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Top 2021 College MLB Draft Prospects

Kumar Rocker Andrewwoolleyfourseam (1)
Kumar Rocker (Photo by Andrew Woolley/Four Seam Images)

Baseball America’s 2021 four-year college rankings are compiled in consultation with major league scouts.

After updating our high school 2021 rankings Monday, we are updating our college top 100 and rolling out scouting reports for every player.

It’s a unique challenge for scouts to figure out the current college draft class given the shortened 2020 season and cancellation of key scouting events like the Cape Cod League and USA Baseball's collegiate national team.

Frankly, the industry has less of an idea how the college talent lines up at this point than ever before, especially once you get deeper than the current first-round talents.

How scouts were able to evaluate (or not evaluate) the 2021 class this summer is an example of how the 2021 draft class could be even more heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic than the 2020 class—though having at least a 20-round draft is some consolation for the players.

“The industry as a whole does not know the college class that well,” one front office official said. “Right now we are really scratching our heads ... It can’t be understated how much the Cape and Team USA not happening crushes our understanding of this group…

“If we roll the clock back to a lot of the players who ended up going good last year and stripped away the majority of their sophomore year and Team USA, where would they be without that track record? Guys like Nick Gonzales? Where would he be? Where would Nick Loftin be? It’s really tough.”

Because of that, the fall becomes more important than ever before, with area scouts and crosscheckers likely having busier Septembers and Octobers than usual. We’re expecting plenty of movement with the college class as teams get more information on players and as players themselves are able to establish more lengthy resumes.

For now, the class is led mostly by pitchers and offensive-oriented outfielders, with a trio of catchers also among the top 25. Vanderbilt righthanders Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter both remain at the top of the list, with Miami catcher Adrian Del Castillo the early candidate as the best hitter in the 2021 class.

It’s indicative of the scouting challenge teams face that Leiter, the No. 2 prospect in the class, has thrown only 15.2 collegiate innings. That is the case for a number of pitchers and hitters throughout this list (and with many players who missed the cut) who have either shown solid stuff or performed well but not in any length of games that gives evaluators confidence in their profiles.

Only one new player joins the top 20 from our previous ranking: Memphis catcher Hunter Goodman, who could rocket up draft boards with solid performance next spring.

Other notable risers outside of Goodman include Mississippi State LHP Christian Macleod and RHP Will Bednar, Kansas State LHP Jordan Wicks, Virginia SS Nic Kent and Connecticut C Pat Winkel.

There are two notable additions who became eligible for the 2021 draft after the draft date was pushed back to July 11. Texas LHP Pete Hansen enters at No. 46 while Mississippi two-sport standout Jerrion Ealy checks in at No. 63.

Florida leads all colleges with seven prospects ranked among the top 100.

100 Matches
See Full List Expand Collapse All Updated on: 9/16/2020
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    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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    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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    Adrian Del Castillo

    Miami C
    Video
    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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    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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    Jud Fabian

    Florida OF
    Video
    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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    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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    Steven Hajjar

    Michigan LHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-5 | Wt: 215 | B-T: R-L
    Commit/Drafted: Brewers 2018 (21)
    Age At Draft: 20.9

    Hajjar was a rising prospect during the spring of his senior season in high school, thanks to a projectable, 6-foot-5, 210-pound frame and a lively fastball from the left side. He’s filled out that frame a bit since making it to campus at Michigan and has improved his secondaries significantly. Previously he threw a slider that was inconsistent and a changeup that was in its nascent stages, but both have become solid offspeed offerings he can be effective with for Michigan. Hajjar typically sits in the low 90s with his heater and throws his breaking ball in the upper 70s and low 80s. Hajjar redshirted during the 2019 season and got off to a strong start in 2020, posting a 2.70 ERA over four starts and 20 innings, with 24 strikeouts to 11 walks. There’s plenty of risk with Hajjar thanks to a very limited track record in college and control questions, but scouts believe he’s of the lefthanded mold that teams like to target early in the draft.
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    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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    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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    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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    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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    Robby Martin

