With the 2020 MLB draft shortened from 40 rounds to five, there are a whole lot of college and high school players who would have heard their name called in a typical year but instead face a great deal of uncertainty.
Teams will be able to sign an unlimited number of undrafted free agents for $20,000 beginning Sunday, offering a unique opportunity for clubs to add to their farm systems.
Below are some of the best players available, based on the draft prospect rankings of ESPN Insider Kiley McDaniel, although given the $20,000 bonus limit there’s a good chance many of them will head to college. In all, 21 of McDaniel’s top 100 prospects went undrafted.
Tanner Witt, RHP, Episcopal HS (TX), Texas commit, No. 27 prospect: The son of the Marlins’ minor league hitting coach, Witt has taken a big step forward on the mound this spring, throwing into the mid-90s to go with a plus-plus, 3,000 rpm hook.
Carson Montgomery, RHP, West Orange HS (FL), Florida State commit, No. 48 prospect: A big name when he was throwing into the mid-90s a couple of years ago, he took a step forward this spring with a mid-90s heater headlining three above-average pitches and the feel to start.
Tommy Mace, RHP, Florida, No. 49 prospect: Mace was a projection arm in high school who made a jump early in college. Some scouts complained before the season that his heater was too hittable, but he was up to 97 mph against Miami and has an above-average-to-plus slider and the feel to start.
Cayden Wallace, 3B, Greenbrier HS (AR), Arkansas commit, No. 55 prospect: Wallace has five solid tools that are all fringy to slightly above average. The thinking is that he will be heading to school.
Drew Bowser, 3B, Harvard Westlake HS (CA), Stanford commit, No. 56 prospect: Bowser is listed as a 3B/SS but his body projects to 1B. He has an upright swing, but good hands and his power came on late in the summer and fall.
Sterlin Thompson, LF, North Marion HS (FL), Florida commit, No. 57 prospect: A lefty power bat with a beautiful swing. Thompson will be sophomore-eligible in 2022 and was a second-round talent on some clubs’ boards.
Kevin Parada, C, Loyola HS (CA), Georgia Tech commit, No. 62 prospect: Parada has an above-average arm and should be able to stick behind the plate, as he’s shown some upside with the bat.
Corey Collins, C, North Gwinnett HS (GA), Georgia commit, No. 68 prospect: Collins shows big raw power that he gets to in games to all fields. An improved physique gives him a chance to stick behind the plate.
Enrique Bradfield Jr., CF, American Heritage HS (FL), Vanderbilt commit, No. 74 prospect: Bradfield’s best tool is his blazing speed, as he has a bit of a slash-and-dash approach.