Jim Callis at MLB.com unveiled his second mock MLB Draft, and has the Dodgers taking Miami right-handed pitcher Slade Cecconi in the first round, 29th overall.
Previous mock drafts have linked the Dodgers to North Carolina State left-hander Nick Swiney and Duke righty Bryce Jarvis. VP of amateur scouting Billy Gasparino said last week, “The college pitching group and the high school hitting group are really strong. It’s a strong draft overall.”
Cecconi has a 4.09 ERA with 119 strikeouts in 101⅓ innings in parts of two seasons with Miami, including a 3.80 ERA and 30 strikeouts (a 33.3-percent strikeout rate) in 21⅓ innings in four starts in 2020 as a sophomore. He was selected as a third-team preseason All-American by Baseball America.
Dustin Nosler wrote up Cecconi last week at Dodgers Digest:
Cecconi, a draft-eligible sophomore, has the look of a frontline starter. He has a fastball that is regularly in the mid-90s. The knock on it is he loses a little velocity deeper into his outings, but he works well with the pitch up in the strike zone, which the Dodgers covet. His best offspeed pitch is a mid-to-high-80s slider that looks a lot like a cutter. There’s a chance he can parse out the slider and cutter and make them two separate pitches (think Walker Buehler). It has shown characteristics of both offerings.
“I want to keep hitters off my fastball early in counts with the cutter,” Cecconi told Baseball Prospect Journal in March. “I like to finish with my slider, but I will maybe throw the cutter later or when I am behind to get a swing and miss or weak contact.”
Baseball America ranks Cecconi 32nd among draft prospects:
Cecconi looked like a no-doubt first-round pick based on his summer looks entering his senior year in high school but pitched sparingly during the spring due to an injury and made it to campus at Miami as a result.
The Orioles drafted Cecconi out of high school in the 38th round in 2018, but he opted for college instead.
MLB.com ranks Cecconi the 31st-best prospect in this draft, adding, “The 6-foot-4 right-hander has the kind of strong and durable frame scouts love to see in a pitcher, and he shows the stuff to match at times.”
The Dodgers have six picks in the 2020 MLB Draft. Their first-round selection, 29th overall, has a slot bonus recommendation of $2,424,600.