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MLB Mock Draft

Moockdraft4.0Graphic
(Photos via Four Seam Images)

By Carlos Collazo

With the college regular season winding down, it feels like the draft should be right around the corner. However, we still have about two months to go—and teams think this year is more wide open than many of recent drafts given a perceived light class at the top, and less consensus on the talent overall.

“This year I have no expectations because it is so wide open,” said one scouting director. “When I walk into that draft room the night of the draft I wouldn’t be surprised if it was completely all over the place in terms of where guys go. Just not a lot of consensus.”

Related: Updated BA 400 Draft Rankings

While there’s not much consensus to be found, there has been a consistent group of 10-12 players who many teams seem to think will form much of the first half of the first round. Additionally, the latest buzz has been on the top high school shortstops getting pushed up the board. It’s potentially one of the best high school shortstop classes we’ve seen, so that makes sense, especially when combined with a down college hitting class, and some attrition by way of injury to the college pitching.

There’s still time for college players to move up or down boards in the next few weeks, but here is how the first round is shaping up today in Mock Draft V 4.0. 

29 Matches
See Full List Expand Collapse All Updated on: 5/24/2021
  1. 1
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    Jordan Lawlar

    Dallas Jesuit HS SS
    Notes:

    Lately we’ve been hearing a lot of chatter about high school shortstops being tied to the top three teams. Additionally, it sounds like the top teams—including Pittsburgh—still have a wider net around a group of players than perhaps the top picking team would in a normal year. Louisville catcher Henry Davis is a possibility as well.

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    Marcelo Mayer

    Eastlake HS, Chula Vista, Calif. SS
    Notes:

    Multiple sources seem to think that the Rangers would be hard-pressed to let local product Jordan Lawlar get past them if he were available at No. 2, but in this situation he’s not. Instead we have them taking the best prospect on the West Coast in Mayer, who some scouts think is the best overall hitter in the draft. As of today, it sounds like Lawlar and Mayer aren’t getting out of the top three.

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    Brady House

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

    We’ve heard the Tigers are more on bats than pitchers to this point, but that doesn’t mean they are entirely out on the Vanderbilt righthanders. Still, a high school shortstop has been in the rumor mill lately at this spot and we’ve heard consistently throughout the spring that the Tigers really like House, his physicality and his power potential. This would mark the first time in the Baseball America era (since 1981) that three prep shortstops were selected among the top 10 picks.

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    Jack Leiter

    Vanderbilt RHP
    Notes:

    We think the Red Sox are interested in all of the three prep shortstops who went in front of them in this mock draft, along with Henry Davis and the Vanderbilt duo. At this point it sounds like Kumar Rocker is more likely to slip down the board a bit than Leiter, though both have raised a few questions in recent weeks.

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    Henry Davis

    Louisville C
    Notes:

    Baltimore could be put in a bit of a tough spot with this outcome, as Kumar Rocker and Henry Davis might be the top players on the board here. We’ve heard from some teams who think Baltimore would prefer a bat, which leads us to Davis, but they did just draft Adley Rutschman in 2019. Even though catching is a bit different, we still think best player available is the strategy teams should pursue in the first several rounds, and Davis is pretty consistently seen as the top college hitter in the class—which is potentially a steal here for Baltimore.

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    Kahlil Watson

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

    Watson’s name has been heating up after getting his season started in North Carolina. He was one of the most impressive hitters last summer, and the reports on him this spring continue to be impressive. Some scouts believe he has the best toolset and upside in the class, and he also has traits that the D-backs have previously targeted. We’ve heard Arizona is scouting him pretty heavily. If Davis is available here he would make sense as well.

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    Kumar Rocker

    Vanderbilt RHP
    Notes:

    This is the lowest we’ve mocked Rocker all spring, but there’s a very real possibility that he slides due to teams targeting hitters at the top of the draft. It’s worth noting that both Rocker and Leiter should have more time to push themselves back up draft boards than high school players and other college players who won’t play as deep into the postseason, so this could look like nothing more than wishful thinking in July if Rocker shoves.

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    Sal Frelick

    Boston College OF
    Notes:

    We have heard some chatter about the Rockies looking for a bat with this pick. Perhaps they would love for one of the prep shortstops to make it here, but if they don’t they could be picking from the second tier college trio of Sal Frelick, Matt McLain and Colton Cowser. One thing to note with Frelick is that Boston College’s season is over after a three-game series with Virginia this weekend, so teams might be drafting him without having seen him play for more than a month. That’s a new dynamic this year with the later draft and it’ll be interesting to see how—if at all—it impacts a player’s stock. Frelick finished with a .359/.443/.559 line with six home runs, 17 doubles, 27 walks to 28 strikeouts and went 13-for-18 in stolen base attempts.

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    Notes:

    We’ve heard the Angels like both Bubba Chandler and Jackson Jobe, so there’s a real possibility they go the high school route here. Sources also seem to think that there’s a solid chance McLain goes among the top 10 picks given his performance prior to sustaining a thumb injury. The college shortstops fall off extremely quickly once McLain is off the board.

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    Ty Madden

    Texas RHP
    Notes:

    Madden seems to be the consensus No. 3 college arm after the Vanderbilt duo, especially now that Mississippi righthander Gunnar Hoglund is done for the season after having Tommy John surgery. Madden's range seems to be somewhere around the 8-15 spots, but most people have him included among the top 10-12 players in the class at this point.

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    Jackson Jobe

    Heritage Hall HS, Oklahoma City, Okla. RHP
    Notes:

    Jobe separated himself from the rest of the high school pitching class this spring and there are sources who believe he has a chance to go inside the top 10 picks. That would be the first time a prep righty has gone that high in a few years, but with a down class at the top and limited college bats to go in front of him, it’s a real possibility. The Nationals are one of the teams who haven’t been scared of the demographic in recent years.

