Now that the 2020 MLB Draft has been completed we look at who the new top prospects could be that show up in the SALLY League when Minor League Baseball play resumes next year. Of course, what the SALLY League looks like when play resumes is another question as MLB looks to cut several minor league teams. But we won’t go down that road at this point.
Below is a list of prospects that I think will start their career in the SALLY League and the players I’m looking forward to seeing the most. Of course, most of these will be college players because I think they’re the ones most likely to start in the SALLY when play resumes, but I included some high school picks I’m looking forward to seeing as well.
An * means that player hasn’t signed at the time of writing this.
Heston Kjerstad – 1-2. It was quite the surprise when the Orioles took Kjerstad with the second overall pick, but as someone who watched him a lot while he was at Arkansas I have very few doubts about his ability to hit at the next level. He’s going to be a fun prospect to watch in the SALLY League and he probably won’t be there long.
Jordan Westburg – C1-30. The Orioles continued to pick from the SEC and got another one of my favorites from the college ranks in Westburg. While I don’t think his ceiling is very hard, I feel pretty confident that he’ll be a big league contributor one day.
Hudson Haskin – 2-39. As a freshman at Tulane, Haskin hit 10 home runs in 56 games with a .372 average. He wasn’t quite on that same pace in 2020, but he still comes with a lot of upside and I’m excited to see what he can do.
*Anthony Servideo – 3-74. Another SEC pick for the Orioles, Servideo is pretty much a lighter version of Westburg but maybe a better defender; although both are very good defenders. Like Westburg, I think it’s a pretty safe bet that Servideo becomes a utility man at the big league level someday.
Nick Gonzales – 1-7. There might not be anyone in the SALLY League that I’m more excited to see than Gonzales. He might have been the best college hitter in the 2020 MLB Draft and the Pirates were able to get him with the seventh pick. If his numbers from New Mexico State and the Cape Cod League translate into his professional career, he’s going to be a lot of fun to watch.
Carmen Mlodzinski – C1-31. Mlodzinski was kind of an under-the-radar guy at South Carolina that was on the verge of breaking out in 2020 with a 2.84 ERA in four starts. I’m really curious to see how he adjust to the professional ranks after throwing just 56.3 innings in college and whether or not he can stick as a starter.
Cade Cavalli – 1-22. This will be one of the best in a long list of talented college pitchers who could be in the SALLY League when play resumes. He posted a 3.28 ERA at Oklahoma as a sophomore.
Cole Henry – 2-55. A highly touted prospect coming out of high school, Henry got off to a slow start at LSU. But he was looking like the ace we thought he could be in 2020 with a 1.89 ERA in 4 starts. I’m excited to see if he can carry that success into the start of his professional career.
Holden Powell – 3-94. A reliever at UCLA, Powell is not someone I’m very familiar with. But looking at his numbers he struck out 85 batters in his last 58.1 innings at UCLA.
Justin Foscue – 1-14. I felt this was an underwhelming pick for the Rangers at 14th overall. But Foscue has the potential to become a big power bat after hitting 14 home runs as a sophomore at Mississippi State.
Jared Kelley – 2-47. A high school arm, Kelley is someone that could have easily gone in the first 15 picks of the draft. The White Sox may have gotten a steal taking him in the second round.
Mick Abel – 1-15. Able might have been the best high school pitcher in the 2020 draft. I can’t wait to see him play in the SALLY League and what he can do against professional competition.
Casey Martin – 3-87. This one was a bit head-scratching as I had Martin pegged as a back of the first round pick before the college season started. But he got off to a horrible start in 2020 and fell out of favor with a lot of times. A small second baseman with a lot power but also with a lot of swing-and-miss. He’s a lot of fun to watch play the game when he’s going right.
Emerson Hancock – 1-6. There was a time when Hancock was in consideration to go first overall in this draft, and certainly many thought he was the best pitcher in this draft. But the Mariners lucked up as he slipped to sixth. Since watching him in his freshman year at Georgia, I’ve been a huge fan of his and think he’s going to be a great big league pitcher one day.
Zach DeLoach – 2-43. Was a little surprised DeLoach went this early after a couple of disappointing seasons at Texas A&M. However, a great summer at the Cape and a great start to the 2020 season saw his stock shoot up.
Connor Phillips – C2-64. A top prospect coming out of high school, Phillips decided to go play JUCO for a year before re-entering the draft. He has electric stuff but is still inconsistent with his command.
