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2021 BA 200 Draft Rankings

Baseball America’s MLB Draft Prospects rankings are compiled in consultation with scouts and evaluators from major league clubs. 

By Carlos Collazo

Every January, major league scouting departments hunker down for pre-season meetings to prepare for the upcoming amateur season. This year could be more chaotic for scouts than ever before thanks to challenges the coronavirus pandemic caused during last year’s evaluation period—particularly for the college class.

Scouts have fewer looks entering this season on this draft class than they ever before. Teams who place heavier weight on models and statistics don’t have nearly the same amount of information baked into their algorithms.

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Still, the draft will take place in 179 days. With that we are excited to present the top 200 prospects in the 2021 draft class. This is the first step in a long process that will eventually culminate in the BA 500 closer to the July draft, with scouting reports on every player to provide an exhaustive look at the 2021 class. As ever, our draft list is compiled with feedback from major league scouts and evaluators.

Vanderbilt righthander Kumar Rocker leads the way in the 2021 class, followed by Texas high school shortstop Jordan Lawlar and Miami catcher Adrian Del Castillo—perhaps the best pure hitter of the class.

At the moment the 2021 class seems strong on college pitching and high school hitting, though whether the college hitters are down because the talent is not there or because players have had little time to establish themselves is an important question that should be answered this spring.

Because of the shortened, five-round draft in 2020, the 2021 class’s depth is inflated and should make the group one of the deepest we have seen in recent years. The 2020 class a year ago was already a deep crop of players, and many of those players return to the 2021 class, including righthanders Tommy Mace and Kevin Abel.

Outside of the top 20 players or so, the consensus around the industry goes almost entirely out the window. It’s typical for consensus to diverge deeper on lists for the draft, but this year that seems to be happening to a more aggressive degree because of the many factors that make this class unique. There is sure to be plenty of movement throughout the spring as teams get more looks.

For now, this is how we see the 2021 class lining up.

200 Matches
See Full List Expand Collapse All Updated on: 1/13/2021
  1. 1

    Kumar Rocker

    Vanderbilt RHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 255 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Rockies 2018 (38)
    Age At Draft: 21.6

    In a 2021 college class filled with uncertainty, Rocker is the top prospect of the group thanks to his combination of stuff, physicality and track record. The highest-ranked prep prospect of a loaded 2018 high school pitching class to make it to campus, no one has ever questioned the 6-foot-4, 255-pound righty’s raw stuff. He is regularly in the mid 90s with his fastball and can touch the upper 90s when he wants more, with a power breaking ball and tumbling changeup that both have plus potential. Additionally, Rocker has logged 114.2 innings with Vanderbilt—all in a starting role—and has posted a 3.06 ERA with 11.1 strikeouts per nine and just 2.3 walks per nine. His 11-strikeout game against Michigan in the 2019 College World Series made him one of college baseball’s most prominent names, and he should be one of the first names called in the draft next summer.
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  2. 2

    Jordan Lawlar

    Dallas Jesuit HS SS
    Video
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 185 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Vanderbilt
    Age At Draft: 19.0

    The top-ranked Texan in the 2021 class, Lawlar is looking to follow in the footsteps of Bobby Witt Jr. as a five-tool prep shortstop out of the Lone Star State. Some scouts have compared Lawlar to the Royals’s 2019 first-round pick, though his tools aren’t quite as loud despite a chance for above-average grades across the board. Lawlar showed one of the best hit tools at the Perfect Game All-American Classic, has a chance for above-average future power and is also an easy plus runner who has clocked a 6.45 60-yard dash—a 70-grade time. Defensively, Lawlar has a chance to stick at shortstop at the next level. Evaluators like his actions and think he has 55-grade arm strength, though at times he struggles to get in sync with ground balls leading some to question his internal clock. Skeptics believe he’s an athlete-first defender now who will need to refine the details of his defensive game to stick there long term, but considering his hit, power and run tools—there’s plenty to like from the 6-foot-2, 185-pound Vanderbilt commit who likely won’t make it to campus.
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  3. 3
    Notes:

    Ht: 5-11 | Wt: 210 | B-T: L-R
    Commit/Drafted: White Sox 2018 (36)
    Age At Draft: 21.8

