As the 2019 MLB Draft begins to fade away in the rearview mirror, the long trek to the 2020 MLB Draft starts, with a fresh crop of new faces ready to show their worth to scouts.
The Under Armour All-America Game is one of the top events for scouts to attend every year. The event has produced 108 first round selections since the inaugural game in 2008, including names like Jameson Taillon, Nick Castellanos, Austin Meadows, Austin Riley, and Bo Bichette.
The 2019 version of the All-America Game was heavily dominated by pitching. 34 strikeouts were recorded between both sides, with only 13 combined hits. Change-ups seemed to be thrown at a high rate during the event, as players were attempting to showcase more of their off-speed offerings to scouts.
Some big names in the 2020 draft class struggled, as Dylan Crews went 0-for-4 with four strikeouts and Pete Crow-Armstrong went 0-for-2 with a walk and two strikeouts, plus an error on a early game pop-up. However, other names performed very well, and we will showcase some of the best performances from the 2019 Under Armour All-America Game.
RHP Jared Kelley, Refugio HS
Kelley is highly thought of as one of the best pitching prospects in a relatively deep 2020 prep class, and for good reason. The starter for the National squad, Kelley recorded five strikeouts in the two innings that he pitched. Three of those strikeouts coming off his electric fastball that sat 94-96 MPH early before dipping down to 92-93 MPH. He also showcased a solid breaking ball in the low 80’s and a change-up that sat 81-83 MPH. He, along with Oregon’s Mick Abel, will be the top pitchers to watch in the 2020 draft class.
RHP Jared Jones, La Mirada HS
The opposing starter for the American squad, Jones is one of the top pitchers from the Southern California region in this class. He showed great promise at the 2019 NHSI event in Cary, North Carolina in April, and he did not disappoint in Chicago. While his fastball command was sporadic at best, he routinely hit 94-96 MPH early, notching two of his four strikeouts with the pitch, before a downtick in velocity in the second inning. He showed off a solid, hard slider that hovered around 80 MPH, as well as a potential plus offering in a change-up that sat in the 87-89 MPH range.
RHP Victor Mederos, Monsignor Pace HS
There is a reason why Mederos walked away with the MVP honors from this game.
In his second UA All-America Game, Mederos was nothing short of spectacular. He worked a very solid fourth inning for the National team, by striking out the side in order. He showcased some of the best control out of any of the pitchers at the event, as well as some of the better breaking balls. He sat in the 93-94 MPH range with his fastball, which was accompanied by a sweeping slider that was sitting at 80-82 MPH and a curveball that sat 75-78 MPH with 11-5 movement. Mederos also sported a solid change-up that touched 85 MPH.
C Drew Romo, The Woodlands HS
Romo is the top catching prospect in the prep class for 2020, but is more known for his defense than his bat. It was quite the opposite in Chicago, as Romo went 2-for-2, with a single off a slider from Kelley and a opposite field double off a fastball from Potomac Falls HS southpaw Nate Savino. The LSU commit also showed off a strong arm and actions behind the plate. He threw out Spruce Creek HS outfielder Zac Veen at third base with a throw registered at 78.1 MPH and a pop time of 1.61 seconds. However, he did have two throwing errors on the day.
RHP/1B Nolan McLean, Garner Magnet HS
One of the better two-way players in this class, Nolan McLean is someone that could be a two-sport star, as he is also a 3-star quarterback in football. But as a baseball player? He shows a lot more promise.
Hailing from my alma mater, McLean showcased a clean inning for the American squad in the fifth inning. Throwing his fastball in the 92-95 MPH range with good arm side run, a solid curveball that sat 73-75 MPH, and a change-up that could use some work at 82 MPH. He struck out two batters in the inning, including Pete Crow-Armstrong, while Hoover HS outfielder Robby Ashford aided McLean with a beautiful diving catch in center field.
RHP Carson Montgomery, Windermere HS
If it wasn’t already noticeable, the pitching in this game was impeccable. The theme of pitchers impressing continues, as Carson Montgomery struck out the side in the fourth inning for the American squad. He showed off two plus pitches, with a fastball that sat in the low-90’s (91-93 MPH) and a breaking ball that sat at 80-82 MPH. He filled the zone with a lot of strikes and worked his heater high, as well. While he’s no Kelley or Abel, he’s certainly no slouch in the class, as I consider him among the top five prep right-handers in 2020.
Honorable mentions: RHP Alejandro Rosario, 1B/3B Blaze Jordan, RHP Cam Brown, RHP Andrew Painter (2021), OF Austin Hendrick (Home Run Derby Winner), LHP Nate Savino, SS Ed Howard