Sports

2021 Draft Odds & Ends

The 2021 MLB Draft is now within the books and listed below are our ideas on every groups’ draft. We may have one other draft-related podcast up quickly and start emigrate newly-selected gamers to the professional facet of The Board subsequent week. Because of the scouts and executives who assist make our draft protection so thorough, and good luck to the gamers who have been chosen this week.

American League East (Kevin)

Baltimore Orioles

Many assume that the Orioles have been seeking to make a splash with some cash following what’s believed to be a cost-cutting take care of Colton Cowser at quantity 5, however that splash by no means actually introduced itself, as Baltimore went with an old-fashioned, Moneyball-style draft by utilizing their first 5 picks and 9 of their first 11 on faculty bats. Third-rounder John Rhodes, an outfielder from Kentucky, is an attention-grabbing participant who had a disappointing spring however rebounded a bit within the pre-draft summer time leagues. The Orioles completed Day Two with a pair of massive performing third baseman from California, as each ninth-rounder Ryan Higgins (Fresno State) and Tenth-rounder Billy Cook dinner (Pepperdine) had an OPS over 1.100 this spring.

Boston Crimson Sox

As if getting the perfect participant within the draft with the fourth total decide wasn’t sufficient, the Crimson Sox determined to shoot the moon within the second spherical by taking the king of this 12 months’s high-risk/high-upside group, Jud Fabian. The Florida outfielder has instruments that belonged within the first 10 picks however they got here with a virtually 30% strikeout fee this 12 months, which scared groups off. There was some speak of him returning to high school, however that feels unlikely at this level. Third-rounder Tyler McDonough and fifth-rounder Nathan Hickey are each traditional huge faculty convention performers, however Boston went for some gamers to dream on as nicely, particularly fourth-rounder Elmer Rodriguez-Cruz, a lanky, long-levered right-handed pitcher from Puerto Rico who oozes projection. Tenth-rounder Matt Litwicki is an attention-grabbing however extremely dangerous sleeper, because the Indiana reliever flashes huge league-quality stuff but in addition threw simply over 30 innings in his faculty profession because of a wide range of accidents.

New York Yankees

The Yankees don’t take the flashiest strategy to the draft, however that has develop into a part of their strategy to beginner acquisition. They diversify their portfolio, because it have been, by treating draft picks like financial savings bonds and worldwide gamers like tech shares. For probably the most half, New York’s draft was loaded with faculty performers, with the one highschool choice third-rounder Brock Selvidge, who will seemingly get an over-slot bonus so as to steer the southpaw away from his LSU dedication. Fifth-round decide Tyler Hardman is a traditional three true outcomes, bat-only faculty first baseman. Their most attention-grabbing choice was arguably sixth-round decide Richard Fitts; the Auburn righty entered the 12 months with an opportunity to land within the first-round however was tormented by non-arm accidents.

Tampa Bay Rays

First-round decide Carson Williams will most likely require an over-slot bonus, so the Rays seemingly lower a bit with their subsequent two picks. Cooper Kinney, the thirty fourth total decide, was seen as extra of a second-round expertise, whereas second-round decide Kyle Manzardo is a slugging faculty first baseman who additionally went a couple of spherical greater than anticipated. Total, the Rays had no actual sample a lot as they simply took gamers they favored. Control fifth-round decide Mason Auer. Junior faculty stats at all times need to be taken with a grain of salt, however Auer hit .373/.525/.627 with 11 dwelling runs, 66 walks and 34 stolen bases in 64 video games. After taking bats with their first six picks, the Rays completed Monday with 5 straight arms, probably the most attention-grabbing of whom is arguably ninth-rounder Patrick Wicklander, a lefty out of Arkansas with all kinds of funk and deception who pitched very nicely within the SEC regardless of missing huge stuff.

Toronto Blue Jays

The main league membership’s bullpen struggles might need leaked into the draft room because the Jays used their first 5 picks (and 9 of their first 10) on pitchers, with their focus seemingly extra on command that pure stuff on Day Two. Third-rounder Ricky Tiedemann was seen as the perfect junior faculty arm within the draft, however scouts have been pissed off at instances by his incapacity to carry out along with his stuff in opposition to not-so-great competitors. Irv Carter is the one prep arm of the group. Scouts who stayed an additional day at Calvary Christian after seeing Phillies first-round decide Andrew Painter throw warmed to Carter because the spring developed because of his measurement and plus slider.

