Five Players Tigers Could Draft With First Overall Pick In 2020

One high school slugger is said to be the next Bryce Harper.

97.1 The Ticket
September 26, 2019 - 11:31 am

Jason Miller / Stringer


With their win over the Tigers Wednesday night, the Twins clinched the division title. And with the loss, the Tigers clinched the first overall pick in the 2020 draft -- the second time in three years they'll have the honors.

So it is these days in the AL Central. 

Last year the Tigers landed Casey Mize, who now ranks as one of the top five prospects in baseball. Who will they take next year? 

So much can change between now and then, but let's take a look at five names generating buzz at the top of the board. 

Emerson Hancock, RHP, Georgia

If the draft were today, Hancock would almost certainly be the first pitcher off the board -- and possibly the first pick altogether.  In his sophomore season at Georgia, he posted a 1.99 ERA and 97 strikeouts to 18 walks in 90 1/3 innings. Hancock, 6'4, throws a high-90s fastball, a wipe-out slider and boasts a curve and a change, to boot. The Tigers want for hitters, but the idea of a rotation headlined by Casey Mize, Matt Manning and Hancock is pretty darn appealing. 

Spencer Torkelson, 1B, Arizona State 

More than just hitters, the Tigers need sluggers. Meet Spencer Torkelson. He hit 25 bombs last year at ASU, shattering the school's freshman record set in 1983 by...Barry Bonds. He followed that up this year by smacking 22 more. And Torkelson is no all-or-nothing swinger. He hits for average, and walks as often as he strikes out. At the moment, the big-swinging righty is the best power hitter in the 2020 draft and the best college hitter overall. He could satisfy Detroit's long-term need at first base. 

Blaze Jordan, 1B/3B, DeSoto Central High (Mississippi)

A teenager known for hitting 500-foot bombs, Jordan has drawn comparisons to Bryce Harper. And like Harper at this stage, Jordan already has his sights on the MLB. He reclassified this year to enter the draft at the age of 17. If he keeps bashing baseballs, there's a good chance he'll go first overall. There are questions surrounding his play in the field, but Jordan, who won the high school home run derby at this year's MLB All-Star Game, has the bat to quiet those out. 

Pete Crow-Armstrong, CF, Harvard-Westlake High School (Los Angeles)

If Jordan is the best high school hitter in next year's draft class, Crow-Armstrong is considered the best all-around player. He grades out at the top of the charts for his speed, hitting and defense. At the plate, he sprays line drives and stands to add considerably more power as he fills out his 6'1 frame. The Tigers took a smooth-swinging high school outfielder in the first round this year in Riley Greene, and could go back for seconds in 2020. 

JT Ginn, RHP, Mississippi State

Ginn has already been a first-round pick once. The Dodgers took him 30th overall last year, but he turned down their offer to attend college. Then he posted a 3.13 ERA and 105 strikeouts against 18 walks in 86 1/3 innings in his debut season at Mississippi State. He throws his heater in the mid-90s, with the velo likely to increase as he adds bulk to his 6'2 frame, and has a swing-and-miss breaking ball to go with it.