2021 Mock Draft 1.0

Mock Draft Season.

I won’t bore you with any excessive.

This is by far the latest mock draft I have ever done, and it is because mock drafts prior to May usually have little information excluding some fun scouting reports and notes on certain prospects.

We’re about a month-and-a-half away from the MLB Draft. Obligatory “things can change” and “it’s early” comments that are necessary for this stage of the draft season.

Enjoy.

1. Pittsburgh Pirates – Marcelo Mayer, SS, Eastlake HS (CA)

As we inch closer and closer to the finish line, more questions are popping up among the first handful of picks, including a potential under slot pick. One thing that hasn’t changed is how people perceive Pittsburgh going with the first pick lining up with their rebuild and taking a prep player over the college crop. Henry Davis, the top college position player, may be the only one to pull the Pirates away from the top prep shortstops in the class between Mayer and Jordan Lawlar. Most teams believe Mayer is now above Lawlar from both an industry outlook, and the Pirates potential first pick, as Mayer is drawing comparisons to a left-handed Anthony Rendon.

2. Texas Rangers – Jordan Lawlar, SS, Jesuit Prep HS (TX)

From the start of Spring, the smoke has been that Texas has had Lawlar at the top of their board with Jack Leiter second. Things have started to even out on the pair, and others have moved into this pick. For now, I’m buying the smoke.

3. Detroit Tigers – Brady House, SS, Winder-Barrow HS (GA)

It’s been prep shortstops all along for Detroit, with Mayer being the favored over Lawlar. Neither is available here, which leaves them with both House and Khalil Watson, who also may not be available leaving them with one of their more preferred shortstops. This is another spot where Leiter could land, as he’s in play from the first pick onward. (Of note, only once have shortstops gone 1-3 in the MLB Draft (2015) and there has never been a year where three prep shortstops have gone in the first three picks)

4. Boston Red Sox – Jack Leiter, RHP, Vanderbilt

Boston has been eyeing the top college players in the class and could have their pick of the top trio. The industry believes they’d take one of the Vanderbilt arms of Leiter or Kumar Rocker over Davis. If all are unavailable – which seems unlikely – this is the first place where under slot rumors begin to float.

5. Baltimore Orioles – Henry Davis, C, Louisville

This is where the draft could go awry, as the industry sees Baltimore as the most likely to seal an under slot deal similar to last year where they played the draft near backwards. While those rumors continue to float, most believe it’d be hard for Baltimore to pass on Davis if he remains available.

6. Arizona Diamondbacks – Khalil Watson, SS, Wake Forest HS (NC)

If any of the five ahead fall here, Arizona would likely nab one with the fellow prep shortstops as preference. If that is the case, it’s likely due to Watson being selected ahead of this as he is in play from 2-9. One thing to keep in mind is that Mike Hazen and staff loved Matt McClain of UCLA when he was in high school and took him with the 25th pick in 2018 – and failed to sign him. Don’t rule out a reunion just yet.

7. Kansas City Royals – Kumar Rocker, RHP, Vanderbilt

Word is this is the absolute floor for House and Rocker, with Rocker leading the way. Watson likely lands here if both are gone.

8. Colorado Rockies – Ty Madden, RHP, Texas

Mum’s the word with Colorado. Some people believe it will be a college hitter or the top prep pitcher, Jackson Jobe. Relying on some recent industry sources who believe Madden has crept into this pick and is in play through the next four picks.

9. Los Angeles Angels – Harry Ford, C, North Cobb HS (GA)

A bit of a crap shoot, the Angels have cast a wide net on athletic and physical high school prospects and the players who may be destined to be selected ahead of them with hopes one would fall. Common belief is that Watson would be their favorite. This is the first place where Benny Montgomery and fellow Georgian Bubba Chandler’s names are mentioned among rival scouts. Don’t eliminate college infielders who produced offensively. Ford himself has been rumored to multiple teams in the top six picks as an under-slot option despite the risky prep catcher demographic.

10. New York Mets – Matt McClain, SS, UCLA

College bats are the consensus belief when it comes to the Mets – as well as four of the next five teams – and have been for some time now. McClain and Sal Frelick are noted most often above Colton Cowser. This is the first spot where Jud Fabian’s name comes up.

11. Washington Nationals – Jackson Jobe, RHP, Heritage Hall HS (OK)

If I’m confident in any pick right now, it’s this one. Jobe is a favorite for Washington, and there are one or maybe two teams above them who would take the top prep pitcher in the class – one of the riskiest demographics in the draft.

12. Seattle Mariners – Sal Frelick, OF, Boston College

Whoever the Mets don’t select between McClain, Frelick, and Cowser is likely the pick here, and the next. This seems to be the floor for Madden and could be where other college arms start coming off the board more rapidly.

13. Philadelphia Phillies – Colton Cowser, OF, Sam Houston State

Whoever the Mets and Mariners don’t select between McClain, Frelick, and Cowser is likely the pick here. This could be where other college arms start coming off the board more rapidly (does that sound familiar?). The Phillies are in play with less than a handful of others, but I’ll stick with consensus.

14. San Francisco Giants – Bubba Chandler, RHP/SS, North Oconee HS (GA)

Sources have told me that the Giants are “all over” Chandler so I’ll take their word on it. It would go against their conservative modus operandi, and there are plenty of college options, so this is where I’ll insert the *shrug emoji*.