American League Central (Kevin)

Chicago White Sox

The White Sox have been seen as being huge on the highschool infield class this 12 months and after getting the participant they needed all alongside within the first with Colson Montgomery, they needed to be head-over-heels to see Wes Kath nonetheless on the board at 57. He was projected as a doable Day One choice heading into Sunday night and would require an over-slot bonus to signal. Chicago then completed the day with eight straight pitchers, starting with Sean Burke within the third spherical. The Maryland righty has a particular fastball when it comes to spin and form, however the remainder of his repertoire and command want work. The White Sox chosen loads of money-savers late to assist pay for Kath, probably the most attention-grabbing of whom is perhaps Gil Luna, slightly lefty reliever from Arizona who doesn’t have a lot in the best way of pure stuff however provides left-handed hitters matches.

Cleveland

Of Cleveland’s first 11 picks, all however one was a school pitcher. That one was third-rounder Jake Fox, who isn’t fairly a third-round expertise however wanted third-round cash to lure him away from Florida, though some scouts see him as a greater faculty prospect than a professional one. Taken with picks 58 and 69 respectively, Doug Nikhazy and Tommy Mace are each confirmed commodities from huge faculties who’re more likely to attain the massive leagues however unlikely to make an affect as soon as there, which defines lots of the picks in a while, because the workforce appeared to give attention to strike throwers.

Detroit Tigers

After not taking a pitcher within the severely shortened 2020 draft, the Tigers made up for it by utilizing eight of their first 11 picks on arms. They took a pause on mound items within the second spherical by nabbing Texas prep third baseman Izaac Pachecho, whose big-time energy earned some first-round consideration heading into the draft. Fifth-round decide Tanner Kohlhepp is without doubt one of the extra attention-grabbing picks below the hood, because the Notre Dame reliever has a few of the most attention-grabbing pitch knowledge round, together with a two-seam fastball with unbelievable spin, however his supply and subsequently management each want appreciable refinement.

Kansas Metropolis Royals

The place some groups zigged, the Royals most positively zagged by utilizing 4 of their first 5 picks on highschool gamers. The entire world knew that that they had one thing up their sleeves after beautiful the business by taking Frank Mozzicato with the seventh total choice, and their reasoning grew to become readily obvious once they used their second spherical decide on Kansas highschool righty Ben Kudrna, who appeared to get higher with each outing this spring and reportedly threw out a bonus demand within the $3 million neighborhood to forego his LSU dedication. When it comes to their college-based alternatives, comp decide Peyton Wilson is the protection model as slightly, second-base solely participant who can actually hit, however some of the fascinating choice on Day Two got here in round-five choice Eric Cerantola. The Canadian product from Mississippi State has a few of the greatest stuff within the draft, together with higher 90s warmth and insane spin on his breaking ball, however he hasn’t stayed wholesome or harnessed his stuff into efficiency.

Minnesota Twins

There wasn’t actually something funky right here, because the Twins just about performed the board with each decide. Fourth-round choice Chris Encarnacion-Strand is a transparent model-based decide; scouts have by no means warmed to him regardless of constantly placing up large numbers, together with an 1.103 OPS at Oklahoma State this spring. Noah Cardenas out of UCLA is perhaps the most definitely eighth-round choice to achieve the majors, as his protection is presently of massive league high quality, but it surely’s unlikely he’ll ever hit sufficient to be any greater than a participant within the Quad-A/backup vary.

American League West (Eric)

Houston Astros

The Astros’ restricted picks and bonus pool meant that after taking two outstanding, seemingly over-slot excessive schoolers early, they have been compelled to take a number of seniors. However as a result of they pivoted to seniors sooner than most groups, they ended up with a few my favorites. Let’s begin with the excessive schoolers. Bishop Gorman’s (NV) Tyler Whitaker (third spherical) is a standard proper subject prospect with energy, a projectable body, and a few swing-and-miss threat (he has an enormous gap down and in). Calvary Christian shortstop Alex Ulloa (fourth) is equally a power-over-hit sort who’s more likely to find yourself at third base long-term. At 5-foot-11, he’s much less projectable than the 6-foot-4 Whitaker, however Ulloa’s swing is rather more athletic.

Wright State middle fielder Quincy Hamilton (fifth) and Duke middle fielder Joey Loperfido (7) are toolsy seniors. Hamilton had an enormous statistical breakout in 2021 with 15 homers and 20 steals after he by no means had greater than two homers and three steals in any earlier season. He’s positively a pull-heavy hitter however he has the pop to take balls out to the alternative subject, he walked greater than he struck out this 12 months, and simply usually checks plenty of scouty packing containers. Loperfido has an ideal baseball body and an attention-grabbing energy/pace mix, however his strategy could be a problem. Fourth rounder Chayce McDermott out of Ball State has a reduction look. His arm motion is lengthy however unfastened, he will get down the mound nicely, his fastball has carry, and his curveball has depth and chew. If he enjoys a velo spike out of the bullpen, he’s a high-probability bullpen piece.