    Florida State OF
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 210 | B-T: L-R
    Commit/Drafted: Marlins 2018 (37)
    Age At Draft: 21.9

    Martin was a solid draft prospect out of high school—ranking No. 390 on the 2018 BA 500—but his value then came primarily from an impressive run tool and offensive upside, with a slap-and-run approach at the plate. He’s added about 30 pounds of muscle since then and is now listed at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds. Martin has played exclusively left and right field for Florida State and has grown into more power since his prep days, while being one of the Seminoles’ most reliable bats in each of his two seasons with the club. In 2019 Martin hit .315/.398/.449 with four home runs and 17 doubles and in 2020 he led the team in hitting with a .324/.439/.412 line through 17 games. Martin’s hitting track record with a wood bat on the Cape isn’t quite as loud (.167/.265/.233) but he only played a brief 14 games. Martin has shown a solid understanding of the strike zone and has walked at a solid 13.3% clip, but teams would like to see a full season where he establishes more in-game power production to go along with an advanced hit tool.
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    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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    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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    Hunter Goodman

    Memphis C/OF
    Video
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 210 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
    Age At Draft: 21.8

    A 6-foot-1, 210-pound catcher and outfielder, Goodman was a freshman All-American in 2019 after hitting .326/.367/.573 in 55 games with Memphis, with 13 home runs and 11 stolen bases. Goodman led the team in most offensive categories and also brings value with his defensive versatility. He primarily played the outfield corners as a freshman, but also caught 11 games before transitioning to a mostly catcher role in his sophomore season. Goodman was off to another strong year with the bat, hitting eight home runs through the first 17 games and is a career .333/.378/.612 hitter with Memphis. His raw power and arm strength are his loudest tools, and it’s easy plus raw power that might be a tick better to the pull side, with an arm behind the plate that some scouts have put a 70 grade on. Goodman’s power comes with some strikeout issues (21.3% strikeout rate) and he doesn’t walk much (4.2% walk rate), so he’ll need to improve his plate discipline in 2021 and also prove he can stick behind the dish long term, where his power could profile exceptionally. He has the arm strength, but scouts would like to see improvement in his blocking, receiving and game management. If he does prove he can stick at catcher, it’ll be hard for him to not fly off the board considering his collegiate track record of power hitting.
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    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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    Christian Franklin

    Arkansas OF
    Notes:

    Ht: 5-11 | Wt: 185 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
    Age At Draft: 21.6

    A 5-foot-11, 185-pound outfielder, Franklin made an immediate impact with Arkansas as a freshman in 2019, hitting .274/.361/.413 with an exciting blend of power (six home runs) and speed (12 stolen bases). A full-time lefthander in 2019, Franklin transitioned to center field in 2020 and was off to another loud campaign before the season was cut short. Franklin has a solid toolset across the board with solid arm strength and defensive ability to go along with his power and speed. Scouts like his bat speed and natural strength, but some have questioned the quality of his swing decisions and he did strikeout at a high clip (28%) in his one full collegiate season. Franklin is solidly a Day one prospect now, but how he establishes himself as a center fielder and the progress of his plate discipline over a full season will determine exactly where he goes off the board.
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    Cody Morissette

    Boston College SS
    Video
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-0 | Wt: 175 | B-T: L-R
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
    Age At Draft: 21.5

