat pick. We didn’t quite see it coming, but really his power tool is up there with Tork’s, and he’s a corner outfielder. Looking back at the build-up to this, I’m not sure why Kjerstad didn’t get more run as a top-3 kind of pick.

The most notable analysis might have come from Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin on MLB Network:

Baltimore Orioles @Orioles

“That warehouse in right field in Baltimore is in trouble.” @TimCorbin on @hestonkjerstad’s power: https://t.co/aZpfYFmP8S

Orioles general manager Mike Elias explained the pick on Twitter, referencing his excellent season before the pandemic forced the shutdown:

Baltimore Orioles @Orioles

Perfect fit for the middle of the order. @MElias talks us through No. 2 pick, @hestonkjerstad. https://t.co/HjHuMDsIHz

The pick might have been shocking, but no one can deny Hjerstad's power. He and the Orioles' No. 1 pick last year, Adley Rutschman, could form a dynamic one-two punch for years to come.

    

First Pitcher off the Board to Marlins at No. 3

The Miami Marlins are hoping they found their ace in Max Meyer, who went 10-7 with a 2.13 ERA and 187 strikeouts in 148.0 innings over three years at the University of Minnesota.

He got off to a scorching-hot start in 2020, going 3-1 with a 1.95 ERA with 46 punchouts in 27.2 frames over four outings.

Marlins director of amateur scouting DJ Svihlik didn't hold back when praising Mayer in a call with reporters Wednesday (h/t Jordan McPherson of the Miami Herald): "That's the most athletic college pitcher in this draft with the most electric stuff. And he's just about Major League ready. That's it."

Baseball America also raved about his stuff:

Baseball America @BaseballAmerica

The Marlins select Max Meyer, a righthander from Minnesota, No. 3 overall. Here’s a link to his full scouting report: https://t.co/Eb1RVocZvR https://t.co/HxZf0te8bK

Per the Marlins Communications department, Baseball America rated him as the best athlete with the second-best fastball and best breaking ball among pitchers in this year's draft.

Meyer's fastball averages 97.4 mph and tops out at 101 mph, per the Minnesota baseball team's account.

According to Joe Frisaro of MLB.com, the Marlins already have a contract in place with the right-hander pending a physical.

The Marlins have promising young pitchers but none with any ace potential. Mayer can be the backbone of that starting rotation as Miami looks to crawl out of the National League East cellar.

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