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Top 2021 High School MLB Draft Prospects

Nick_Bitsko_MikeJanesFourSeam.jpg
Nick Bitsko (Photo by Mike Janes/Four Seam Images)

By Carlos Collazo

Baseball America’s 2021 high school rankings are compiled in consultation with front office executives, major league scouts, college coaches and other prep talent evaluators. The list is an attempt to gauge the industry’s consensus on the talent of the top rising high school juniors in the country, though much is sure to change between now and the 2021 draft.

As a Baseball America reader, you know we like to rank prospects.

While we already have rankings of the top 50 college and high school prospects for the upcoming 2020 draft class, we’re excited to begin rolling out underclass high school rankings, starting today with the top 100 high school players in the 2021 class. As with all of our prospect rankings, the list below is an attempt to gauge the industry’s consensus on the best players in a given class, and that’s no different with the list below.

It can be difficult to gather real consensus on any prospect ranking, and that’s especially true of a list focusing on players who won’t be drafted until almost two years from now. With that said, we believe that the following list gives a solid snapshot of how the 2021 class is shaping up as it stands following the 2019 summer showcase circuit.

The class is led by Pennsylvania righthander Nick Bitsko, who saw his stock improve tremendously after showcasing premium stuff throughout the summer, including an outing at the East Coast Pro showcase where he looked like one of the most talented arms as an underclassmen. Bitsko—who attends Central Bucks East High in Doylestown, Pa., and is committed to Virginia—has a strong, 6-foot-4, 220-pound frame with a clean and easy overhead windup, which he uses to throw in the 92-96 mph range and a power curveball of varying shape. He also has some feel for a firm, upper-80s changeup.

“(Bitsko is) a prototype high school righthander with a plus fastball-curveball combo, body and strikes,” one scout said. “He’d be a top of the first-round pick if he were eligible this year.” 

Bitsko isn’t the clear-cut No. 1 prospect in the class, however, as there are those who prefer Georgia two-way standout Brady House. A physically gifted, 6-foot-4, 210-pound shortstop and righthander, House has a power-oriented game as a hitter and on the mound, with easy plus raw power that stood out even among the top 2020 hitters at both East Coast Pro and the Area Code Games this summer. While House can get his fastball into the mid-90s, he has a higher ceiling as a hitter, with outstanding feel to hit and power potential.

“A premium body with tremendous feel to hit at the plate,” one scout said. “His only tool in question is his speed. Otherwise, it’s premium tools and skills.” 

After Bitsko and House is Missouri righthander Christian Little, who was one of two underclass participants in the 2019 Under Armour All-America Game. Michigan shortstop/righthander Luke Leto and California outfielder Tyree Reed round out the top five.

The 2021 class is heavy on righthanders (No. 8 Andrew Painter, No. 10 Rawley Hector, No. 13 Irving Carter), shortstops (No. 6 Marcelo Mayer, No. 11 Izaac Pacheco, No. 12 Jordan Lawlar) and athletic outfielders (No. 7 Braylon Bishop, No. 9 Roc Riggio) at the top. The class also has a diverse geographic representation with eight states represented among the top 10 prospects.

The typical suspects are responsible for recruiting the largest share of the top 100 prospects. Louisiana State, Louisville and Vanderbilt lead the way with seven commitments, followed by Florida, Miami and UCLA with six commitments and Texas A&M with four commitments. The plurality of the top 100 is unsurprisingly uncommitted at this point, however, with 11 players still figuring out where they’ll commit to play in college, including three players ranked among the top 25—Reed, Riggio and righthander Chase Petty (No. 22).

You can see the entire top 100 below, with brief reports on the top 25 prospects.

Updated on: 9/24/2019 See Full List Expand Collapse All
  1. 1

    Nick Bitsko

    Central Bucks East HS, Doylestown, Pa. RHP
    Video
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 220 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Virginia
    Scouting Report: Bitsko's stock has soared this summer after an impressive showing at the WWBA 16U National Championship. The Virginia recruit showcased an upper-90s fastball along with a knee-buckling curve in a win over the SBA 2021 Nationals (3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 BB, 6 K) in early July. That came after Bitsko's sensational sophomore campaign at Central Bucks East; he posted a 1.18 ERA and struck out 46 batters against just seven walks in 23.2 innings. Bitsko also looked completely at home as an underclass arm at East Coast Pro, where he showed a 92-96 mph fastball and landed his breaking ball for strikes well and mixed in a firm, 86-87 mph changeup.