    Del Castillo was known as an offensive-first catcher coming out of high school in the 2018 draft class—where he ranked No. 196 on the BA 500—and has only cemented himself as one of the best hitters in the country after two years at Miami. The 5-foot-11, 210-pound backstop has hit .336/.430/.571 over the 2019 and 2020 seasons with the Hurricanes, with 14 home runs, 24 doubles and more walks (43) than strikeouts (32). His numbers weren’t quite as gaudy in the Cape Cod League in 2019, where he struck out 32 times to nine walks, but scouts still believe his feel for the barrel with a wood bat is among the best in the country. While Del Castillo’s defensive reputation is mixed at best, he put significant work in on that end this summer, spending time with Royals catcher Salvador Perez to improve his craft. Del Castillo has an accurate throwing arm, but he has tried to improve his arm strength and his overall skill in terms of receiving and blocking. His bat is good enough to play at a number of positions, but if teams believe he is a long-term catcher, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be one of the first bats taken next year.
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  4. 4

    Marcelo Mayer

    Eastlake HS, Chula Vista, Calif. SS
    Video
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 185 | B-T: L-R
    Commit/Drafted: Southern California
    Age At Draft: 18.6

    Mayer is the next big prospect to come out of a powerhouse Eastlake (Calif.) High program that has produced Adrian Gonzalez, 2020 second-rounder Casey Schmitt (by way of San Diego State) and more recently, first-rounder Keoni Cavaco in 2019. Mayer started getting attention from scouts at Eastlake as a freshman, where he showed a smooth lefthanded stick at the plate and advanced defensive actions up the middle. Mayer is arguably the top defensive shortstop in a class that is deep at the position. He glides around the infield dirt with silky smooth actions and has the hands, footwork and arm strength to stick at the position long term. He always seems to slow the game down, and has no problem throwing from multiple angles with an accurate arm. A 6-foot-3, 185-pound Southern California commit, Mayer also has upside offensively. He has fringe-average power now, but evaluators believe he could tap into above-average power down the line and he controls the zone well with a swing that’s leveraged for fly balls.
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  5. 5

    Jack Leiter

    Vanderbilt RHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-0 | Wt: 190 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Yankees 2019 (20)
    Age At Draft: 21.2

    Leiter was a clear first-round talent coming out of high school in 2019—ranking No. 21 on the BA 500—but a high asking price and strong Vanderbilt commitment meant he made it to campus. While Leiter only pitched four games and 15.2 innings with the Commodores, he seemed to increase his draft stock in that time by showing his stuff could easily play at the college level. He struck out 22 batters and walked eight, posting a 1.72 ERA. Leiter is an advanced arm with exceptional feel for what he’s doing on the mound, which should be no surprise considering his father is former major league pitcher Al Leiter. The 6 feet, 195-pound righty has an above-average fastball that gets into the mid 90s at its best, and he throws both four- and two-seam variations. On top of that, Leiter has a big, downer curveball with a high spin rate that projects as a plus offering, in addition to a slider and changeup that round out his repertoire.
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  6. 6

    Jaden Hill

    Louisiana State RHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 235 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Cardinals 2018 (38)
    Age At Draft: 21.6

    It wouldn’t be too hard to argue that Hill has the best stuff in the 2021 draft class. Ranked the No. 86 prospect out of high school in a deep prep class, Hill always had a solid fastball/changeup combination and a frame to dream on but discovering a slider at Louisiana State took him to the next level. Hill was a standout quarterback in high school and was told to throw his slider like he threw a football, and it clicked. Now, Hill has a fastball that was in the 96-98 mph range as a reliever and potential 60-grade pitches in his changeup and new power slider. On top of that, Hill has a legitimate cutter he throws in the 88-91 mph range, giving him a fourth pitch that could be above average. With electric arm speed and a powerful, 6-foot-4, 235-pound frame, what’s not to like? Well, scouts aren’t sure about Hill’s future role. He’s only thrown 21.2 innings in his collegiate career thanks to injuries and a shortened 2020 season, and half of those innings have come in a reliever role. He’ll need to prove he can handle the rigors of starting while still maintaining his stuff. If he does that, Hill should be among the first arms to come off the board in the 2021 draft.
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  7. 7

    James Wood

    IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla. OF
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-6 | Wt: 230 | B-T: L-R
    Commit/Drafted: Mississippi State
    Age At Draft: 18.8

