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As you all know, we are just a week out from the 2021 MLB Draft!!!
Yeah, I get you. You have no idea who any of these kids are, only the junkiest of junkies do. Oh sure, you may have read a mock draft or two, checked the locals to see who your favorite team may take in the first round. But after that: yeah, you’re as clueless as – well I am. The NFL-NBA and hell even the NHL drafts are 1.) more popular and 2.) better researched by you, me, and anyone at the pub, not to mention covered more than the vaunted: MLB DRAFT! Because let’s face it, the players selected in those drafts have a better chance of one day making it into your living room than the guys I may or may not be introducing you to in the next few paragraphs. For Christ’s sake, there’s even MATH involved in the MLB draft.
YEAH, MATH, WTF? In the MLB world, each team is given a set amount of Pool Cash that they are allowed to spend on draft picks. So even if your team has a higher draft position than another they may not take the best player available because he may cost too much. My head hurts already. Let’s cut to the chase. Here are my Top 10 prospects in the 2021 MLB draft.
As always….. This is my list: don’t like it, get your own.
1) Henry Davis, Catcher Louisville
6’2, 210 lbs.
Bats R / Throws R
Louisville catcher Henry Davis is driven to be the best version of himself at bat and behind the plate.https://t.co/RTJgUFgKtQ pic.twitter.com/PtDaXE28b3 — Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) July 3, 2021
Davis is my Great and Powerful Oz in the 2021 MLB draft, the can’t miss position player at the position where you truly can’t miss on – Catcher. From what I’ve been told and read, Davis didn’t get a ton of respect from MLB coming out of High School and that became a windfall for him after his years spent at Louisville.
In 2020, Davis was sold out to the pull side, but he has improved his approach this season to hit the ball to all fields. Most impressively, Davis only struck out 11% of the time this season, an impressive mark for someone who hits the ball as hard as he does. A max EXIT VELO of 109.5 – DAMN.
Davis has a plus arm and throws extremely well. Which he displayed gunning out close to 50% of would be base stealer. He calls a great game and his receiving skills will only get better with better coaching. At 6’2” is not oversized for the spot.
2) Jack Leiter, SP Vanderbuilt
6’1, 205 lbs.
Throws R/ Bats – Who Cares
Here's how Vanderbilt ace and potential Red Sox draft pick Jack Leiter fared at the College World Series last night:https://t.co/PQzBu2MFl7 — NBC Sports Boston (@NBCSBoston) June 29, 2021
Leiter is the complete package – a fastball that sits at 95 mph and he can reach back for 98. Has a plus slider he will throw at any point in the count and a 12 to 6 curveball that is more than respectable. If he can develop a dependable changeup he will be a nightmare for MLB hitters. The son of former MLB pitcher Al Leiter, he knows the pros and knows you need to have a plan. Not sure anyone at the dish will have one for this kid.
3) Marcelo Mayer, SS East Lake HS
6’3, 195 lbs.
Throws R / Bats L
Harold sees shades of Hall of Famer @RealCJ10 in #1 @MLBDraft prospect Marcelo Mayer! pic.twitter.com/FrkfDb0dSu — MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) July 5, 2021
Many have Mayer as the top choice in this year’s draft but, not yours truly. That doesn’t mean he isn’t great. Mayer is a smooth defender both at SS/2b and in the OF. He has a plus infield arm and has great control and accuracy from every angle. Mayer showed decent pop as a senior with 14 HR for his High School team but smacked just six doubles in 192 PA.
4) Kumar Rocker, SP Vanderbilt
6’5, 245 lbs.
Throws R / Bats – Who Cares
Kumar Rocker, Filthy 81mph Slider. 😷 pic.twitter.com/803Ykdas00 — Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 1, 2021
Rocker is a 2020s scout’s wet dream. The Vandy product led the nation in wins (14) and tied for the nation’s lead in strikeouts with the aforementioned Leiter (179 in 122 innings). Rocker has a plus-plus fastball that is consistently in the 90s’ and a devastating slider. His changeup needs work as does his control. Is he a can’t miss prospect? If he goes to the right place and they teach him to pitch, Rocker is as close as you can get.
5) Jordan Lawlar, SS Jesuit Prep TX
6’2, 190 lbs.
