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Homin’s Rays mock draft prospects for 2020

The Rays need to take a catcher!

NCAA BASEBALL: JUN 01 South Carolina v Ohio State
Ohio State catcher Dillon Dingler (10) rounds second base after hitting a home run during the NCAA Baseball Greenville Regiona
Photo by Greg Thompson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

I am glad to have a chance to join Rays mock draft for 2020. I read the excellent mock draft from Danny Russell, and I don’t know if it’s good or bad, but my choice is totally different from him. Since I believe it is good to introduce more players for Rays fans to consider, here are my picks for the Rays.

It’s hard to know which player is available at the each of Rays pick, but — like Baseball America — I think the Rays can’t afford the opportunity to miss a solid catching addition to the system, so we’ll start with one here:

Round 1 (Pick 27): Dillon Dingler, C, Ohio State

(Pipeline 24th, BA 37th)

Pipeline Scouting Grade : HIT 50 / POWER 50 / RUN 55 / ARM 65 / FIELD 55 / OVERALL 50

Even though there are bunch of talented college pitcher available, I don’t want to miss the opportunity to get a potentially impactful college catcher. I believe that he has best hitting upside among who can play at behind the plate for a long. He has not been a regular catcher during college career, however he has a good athleticism enough to play at both OF and C. The Rays can develop him into good well-balanced catcher with that merit.

There is a less video of him, because he became a main target of scouts only recently. But he is a fast riser who can project to play at multiple positions, like Greg Jones, the 2019 Rays 1st round draftee. Brad suggested in his mock draft that the Rays could wait for pick 37 to get Dingler, but I think that is too great a risk.

The Rays should pick most talented player for the first pick, so if he’s available, I like Nick Bitsko’s upside, but I don’t think that the Rays can pick him with the 27th pick.

Comp. Balance A (37): Carson Montgomery, RHP, Windermere (FL)

(Pipeline 34th, BA 36th)

Pipeline Scouting Grade : FASTBALL 60 / SLIDER 55 / CHANGEUP 50 / CONTROL 50 / OVERALL 55

When evaluating HS pitchers, I focus more on projection, quick arm, good athleticism and delivery than current physical strength. For that reason I wanted for the Rays to pick JJ Goss at last years draft and was thrilled when they did. I am sure that the Rays will consider Montgomery for the incoming draft, too. There are mixed opinion about his consistency, but he is young enough to fix it and the Rays can help him properly.

The Rays have to compete with Florida State University for him. So over-slot money should be needed to get him, but I think this local boy is worth it. If the Rays want safer player to sign with, Slade Cecconi (who Danny targeted) or Chris McMahon is reasonable target. But I believe that the Rays will focus on more upside at their two 1st round draft pick.

Round 2 (57): Nick Garcia, RHP, Chapman (Calif.)

(Pipeline 71th, BA rank 63th)

Pipeline Scouting Grade : FASTBALL 60 / SLIDER 50 / CHANGEUP 50 / CONTROL 50 / OVERALL 45

Unintentionally, I would pick a player similar to last year’s No. 40 pick, Seth Johnson. Garcia, the closer on Chapman’s 2019 Division III national championship team, has a limited track record. But, he is relatively young for a college junior and will be barely 21 on draft day.

I like his easy/athletic delivery, arm action and an extra tick of perceived velocity due to extension. Even though He is raw compared to Johnson, he is still relatively young college pitcher and there is time left to develop.

I would pick him little earlier than his prospect ranking, because like Dingler I am worried that he is not be available at the Rays next pick. I think he will be satisfied to be picked up at this turn.

Round 3 (96): Connor Phillips, RHP, McLennan JC

(Pipeline 95th, BA rank 97th)

Pipeline Scouting Grade : FASTBALL 60 / CURVEBALL 55 / CHANGEUP 50 / CONTROL 45 / OVERALL 45

Three in a row RHP? It can be difficult to find much upside available at 3rd round, but Phillips is one of the most talented ones in this draf. This Texan RHP has more current arm strength (93-97 mph plus fastball) than Montgomery and Garcia. And also, he has athleticism like them. I don’t like the effort in his delivery, inconsistent release, arm-side run and arm action. But I found out he can spin the ball, though I can’t confirm that with spin rate data I can share. He resembles Joe Ryan in some ways.

Phillips decided to head to McLennan (Texas) JC instead of Louisiana State in 2019. I believe he has intent to begin professional season earlier with adequate bonus and the Rays can give what he wants to get.

Round 4 (126): Hayden Cantrelle, IF, Louisana Lafayette

(Pipeline 119th, BA rank 132)

Pipeline Scouting Grade : HIT 50 / POWER 40 / RUN 60 / ARM 55 / FIELD 50 / OVERALL 45

Cantrelle’s best tool is his 60 speed. I love more balanced players, but I don’t think the Rays can pick that one at this pick. So, I decided to pick one who can be a more of a utility type player who can help the team in various ways.

Recently he has showed a much better approach and a more controlled swing at the plate and is equally projectable on offense and defense. Moreover, he hits the ball with authority. He doesn’t have quickness or a strong arm, but he is a stable defender and an accurate thrower.

I am sure that the Rays can sign with him without difficulty and find use for him.

Round 5 (156): Jordan Nwogu, OF, Michigan

(Pipeline 109th, BA 188th)

Pipeline Scouting Grade : HIT 45 / POWER 55 / RUN 60 / ARM 45 / FIELD 45 / OVERALL 45

I am hopeful the Rays can pick Nwogu as a wild card. I am in the same position with scout who don’t like his unorthodox swing and lower half movement. But he can make a loud contact due to plenty of bat speed, hand-eye coordination and raw power.

Nwogu has good speed and runs the bases aggressively. Nwogu reminds me of Brandon Guyer who was drafted at 157th overall pick in 2007 with a similar profile. I believe he can’t be more than Quad-A player if he sticks to current swing. But, good players adjust, and there he can be a dark horse.

Because there are mixed evaluations for him, I am not sure that he will be remained undrafted here. If some team like him more, I hope the Rays consider Parker Chavers, who could be an another wild card.