2020 MLB Draft Player Profiles: Day 2 Options

Most of the attention paid to the MLB Draft falls on the players selected in the first round, but this year there is intrigue on how things play out on Day 2. We could see new draft strategies implemented to take advantage of teams that have to cut down on baseball operation costs by skimping out on bonuses. Could the White Sox follow their plan from last year, going over the slotted bonus to sign prep players in the second and third rounds? Or will they fall back to what they have mostly done in recent years by sticking with college players? 

Either way, there are players worth keeping an eye on that the White Sox may target on Day 2. Below are options for both college and high schoolers.  

College Pitchers

Logan Allen, LHP, Florida International

ERAWLGSIPHRERBBBB%SOK%BAVGBF
20183.89551274743832165.16%8527.42%0.262310
20193.11461484714129257.18%12034.48%0.231348
20202.4521425.2179765.71%4139.05%0.183105

Logan Allen was a capable starting pitcher for FIU, posting big strikeout numbers despite not blowing up radar guns with fastball velocity. Sound familiar? Allen’s profile is a notch below Louisville lefty Reid Detmers, and the difference is in quality of breaking pitches (Detmers has a 60 to 70-grade curve; Allen has a 50 grade). Even though Allen sits at 88-92 mph during games with the fastball, he does have above-average command and is not afraid to attack hitters. 

PERTINENT: 2020 MLB Draft Player Profile: Reid Detmers, LHP, Louisville

Cole Henry, RHP, LSU

ERAWLAPPGSIPHRERBBBB%SOK%BAVG
20193.3942141158.1502522187.26%7229.03%0.226
20201.89214419156467.79%2329.87%0.231

LSU’s Cole Henry has the profile to be a first-rounder. His mid-90’s fastball, paired with a plus curveball, should put in squarely in the late first-round mix as a draft-eligible sophomore. Henry could be available to the White Sox at pick 47 because of his injury history, and lack of track record. He only pitched 77⅓ innings in college. 

Kyle Nicolas, RHP, Ball State

ERAWLAPPGSSVIPHRERBBBB%SOK%BAVG
20185.212415100575335334416.48%5520.60%0.25
20195.422235651.23234314720.09%7833.33%0.184
20202.740144023157777.69%3740.66%0.188

Kyle Nicolas has a big 95-97 mph fastball with a sharp slider. It’s an exciting combination, but Nicolas needs more polish. Control is an issue, and might be why he pitches out of the bullpen as a professional. 

Seth Lonsway, LHP, Ohio State

SEASONERAW-LGSIPHRERBBBB%SOK%
20193.708-41792.17447385914.18%12630.29%
20203.001-241811961821.69%4250.60%

Watching Ohio State’s Seth Lonsway, he reminds me of former White Sox pitcher John Danks. A mid-90’s mph fastball with a plus-curveball to rack up a high number of strikeouts. Just like Danks, Lonsway struggles with command at times posting big walk totals. In his last game of the 2020 season, Lonsway walked eight batters in two innings. 

PERTINENT: Catching up with John Danks

Jeff Criswell, RHP, Michigan 

ERAWLAPPGSIPHRERBBBB%SOK%BAVG
20182.233224032.1181181914.50%3224.43%0.168
20192.727122171068840325011.26%11626.13%0.232
20204.501442418151299.09%2626.26%0.205

A significant contributor to Michigan’s surprise run in the College World Series, the 2020 season was to be Jeff Criswell’s time to shine as the Friday night starter. Criswell spent most of 2019 as the third starter behind Karl Kauffman and Tommy Henry. Scouts were hoping to see more consistency deeper into his starts in 2020, but with the season cut short, that remains a question. 

College Position Players

Daniel Cabrera, LSU, OF

ABRH2B3BHRRBIAVGOB%SLG%BBSO
201821938691828540.3150.4050.5253436
2019225406412212500.2840.3590.5162454
2020581420302120.3450.4660.5001412

Daniel Cabrera was thought of as a second-round pick coming out of high school but decided to attend LSU. After a successful freshman season suggesting great things to come, Cabrera was OK in his sophomore year with a nagging wrist injury that caused a significant spike in strikeouts. Even though it was just 17 games in 2020, Cabrera was displaying a better eye and making solid contact, but power was lacking.