    One of the biggest risers over the summer, Wood is a 6-foot-6, 230-pound center fielder with massive lefthanded power potential. Wood has athletic bloodlines—his father Kenny played basketball at Richmond and at the pro level and his sister currently plays for Northeastern—and was also a talented basketball player, but he began focusing on baseball exclusively after transferring to IMG Academy. He gained around 20 pounds of muscle prior to the summer and has shown that strength in games, with tantalizing home runs against some of the top pitching in the class. Scouts entered the summer wondering about the swing and miss in his swing but have been impressed with the ease of his operation, his bat speed and his ability to put the barrel on the ball in games for impact. Despite his size, scouts have been impressed with his defense in center field. Wood moves well—he ran a 6.7 60-yard dash at PG National—and shows good instincts reading the ball off the bat, and moves well on the base paths. Given his projectable frame, athleticism, current toolset and summer performance, the Mississippi State commit has put himself solidly into the elite tier of the prep class.
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  8. 8

    Matt McLain

    UCLA SS/OF
    Notes:

    Ht: 5-11 | Wt: 170 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Diamondbacks 2018 (1)
    Age At Draft: 21.9

    McLain had a loud spring season before the 2018 draft, pushing himself up draft boards enough to be selected by the D-Backs with the 25th overall selection. He was committed strongly to UCLA however, and Arizona wasn’t able to sign the No. 61 prospect in the 2018 class. McLain struggled as a freshman with the Bruins, hitting just .203/.276/.355 in 2019, but he had a strong summer in the Cape and was off to a torrid start with the bat in 2020, where he hit .397/.422/.621. Out of high school, scouts believed McLain had a chance to be a plus hitter and that still is the case, though his strikeout rate is a bit higher than teams would like from a player who has just average power at best. McLain has played a number of positions, including shortstop, second base, third base and center field, but will be looked at as a shortstop by scouts. He’s an instinctual defender who reads the ball off the bat well and has solid arm strength, giving him every chance to stick at the position at the next level. McLain has turned in plus run times out of the box but isn’t a true burner. While he doesn’t have a gaudy tool to point to, the 5-foot-11, 170-pound shortstop does everything on the field at a high level and his well-rounded skill set should have him selected once again in the first round.
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  9. 9

    Alex Binelas

    Louisville 3B
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 210 | B-T: L-R
    Commit/Drafted: Nationals 2018 (35)
    Age At Draft: 21.1

    Binelas is one of the better in-game power hitters of the 2021 class and showed that sort of impact ability with the bat in his freshman season. An immediate regular with Louisville, Binelas posted a .291/.383/.612 line with 14 home runs. He was the first Louisville freshman to hit 10 or more homers since Chris Dominguez did it in 2007. The 6-foot-3, 210-pound third baseman doesn’t do it at the plate with a picturesque swing or operation and he has plenty of swing and miss (48 strikeouts in 243 plate appearances in 2019) in his game, but the production and all-fields impact is undeniable. Binelas plays a workman’s style third base with stiff actions and fringe-average defense, but he does have enough arm to play the position and he’s an accurate thrower. He might have to move to first base in the future if he doesn’t continue to make improvements on the defensive side, but he should have the plus power to profile there if necessary. A hamate injury limited Binelas in 2020 and he played just two games before the season was shut down.
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  10. 10

    Andrew Painter

    Calvary Christian HS, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. RHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-6 | Wt: 230 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Florida
    Age At Draft: 18.3

    Painter established himself as the top all-around arm in a deep and dynamic 2021 high school pitching class this summer. While there may be pitchers who reach more impressive high-end velocities, it’s hard to find a high school pitcher who checks as many boxes as Painter—leading many evaluators to compare him to 2020 first-rounder Mick Abel. Abel has a large, still-projectable frame and is listed at 6-foot-6, 230 pounds and he throws with a tremendously loose and easy three-quarter arm action with little to no effort in the finish. Painter has a complete four-pitch mix, led by a fastball that’s routinely in the mid 90s initially, before settling into the 90-94 mph range. He spins the ball well and throws two distinct breaking balls, including a low-80s slider and a mid-to-upper-70s curveball. He also has shown feel for a low-80s changeup. On top of his four-pitch mix, frame and delivery, Painter also has a long track record of standout strike throwing, projecting for at least above-average control. While the industry has generally steered away from prep righthanders in the first round, a handful still go high and Painter is as close to the ideal version of a prep arm as you could design in 2020. It’s difficult to envision a scenario where he makes it to Florida, as the industry sees him as a no-doubt top of the first round talent.
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  11. 11
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 195 | B-T: R-L
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
    Age At Draft: 20.8