Los Angeles Angels

The Angels strategy to this 12 months’s draft was slightly excessive. They took solely pitchers, and all however considered one of them was a school prospect. Is that this as a result of the Angels appear to take a model-heavy strategy and the dearth of 2020 knowledge for hitters diminished confidence in them? Is that this pushed by the membership’s must run pitching up the minor league ladder shortly to bolster the workers throughout their present window? Is it as a result of faculty pitchers are most definitely to be shut down after the draft (the Angels usually shut down faculty arms post-draft) because of innings will increase between 2020-21, and this permits the Angels to retain all of their present minor leaguers moderately than launch some like different groups appear more likely to do? All of those are believable explanations.

If Sam Bachman (first spherical) can keep wholesome, then he’ll assist the workforce out of the bullpen inside the subsequent 18 months, most likely in high-leverage innings. The identical is perhaps true of lots of the faculty pitchers drafted right here, although maybe with out that degree of affect. Ky Bush (second) out of St. Mary’s has the perfect probability to work late-innings if he can maintain mid-90s velo out of the bullpen, to pair along with his fastball’s carry, his mechanical deception, and a plus slider. Vanderbilt’s Luke Murphy (fourth) brings big velo and fringe secondary stuff, however he has 4 pitches and it is sensible to run him out as a starter to offer these secondaries extra developmental oxygen. Jake Smith (sixth) out of Miami sits 93-95, will contact 98, and flash a plus slider, however he’s very erratic. Arkansas righty Ryan Costeiu (seventh) sits 92-94 and has nearly as good changeup. Ninth spherical Tulane righty Braden Olthoff’s slider makes hitters look ridiculous. He has a ten:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio all through his profession however he’s a 30 athlete with a very bizarre supply, although that’s a part of why he’s so laborious for hitters to choose up. Third rounder Landon Marceaux out of LSU has the perfect probability to begin due to his breaking ball command. South Carolina leaned on righty Andrew Peters (Tenth) in huge spots. He’s well-built and throws laborious (as much as 98), however must discover a higher slider. Chase Silseth (eleventh) out of Arizona threw about as laborious as any Division-I starter and would normally contact 96-97 when he needed to, however he nonetheless bought hit round. A few of that will have bene because of the hitting atmosphere in Tucson. I’d prefer to see him return to the splitter grip he had in junior faculty. He may lean on his secondaries extra to mitigate how hittable his fastball is regardless of its velo. Mo Hanley (thirteenth) seemed like an attention-grabbing small faculty, chilly climate pop-up arm at tiny Adrian Faculty in Michigan early within the 12 months, however blew out and wanted Tommy John. The lone prepster taken right here was IMG Academy’s Mason Albright (twelfth), a low three-quarters lefty with an extended arm motion and changeup really feel. He sits about 90.

Oakland Athletics

Oakland ended up drafting a pleasant mixture of perceived flooring and upside. First rounder Max Muncy is a hit-tool-driven highschool center infielder, second spherical Virginia third baseman Zack Gelof is a well-rounded offensive participant with a plus glove at third, and fourth spherical Cal State Northridge outfielder Denzel Clarke has gargantuan instruments. The number of Garder-Webb senior Mason Miller within the third spherical is a sign Muncy is perhaps over-slot. He’s a prospect in his personal proper, a relief-only look as much as 98.

Then got here some high-floored function participant varieties. CJ Rodriguez and Drew Swift are two of my favourite, no-doubt, up-the-middle defenders on this draft. Rodriguez (fifth spherical) has extra expertise catching professional stuff than anybody on this draft class as a result of he’s been at Vanderbilt. He’s a high-probability backup catcher due to his glove and really feel for contact. Swift (eighth) can actually decide it at shortstop however must get stronger. I’ve had the pleasure of watching him play protection for half a decade already, and now he’ll take spring coaching infield 10 minutes from my home. Cal two-way participant Grant Holman (sixth) is a really bodily arm power/energy prospect who would possibly discover higher breaking ball really feel with give attention to pitching. A Day Three sleeper to look at right here is eleventh rounder Eduardo Rivera, an 18-year-old lefty out of Puerto Rico who stands in at 6-foot-7, 237 kilos. He was as much as 97 within the MLB Draft League and has an enormous, vertical curveball. He seems to be like a nasty lefty energy reliever.