Gage Workman, 3B, Arizona State

ABRH2B3BHRRBIAVGOB%SLG%BBSO
201817427481073250.2760.3390.4661349
201921840721148420.3300.4130.5283068
2020681217413140.2500.3160.471521

After a strong finish in 2019, Gage Workman had a slow start in 2020 that impacted his draft stock. Workman is a switch-hitting third baseman that should stick at the position. Still, his swing is short and compact, limiting his ability to generate more power. 

Zach DeLoach, CF, Texas A&M

YearABRH2B3BHRRBIAVGOBPSLGBBSO
201824639651152270.2640.3550.3743533
20191602732413160.2000.3180.2942429
2020572524306170.4210.5470.789143

After a disappointing sophomore season, Zach DeLoach demonstrated significant improvements during the Cape Cod League by winning the batting title (.353 avg.). That propelled DeLoach to a great start in 2020 that has seen his draft stock rise. He played in center field for Texas A&M, but more than likely will be moved to either left or right field professionally since he’s not a plus-runner. 

Freddy Zamora, SS, Miami

ABRH2B3BHRRBIAVGOB%SLG%BBSO
201821132641241280.3030.3880.4122418
201919943591206460.2960.3930.4473127

2020 was not kind to Miami Hurricanes shortstop Freddy Zamora, as he was suspended for violating team rules to start the season. He later suffered an ACL injury during practice that caused him to miss the season. Zamora has the potential to be a 50-grade contact hitter, but with below-average power, his offensive ceiling is limited. However, Zamora is an outstanding defensive shortstop displaying terrific range and arm strength.

Zavier Warren, SS, Central Michigan

ABRH2B3BHRRBIAVGOB%SLG%BBSO
20181953654410270.2770.3930.3082928
201924073872228680.3630.4980.5715956
202064172120190.3280.4690.406159

The best position player in the MAC, Central Michigan’s Zavier Warren is a super-utility player. His high school position was catcher, but he has spent more time at shortstop with the Chippewas. Warren played third base in the Cape Cod League, but his future could be at second base. Offensively, Warren has shown advanced skills, being patient at the plate and willing to draw a walk. He flexed more power in 2019 than the brief 2020 season, but Warren is worth taking a flyer on in the fourth to the fifth round. 

High School Players

Jared Jones, RHP, La Mirada HS (CA)

I saw Jared Jones at the Under Armour Showcase last summer. He sat in the top 25 in many preseason 2020 MLB Draft lists, but he didn’t have a good afternoon. He started hitting 95 to 96 mph with the four-seam only to be throwing 91 to 92 mph in the next inning. Jones did get a couple of strikeouts using the slider and featured a firm changeup that clocked in between 86-89 mph. Lack of control with his pitches was his downfall in the afternoon, only throwing 24 strikes out of 47 pitches. There is a lot to like about Jones, and he possesses the talent of a promising pitching prospect a la Matthew Thompson, who the White Sox took in the second round last year.

Ben Hernandez, RHP, De La Salle HS (IL)

Ed Howard grabs the attention of baseball fans in Chicago leading up to the draft, but Ben Hernandez is another area prep player who could come off the board on Day 2. Hernandez earned rave reviews from the MLB Prospect Development Pipeline League and struck out the side to close out the Under Armour Showcase. His best pitch is the changeup, which he has an advanced feel for, and pairs with a fastball that mostly sits in the low 90’s but has hit 95 mph at times. Hernandez does have a curveball that will need more refinement to be a quality third offering. Still, there is a lot to like about his profile and he should be worth the investment to convince him to forgo his Illinois-Chicago commitment. If not, Hernandez could be draft-eligible after his sophomore season. 

