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With only five rounds in the Major League Baseball Draft this year, much fewer high school players are expected to be chosen in the early rounds compared to previous season, especially pitchers.
That being said, more high school pitchers will be chosen in this year's draft than any other position, with the bulk of those players being right-handed pitchers.
Nick Bitsko, Central Bucks East (Doylestown, Pa.)
Scouts don't know a whole lot about Bitsko since he reclassified from the Class of 2021 and he didn't take the field during the 2020 spring. Thus he only played two seasons of high school baseball. Nevertheless, scouts don't need to know much when a pitcher is hitting 96 mph on his fastball. Bitsko, at 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds, also has the size to add more speed. He also has a solid enough curve and change to be considered the top right-handed prep prospect in the draft. Projection: Top 15 picks.Jared Kelley, Refugio (Texas)
If not for Bitsko, Kelley would be the top prospect. The National Gatorade Player of the Year, Kelley did not allow a hit in three appearances, including a complete-game no-hitter. Kelley's fastball has hit 99 mph this spring and he also has a change that's considered a plus second pitch. Projection: Top 20 picks.Mick Abel, Jesuit (Portland, Ore.)
Abel has a 94 mph fastball, but the slider is his premium pitch, which Baseball America ranks as the best in the 2020 draft. The Gatorade State Player of the Year in Oregon had an 18-3 career record with 213 career strikeouts. Projection: End of first round.
Jared Jones, La Mirada (Calif.)
Jones has command of an assortment of pitches and is also a possible everyday player based on his ability on offense. Jones is a possible second-round selection, but his signability is in question, considering he has committed to play at Texas — one of the top baseball programs in the nation. Projection: Second round.Carson Montgomery, Windermere (Fla.)
Another pitcher who has a mid-90s fastball to go along with a plus change. Montgomery also has a curve in his repertoire making him a solid three-pitch candidate. Projection: Second round.Justin Lange, Llano (Texas)
Lange is a new name among the top pitching prospects thanks to a spring season in which his fastball hit 99 mph. That type of velocity would normally make Lange a first-round prospect, but with a shortened spring, scouts appear willing to wait until the second round. Projection: Second round.Nolan McLean, Garner Magnet (Garner, N.C.)
McLean is a two-way prospect after belting nine home runs and batting .373 as a junior to go along with 53 strikeouts in 28 innings pitched. A two-sport athlete, McLean also had 6,809 yards passing as a quarterback. McLean can hit 94 mph on his fastball. Projection: Third round.Cam Brown, Flower Mound (Texas)
Brown had a very strong summer last year, which pushed him up the ranks of the top pitching prospects in the country. His fastball sits in the mid-90s and he has good command of a curve ball and change-up, however he is likely a third- or fourth-round selection. Projection: Third round.Alex Santos, Mt. St. Michael Academy (Bronx, N.Y.)
Santos hits about 93 mph on his fastball, but scouts project Santos to add speed to the pitch as he adds strength at the next level. He also has a solid change-up and curve and appears to have plenty of potential. Projection: Fourth round.Dax Fulton, Mustang (Okla.)
The only left-hander on the list, Fulton has a 96 mph fastball and he is one of the few lefties expected to be drafted during the five-round selection process. Fulton is ranked as a first-round prospect by some mock drafts, but he more than likely falls toward the end. Projection: Fifth round.