The MLB is loaded with young talent heading into the 2020 season. Now that MLB The Show 20 has implemented real-life prospects, another element has been added to the franchise team selection process. The teams listed have a blend of young MLB talent and promising farm systems. They are all teams that could make noise in the postseason with your help and development. Ratings used do not factor Franchise Mode’s morale traits.
San Diego Padres
The Padres are hiding out west behind the Dodgers, but could make noise as a wildcard team. From a franchise standpoint, the Padres look to be one of the more exciting options. The lineup will feature a superstar in Manny Machado (90 OVR) and a budding star in Fernando Tatis Jr. (86 OVR). Surprisingly Tommy Pham comes in as an 89 Overall, making him the second-highest rated player in the lineup. They will be supported by veterans Wil Myers (74 OVR) and Eric Hosmer (72 OVR). If it were my team I’d do my best to trade away those two by the deadline in order to clear some space for free agent-to-be Mookie Betts. I was offered Jon Lester (79 OVR) for the pair, who is in a contract year. That said, they are solid players that are fully capable of driving in runs behind Tatis Jr. and Machado.
The rotation will start with second-year pitcher Chris Paddack (83 OVR) followed by Dinelson Lamet (79 OVR), Garrett Richards (76 OVR), Joey Lucchesi (76 OVR) and Zack Davies (73 OVR). The Padres also have an elite closer in Kirby Yates (90 OVR) and a formidable bullpen around him. The organization features the #2 farm system with five top 100 prospects. They have the highest-rated pitching prospect, LHP MacKenzie Gore (70 OVR) who could factor in immediately. The Padres are definitely one of the teams on the rise, making 2020 a perfect time to jump in and take over.
Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays are surprisingly one of the most fun teams to play as in MLB The Show 20. The team is led by a strong rotation that includes Charlie Morton (88 OVR), Blake Snell (87 OVR) and Tyler Glasnow (76 OVR). Brendan McKay (73 OVR) will be a fun back end of the rotation pitcher that could also DH if developed correctly. The lineup will be centered around Austin Meadows after a phenomenal 2019 campaign that saw his overall jump from 71 to 81.
The Rays will also lead the league in young trade assets. One of the most enticing reasons for choosing the Rays is the farm system. The Rays have the #1 farm system with six top 100 prospects. That list is led by 19-year-old Wander Franco, the #1 rated prospect in baseball. Having a lot of assets to deal will make the game more interesting as you finds ways to compete without a large payroll in a tough American League East.
Chicago White Sox
The White Sox have a young group of talent that can be developed right away at the MLB level. Tim Anderson (77 OVR), Yoan Moncada (83 OVR) and Lucas Giolito (81 OVR) took massive steps forward in 2019. Players like Eloy Jimenez (78 OVR) and flamethrower Michael Kopech (68 OVR) will now have the opportunity to take those same steps in MLB The Show 20. Luis Robert (72 OVR) is the leagues #3 overall prospect and will be able to contribute right away. Nick Madrigal (71 OVR) is another top prospect expected to join the big league club in 2020, with #16 overall prospect Andrew Vaughn (66 OVR) slated for 2021.
The team has a deep young core that will be aided by some impact veterans. Jose Abreu (83 OVR) and Edwin Encarnacion (80 OVR) will provide plenty of power with Yasmani Grandal (90 OVR) behind the dish. Dallas Keuchel (78 OVR) and Gio Gonzalez (75 OVR) are reliable pieces in an otherwise young rotation. The team will continue to get better as you play which will keep the game exciting.
My biggest issue with the Braves is the fact that they are already almost too good to play as in MLB The Show 20. This will be a great team to play as if you are more of an intermediate to beginner skill level. Ronald Acuna Jr. is one of the most talented players across the board at 94 overall. Pairing him with Freddie Freeman (91 OVR) – the top 1B in the game, will make for a powerful top of the order. Ozzie Albies (90 OVR) is another rising star at only 23-years-old. Austin Riley (74 OVR) will provide even more power as a 22-year-old with a ton of potential. Marcell Ozuna (85 OVR) joins the team on a one-year deal that should help push the Braves into contention.
The Braves weakness lies in the rotation. Mike Soroka (85 OVR) will be a quality starter but the rest of the rotation is rather unproven. The Braves have the #3 ranked farm system with five top 100 prospects. Kyle Wright has already made the big league roster and three more top prospects are expected to make the team in 2020. Having quality prospects so close to being MLB ready will make for a fun franchise run in Atlanta.
Toronto Blue Jays
I picked a lot of these teams because they have young cores that can continue to develop as you play. The Blue Jays have the next crop of potential stars entering their first full seasons in the MLB. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (75 OVR) was the #1 prospect in baseball heading into 2019. He will now look to live up to the hype as a 20-year-old with soaring expectations. Cavan Biggio (75 OVR) is also living under the shadow of his Hall of Fame father, and will man second base for the Blue Jays. Bo Bichette (74 OVR) came on late last season and lit the MLB on fire in his 46 games played. Bichette is only 22-years-old and looks primed to take the next step in 2020. While on the topic of young talent, Nate Pearson (71 OVR) is the second-highest rated pitching prospect in baseball. Pearson is a massive 23-year-old that can easily run it up to triple digits. I’d call him up immediately if given the reigns of the organization.