Seattle Mariners

The Mariners Advanced Degree workforce grew to become a must-watch with the additions of three high-upside excessive schoolers in catcher Henry Ford (first spherical), shortstop Edwin Arroyo (second), and righty Michael Morales (third). Ford is a tightly-wound athlete with uncommon pace for a potential catcher, and there’s an opportunity he strikes to middle subject finally. No matter the place he performs, he’s bought a superb probability to remain up the center someplace. Ford lacks bodily projection as he’s already actually sturdy, however there’s an thrilling hit/energy mixture in place right here.

Arroyo, from Puerto Rico, is a singular prospect. He’s a switch-hitting two-way participant (only a shortstop in professional ball, although) who pitches left-handed however performs infield protection righty. A fluid and athletic defender with nice defensive actions, Arroyo is more likely to keep at brief and may very well be above-average there in time. His lefty lower is healthier than the appropriate, and has huge, pull-side carry. We don’t have nice really feel for his strategy high quality but, however even when he has an aggressive one, he seems to be like a possible function 45 sort within the Freddy Galvis mould, the place there’s some pop and good shortstop protection, however a low OBP.

Morales is your central casting highschool pitcher: a low-90s fastball, really feel for touchdown a median curveball that comes and goes, and the body and athleticism to dream on extra. His breaking ball wants extra energy. Based mostly on how this org has operated these days, I’d anticipate him to throw tougher and add a median breaking ball sooner or later within the minors.

Texas A&M fourth rounder Bryce Miller already throws actually laborious, as much as 98, sitting within the 92-96 vary as a starter. He has a pure reduction look, with plenty of effort and a really lengthy arm motion. If his breaking ball location consistency improves, then Miller will no less than be a superb reliever.

I dig sixth spherical Cal Poly proper Bryan Woo, who has a really environment friendly arm motion and takes a gargantuan, however balanced stride down the mound. He’s nearly completely a fastball/slider man proper now (he locates the slider, although stuff-wise it’s a 30), however I feel his arm motion portends vital changeup improvement.

Texas Rangers

Jack Leiter is excellent. He joins the deepest farm system in baseball and can quickly be a part of the younger wave of reinforcements more likely to comprise the following aggressive Rangers membership. Oregon 3B/OF Aaron Zavala (second spherical) had the most effective statistical seasons in faculty baseball, slashing .392/.525/.628 with practically twice as many walks as strikeouts. He has implausible plate protection and really feel for the zone, however solely has doubles energy proper now. As a result of Zavala is comparatively positionless and lacks huge pop, he has doubters. He’s additionally barely 21, has an athletic lower, and is a well-made athlete. I feel he’ll retain the context-oriented strategy that has labored for him, particularly with two strikes, however come into situational energy as he continues to mature, bodily.

Third spherical highschool shortstop Cam Cauley from Barbers Hill, exterior Houston, is a plus runner with plus-plus defensive arms and superior really feel for contact. He must get a lot stronger. Fourth spherical Iowa highschool catcher Ian Moller has electrical hitting arms that work in the identical manner as guys I’ve not too long ago been too heavy on: Keston Hiura and Carter Kieboom. These hitters have ended up having strikeout points and Moller, who was one of many extra outstanding excessive schoolers coming into final summer time, has had related issues. He’s an upside/threat, power-hitting catching prospect. Lefty excessive schooler Mitch Bratt (fifth) is a Canadian pitcher who performed in Georgia through the spring. He at the moment sits within the high-80s with some carry, and has some reverse projection and really feel for a crazy curveball. I didn’t know something about Jojo Blackmon (eleventh) till I started scripting this piece, however I’m excited to look at him in Arizona this summer time. He’s a two-sport excessive schooler (wide receiver) who pitched and performed middle subject for the baseball workforce. He’s tooled out — plus run, arm, above-average bat pace — and has a candy, low-ball swing. The hit software piece is a relative unknown. That is the second 12 months in a row the Rangers have taken faculty performers early and combined in a number of $1 million-ish kind of excessive schoolers later. Sixth rounder Chase Lee out of Alabama has uncommon velocity for a sidearmer, sitting 92-95 late within the 12 months.

Nationwide League East (Eric)

Atlanta Braves

Ryan Cusick (first spherical) brings elite velocity and a plus breaking ball out of Wake Forest. He would possibly transfer actually shortly as a reliever, however in any other case wants a whole lot of seasoning if he’s to begin. Two-way Nebraska prospect Spencer Schwellenbach (second) was introduced as a shortstop. He’s fairly generic tools-wise, however has nice breaking ball recognition. He could make routine performs at brief and has good actions across the bag, however struggles to make performs within the gap regardless of his arm. Third spherical senior Dylan Dodd started his profession at a junior faculty, then transferred to Southeast Missouri State. His fastball generates a ton of whiffs within the zone. He locates his secondary stuff fairly constantly however they’re of combined high quality.

