We don’t know the exact details of the 2020 MLB Draft yet, but as part of the agreement between Major League Baseball and the players association in March the draft will be moved from June to July. MLB can also shorten the draft to as few as five rounds — possibly preluding a contraction of minor league affiliates in 2021 — though that decision hasn’t been made yet.
No matter how long the 2020 draft is, there will be a first round, for every team but the Astros, at least. To that end, it’s mock draft season, and Jonathan Mayo at MLB.com projected all 29 picks in the first round.
Mayo’s pick for the Dodgers at 29th overall is Mississippi State shortstop Jordan Westburg.
With winter and spring sports canceled by the NCAA in mid-March, college baseball’s 2020 season was especially short. Mississippi State only played 16 games, and Westburg played them all, hitting .317/.432/.517 with six doubles and two home runs as a junior.
The 6’3 shortstop hit .294/.402/.457 with 21 doubles, six home runs, and two triples with a 12.1-percent walk rate. He reached base in 63 of his 66 games, and ended the season on a 20-game on-base streak. In 2018 as a freshman, Westburg tied a College World Series record with seven RBI in a game against North Carolina.
Westburg’s strikeout rates in college have progressed from 25.2 percent as a freshman to 21.5 percent in 2019, then 20.3 percent to start this season. Baseball America ranked Westburg the 33rd-best draft prospect and notes, “scouts think he might wind up as more of a fringe-average hitter because of those concerns.”
Mayo mocked the Bulldogs’ other junior middle infielder, second baseman Justin Foscue, 26th to the A’s, and noted “Westburg provides more ceiling compared with Foscue’s high floor.”
As part of that March agreement between the MLBPA and MLB, draft signing bonuses will be frozen at the 2019 levels for two years. The Dodgers’ 29th pick has a slot value of $2,424,600.