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Top 2021 College MLB Draft Prospects



Baseball America’s 2021 college rankings are compiled in consultation with front office executives, major league scouts college coaches and other evaluators. The list is an attempt to gauge the industry’s consensus on the talent of the draft-eligible four-year college players in the country, though plenty will change between now and the 2021 draft, with two seasons of college baseball to be played.

After rolling out the top 2021 high school draft prospects in the country earlier this week, we’re excited to roll out the four-year college complement today. There’s a bit more clarity with an underclass college list than the high school equivalent, given the amount of information Baseball America has previously collected on a number of these previously draft-eligible players, but all of them have plenty of time to shift their draft stock with continued development and performance on campus. 

Perhaps the most obvious No. 1 prospect of any of our current draft lists is Vanderbilt righthander Kumar Rocker, who tops the class of 2021 after a dominant year in which he was named Freshman of the Year. Rocker posted a 3.25 ERA in 99.2 innings of work with 114 strikeouts to just 21 walks, while turning into an entirely different beast in the postseason, going 4-0, 0.96 with 44 strikeouts to just five walks and becoming the first pitcher to toss a no-hitter in the super regionals.

Rocker entered his freshman year as the top-ranked player on the 2018 BA 500 (No. 13) to make it to a four-year college and has premium stuff and physicality, and has now begun to add high-level SEC performance to an already strong resume. Rocker throws a premium fastball that gets into the upper-90s with heavy life and has a plus slider and changeup that has plus potential as well. Barring any setbacks, he’s a lock to become a first round pick in two years and will be one of the better pitchers in the country next spring.

Incoming Vanderbilt freshman and future draft-eligible sophomore Jack Leiter will look to follow in the path that Rocker is paving for the Commodores, as the top-ranked player on the 2019 BA 500 (No. 21) to make it to campus. Leiter—the son of 19-year MLB veteran Al Leiter—was seen as a first round talent coming out of high school and one of the five best prep arms in the country, but the cost to sign him out of his Vanderbilt commitment was too high for MLB clubs.

That gives coach Tim Corbin another headlining freshman to add to the defending champions’ roster. While Leiter doesn’t have the same pure stuff that Rocker does, he has a plus curveball, a fastball that sits in the low 90s and command of his entire arsenal that is ahead of Rocker’s was at this same time a year ago.

Following the 1-2 Vanderbilt pitching punch are a number of hitters who have performed during their brief time in college, including a pair of players with day one draft pedigree. UCLA shortstop and outfielder Matt McLain spurned a first round selection from the Diamondbacks in 2018, while Mississippi righthander Gunnar Hoglund was selected in the supplemental first round by the Pirates and failed to reach an agreement with the team.

Miami catcher Adrian Del Castillo had an impressive bat as a high schooler, and has already hit at a high level in the ACC (with 12 home runs as a freshman), and the same is true of Florida State outfielder Robby Martin (who posted a .414 OBP as a freshman) and Louisville third baseman Alex Binelas (who posted a 1.048 OPS and hit 14 home runs).

There are also a number of small school outfielders who have stood out, including Sam Houston State’s Colton Cowser (who played for USA Baseball’s College National Team this summer) and South Alabama’s Ethan Wilson.

At this point, the 2021 college class looks light on shortstops, with just two ranked in the top-25 including the 2019 Freshman All-American shortstop Josh Hood (Pennsylvania) and McLain—who has yet to play the position for UCLA. Infielders in general are light, as the top of the class is littered with righthanders, outfielders and catchers.

Louisville leads all schools with eight players on the top 100, followed by Florida and UCLA which both have six players, Vanderbilt with five and Clemson with four.

100 Matches
See Full List Expand Collapse All Updated on: 9/27/2019
  1. 1

    Kumar Rocker

    Vanderbilt RHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 255 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Rockies '18 (38)

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  2. 2

    Jack Leiter

    Vanderbilt RHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 191 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Yankees '19 (20)

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  3. 3

    Matt McLain

    UCLA SS/OF
    Notes:

    Ht: 5-10 | Wt: 175 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Diamondbacks '18 (1)

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  4. 4

    Adrian Del Castillo

    Miami C
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 195 | B-T: L-R
    Commit/Drafted: White Sox '18 (36)

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  5. 5

    Colton Cowser

    Sam Houston State OF
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 190 | B-T: L-R
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted

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  6. 6

    Robby Martin

    Florida State OF
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 200 | B-T: L-R
    Commit/Drafted: Marlins '18 (37)

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  7. 7

    Alex Binelas

    Louisville 3B
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 205 | B-T: L-R
    Commit/Drafted: Nationals '18 (35)

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  8. 8

    Ethan Wilson

    South Alabama OF
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 205 | B-T: L-L
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted

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  9. 9

    Gunnar Hoglund

    Mississippi RHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 210 | B-T: L-R
    Commit/Drafted: Pirates '18 (1s)

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  10. 10

    Jack Perkins

    Louisville RHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 200 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Phillies '18 (11)

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  11. 11

    Ty Madden

    Texas RHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 200 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Royals '18 (34)

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  12. 12

    Jud Fabian

    Florida OF
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 180 | B-T: R-L
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted

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  13. 13

    Jaden Hill

    Louisiana State RHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 210 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Cardinals '18 (38)

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  14. 14

    Jacob Young

    Florida OF
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 175 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted

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  15. 15

    Sal Frelick

    Boston College OF
    Notes:

    Ht: 5-10 | Wt: 175 | B-T: L-R
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted

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  16. 16

    CJ Willis

    Louisiana State C
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 190 | B-T: L-R
    Commit/Drafted: Rays '18 (39)

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  17. 17

    Kendrick Calilao

    Florida OF
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 200 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Cardinals '18 (30)

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  18. 18

    Mike Vasil

    Virginia RHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 220 | B-T: L-R
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted

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  19. 19

    Max Marusak

    Texas Tech OF
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 175 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted

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  20. 20

    Tyler Thornton

    Arizona State RHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 180 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted

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  21. 21

    Eric Cerantola

    Mississippi State RHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-6 | Wt: 195 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Rays '18 (30)

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  22. 22

    Josh Hood

    Pennsylvania SS
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 185 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted

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  23. 23

    Austin Becker

    Texas Tech RHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-6 | Wt: 185 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Rangers '18 (37)

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  24. 24

    Riley Cornelio

    Texas Christian RHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 193 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted

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  25. 25

    Landon Marceaux

    Louisiana State RHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 180 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Yankees '18 (37)

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