15. Milwaukee Brewers – Joe Mack, C, Williamsville East HS (NY)

It seems like if any of McClain, Frelick, or Cowser falls, this would be their landing spot as Milwaukee continually focuses on prospects with a strong hit tool. They’ve been linked to some of the tooled-up high schoolers as well, with Mack sharing some similarities to Dillon Dingler who was of interest to Milwaukee last year. Milwaukee is linked to Gage Jump for their comp-round pick, a left-handed prep pitcher from Southern California.

16. Miami Marlins – Sam Bachman, RHP, Miami-Ohio

I doubt Bachman makes it this far and he even has rumors of being an under-slot pick in the top 10. Miami is connected to their usual suspects of high-upside prep players.

17. Cincinnati Reds – Jordan Wicks, LHP, Kansas State

Same as Bachman, I don’t see Wicks falling much further than this and possibly off the board already as he’s the best left-handed pitcher in the class by a relatively large margin. Wicks is a TrackMan darling who would likely benefit from Kyle Boddy and the Reds pitching development, and suddenly be throwing 15 miles-per-hour quicker (joke).

18. St. Louis Cardinals – Benny Montgomery, OF, Red Land HS (PA)

Benny Montgomery – must note Benny as there are three Montgomery’s who could go on the first day of the draft – has suitors ranging from 13 to 20, and I’ve heard St. Louis is his floor, as is New York, so I’m unsure of which it will be. If St. Louis passes, and goes to a differing prep prospect as that seems to be their current direction, I could see the Yankees taking Montgomery if he’s free.

19. Toronto Blue Jays – Gunnar Hoglund, RHP, Mississippi

The biggest question mark of the draft is centered around Hoglund. He was destined to be a top 10 pick until going under the knife for Tommy John surgery, but still remains a first-round talent for nearly all clubs. Toronto is a bit conservative, but Hoglund is the type of arm they have drawn towards in the past.

20. New York Yankees – Will Taylor, OF, Dutch Fork HS (SC)

One of the better athletes in the draft, Taylor is a multi-sport with serious physical traits. New York is all over the map, and word is they could be a team to take one of the cold weather bats such as Mack or Joshua Baez.

21. Chicago Cubs – Michael McGreevy, RHP, UC-Santa Barbara

It’s a pretty common theme to hear McGreevy’s name attached to the Cubs here in California, as well as almost any team from 18 down to the end of the first round. Possibly the player with the most helium this Spring, McGreevy draws some comparisons (whether fair or not) to Shane Bieber as an amateur due to his athleticism, ability to locate with average-or-better offerings, and both being Gauchos. The Cubs have also been linked to a handful of upside preps.

22. Chicago White Sox – Jud Fabian, OF, Florida

Sticking with tradition here, White Sox covet power whether it be hard-throwing pitchers or mashers at the plate. Fabian, once seen as a top-five prospect coming into Spring, came out of the gates slow but has transcended himself back into the first-round conversation due to having some of the best natural power in the draft. Don’t exclude the possibility of a prep arm here.

23. Cleveland Indians – Chase Petty, RHP, Mainland HS (NJ)

Cleveland sticks pretty tight to their draft model of age relative to class, upside, and up-the-middle players. Petty is not dissimilar to other recent Cleveland picks and is among the youngest in the class. This is likely McGreevy’s floor, and potential spot for Joshua Baez who is in play a few picks ahead and after this. You could make a case for about 10 prospects here, including both JSerra (Southern California) products, Cody Schrier and Gage Jump, who the Tribe have seen somewhat heavily in recent weeks and are making some noise as comp-round picks.

24. Atlanta Braves – Ryan Cusick, RHP, Wake Forest

Arms, arms, arms. Cusick is the best of the remaining bunch and can hit triple digits with regularity. There are some other subjects of interest for Atlanta though, including Will Bednar of Mississippi State.

25. Oakland Athletics – Alex Mooney, SS, St. Mary’s Prep (MI)

Oakland has been looking at mostly prep prospects but have recently had upper-level executives at Mooney’s games. If they don’t believe he’ll make it to their next pick at 60, they may get him earlier than the industry consensus of his stock.

26. Minnesota Twins – Joshua Baez, OF, Dexter Southfield HS (MA)

Based on Minnesota’s desire for power bats, I landed on Baez who has plenty of suitors ahead of this. Baez is similar to the outfield version of Keoni Cavaco whom the Twins drafted 13th overall in 2019.

27. San Diego Padres – Anthony Solometo, LHP, Bishop Eustace HS (NJ)

A.J. Preller has been spotted all over the Northeast, including regular appearances at Solometo’s starts, as well as the starts of Connecticut’s Frank Mozzicato. One name to watch here is Carson Williams, a pitcher and shortstop from Northern San Diego who has some helium heading into the draft and is preferred on the mound but seems to have zero interest in pitching in pro ball. All it takes is one team to believe in the bat and Williams could be in play here and onwards.

28. Tampa Bay Rays – Ethan Wilson, OF, South Alabama

Wilson has been tracking upwards and fits the Rays mold of hitters. He may not even be available at this point.

29. Los Angeles Dodgers – Andrew Painter, RHP, Calvary Christian HS (FL)

Considered the second-best prep pitcher in the class for most of the Spring, there’s an outside chance Painter isn’t anywhere close to available by the time the Dodgers pick. However, the Dodgers are known for taking falling talent, and Painter fits that mold. There are rumors that the Dodgers are looking at some of the Southern California preps with no set demographic attached, but the risk of having only one pick inside the top 100 may push them away.

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