    After graduating high school and enrolling at Florida early, Fabian will be one of the youngest players in the 2021 college class and still just 20 on draft day. A 6-foot-2, 195-pound outfielder, Fabian was an everyday player for the Gators in his freshman season in 2019 but had his true coming out party on the Cape the following summer. With Bourne, Fabian hit .290/.350/.500 with six home runs and showed his power could translate to a wood bat. A balanced and strong hitter from the right side, Fabian came into college with an ability to hit fastballs right away but had an adjustment period when opposing pitchers started attacking him with a steady diet of breaking stuff. While he does rack up a few strikeouts (63 strikeouts in 73 games with Florida), Fabian has the all-fields power and on-base skills to go along with those whiffs. Defensively, Fabian is an instinctual fielder who reads the ball off the bat well and takes solid routes in center field with above-average running ability.
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  12. 12

    Ty Madden

    Texas RHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 215 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Royals 2018 (34)
    Age At Draft: 21.4

    Madden was a lanky, skinny high school arm who put on a massive amount of strength during his final year with Cypress (Texas) Ranch High. Ranked No. 240 on the BA 500 in the 2018 draft, at his best Madden reached 96 mph with his fastball and showed a hammer slider, but he struggled with consistency and strike throwing. A few years later and Madden has continued to fill out his frame—he is now listed at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds—and harness his impressive stuff. The Texas righty had a solid freshman campaign in a split starter/reliever role, posting a 3.40 ERA over 42.1 innings with 37 strikeouts (7.9 per nine), but walked 24 batters (5.1 per nine). Through four starts in 2020, Madden seemed to have taken a step forward in the strikes department (just four walks in 25 innings) but he’ll need to show that improvement over a full season. He has two potential plus pitches in a fastball that sits 90-94 mph and can get up to 96 at its peak and a standout changeup. Madden has also continued to flash a hard slider in the mid 80s, but he still needs to find consistency with the breaking ball.
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  13. 13

    Brady House

    Winder-Barrow HS, Winder, Ga. SS
    Video
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 215 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Tennessee
    Age At Draft: 18.1

    House entered the summer as the top-ranked high school prospect and did nothing to lose that status. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound shortstop has an exciting combination of high-level track record and a gaudy toolset to go along with it. The offensive tools are the loudest with House. He has terrific bat speed and natural strength, to go along with an advanced approach that allows him to track velocity and offspeed stuff with consistency. Scouts with history on House believe he has the ability to develop into a plus hitter, and his raw power should develop into 70-grade juice as he continues to develop. He’s already a physical and imposing hitter now, with plenty of impact to all fields and plus raw power, but there’s more to be had in the future. Defensively, House has easy plus arm strength—he can reach 96 mph on the mound—that could be an asset on the infield, where he has a good chance to stick. He doesn’t look like a typical pro shortstop, but evaluators have been impressed with his hands, reactions, internal clock and body control. Some believe he would be a better fit at third base, where he has all the tools to turn into an above-average defender. House is committed to Tennessee but is a top-of-the-first round talent and is unlikely to get to campus.
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  14. 14

    Kahlil Watson

    Wake Forest (N.C.) HS SS
    Notes:

    Ht: 5-9 | Wt: 178 | B-T: L-R
    Commit/Drafted: North Carolina State
    Age At Draft: 18.2

    Watson steadily increased his stock by performing consistently during the summer—including standout performances at USA Baseball’s National Team Championships and East Coast Pro—and is now among the top high school players in a strong North Carolina class. A 5-foot-9, 178-pound shortstop, Watson shows solid raw power for his size with impressive bat speed and aggressive swings to go with an advanced hit tool and approach. Against one of the most electric lefthanders in the class—Alabama’s Maddux Bruns—Watson worked an impressive walk in one at-bat and then followed it up with a hard-hit triple to right-center field in the next. Defensively, Watson has a good shot to stick at shortstop moving forward with good actions, solid arm strength and slick footwork at the position. Speed should be another asset for the North Carolina State commit, as he clocked a 65-grade run time (6.5-6.6 seconds) in the 60-yard dash at East Coast Pro, which will give him enough range up the middle and make him a threat on the base paths. The industry currently sees Watson as a top-two round talent, and he’s one of the reasons the 2021 prep shortstop class is already looking stronger than it did in 2020.
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  15. 15