PERTINENT: 2020 MLB Draft Player Profiles: The prep options

Yohandy Morales, 3B, Braddock HS (FL)

A raw prep bat worth taking on Day 2, Yohandy Morales could be a future power-hitting third baseman. He has the physical attributes to generate power in his swing, but his mechanics need work. Morales hits a lot of grounders and has shown trouble with pitches located up in the zone. There’s a lot of moving pieces in his swing, but with more development, this is a projectable bat that could be a diamond in the rough. 

Enrique Bradfield Jr., CF, American Heritage HS (FL)

A Juan Pierre-type player, Enrique Bradfield Jr., is a 70 to an 80-grade runner who puts pressure on infielders to make clean plays. There’s very little power in his swing, but Bradfield Jr. could be the type of player who consistently posts a high BABIP through line drives or drag bunts. There is room for him to grow into his frame (6’0” 155 lbs), but his athleticism is what sticks out. Bradfield Jr. is a Vanderbilt commit, so signability is unknown. 

Isaiah Greene, CF, Corona HS (CA)

He’s not as fast as Bradfield Jr., but Isaiah Greene is another plus-run outfielder but with a bat that has more projection. Greene has a contact-first approach at the plate, but as he physically matures and makes adjustments, he could unlock more power in his swing. There are reports that Greene needs work on his routes in center field for teams to be sold that is his long-term position. If the money isn’t right for Greene, he’s committed to Missouri. 

(Photo of Jared Jones by Heston Quan)

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Josh Nelson
Josh Nelson

Josh Nelson is the host and producer of the Sox Machine Podcast. For show suggestions, guest appearances, and sponsorship opportunities, you can reach him via email at josh@soxmachine.com.

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lil jimmy

Lots of great choices.
Three more College Pitchers for #47,
Christian Roa – Texas A&M/Arrow pointing up. 6’4′ RHP, Starter make up.
Chapman Sports junior RHP Nick Garcia / Top small school starter. Four pitches. Fast ball up to 98 MPH. 6’3″
Tommy Mace, 6’6″/ Florida RHP- Fangraphs has him at #47-” prototypical frame and four-pitch mix. He’s up to 96″
From the Cape Cod. Zavier Warren, 3B| 170 PAs, .315/.396/.443, 3 HR, 2 SB | Grade: 50
“One of the strongest throwing arms we saw.” I was thinking fifth round, but fourth is more likely. Could move to Catcher. If he did, the bat plays up. Mike Shirley is a Michigan guy.

egib52

Where is he from?

lil jimmy

He’s from a suburb of Detroit. College at Central Michigan.

egib52

Sorry that was supposed to be about Calabrese.

lil jimmy

He’s from Ontario. He stood in against Blue Jays pitching, and did pretty well. He’s young, fast, with a nice glove. Kieth Law loves him. Had him in his top 30. Turns 18 in the fall.

lil jimmy

David Calabrese OF with a 5-10 165 lb Bats left
I’m going to put an “Alex Thomas” comp on him, who is know #49 prospect in MLB. We passed him up.
Calabrese can be had at #47.
I tell you right now, kid’s going to be an All Star.

texag10

I like DeLoach. Lefty hitting outfielder with pop in his bat and what appears to be a decent eye at the plate, not to mention he’s an Aggie. I’d love to have our current minor logjam of outfielders sorted though…

knoxfire30

In theory could the Whitesox try and get a prep player at 11, low ball him a bit so they could spend bigger rounds 2-5 on college arms with the thought being they get a value deal at 11 or simply recoup the pick next year in a likely deeper draft with so few rounds this year and the uncertainty surrounding the season. Or has the MLB set forth any special rules this year?

Eagle Bones

This underslot/overslot stuff always makes my head spin, but it seems unlikely they’d be able to make that work being further down the draft order and having less pool money than a bunch of teams. Have to figure the kinds of guys they’d try to push to their second pick would get snapped up by someone with more $ to spend and/or a higher pick. Am I reasoning through that right?

lil jimmy

I don’t get it either. In 2017 they gave Gavin Sheets 600,000 extra. Was that money burning a hole in their pocket?

evenyoudorn

Maybe it’s the Sox that don’t really get it.