    Morissette hit .320/.371/.476 during a loud 2019 freshman season, when he was named a Freshman All-American as an everyday second baseman for the Eagles. While Morissette’s teammate Sal Frelick has the louder all-around toolset, Morissette has 50-55-grade tools across the board himself and the prettier swing of the two. The 6 feet, 175-pound infielder has impressive bat speed from the left side and a chance to hit for a solid average with average or a tick better power. His best asset might be his defensive versatility, as he’s capable of handling second base, shortstop and third base, though scouts believe he’s fringy enough at shortstop that he doesn’t project as a regular at the position. For some he looks like an offensive second baseman who will do everything on the diamond well. Morissette can hit the ball over the fence, but won’t ever be a big-time home run hitter, he can swipe a bag but he won’t ever give catchers anxiety—he’s the steady eddy type who appeals to evaluators the more they watch him go out and produce. A career .346/.402/.512 hitter, Morissette’s well-rounded skillset should see him go on the first day of the draft, with more upside if he can improve his defensive reputation as a shortstop or tap into more power in his draft season like Baylor shortstop Nick Loftin did a year ago.
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    Jonathan Cannon

    Georgia RHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-6 | Wt: 207 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
    Age At Draft: 21.0

    Georgia pumped out pitching talent in the 2020 draft and should have another high-end arm in 2021 thanks to Cannon, who is draft-eligible in his second year with the Bulldogs. A 6-foot-6, 210-pound righthander with an elite frame and lightning quick arm, Cannon has tremendous upside thanks to his stuff and body. He was used exclusively in relief in 2020, where he didn’t allow a run over 11.1 innings while striking out 12 and walking just two batters. Cannon has a four-pitch mix with a fastball that he parks in the 92-94 mph range and can dial up to 96. His changeup might be his best secondary offering and projects to be plus. He also throws two breaking balls. The slider is the more impressive of the two and looks above average, while he will also drop in a 12-to-6 curve that is a bit loopier and more of a “show me” offering at the moment. Cannon’s arm action and delivery are exceptionally easy and he’s shown good ability to command the ball—now he needs to show all of that in a starting role over a full season.
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    Tommy Mace

    Florida RHP
    Video
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-7 | Wt: 225 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Reds '17 (12)
    Age At Draft: 22.7

    Mace returned to Florida after going undrafted in the five-round 2020 draft, where he ranked as the No. 75 prospect in the class. Mace reportedly turned down big money to go back to Florida, and he’ll look to re-establish himself as a Day-one pick in his fourth year and age 22 season while leading a strong Gators’ pitching staff. A 6-foot-7, 225-pound righthander with a long and still-projectable frame, Mace has a solid arsenal of stuff to go with quality command. He has a deep arsenal that includes two variations of a fastball. At its best the pitch gets up into the 95-96 mph range but his four-seamer flattens out and doesn’t miss many bats. Mace has shown three solid secondaries in a hard slider, changeup and curveball, but none have been exceptional bat-missing pitches to this point. Mace has posted a career 4.37 ERA at Florida while striking out just 7.3 batters per nine and walking 2.8 per nine. With no real plus offering or swing-and-miss pitch, Mace projects as a back-of-the-rotation arm who should have no problems throwing strikes and inducing ground balls.
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    Kevin Abel

    Oregon State RHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 195 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Padres '17 (35)
    Age At Draft: 22.4

    Abel might have one of the wider ranges of opinion from the scouting industry, given his pedigree as a pitcher dating back to high school and his injury history, which includes Tommy John surgery and back issues he experienced as a sophomore. When healthy, the Oregon State righty shows solid stuff and good feel for pitching, with a three-pitch mix that includes a low-90s fastball, a solid curveball and a changeup that has been his best pitch at times. Abel had an exceptional freshman season with the Beavers and was named the Baseball America Freshman of the Year after posting a 2.88 ERA over 81.1 innings and striking out 108 batters (12.0 per nine) and walking 46 (5.1 per nine). He played a key role in the 2018 College World Series championship, winning four games in the CWS and throwing a shutout in Game 3 to clinch the series. Abel was passed over in the 2020 draft and ranked as the No. 124 prospect despite not throwing a pitch, but could get back into the mix after showing a return to form in 2021.
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    Mason Pelio

    Boston College RHP
    Video
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 230 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
    Age At Draft: 21.0

