The 2020 MLB Draft is less than a week away and the first-round mock drafts are going to keep on coming.
In the latest mock by Mike Axisa over at CBS Sports, the Padres were once again paired with one of the best pure-hitters in the entire class. That player is Robert Hassell, the second-best high-school player in the country behind Spring Creek’s Zac Veen (who goes #4 in his mock).
Before get into the pick, here’s all the information you need regarding the draft, which will be held remotely:
- Dates: June 10-11
- Times: 7 p.m. ET on June 10 and 5 p.m. on June 11
- Television: MLB Network (June 10-11), ESPN (June 10), ESPN 2 (June 11)
Now for the pick. Here’s what Axisa had to say about the Padres and Hassell:
“The Padres have chased pure upside early in the draft under GM A.J. Preller. They’ve been connected to Hassell throughout the spring but I think they’re hoping Veen will be on the board here. Hassell is one of the top pure hitters in the draft class and has enough upside at the plate to overcome uncertainty about his defensive home. He’s a clear fit for the Padres with Veen off the board in our mock draft. Our R.J. Anderson ranked Hassell as the No. 20 prospect in the draft class.”
As mentioned in the quote above, here is R.J. Anderson’s take on Hassell being the 20th-ranked prospect in this year’s draft:
“Hassell, another well-regarded Vanderbilt commitment, is a legit prospect as a pitcher and outfielder. Evaluators favor him at the plate, where he employs an aesthetically pleasing left-handed swing that some believe will eventually produce above-average power. He has some backers in the industry who think he could become the best hitter in the class, and it shouldn’t surprise anyone if he goes higher than expected come draft day.”
The common theme you can see with Hassell is his hitting ability and just how much potential he has there. It’s not surprising to see him constantly paired with the Padres who were near the bottom of the league in a number of hitting categories.
San Diego finished last season 28th in team batting average, last in hits, 28th in RBIs, and were tied for second in total strikeouts. So yes, I think taking one of the best hitters in the draft is a really good idea.
On Perfectgame.org, Hassell III is listed as an OF/1B/LHP. At 6’2 and 190 pounds, he’s got a “lean high-waisted build” that projects to have plenty of room to get stronger in the future.
Here’s the rest of his profile from Perfect Game:
“Moves well in the outfield with light feet and good overall athleticism and bounce, can use his lower half more throwing. Left handed hitter, wide slightly open stance, has fast hands he uncoils well to start his swing, uphill swing plane with good extension out front, projects power, ball jumps when squared, loose and easy swing. Also pitched, quick compact delivery with a clean and fast arm stroke, high 3/4’s with some whip out front, some spinal tilt to get his arm through. Fastball topped out at 90 mph, shows a tight slider that bites hard and that he has feel for, flashed a change up. High level athlete with plenty of projection left, could end up as a two-way player if he goes to school. Good student, verbal commitment to Vanderbilt. Named to play in the Perfect Game All-American Classic.”