The Braves are sticking to their weapons and nonetheless prioritizing up-the-middle faculty gamers early, then scooping up a pair over slot excessive schoolers later. Fourth spherical shortstop Cal Conley out of Texas Tech initially attended Miami (however by no means performed there) and transferred to Texas Tech, the place he solely performed the 2020 and ’21 seasons. He slugged .600 throughout his profession there. Conley is a switch-hitter with pull energy from either side of the plate. He seemed tough on protection through the faculty postseason and will not have the arms for the infield. Luke Waddell (fifth) had a adorned faculty profession at Georgia Tech as a short-levered MIF who makes a ton of contact, however with little affect. His teammate at Tech, Justin Henry-Malloy (sixth), had a power-hitting breakout after transferring from Vanderbilt.

The highschool group started with two Texans. First was right-hander pitcher AJ Smith-Shawver (seventh), a two-sport star in highschool whose body (6-foot-3, 205), current arm power (as much as 95 final summer time), and arm motion make for an thrilling developmental basis. Subsequent was middle fielder Tyler Collins (eighth), a 70-grade runner with a slash-and-dash strategy to contact. Canadian lefty Adam Shoemaker (eleventh) skilled an enormous velo spike and was into the 93-95 vary this spring after sitting about 87 through the 2020 summer time. His supply is fairly vilent however Shoemaker additionally has a ton of room on his body.

Miami Marlins

Kahlil Watson (first spherical) is probably going over-slot to an extent, as evidenced by Miami taking 4 seniors on Day Two. However as a result of they have been in a position to decide New York highschool catcher Joe Mack (Comp A), Boston Faculty center infielder Cody Morissette (whose identify was all around the second spherical rumors), and highschool shortstop Jordan McCants, Watson’s deal was most likely not extraordinarily over-slot. There can be Jazz Chisholm Jr. comparisons made to Watson. He’s not that sort of defender however does have that sort of bat pace and energy potential. Mack has uncommon energy for a catcher. Morissette entered the spring within the first spherical combine, then actually struggled out of the gate earlier than rebounding late. He’s a superb utility sort. McCants is a frame-based developmental undertaking. Senior Tanner Allen (fourth) is slightly too aggressive, however he has plus bat pace and jogs my memory of Corey Dickerson.

New York Mets

The Mets drafted a number of pitchers who’ve arguably regressed. Kumar Rocker (first spherical) started the 12 months second on our draft board however his stuff slipped. He nonetheless pitched nicely and even with diminished velocity his secondary stuff can carry him to a 2 WAR kind of starter final result, and if the Mets can discover his peak kind once more then look out. Carson Seymour (sixth) entered the 12 months as an enormous velo reduction prospect however he posted an ERA over 6.00. Virginia’s Mike Vasil may have made seven figures popping out of highschool however went within the eighth spherical this 12 months. Rocker’s reported deal was about $1.25 million over slot and the Mets most likely lower little offers throughout Day Two. Second rounder Calvin Ziegler, a Canadian highschool righty, throws laborious with huge effort. He was handed over in 2020 and went to an athletics faculty in Florida this 12 months. Dominic Hamel was considered one of Justin Choi’s sleepers.

Philadelphia Phillies

First spherical excessive schooler Andrew Painter got here in under-slot and that’s a part of why the Phillies have been in a position to draft 4 extra excessive schoolers on Day Two. He’s very like most excessive schoolers besides he has an XXL body at a hulking 6-foot-7. He’s usually sitting mid-90s with an absolute hammer curveball. South Alabama outfielder Ethan Wilson was nice worth within the second spherical. He’s carried out for 3 years in an underrated convention and has a superb hit/energy mixture. He truly ranked one slot greater than Painter on The Board and we thought he’d slide into the again of the primary spherical because of the lack of faculty bats.

The excessive schoolers have been: Jordan Viars (third spherical), a big-framed nook outfielder from Texas. He’s brief to the ball with energy towards each gaps. I bought pre-draft suggestions that Micah Ottenbreit (fourth) from Michigan needs to be on our Board. He’s a super-projectable righty with low-90s velo proper now, and a extra superior curveball/changeup complement than is typical for chilly climate excessive schoolers. Jose Pena (sixth) is a really bodily righty from Tampa Prep who has been into the mid-90s with plus-flashing curveballs and the occasional common changeup. Gavin Tonkel (ninth) can actually run and has a superb baseball body.