    Pelio was a projection arm out of high school—ranking No. 374 on the BA 500 in 2018—who scouts liked but didn’t quite see the sort of impact stuff it would take to sign him out of a strong Boston College commitment. Two years later, Pelio has increased his stock significantly, with improved fastball velocity and by honing a changeup that showed promise back in his Rancho Bernardo (Calif.) High days. Now Pelio is a sturdy, 6-foot-3, 230-pound righthander who sits in the 90-94 mph range and has touched a few ticks higher at his best. His changeup is an above-average pitch and his most consistent secondary, while his breaking ball remains fringy. Pelio had a strong freshman campaign in 2019, posting a 3.63 ERA over 13 starts and 72 innings, with 62 strikeouts (7.8 per nine) and 37 walks (4.6 per nine). Pelio throws with an easy operation and has a starter look, though how much he’s able to improve his breaking ball and miss bats more frequently will determine how much upside he has.
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  23. 23

    Christian MacLeod

    Mississippi State LHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 230 | B-T: L-L
    Commit/Drafted: Never Drafted
    Age At Draft: 21.3

    MacLeod redshirted during the 2019 season, but came out loud in 2020, where he led Mississippi State in strikeouts (35) and innings pitched (21) while posting a 0.86 ERA. A big-bodied lefthander listed at 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, MacLeod impressed scouts with his feel for locating a three-pitch mix. Nothing in his arsenal is a true plus pitch, but his stuff plays up at the collegiate level thanks to his control and poise on the mound. He sits in the 90-93 mph range with his fastball and can tick down from that as the outing progresses. He also has a breaking ball and a changeup that are reliable secondaries and can keep hitters off-balance. On paper, MacLeod has a similar profile to Indians’ 2020 second-rounder LHP Logan Allen and he has himself in Day one consideration thanks to his strikeout and walk rates despite pure stuff that is more middling.
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  24. 24
    Last: 31

    Zack Gelof

    Virginia 3B
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 205 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Indians 2018 (38)
    Age At Draft: 21.7

    Gelof was a talented two-way prospect out of high school in Delaware—ranking as the No. 333 prospect in the 2018 class—but showed more upside as a hitter with a solid mix of tools. The Indians drafted him in the 38th round but he made his way to campus at Virginia, where he’s been an impressive hitter. Gelof is a career .321/.399/.472 hitter with the Cavaliers and also hit at a high level in the Northwoods League (.349/.426/.490) in the summer of 2019. Gelof has solid bat-to-ball skills and a chance for 55-grade power at the next level, but he’s also struck out at a 20.2% rate, while walking just 3.8% of the time. A high-probability third baseman at the next level, Gelof has average arm strength but a chance to be an above-average defender at the hot corner. While he’s not a burner, he has solid speed that plays better than you would expect on the bases, and he’s stolen 20 bags in 26 chances (76.9% success rate) with Virginia. Gelof’s well-rounded profile, hitting track record and chance to remain in the infield should have him solidly in the mix of day one players.
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  25. 25
    Last: 16

    Levi Usher

    Louisville OF
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-0 | Wt: 210 | B-T: L-R
    Commit/Drafted: Angels 2019 (37)
    Age At Draft: 21.1

    A toolsy, multi-sport athlete in high school, Usher spent a season at Kirkwood (Iowa) JC, where he hit over .400 and stole 36 bags. He brought that loud toolset to Louisville in 2020 and started strong with the bat, hitting .411/.484/.571 with two home runs and 11 stolen bases through 16 games. Usher is an explosive runner and has plus arm strength that should allow him to fit in right field, and he probably has the toolset to play center as well. Offensively, he’s continued to refine his approach but he occasionally pulls out and gets rotational, which can create issues—particularly against lefthanded pitchers, who he has struggled against, albeit in a small sample. Usher’s statistical performance across a few levels of college ball is impressive, and he has the tools to match, but scouts will want to see him prove his hitting chops over a full season against ACC pitching to get a better feel for his actual hit tool. He’ll also need to stay healthy, as he’s dealt with leg and foot injuries in the past.
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