    Richard Fitts

    Auburn RHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 200 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
    Age At Draft: 21.6

    A 6-foot-3, 200-pound righthander, Fitts threw the second most innings among Auburn freshmen in 2019, with a 5.21 ERA through 62.2 innings primarily out of the bullpen. As a sophomore in 2020, Fitts had more success in 13 innings, posting a 2.77 ERA with 16 strikeouts (11.1 per nine) and five walks (3.5 per nine). Fitts has an above-average fastball which could improve to become a plus heater as he continues to fill out a lean and projectable frame. He has an average slider and changeup, with the slider possessing solid spin rates and pairs that solid three-pitch mix with a good feel for throwing strikes. Despite the quality control grades evaluators give Fitts, he has started just six games in his collegiate career and has never been a full-time starter with Auburn. Showing he can start over a full season would help his draft stock considerably.
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  16. 16

    Colton Cowser

    Sam Houston State OF
    Video
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 195 | B-T: L-R
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
    Age At Draft: 21.3

    Cowser had a breakout season as a freshman at Sam Houston State in 2019, where he hit .361/.450/.602 with seven home runs and nine stolen bases. Cowser made the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team for his efforts and ranked as the No. 16 prospect on the club as one of the youngest members. Teams might feel more confident with Cowser than many other hitters because of his track record with the bat in college and Team USA, and he brings a nice hitting and power combination from the left side while playing center field. There are some who wonder if he’s a real center fielder at the next level as he fills out a tall, 6-foot-3, 190-pound frame, but he is an above-average runner with good instincts. Cowser controls the zone well and has just an 11.5 strikeout percentage over 328 plate appearances with Sam Houston State in the Southland Conference and scouts have also liked the quality of his plate appearances when he’s faced high-level arms, including 2020 first-rounder LHP Asa Lacy. With a well-rounded game that includes power, speed and an ability to hit all fields while playing a premium position, Cowser is one of the more complete bats at the top of the 2021 draft class.
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  17. 17

    Sal Frelick

    Boston College OF
    Notes:

    Ht: 5-9 | Wt: 175 | B-T: L-R
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
    Age At Draft: 21.2

    Frelick was a standout, three-sport athlete in high school and lettered 12 times in baseball, football and hockey for Lexington (Mass.) High. A dynamic, plus athlete, Frelick plays the game with plenty of energy and has the toolset to impact the game on both sides of the ball. Frelick has a simple bat path geared for line drives up the middle and into the gaps, with most of his power to the pull side. He does get a bit barred at times and has a tendency to use too much shoulder in the swing and roll over on pitches. A plus-plus runner, Frelick has played mostly right field for Boston College but has all of the speed and defensive acumen to be a center fielder at the next level and long term. That speed plays on the bases as well and Frelick stole 18 bags in 21 tries (85.7%) as a freshman, while hitting .367/.447/.513 with more walks (22) than strikeouts (16). While Frelick is listed at just 5-foot-9, 175 pounds, scouts believe he has above-average power in the tank thanks to his twitchy hands and strength. With a chance to be a dynamic top-of-the-order catalyst with plenty of extra-base pop, speed and defensive ability in center, Frelick is a Day one caliber prospect and at the top of a strong Northeast region in 2021.
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  18. 18

    Ethan Wilson

    South Alabama OF
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 210 | B-T: L-L
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
    Age At Draft: 21.7

    Wilson exploded onto the college baseball scene in 2019, hitting .345/.453/.686 and making his way onto the freshman All-American first team. With 17 home runs, Wilson was just one homer shy of the first team home run leader Aaron Sabato, whom the Twins selected in the first round in 2020. Wilson has big, bold check marks next to the two most important tools thanks to his hitting ability and power, and scouts think he’s solidly in the first round mix because of that. He has a heady, consistent approach at the dish and draws a solid number of walks—Wilson has a 12% walk rate in his South Alabama career—to go with his gaudy power numbers. Even as a left fielder, where Wilson is most likely to end up, he has the hitting ability and power to profile and become an impact, middle-of-the-order bat at the next level. Playing in the Sun Belt Conference, he will get critiqued for not having performed against better pitching, so missing a chance to hit in the Cape Cod League or with Team USA might hurt the 6-foot-2, 210-pound lefthanded slugger more than others, but he’s done nothing but perform with the opportunities he’s been given.
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  19. 19