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  2. 2

    Brady House

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

    Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 210 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Tennessee
    Scouting Report: At 6-foot-4, 210-pounds, House is already a physically imposing specimen heading into his junior year. His size and strength coupled with his impressive on-field production has made him one of the nation’s top high school prospects. House was an on-base machine for Winder-Barrow High during his sophomore campaign (.541 OBP, 1.232 OPS) while striking out just five times in 133 plate appearances. A Tennessee commit, House batted .420 with 20 extra-base hits, 32 runs scored and a dozen steals in 33 games playing for the Team Elite Baseball 16U developmental program this summer. House is unlikely to stick at shortstop at the next level thanks to his size, but could move to third or end up in the outfield, but he's got easy raw power that should allow him to profile at any defensive position, with good feel for barreling high-end stuff. He's also a talented pitcher on the mound and threw a fastball in the 89-94 mph range with USA Baseball's 17U NTDP this summer, while mixing in a 76-82 mph tweener breaking ball and low 80s changeup.

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  3. 3

    Christian Little

    Christian Brothers HS, St. Louis RHP
    Video
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 205 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Vanderbilt
    Scouting Report: Little’s eye-opening assortment of pitches—a mid-90s heater with an impressive curveball and changeup—has elevated him near the top of the list in the Class of 2021. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound righthander verbally committed to Vanderbilt at age 14 and was named one of the top 44 players at Major League Baseball’s Hank Aaron Invitational in Florida this summer, earning an invite to a special showcase game at SunTrust Park. As a sophomore at Christian Brothers High, Little posted a 6-1 record with a 1.88 ERA and 58 strikeouts in 44.2 innings.

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  4. 4

    Luke Leto

    Portage (Mich.) Central HS SS/RHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 190 | B-T: L-R
    Commit/Drafted: Louisiana State
    Scouting Report: Leto has been described as Michigan’s best prep recruit since Derek Jeter and has quickly risen to become one of the top prospects in the 2021 class. He was a member of USA Baseball's 2018 15U National Team (which won the gold medal in the World Cup), where he hit .364 in nine games and recorded the final five outs on the mound in the title-clincher. Leto hit .413 with a 1.264 OPS last spring for Portage Central High. An LSU recruit, Leto is a legitimate two-way talent, featuring low-90s heat and a standout curveball.

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  5. 5

    Tyree Reed

    American Canyon (Calif.) HS OF
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 181 | B-T: L-L
    Commit/Drafted: Oregon State
    Scouting Report: Lean, strong and athletic, Reed has drawn comparisons to Dee Gordon with greater power potential. A member of USA Baseball's 2019 16U National Team Development Program, he also played in the 2018 WBSC U15 Baseball World Cup in Panama. This past varsity season, Reed was named Vine Valley Athletic League MVP after batting .481 with a 1.296 OPS for American Canyon.

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  6. 6

    Marcelo Mayer

    Eastlake HS, Chula Vista, Calif. SS/OF
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 180 | B-T: L-R
    Commit/Drafted: Southern California
    Scouting Report: The 6-foot-3, 180-pound Mayer has emerged as a rising star in the Class of 2021, having earned a spot with USA Baseball's 17U National Team Development Program, excelling against some of the nation's top talent this summer. Armed with a potent lefthanded swing, Mayer batted .360 and reached base at a .448 clip this past summer after helping to lead Eastlake High to the CIF San Diego Section Open Division championship during the varsity season as a sophomore.

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  7. 7

    Braylon Bishop

    Arkansas HS, Texarkana, Ark. OF
    Video
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 185 | B-T: L-L
    Commit/Drafted: Arkansas
    Scouting Report: A multi-sport standout whose lefthanded swing has allowed him to standout since his freshmen season, Bishop is one of the strongest athletes in the Class of 2021. Out of the leadoff spot, the No. 2 hole and even once hitting ninth, he batted .500 (8-for-16) in four games against some of the nation's top prep talent this summer while playing with USA Baseball's 17U National Team Development Program and has a well-rounded toolset with high upside if he continues to refine his game.

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  8. 8

    Andrew Painter

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

    Ht: 6-6 | Wt: 210 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Florida
    Scouting Report: Painter turned in an imposing sophomore campaign this past spring, posting a 7-2 record with three complete-game shutouts, a 1.43 ERA, 77 strikeouts and just 11 walks in 53.2 innings pitched. This came a year after he went 5-0 with a 0.30 ERA, 38 strikeouts and nine walks in 23 innings. The 6-foot-6, 210-pound righthander has a four-pitch arsenal, featuring a fastball that topped out at 94 mph this summer as well as a lively changeup, for which he maintains deceptive arm speed. A Florida commit, Painter’s big frame, easy delivery and ability to repeat his mechanics are all strenghts to his game.