Amongst their faculty crop was Virginia right-handed pitcher Griff McGarry (fifth) who has three plus pitches and 20 management. I additionally like bodily lefty-hitting twelfth rounder T.J. Rumfield out of Virginia Tech. He has huge league physicality and energy.

Washington Nationals

Except for Brady Home, the Nationals picked Kentucky highschool outfielder Daylen Lile (second spherical), who has one of many extra superior highschool hit instruments within the draft, and South Carolina excessive schooler T.J. White, a switch-hitter with an enormous body and majestic energy. Then they took a number of huge faculty faculty performers. Arizona outfielder Branden Boissiere (third) entered the spring with much less of a profile than different Wildcats after which had the perfect statistical season on the workforce and led Division-I in hits. He has a superb shot to be the bigger half of an outfield platoon, no less than. Left-handed pitcher Dustin Saenz and DH Will Frizzell are two seniors out of Texas Tech. Frizzell has among the many most modern uncooked energy on this class. Saenz has a slider-heavy strategy to pitching.

Nationwide League Central (Eric)

Chicago Cubs

Along with including Kansas State lefty Jordan Wicks within the first spherical, the Cubs scooped up Virginia highschool hit software prodigy James Triantos within the second spherical. Triantos has a full writeup here. He appeared to have properties as excessive because the comp spherical, so he was good worth within the final third of spherical two. The Cubs third rounder, lanky, two-way lefty Drew Grey from IMG Academy in Florida, was introduced as a pitcher. He’s an athletic, projectable lefty who will get manner down the mound and could be very balanced over his lead leg as he delivers dwelling with huge extension and flat angle. He additionally has really feel for a crazy breaking ball that lefty hitters wrestle with due to Grey’s size. With the Cubs newfound potential to develop velocity, this can be a very thrilling pickup. Grey sat 87-91 and touched 94 final summer time.

Chicago then combined in a number of high-profile faculty bats with these two excessive schoolers. Arkansas middle fielder Christian Franklin (fourth spherical) has vanilla instruments however carried out for 3 years within the SEC. Tennessee shortstop Liam Spence (fifth) went from the faculty postseason to Cape Cod, the place he performed for Harwich for a couple of week main as much as the draft. He’s of Aussie descent, spent two years at an Arizona JUCO, and walked greater than he struck out as a 23-year-old senior with Tennessee. He might need extra upside than most seniors due to his background.

Seventh rounder Parker Chavers was a high-profile 2020 draft prospect who had labrum surgical procedure in December of 2019 and had no time to recuperate and play final season earlier than the shutdown. He went undrafted in 2020 then had diminished pop in ’21. Arkansas catcher Casey Opitz (eighth) is a subject basic with a superb shot to finally find yourself on a 40-man since he’s a workmanlike, switch-hitting catcher who can play the place nicely.

Senior signal Riley Martin (sixth) is a lefty with an enormous curveball who struck out practically two batters per inning at Division-II Quincy College. Ninth rounder Chase Watkins transferred from Cal Poly to Oregon State the place he solely sat about 88-92, however his curveball spins at about 2900 rpm, and he has good really feel for slider location (he throws it greater than the curve). Duke senior Peter Matt (Tenth) is a bodily righty outfielder with some thump.

Cincinnati Reds

Except for Jay Allen (Bauer comp decide), who was slated to go close to the place he was picked, the Reds drafted all faculty guys on the primary two days, together with an early senior in Matheu Nelson (comp A). They drafted extra junior faculty prospects than some other workforce on Day Three. After Nelson, they picked Virginia lefty Andrew Abbott (second) who has a vertical fastball/curveball combo however doesn’t throw all that tough, which the brand new Reds dev group ought to have the ability to treatment. Hopefully the identical is true of Oregon State Faculty World Collection hero Kevin Abel (seventh), who seemed superb the primary week of the faculty season then fell off in an enormous manner. When he’s proper, he has two plus weapons in his curve and changeup, however he solely sits about 87. South Carolina righty Thomas Farr (fifth) is the alternative. He’s been as much as 98 however has inconsistent really feel for launch, which makes his slider high quality fairly variable.