    Henry Davis

    Louisville C
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 195 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
    Age At Draft: 21.8

    Davis was one of the hardest-throwing catchers in the 2018 draft class as a high schooler, with a 70-grade canon for an arm, but questions about his offensive game allowed him to make it to campus at Louisville. He acquitted himself well as a freshman, hitting .280/.345/.386 with 13 walks and 18 strikeouts and was off to an even better start in 2020. Through 14 games Davis hit as many home runs (three) as he did through 45 games during his freshman season. If scouts continue to feel comfortable with Davis’ bat during the 2021 season he could find himself going on the first day of the draft, as he controls the zone well, brings some pop to the pull-side and has gotten more fluid in his actions at the plate. Defensively, Davis’ arm jumps off the page, and he’s an athletic and efficient thrower, though he struggled with his blocking initially. Davis had seven passed balls in 2019 and six in 2020, though coaches praise his work ethic and believe he’s improved in that area of his game. MLB teams love athletic collegiate catchers with a track record of hitting and as a .303/.381/.463 career hitter with one explosive tool in his arm strength, he’ll get plenty of attention next spring.
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  20. 20

    Joshua Baez

    Dexter Southfield HS, Brookline, Mass. OF
    Video
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 220 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Vanderbilt
    Age At Draft: 18.0

    One of a handful of toolsy Northeast hitters in the 2021 class, Baez has some of the best power projection in the high school class thanks to a powerful swing and a well-developed, muscular 6-foot-3, 220-pound frame. There are scouts who believe Baez has a chance to grow into 70-grade raw power, but at the moment there are some swing-and-miss concerns, though scouts have noted he never truly looks out of control or lost at the plate. There’s a hand drop in his swing that could lead to inconsistencies against velocity up in the zone, but when the Vanderbilt commit does connect the ball explodes off his bat and carries a long way. Baez clocked a solid-average 60-yard time at East Coast Pro, but most scouts believe he will become a fringe-average runner in the future and is best suited to a corner outfield position. His power and arm strength—he’s been up to 97 mph on the mound—would be a major asset in center field if he could stick there, but he’s built more like a corner guy and has the toolset and power to profile nicely as a right fielder.
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  21. 21

    Izaac Pacheco

    Friendswood (Texas) HS SS
    Video
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 210 | B-T: L-R
    Commit/Drafted: Texas A&M
    Age At Draft: 18.7

    If picturesque swings and muscular, projectable bodies are your thing, Pacheco might be your guy in the 2021 prep class. A 6-foot-3, 210-pound shortstop committed to Texas A&M, Pacheco is a power-oriented lefthanded hitter with a fluid swing and quick hands in the box. Pacheco has a fluid and quick lefthanded swing that is geared for power now, and he projects for at least plus juice in the future with present strength and bat speed, and more room to fill out. While scouts have praised an advanced approach at the plate, Pacheco does come with some swing-and-miss concerns and he has had trouble tapping into his power in game situations throughout the summer. Like many of the top shortstops in the 2021 class, Pacheco is fine at the position now, but most scouts believe he will shift over to third in the future. He has solid hands and more than enough arm strength for either position, but scouts believe as he fills out he won’t have the range and quickness for shortstop, making him a solid fit at the hot corner.
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  22. 22

    Joe Mack

    Williamsville East HS, East Amherst, N.Y. C
    Video
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-0 | Wt: 203 | B-T: L-R
    Commit/Drafted: Clemson
    Age At Draft: 18.6

