MLB Draft Preview: Alabama Prospects


PBR Alabama Staff & David Seifert

With the recent announcement by Major League Baseball, there is no denying that the MLB Draft will look very different in 2020. Instead of the usual 40 round draft that we have grown accustomed to, this draft has seen the number of rounds get trimmed to only 5 rounds. It is important to add that after these 5 rounds, all undrafted players have the ability to sign with an organization for a max signing bonus of $20,000. For more information about the rule changes regarding the 2020 MLB Draft, click HERE.

The state of Alabama has produced some big time talent for the 2020 draft class, with some hoping to hear their names called in the 1st round on June 10th. Some of these players below played high school ball in the state, while others played in different states but found their way to the great state of Alabama in college. With the likely chance of more college players being selected than high school players due to the draft changes, we decided to take a look at all of the prospects in Alabama from the 2020 PBR Draft Board updated on May 19th. 

Although these are all college guys, there is still the chance that there could be some high school guys from Alabama selected in the MLB Draft. Names like RHP/OF Dylan Ray, RHP Carson Swilling, and OF Robby Ashford could potentially sneak in, but we expect to see most high school players opt to head to their respective college. Nevertheless, check out some of the top names who could be selected in the 2020 MLB Draft on June 10th and 11th below.

 

Alabama MLB Draft Prospects

 

Tanner Burns, RHP, Auburn University

Strong bodied at 6-foot, 215 pounds, Burns uses his lower half to generate plus velocity with ease. He lands slightly across his body while throwing from a three-quarters slot. He steadily pumps firm, high spin 92-96 mph heaters and commands the pitch to both sides of the plate. His 2.39 BB/9 in 2019 is further evidence of his plus control. He complements his heater with three solid secondary offerings in his 77-81 mph spike curveball, which he added this spring, an 84-86 mph slider and 82-84 mph changeup. Plus command of his four-pitch mix allows his entire arsenal to play up. After leaving the game early in an April '19 rain-soaked start at Vanderbilt due to shoulder discomfort, Burns missed a couple starts. He returned a couple weeks later, but did not pitch for the USA CNT last summer in order to rest. Despite those brief breaks from the mound, Burns has been an SEC workhorse, logging 165 innings in 32 starts his freshman and sophomore seasons combined. Overall, Burns projects as mid-rotation starter at the ML level and a likely back third of the first round pick.

Cole Henry, RHP, Louisiana State University

Another highly talented soph-eligible arm in the 2020 class, Henry is a tall, athletic righty with an on-line, repeatable delivery. With physical projection remaining in his 6-foot-4, 210-pound frame, he gets over his front side and extends well on his 93-94 mph fastball, which touches 96 or better at times. It shows good ride through the zone, sink when down and he commands the pitch to both sides of the plate. He also shows very good arm speed and command of his 84-86 live-actioned changeup. Another potential plus pitch in his arsenal is his curveball, which played down a bit from last season. Henry shortened up his arm path in back this spring and was just a click off with the release point. Previously in the 74-75 mph range, the pitch sat 77-79 this spring, and the consistency remains a work-in-progress. After a stellar freshman campaign going 4-2 with a 3.39 ERA in 58.1 innings and striking out 72, Henry started strong this spring with a 2-1 record and a 1.89 ERA with 23 strikeouts in 19 IP. With top-of-the-rotation starter traits in his body type, athleticism, delivery, arm action and three-pitch arsenal, Henry will likely seek first round dollars, knowing that if he doesn’t get it, returning to Baton Rouge could easily pay off in top half of the first round dividends in 2021.

Justin Foscue, 2B, Mississippi State University

Foscue posted a .959 OPS as a breakout star in 2019, earning him All-America honors. He got off to a strong start as a junior, hitting .321/.464/.509 with two homers, four doubles and 16 RBIs in 16 games. A disciplined right handed hitter with an open stance and outstanding balance and rhythm in his right handed swing, Foscue has demonstrated advanced pitch recognition for three years at MSU, and he drew 15 walks against just three strikeouts this spring. His 6-foot, 205-pound frame lacks projection, but his present strength allows him to make good use of his above-average raw power. Foscue’s hit tool figures to carry him, and he is capable of using the opposite field at times, although he pulls most balls that he puts into play at this point. He’s a below-average runner, but not a clogger, and his feet work well enough at second base thanks to his sound instincts and steady actions. He’s a sure-handed defender who turns the double play well, though he’s not the flashiest defensive middle infielder. Given his track record of performance and his innate feel for hitting, Foscue stands a good chance to be drafted in the first two rounds.

Tyler Gentry, OF, University of Alabama

Gentry is strong and athletic at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds. He possesses a well-rounded toolset with an above average arm which plays plus due to his 70-grade accuracy; he led the Cape in outfielder assists last summer with seven. He's an above average defender and very dependable. Long term he is best suited for either corner. Gentry has above average hand/eye, however his big swing and aggressive approach led to a subpar BB/K ratio in the Cape (10 BB/43 SO in 150 at-bats) and last spring (19/51 in 210 at-bats) for the Tide. His best power comes to his pull side and overall showed average raw power. He's an above average runner down the line (4.28) and even better underway. With improvements made to his hitting approach and a phenomenal start (.429/.554/.750 with 4 HR and 10 BB vs 10 SO) to the 2020 spring season, Gentry will receive top three round consideration this summer.

Bailey Horn, LHP, Auburn University

The fourth-year junior lefty earned a spot in the weekend rotation as the Tigers Sunday starter this spring. Physical and athletic with a nice three-pitch mix, Horn has a very good feel for the strike zone. He can also be overpowering at times, with a 89-94 mph fastball with occasional cut into right handed hitters. His best pitch is his power slider at 81-82. It's very deceptive and shows the ability to throw it for strikes to make life tough on left-handed hitters. He owns an above average, low-80s changeup as well. Despite pitching limited innings during his Auburn career, lefties who throw strikes with low-90s fastballs and generate swing/miss (27 strikeouts, five walks in 17.1 IP) are hard to find. Expect Horn to be considered around the fifth round this summer.

 

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