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  9. 9

    Roc Riggio

    Thousand Oaks (Calif.) HS OF
    Video
    Notes:

    Ht: 5-9 | Wt: 170 | B-T: L-R
    Commit/Drafted: Oklahoma State
    Scouting Report: Riggio's abilities have been apparent for some time, given that he committed to UCLA as a 14-year-old eighth grader. His quick wrists and strong hands give him more pop than would be expected out of his 5-foot-9, 170-pound frame and he's an athletic defender in the outfield as well. Riggio has hit a combined .316 with a 1.006 OPS the last two seasons playing summer ball.

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  10. 10

    Rawley Hector

    Anna (Texas) HS RHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 180 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Texas A&M
    Scouting Report: Hector's talents were on full display with the USA Baseball's 17U National Team Development Program this summer when he hurled four shutout innings over two games against some of the nation's top prep players. The Texas A&M commit features a low-90s fastball with impressive control (59-8 K-BB ratio in 35.2 innings for Anna in 2019). He's also batted close to .500 in his prep career and produced a 1.035 OPS playing summer ball in 2019, though his pro future is on the mound. Hector was a late-addition to USA Baseball's silver medal winning 2019 18U National Team, where he threw five innings in a pair of relief outings.

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  11. 11

    Izaac Pacheco

    Friendswood (Texas) HS SS
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-4 | Wt: 210 | B-T: L-R
    Commit/Drafted: Texas A&M
    Scouting Report: Pacheco's five-tool arsenal has made him one of the top position players in the 2021 prep class. His smooth, lefthanded swing generates impressive power (he slugged six home runs in 29 at-bats this summer while compiling a 1.548 OPS) and he's flashed impressive range and athleticism as a middle infielder. Pacheco reached base nearly 60 percent of the time as a sophomore in 2019 for Friendswood High and he swiped 16 bases in 18 attempts.

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  12. 12

    Jordan Lawlar

    Dallas Jesuit HS SS
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 180 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Vanderbilt
    Scouting Report: Lawlar showed impressive power and plate discipline as a sophomore in 2019 (.784 SLG, 1.291 OPS) for Dallas Jesuit. His success continued into the summer with USA Baseball's 17U National Team Development Program and at the WWBA 16U National Championships, where he hit .381 and reached base better than 55 percent of the time in nine games.

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  13. 13

    Irving Carter

    Home School RHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 200 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Miami
    Scouting Report: Possessing high-end athleticism, Carter looks at home on the mound. As a sophomore competing for Calvary Christian Academy last spring (while being home-schooled ), Carter went 7-1 in 11 appearances (8 starts), striking out 79 batters and walking 25 over 50 innings to compile a 1.72 ERA. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Miami commit has a low-90s fastball as well as a wipeout curveball and brings his changeup out of a high, three-quarter arm slot. Carter was a member of USA Baseball's 17U National Team Development Program this summer in addition to being named to the All-Tournament Teams at both the 16U National Championship and 17U National Championship pitching for Elite Squad Baseball.

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  14. 14

    Brock Selvidge

    Hamilton HS, Chandler, Ariz. LHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 200 | B-T: R-L
    Commit/Drafted: Louisiana State
    Scouting Report: The top 2021 prep prospect out of Arizona and one of the better lefthanded pitching prospects in the 2021 class, the 6-foot-3, 200-pound Selvidge uses his athletic build to repeat a steady, slow and mechanically sound delivery that produces results. Selvidge committed to Louisiana State in 2018, and has seen a jump in velocity since then. Selvider has a fastball that tops out in the lower-90s, an upper-70s slider and is working on developing a changeup. Noted for maintaining poise on the mound, Selvidge also shines in the outfield and at the plate, hitting .311 with four homers and 21 RBI for Arizona’s Class 6A state champions as a sophomore.

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  15. 15

    Alonzo Tredwell

    Mater Dei HS, Santa Ana, Calif. RHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-7 | Wt: 225 | B-T: L-R
    Commit/Drafted: UCLA
    Scouting Report: A towering presense on the mound at 6-foot-7, 225 pounds, Tredwell's potential is off the charts. His intimidating size coupled with a downhill, low-90s fastball along with a work-in-progress changeup gives the UCLA recruit some impressive swing-and-miss stuff at a young age. Tredwell can swing the bat too, producing a .333 average and a 1.167 OPS at the plate this past summer with the Canes Baseball developmental program.

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  16. 16

    Anthony Susac

    Jesuit HS, Carmichael, Calif. RHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 210 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Arizona
    Scouting Report: The solidly built righthander (6-foot-3, 210 pounds) brings a 93-mph fastball to the mound along with a nasty changeup and a solid slider slider. His fastball has late movement in on righties and tails away from lefties. He struck out nearly 10 batters per seven innings during the 2019 varsity season while posting a 2.28 ERA as a sophomore. Susac has committed to play at Arizona.