The Redlegs additionally scooped up two high-variance faculty hitters in NC State shortstop Jose Torres (third) and UNC middle fielder Justice Thompson (sixth). Torres was a toolsy, however older excessive schooler from the Baltimore space who went to high school and crushed non-conference play earlier than the 2020 shutdown. His poor strategy was uncovered extra throughout his sophomore-eligible 2021, however he’s a slick shortstop with pull energy and people are laborious to seek out. Thompson was a JUCO switch to Chapel Hill who went bonkers throughout 2021 non-conference play then got here again to Earth when he noticed ACC pitching. He’s bought that taking pictures guard construct so he would possibly nonetheless develop into energy whereas staying in middle. Florence-Darling Tech righty Hunter Parks (eighth) was scouted closely in late-Could on the JUCO World Collection. He has an enormous body (6-foot-4, 190), low-90s velo, and a superb changeup. The lone senior I’ve notes on right here is 290-pound San Jose State masher Ruben Ibarra (fourth), who takes remarkably athletic cuts for somebody his measurement.

Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers took a mono-college strategy for the second straight 12 months, mixing in two JUCO prospects amongst four-year guys. It’s doable choosing senior lefty Russell Smith (second spherical) out of TCU helped facilitate the number of bodily SoCal hitter Roc Riggio (eleventh) on Day Three. Smith creates actually powerful angle on his pitches (a Brewer sample of acquisition), will present you 95, and he executes his changeup with outstanding consistency for a 40-grade athlete. I assumed Lousiville 3B/1B Alex Binelas was nice worth within the third spherical. He’s reworked his physique and added extra uncooked energy since his stellar freshman 12 months, however his hit software regressed. He has a superb shot to be a nook platoon bat no less than. Duke SS Ethan Murray (fifth) and Minnesota 2B Zack Raabe (eighth) are two well-rounded potential utility varieties. South Carolina C/DH Wes Clarke (Tenth) was among the many NCAA dwelling run leaders. Fourth spherical JUCO arm Logan Henderson has a plus changeup, whereas sixth spherical JUCO arm Carlos Rodriguez is a plus on-mound athlete with huge time arm pace. He’s wild, however has extra upside than Henderson.

Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates ended up taking a number of seniors to assist attempt to accommodate the massive upside excessive schoolers they took in rounds two by 4, together with Dallas Baptist second baseman Jackson Glenn (fifth spherical), who I assumed was the most effective seniors accessible. He hit 20 bombs in 2021. Pittsburgh ended up with 4 of our prime 54 prospects — Henry Davis (first), Anthony Solometo (second), Lonnie White (comp B), and Bubba Chandler (third), who was introduced as a pitcher. This was our third-ranked farm system however they might have pushed themselves previous Toronto with this draft. Davis was our second-ranked prospect. He has huge energy, really feel for contact, and a plus-plus arm. Solometo has an extended, low arm motion, very superior east/west command, and his slider initiatives to plus at peak. He must discover a higher changeup however his probabilities appear fairly good, regardless of his lengthy arm motion, as a result of he has such good really feel to pitch already, and his changeup’s motion will mimic his fastball’s since he’s a decrease slot man.

Fourth-round highschool pitcher Owen Kellington was a participant within the Draft League and mix. He has a supply much like Ubaldo Jiménez’s, the place his entrance facet flies manner open and he tilts out, which helps Kellington get to a vertical arm slot. That creates backspin and stick with it his fastball and massive depth on his curve. He sits within the high-80s however has promising underlying traits.

St. Louis Cardinals

After Michael McGreevy (first spherical), the Cardinals took Massachusetts highschool outfielder Josh Baez (second), who’s much like Jordan Walker in that he’s younger for the draft and already has gigantic energy. We had Baez ranked forward of McGreevy on The Board. Arizona outfielder Ryan Holgate (comp B) additionally has huge energy. His contact sounds totally different off the bat than the opposite U of A hitters, a lot of whom additionally slugged a ton due to the offensive atmosphere in Tucson. Holgate put a couple of third of his balls in play over 95 mph this 12 months. Third spherical UNC righty Austin Love has a reliever’s athleticism however he can carry it. His fastball runs as much as 98 mph, and he has nice slider command, so perhaps I’m under-selling his probabilities to begin, or no less than work a number of innings out of the bullpen.

Zane Mills (fourth) of Washington State sits within the 90-91 space, has good slider command, and his supply disrupts hitter timing. Alfredo Ruiz (sixth) of Lengthy Seashore State sits within the upper-80s and has a superb changeup. Villanova righty Gordon Graceffo (fifth) additionally pitched on Cape Cod simply earlier than the draft. He was as much as 95 with sink and tail, his changeup has a whole lot of motion, and he has really feel for a 40-grade breaking ball.