    One of the top hitters in a loaded Northeast region, Mack is a 6 feet, 203-pound catcher with exciting tools on both sides of the ball. After not playing any during the spring because of the coronavirus pandemic, Mack seamlessly transitioned to facing the elite arms on the showcase circuit this summer and was a consistent performer at the plate. A lefthanded hitter with good bat speed and a slight open stance, Mack has a chance for plus power potential and is similar to recent Northeast bats like Bo Naylor and Grant Lavigne—though Naylor’s pure hit tool is a bit more advanced. A strong, physical catcher, Mack’s best defensive attribute at the moment is a plus throwing arm. He’s gunned runners with sub-2.0 second throws to the bag in games and has the soft hands necessary to develop into a strong receiver. His actions can get long, but he has better lower half flexibility than you would expect when looking at his frame and evaluators have liked his progress behind the dish throughout the summer. High school catchers are risky, but Mack has the offensive chops to profile at first or a corner outfield spot, which raises his floor as a prospect.
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  23. 23

    Gunnar Hoglund

    Mississippi RHP
    Video
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 220 | B-T: L-R
    Commit/Drafted: Pirates 2018 (36)
    Age At Draft: 21.6

    One of the best strike throwers in the country, Hoglund arrived on campus at Mississippi even after the Pirates selected him with the 36th pick of the 2018 draft. A talented high school prospect who ranked No. 84 on the BA 500, Hoglund screamed starter with a projectable frame, easy delivery, solid fastball and command that evaluators at the time thought could be plus. In two seasons with Ole Miss, that’s continued to be the case. Now listed at a strong, 6-foot-4, 220-pounds, Hoglund is one of the better command arms in the class and has walked just 18 batters in 91.1 innings (1.8 per nine) as a full-time starter, while compared to 90 strikeouts (8.9 per nine). Hoglund’s fastball typically sits in the 88-92 mph range, though he has been up to 95-96 at his best and he throws a sharp slider off of his heater, which comes out of his hand with a similar look in the low 80s. The pitch has good bite and the look of an above-average offering. He also throws a low-80s changeup that is his third pitch, but it’s his fastball that he primarily uses to generate whiffs. While the pitch doesn’t have elite velocity just yet, it has some riding life and his overall command allows it to play up. He’s solidly a day one arm who could take a massive jump up boards with an appreciable jump in velocity given his likely-starter profile.
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  24. 24

    Harry Ford

    North Cobb HS, Kennesaw, Ga. C
    Notes:

    Ht: 5-10 | Wt: 187 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Georgia Tech
    Age At Draft: 18.4

    Ford is one of the top players in the 2021 class, and he’s also among the better athletes of the group. Scouts praise his explosive athleticism and believe that will allow him to stick behind the plate long term, though he has impressive infield actions as well and some think he could also handle center field. Ford has more than enough arm for the position, with at least above-average throwing ability, and is mobile and light on his feet with all the mental and leadership traits that scouts want to see from a catcher. As a hitter, Ford has a solid history of showing feel for the barrel, with above-average bat speed and strength that comes from a well-developed frame and twitchy actions. Some evaluators believe he is more power over hit with a low handset that could help him leverage his swing for long fly balls. Unlike most catchers, Ford is an easy plus runner—he clocked the second-fastest 60-yard time at East Coast Pro at 6.42 seconds—and could move to a number of positions if necessary in the future. The 5-foot-10, 187-pound backstop is committed to catching pipeline Georgia Tech.
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  25. 25

    Chase Petty

    Mainland Regional HS, Linwood, N.J. RHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-0 | Wt: 185 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Florida
    Age At Draft: 18.3

    An athletic righthander with explosive arm speed, Petty is solidly in the elite tier of 2021 prep arms in terms of pure stuff. The 6 feet, 185-pound Florida commit is a power sinker/slider arm with a turbo fastball that has gotten to 100 mph with exceptional running life, though he typically sits in the 91-95 mph range. Petty’s slider is more of an above-average projection than a plus pitch now. It sits in the low-to-mid 80s but the spin is inconsistent and some scouts prefer a firm, upper-80s changeup that flashes above average when he hits on it. Petty throws from a lower, three-quarter arm slot with noticeable effort, which adds some reliever risk to his profile when combined with scattered control. Because of his size and reliever questions, Petty has been compared to pitchers like Lance McCullers and JT Ginn, though both had better feel for spin at the same time, and Ginn’s pitchability was more advanced. The stigma against shorter righthanders seems to be fading and high school arms out of the Northeast have a strong track record. Add in Petty’s age (he doesn’t turn 18 until April) and there are plenty of positive indicators in his profile.
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