Throws R / Bats R
A source tells me Jordan Lawlar, the Dallas high school shortstop who's one of a handful of candidates to be the Pirates' No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft, is flying to Pittsburgh this afternoon. Everything I know is here:https://t.co/sTC2vKQD8Z — Dejan Kovacevic (@Dejan_Kovacevic) July 5, 2021
I like Lawler a lot. He would have been my first choice of position player in this 2021 MLB Draft if he didn’t strike out as often as he does – 17 times in fewer than 100 AB as a senior. That being said, he is the Texas HS player of the year. That being said he still batted .412 with a bit of pop – 7 HR and speed to burn 5 doubles and 6 triples. Did I mention he was 32 for 32 in stolen base attempts? Lawlar is committed to Vandy and that may scare off a few teams at the very top of the draft, but damn, this kid’s good.
6) Kahlil Watson, SS Wake Forest Prep NC
5’9, 175 lbs.
Throws R / Bats L
via Dirtbags Baseball
I’ve never understood righties who bat left-handed and chose not to switch hit. But here we are looking at Mr. Watson and his .513 average as a senior. Watson swings from his heels, hitting 6 HR in just 58 plate appearances. He has plus speed and a smooth glove that will translate to either side of second base as he progresses. Don’t sleep on this little guy.
7) Jackson Jobe, SP Heritage Hall HS (OK)
6’2, 190 lbs.
Throws R / Bats R
Sarah Phipps/The Oklahoman
Like’m Big? Like’m Hard Throwing? Then you like Jackson Jobe. Not only does this 18-year-old throw hard in the consistent 90s and tops out at 96, but he has a devastating slider and a changeup that befuddles most hitters. Now add a 122/5 K/BB ratio and I’m wondering why I have him this low. Oh yeah – Prep School Arm.
8) Ty Madden, SP Texas
6’3, 215 lbs
Throws R/ Bats R
Ty Madden is the archetypal Texas righty. The @TexasBaseball ace seems destined to become the first Longhorns first rounder since 2011. Our feature: https://t.co/wQwAjO857M#HookEm pic.twitter.com/ZBfGoGFpST — Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) July 5, 2021
Ty Madden had the stuff to go pro out of HS (drafted by KC) but chose to refine his game at Texas. With a four-pitch repertoire in his talented arm, Ty is one of the most pro-ready players on this list. His four-seam fastball explodes into the catcher’s mitt at 93-96 mph. Along with a plus slider, Ty also added a curveball to his belt and throws one of the best changeups in this class. Long story short. He is the Big 12 Pitcher of the year. Nuff said.
9) Brady House, SS Winder-Barrow HS (GA)
6’4, 215 lbs.
Throws R / Bats R
Joshua L. Jones, Athens Banner-Herald, USA TODAY NETWORK
Another SS Murph? Yup – I don’t coach other people’s teams, but I see a third baseman here. House was the top HS prospect coming into 2021 but some idiot convinced him he needed to hit for more power and that messed up his swing. House was smart enough to see his 2021 struggles for what they were and got back to the shorter compact swing that made him so coveted coming out of 2020. His glove is average for someone we are talking about as a first-rounder, and his range is limited so I see him moving to third.
10) Andrew Painter, SP Calvary Christian HS (FL)
6’7, 215 lbs.
Throws R / Bats R
Calvary Christian ace pitcher Andrew Painter was named Gatorade's Florida Baseball Player of the Year. @Andypainterrhttps://t.co/vXDs7AYY9b — Adam Lichtenstein (@ABLichtenstein) June 29, 2021
I don’t like HS throwers. There is just too much that can change and go wrong going straight to the pro level. A scout can easily miss something and a pitching coach can screw up perfection, Like I said, I don’t like HS pitchers. But I Love Andrew Painter – well I love the possibilities of Andrew Painter. You see young Mr. Painter is a pitcher, not a thrower. This kid is smart on the mound and has a legit four-pitch on his belt at 18. Painter uses both a two and four-seam fastball, a slider that dances across the plate, and a 12 to 6 curveball that drops like opposing parents’ jaws. He is committed to Florida and I hope he goes there to fill out that huge frame. But I could not leave him off this list.
This has been your top 10 prospects for the 2021 MLB Draft. As always you can follow/give me grief on Twitter @Tmurph207