Zac Veen – 1-9. One of the top high school bats in the 2020 MLB Draft, I can’t wait to see how this kid develops with a 6-foot-4 frame and a swing that reminds some of Cody Bellinger.
Chris McMahon 2-46. This right-handed starter is someone I watched a lot at Miami before the 2020 season was shutdown and I think he’s a safe bet to be a middle of the rotation starter at the big league level one day.
Sam Weatherly – 3-81. Similar to McMahon above, I think Weatherly is a pretty safe bet to find a spot in a rotation some day but he’s a left-handed pitcher. Even though his stuff doesn’t look overly dominant, he struck out rate of 17.07 in 2020 and 14.11 in 2019.
Patrick Bailey – 1-13. The Giants easily got the best catcher in the 2020 MLB Draft in Bailey, which is interesting considering they took Joey Bart just a few years ago. But there is nothing wrong with having two great catchers in your system. The switch-hitting catcher hit .325 at NC State in 2019 with 5 home runs in just 30 games after hitting 13 home runs in 54 games his freshman season.
Casey Schmitt – 2-49. Drafted as a third baseman, Schmitt should have the opportunity to be a two-way player at the next level. That will certainly be fun to watch if the Giants give him that opportunity in the SALLY League.
Nick Swiney – 2C-67. The Giants went back to NC State with Swiney who I think has the chance to be a closer one day, but the Giants might give him a chance to be a starter first with a solid three-pitch mix of a fastball, curveball, and change-up.
Jimmy Glowenke – 2C-68. The last of the Giants four picks in the first two rounds, Glowenke had a very good college career at DBU where he hit .327 and .328 in his first two seasons with a combined 15 home runs. This season he was hitting .415 before the shutdown.
*R.J. Dabovich – 4-114. This might not be the Arizona State player the Giants were hoping to get in this draft, but Dabovich has some big upside to be a dominant closer one day if he can work on his command with a good fastball and plus breaking pitch.
*Austin Wells – 1-28. The Yankees drafted Wells for the second time after he turned them down out of high school. The catcher hit .353 as a freshman at Arizona with 5 home runs and then dominated the Cape Cod League hitting .308 with 7 home runs in just 42 games. There are little questions about his bat and ability to hit for power. The only question right now is where to put him in the field.
Trevor Hauver – 3-99. Part of a potent Arizona State offense, Hauver might have been a bit overlooked. However, he held his own hitting .339 with 13 home runs in 2019 and he was hitting .330 with 5 home runs in 2020. Like Wells, there are little doubts that Hauver can hit at the next level but it’s unclear where he’ll play in the field. He’s most likely destined for second base and scouts believe he’ll hit for average and power wherever he plays.
Pete Crow-Armstrong – 1-19. This is someone whose draft stock I believe was hurt a little because his name has been around for so long. But he could end up being one of the best players from this draft with his athleticism. I’m really excited to see him play.
J.T. Ginn – 2-52. This was a bit of a risk for the Mets as Ginn was already set to miss the 2020 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. There is no doubt Ginn is a first-round quality player when healthy, but we’ll see how he bounces back from TJ.
Blaze Jordan – 3-89. The name alone has me excited. Jordan was one of the youngest players in the draft and has some of the biggest power potential. I really hope we get a long look at him in the SALLY League.
Asa Lacy – 1-4. This lefty might be one of the surest bets from the draft to become a top of the rotation starter one day. I got to watch him several times in person and he was flat out dominant at times going up against the best lineups in the country. In 2019 he posted a 2.13 ERA in 88.2 innings with 130 strikeouts. My only fear as a fan is that the Royals have him skip the SALLY League as there is a chance he moves through the system quickly.
Nick Loftin – CBA-32. They Royals have a done a great job in recent drafts and the Loftin pick continues that theme. The infielder is athletic enough to move to the outfield if needed. He hit .331 as a sophomore at Baylor with 6 home runs with just 17 strikeouts in 236 at-bats.
Jared Shuster – 1-25. This one caught a lot of people off guard, but Shuster made some changes to his delivery and started seeing great results last summer in the Cape and then to begin his junior season at Wake Forest. He could be the sleeper pick of the first round and I look forward to seeing how he carries that short run of success into the SALLY League.
Bryce Elder – 5-126. A second or third-round talent, Elder fell to the Braves in the fifth-round. The Texas righty plays with a lot of passion and I look forward to seeing him trying to prove a lot of teams wrong with a dominant performance in the SALLY League. He’s also someone I think is a safe bet to be a middle of the rotation guy one day.