2021 MLB Draft tracker: Live results, draft order, every first-round pick as Pirates take Henry Davis at No. 1


1Henry Davis, C, Louisville: Davis made the leap by hitting .370/.482/.663 this season with 15 home runs and seven more walks than strikeouts. The demand for two-way backstops always outpaces the supply, which is why Davis’ upside is intriguing. He combines a low whiff rate with a high average exit velocity at the plate, and he’s at least an adequate defender (with a strong arm) behind it. Some evaluators are concerned his strength-based swing won’t work as well against advanced pitching. Fair enough, but he’s the most accomplished collegiate bat in a class that doesn’t have many of them.2Jack Leiter, RHP, Vanderbilt: Leiter ranked No. 1 on the preseason list, and for good reason. He has a fastball that doesn’t take the stairway to heaven so much : plines in, hopping over bats on the way to the mitt. That effect is achieved by a combination of its innate “rise”; the flat plane his release point and stature create to the top of the zone; and its mid-to-upper-90s velocity. Scouts would like to see him become more consistent with his secondaries, but there is a belief that he’ll be able to turn at least one of his breaking balls, be it his curveball or his slider, into a trusty outpitch before long. Leiter is held as intelligent and hardworking, and perhaps that shouldn’t come as a surprise given that his father, uncle, and cousin all pitched in the majors.3Jackson Jobe, RHP, Heritage Hall HS (OK): There are scouts who believe Jobe is the best pitching prospect in the class. He’s athletic and projectable, the way most prep arms are, but he’s more polished than his peers. His fastball-slider combination produces some absurd metrics on the Trackman readout, to the degree that some evaluators believe he’ll throw a pair of double-plus pitches at his peak. He’s also gained ground with his changeup, a key factor when projecting younger arms. With all that established, high-school right-handers tend to go later than their talent and upside demand because of their extreme attrition risk.4Marcelo Mayer, SS, Eastlake HS (CA): His boosters within the industry believe that he’s the best player in the class: a potential 15-to-20-home-run-hitting shortstop who can deliver a good average and professional at-bats all the while. He isn’t a fast runner, yet the smoothness of his defensive actions enable him to appear as though he’s moving at a higher frames per second than the average prep shortstop. Depending on the extent of his projected power gains, he could finish his development with four plus tools (everything but the run), giving him a lofty ceiling that merits the top selection.5Colton Cowser, OF, Sam Houston State: Cowser, who first impressed scouts by holding his own as one of the youngest members of Team USA, solidified himself as the second-best collegiate hitter in this class by batting .374/.490/.680 with 16 home runs, 17 steals (on 20 tries), and 10 more walks than strikeouts. Cowser’s power surge is notable, since it was one of the big questions for him entering the year. (He’d previously launched just eight homers in his first 328 trips to the dish.) Factor in how there are evaluators who believe he’ll begin his career in center thanks to his above-average speed and technique6Jordan Lawlar, SS, Dallas Jesuit HS (TX): Lawlar draws comparisons to Royals prospect Bobby Witt Jr. because of a few biographical commonalities: both were born in Texas, and both were a little old for a prep prospect entering the draft. (Lawlar is 19.) The two share something else: an All-Star ceiling. Lawlar has a projectable frame and explosive hands that bode well for him developing plus power; on defense, he has a strong arm, above-average speed, and the other requisite traits to remain at the six. He has gone through stretches where he’s swung and missed more frequently than scouts would like to see from a top prep player, and it’s theoretically possible that his hit tool plays lighter than expected against high-grade pitching.7Frank Mozzicato, LHP, East Catholic HS (CT): Mozzicato was an under-the-radar sleeper until he reeled off four consecutive no-hitters this spring, including a 17-strikeout performance in the state championship game. (He went 3 for 4 at the plate in that contest as well.) Mozzicato has a tall, thin frame onto which he ought to add muscle over the coming years. (He turned 18 only a month ago, making him one of the younger players in this class.) That should enable him to gain a few ticks of velocity (he sits around 90 mph) to his fastball, in turn making his advanced curveball even more effective. His simple delivery, meanwhile, bodes well for his command projection.8Benny Montgomery, OF, Red Land HS (PA): Montgomery has near-elite footspeed and a strong arm that should help him stick in center. He possesses big-time power potential at the plate as well, though evaluators are concerned about his ability to make consistent contact.9Sam Bachman, RHP, Miami (OH): Bachman has tremendous stuff. His turbo sinker can clear triple digits (though it’s not a huge bat-misser within the zone) and his slider is a legit outpitch. Analysts like his seldom-used changeup, too, suggesting he should have three above-average offerings at his peak. He’s not higher on the list because he has an unusual delivery (his arm goes up early and stays up) and a concerning injury history. Hypothetically, he would make sense as a quick-moving bullpen conversion piece, akin to what the White Sox did last year with Garrett Crochet10Kumar Rocker, RHP, Vanderbilt: The most famous, and therefore the most scrutinized prospect in the class. Rocker is as physical as they come (he’s listed at a Brad Keller- or Lance Lynn-like 6-foot-5, 245 pounds), and he possesses one of the draft’s best chase pitches, in his trademark slider. Alas, there are several reasons he could drop outside of the top five, beginning with a velocity dip he experienced earlier this year. Rocker’s changeup is underbaked, and scouts are concerned that his arsenal will play lighter than it should against big-league hitters. His mechanics, specifically a high elbow and an oft-late arm, are worrisome as it pertains to his command and durability.11Brady House, SS, Winder-Barrow HS (GA): House is a polarizing prospect. His size (he’s listed around 6-foot-3) and proneness to swinging and missing force evaluators to pick sides. Not everyone believes he’s long for the shortstop opposition, or that his contact chops will enable him to maximize his near-elite raw power.12Harry Ford, C, North Cobb HS (GA): The history of prep catchers is as fraught as that of prep right-handers. The last high-school catcher drafted in the first round to tally more than 10 Wins Above Replacement in their career was Neil Walker (2004); the last one to do it while (mostly) catching was Joe Mauer (2001). Ford is, nevertheless, an appealing target for teams picking in the mid-to-late portion of round one. He has plus power potential and athleticism, with some scouts foreseeing him as a Daulton Varsho type who can catch and play center field. He’s going to require a low-and-slow development path to smooth out the rough edges.13Andrew Painter, RHP, Calvary Christian HS (FL): Painter has a charming combination of predictability and present ability. His large frame (6-foot-6, 230 pounds) can hold additional muscle, yet he’s already able to dial his fastball into the upper-90s. His secondary pitches are also promising, including an advanced changeup for a prep arm. One area of concern his employer might ask him to focus on is his extension. Painter doesn’t have to match Tyler Glasnow or Logan Gilbert’s long stride in order to get more out of his large frame. He would lose some steepness on his release point as a result, but it would make his pitches play quicker.14Will Bednar, RHP, Mississippi State: Bednar finished the season with a 3.26 ERA and a 6.10 strikeout-to-walk ratio, a number buoyed by him punching out 39 percent of the batters he faced. Bednar has a riding fastball that’s capable of touching into the upper-90s; a slider with plus spin that he’s able to manipulate the shape of; and a curveball with solid depth. He needs to improve his seldom-used changeup, as it doesn’t offer much separation from his fastball. Should he do that, he has middle-of-the-rotation potential.15Analysis to come.16Analysis to come.17Analysis to come.18Analysis to come.19Analysis to come.20Analysis to come.21Analysis to come.22Analysis to come.23Analysis to come.24Analysis to come.25Analysis to come.26Analysis to come.27Analysis to come.28Analysis to come.29Analysis to come.





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