Colorado prep arm Alec Willis (seventh) will seemingly be for over-slot. Pre-draft rumors had him presumably coming off the board within the late third, early fourth spherical for about $1 million. He’s a traditional projection arm: principally 90-94 with a precocious breaking ball. Texas fifth-year senior middle fielder Mike Antico (8) is a bodily, short-levered, 70 runner. He spent 4 years at St. John’s, then transferred to Texas for 2021 and swiped 41 baggage.

Nationwide League West (Kevin)

Arizona Diamondbacks

No different first-round decide is more likely to create extra drama between now and the signing deadline than Jordan Lawlar. He advised groups he wanted elite cash or he’d go to Vanderbilt and re-emerge in 2023, and the Diamondbacks’ $5.74 million slot at decide six doesn’t meet that demand. The D-backs took some money-savers from picks 5 to 10, however that also won’t be sufficient, and business sources have indicated that Arizona made the decide with out have a concrete deal in place. Their most attention-grabbing (however not essentially greatest) decide on Day Two got here within the aggressive stability spherical, once they chosen Miami catcher Adrian Castillo, who entered the season as an higher first-round decide however then had a depressing spring marketing campaign for the Hurricanes.

Colorado Rockies

Colorado’s draft room seemed barren throughout MLB Community’s cut-ins and their entrance workplace appears to be held collectively by glue and string at this level, however with all of that mentioned, I like this draft. They began Monday with a pair of energy arms, and if second-round choice Jaden Hill indicators and makes a profitable return from Tommy John surgical procedure, he’s a transparent first-round expertise. Comp decide Joe Rock is a six-foot-six lefty with energy stuff, however questions on command and his future function is what saved him out of day one. Third-round decide McCade Brown confirmed flashes of spectacular stuff throughout his profession at Indiana, and whereas fourth-rounder Hunter Goodman is unlikely to catch as a professional, he’s bought loads of energy and had one scout evaluating him to a extra compact model of present Colorado first baseman C.J. Cron. It’s not a tremendous draft, however each decide actually made sense.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Whereas it’s laborious to know whether or not or not this was the technique earlier than the magnets began coming off draft boards, the Dodgers confirmed loads of religion of their well-regarded participant improvement system by utilizing their first 9 picks on arms, beginning with two prep gamers and ending with seven consecutive faculty alternatives. Whereas many groups targeted, and at instances overly so, on strike-throwers throughout Monday’s flurry of picks, the Dodgers typically did the alternative, as any of Maddux Bruns (first spherical), Nick Nastrini (fourth), Emmet Sheehan (sixth), or Ben Harris (eighth) may find yourself wanting like steals if the Dodgers’ system can get extra strikes out of their already plus stuff. This can be a fascinating draft class full of dangerous cube rolls, however the potential payoff is sort of vital.

San Diego Padres

Jackson Merrill is a pleasant highschool bat however few noticed him as a first-round decide. It’s didn’t take lengthy to determine San Diego’s grasp plan once they used their second-round choice on James Wooden, who’s rumored to have thrown out huge bonus calls for over the weekend. Wooden has as a lot, if no more, uncooked energy than anybody within the draft, and as a young person already generates elite-level huge league exit velocities from his downright gigantic 6-foot-7, 240 pound body. He’s additionally an above-average runner and way over only a one-dimensional participant. There are questions (for some evaluators, large ones) as to the standard of Wooden’s hit software, however the upside right here is nothing in need of great.

The rest of San Diego’s draft was extra by the e-book, however there was a pair of attention-grabbing faculty picks. Fifth-rounder Max Ferguson had first-round goals in January however actually struggled on the plate for Tennessee this spring. When it comes to immediacy, all eyes can be on third-rounder Kevin Kopps. The 24-year-old sixth-year senior put up PlayStation numbers at Arkansas this spring, with a 0.90 ERA and 131 strikeouts in opposition to simply 18 walks in 89.2 innings out of the ‘pen, and a few imagine his cutter/slider combo may play within the huge leagues tomorrow.

San Francisco Giants

It felt just like the Giants saved cash with each their third first and second spherical picks in Will Bednar and Fordham senior Matt Mikulski, but it surely’s powerful to determine the place they’re redistributing that further money, though fourth-rounder Eric Silva will seemingly want nicely over his slot to show down UCLA. Their lottery ticket got here within the type of sixth-round decide Seth Lonsway, because the Ohio State lefty has plus velocity and the most effective curveballs within the draft, however 30-grade (or worse) command. Tenth-round decide Vaun Brown is an previous (23) five-year faculty participant, however he had a loopy season at D-II Florida Southern, hitting .387/.462/.793 for the Water Moccasins. You heard that proper, the Water Moccasins.

2021 Draft Odds & Ends

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