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    Colton Cowser

    Sam Houston State OF
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    Notes:

    Cowser might have to fight against the mid-major narratives that will pop up, but he also has a longer track record than many college hitters in the class and has 13 homers and more walks than strikeouts, with a center field profile as a lefthanded hitter. You start to add everything up and Cowser has a pretty attractive profile, especially for a team like Seattle that loves to take college players.

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    Jordan Wicks

    Kansas State LHP
    Notes:

    The top 12 players who have gone in front of the Phillies in this mock seem to be a fairly well established top group in the class at this point. Beyond Cowser, things start to get much dicier and the player pool that makes sense rapidly gets wider. Teams picking in this range and lower are still combing through plenty of names, but Wicks has posted all season and has good command of a solid three-pitch mix that includes arguably the best changeup in the class.

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    Bubba Chandler

    North Oconee HS, Bogart, Ga. RHP/SS
    Video
    Notes:

    Chandler’s range seems to be throughout the entire first round, as high as around No. 9 with the Angels and as low as the back of the first round. We’ve heard the Giants are one of the teams that likes him, but they also might be a team that jumps at the chance to get Gunnar Hoglund—who if healthy wouldn’t have made it outside of the top 10 picks.

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    Notes:

    Del Castillo has been sliding all season, so this might represent the high water mark for him, and his average is now under .300 on the year after a 1-for-12 series against Louisville. At the same time, there are essentially no college bats to be found at this point that teams have high confidence in and even if teams have questions about Del Castillo’s impact or future defensive home, most evaluators still believe in the hit tool.

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    Sam Bachman

    Miami (Ohio) RHP
    Notes:

    Bachman seems to be solidly in the mix of college arms that Wicks, UC Santa Barbara righthander Michael McGreevy and Wake Forest righthander Ryan Cusick are lumped into—all of whom could go in the middle of the first or in the 20s. Bachman has the most explosive two-pitch mix of anyone in the draft class, but he also has more reliever risk and more medical questions that could make him a polarizing, high-risk, high-reward player.

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    Benny Montgomery

    Red Land HS, Lewisberry, Pa. OF
    Notes:

    Montgomery has had huge crowds of scouts to see him at every game this spring in the Northeast, and there’s a solid chance he is the top high school outfielder taken thanks to an explosive all-around toolset. If Cincinnati wants to add some athleticism to its farm system, Montgomery would satisfy that.

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    Gunnar Hoglund

    Mississippi RHP
    Notes:

    With Hoglund going down with Tommy John surgery, he immediately becomes one of the more difficult players to project. There seems to be enough interest still that he could go anywhere throughout the teens, and that makes it seem like he’ll still find a home in the first round. St. Louis took lefthander Zack Thompson in the first round in 2019, and he carried some medical history, so perhaps that doesn’t bother the Cardinals as much as it might other teams.

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    Harry Ford

    North Cobb HS, Kennesaw, Ga. C
    Notes:

    Ford hasn’t had the most electric spring, but he was one of the best performers during the summer showcase circuit last year and brings rare athleticism and running ability for the catcher position—enough that he could easily move off to another position with a chance to play it well, while bringing bat-to-ball skills and more power than you’d think. We’ve heard the Blue Jays are one of the teams in on Ford.

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    Andrew Painter

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

    Painter is no longer considered the top high school righthander in the class, but he’s pitched better later in the season than he did at the beginning, has a great pitcher’s frame and perhaps the best command in the high school class. He has a plus fastball and changeup and throws both a curveball and slider that are solid as well. It’s been a while since the Yankees have drafted a high school righty in the first round, but they could be in a spot to take Painter or a player like Chase Petty this year. They’ve also been scouting Ryan Cusick, who could make sense in this spot, but has been slipping a bit.

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    Michael McGreevy

    UC Santa Barbara RHP
    Notes:

    McGreevy’s name is frequently mentioned as the top college righthander after the Vanderbilt arms, Madden and Bachman, and it wouldn’t be surprising if he went higher than this. Along with Hoglund, he has some of the best overall command in the class, is young, still-projectable and has two plus offerings in his fastball and curveball.

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    Chase Petty

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

    The White Sox have gone after a few flamethrowers in recent drafts (Garrett Crochet, Jared Kelley) and if they wanted to chase velocity once again, Petty is the guy. He has the hardest fastball in the prep class and has shown glimpses of a plus slider as well, but there’s effort to his operation and spotty control at times. He figures to be a polarizing prospect for teams, but the sense around the industry seems to be that he’ll find a spot in the back of the first. Haughton (La.) High shortstop Peyton Stovall might be a target here as well.

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    Joe Mack

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

    Flip a coin between Mack and Harry Ford if you want to know who is going to be the first high school catcher off the board. Mack only recently got his season started in upstate New York, but impressed evaluators last summer with his lefthanded bat and arm behind the plate. Think a bit less bat and a bit more glove than Bo Naylor at the time he was drafted, Indians fans.

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    Ryan Cusick

    Wake Forest RHP
    Notes:

    Virginia pieced up Cusick a week ago (4 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 6 BB, 4 K), but Cusick shoved against Pittsburgh Thursday night (7.1 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 10 K) and he also has one of the most overpowering pitches in this year’s draft class with a fastball routinely in the upper 90s. It also sounds like the Braves are one of many teams who have been on high school outfielder Joshua Baez, but he swung and missed a decent bit in his last game.

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    Will Taylor

    Dutch Fork HS, Irmo, S.C. OF
    Notes:

    Taylor hit well last summer and has added more strength early this spring, though power is still perhaps the one question mark in his game. He can run, throw, hit and field and he’s been tagged in the back of the first round frequently of late, though his multi-sport commitment to Clemson could complicate things.

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