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  17. 17

    Joshua Hartle

    Reagan HS, Pfafftown, N.C. LHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-5 | Wt: 175 | B-T: L-L
    Commit/Drafted: Wake Forest
    Scouting Report: Long and lean, Hartle is already incredibly polished for his age, showcasing a fluid motion and a refined three-pitch arsena: a high-80s fastball, curveball and changeup, with feel for each pitch. On the mound last spring, the 6-foot-4, 174-pounder went 7-2 in 55.2 innings, striking out 90 batters and walking just 11 while posting a 1.38 ERA. A two-way talent as a first baseman , Hartle hit .375 with a homer, 20 RBI and a .986 OPS in 104 plate appearances last spring. Playing for Team Elite at the 16U National Championships in July, Hartle allowed one earned run on three hits while striking out six in 4.1 innings of work. The even-keeled teenager is committed to Wake Forest.

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  18. 18

    Noah Smith

    Marist HS, Chicago SS
    Video
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 165 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Louisville
    Scouting Report: The 6-foot, 160-pound Louisville commit is a slick middle infielder who had a strong showing this summer as a member of USA Baseball's 17U National Team Development Program. A smooth fielder who has yet to fill out a large, athletic frame, Smith has elite body control to make difficult plays look routine and uses his impressive arm to unleash throws from multiple arm slots, zipping tough-to-make throws across the diamond. At the plate, Smith hit .261 with two home runs and 15 RBI, posting an .842 OPS in 86 plate appearances during his sophomore season last spring. Possessing quick hands, he is showing signs of improvement as a hitter. Playing for the Chicago White Sox 2021 team in July, he made the All Tournament Team at the 16U National Championship, batting .333 (7-for-21) with a .985 OPS producing four doubles, three RBIs and six stolen bases.

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  19. 19

    Daniel Corona

    Baylor HS, Chattanooga, Tenn. SS
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-2 | Wt: 195 | B-T: L-R
    Commit/Drafted: Wake Forest
    Scouting Report: Corona has made a name for himself as one of the best middle infielders in his class. A player whose trajectory has continued rising at each level of play, including USA Baseball's National Team Development Program, Corona has the quickness and the footwork up the middle that should make him a standout on the field for years to come. At the plate, the 6-foot-2, 195-pound Corona is a contact hitter from both sides of the plate. The Wake Forest commit has also shown his strength as a pitcher, flashing a fastball that ranged from 89 to 92 MPH for the Canes National 16U squad at the 16U National Championship in July. He struck out out three batters over two innings of work.

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  20. 20

    Joe Mack

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

    Ht: 6-0 | Wt: 187 | B-T: L-R
    Commit/Drafted: Clemson
    Scouting Report: Mack emerged as a devastating force during the 2019 varsity season, producing a .462 average with 11 extra-base hits—good for a .767 slugging percentage. The Clemson commit has shown impressive plate discipline (he walked 21 times with a .517 on-base percentage in 89 plate appearances this past summer) and owns considerable power from the left side of the plate.

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  21. 21

    Malakhi Knight

    Marysville (Wash.) Getchell HS OF
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 187 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Oregon State
    Scouting Report: The top prospect from the Pacific Northwest with some of the biggest upside in this class, the 6-foot-3, 187-pound outfielder couldcanplay anywhere on the diamond or even in the sport of his choice and find success. A gifted athlete who is also a basketball standout, the Oregon State commit mixes a naturally smooth swing with superb speed and ability to track the ball in the field along with a strong arm.

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  22. 22

    Chase Petty

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

    Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 175 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Uncommitted
    Scouting Report: With an athletic, 6-foot-1 frame and room to fill out, Petty has a fastball that has hit 93 mph, a slider with late life and a changeup on which he maintains arm speed consistently. Playing for Baseball Performance Center at the 16U WWBA Northeast National Championship followed by the WWBA National Championships in July, Petty was named to the All-Tournament Team both times. Combined, he went 1-1 with a 0.90 ERA, 10 strikeouts and four walks over 7.2 innings of work. At the plate, he hit .350 with a .500 on-base percentage in 26 plate appearances.

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  23. 23

    Alex Mooney

    St. Mary's Prep, Orchard Lake, Mich. SS
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 170 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Duke
    Scouting Report: Mooney is a five-tool standout and a defensive wizard with a high ceiling. With solid strength and bat speed, the Duke commit has shown considerable power and plate discipline in his young prep career. He helped lead St. Mary's Prep to the Division II state title last spring, batting .444 with 15 doubles and 42 RBI. Mooney's hot hitting continuted into the summer when he batted .432 and a .944 OPS for the Canes National 16U team.

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  24. 24

    Hagen Smith

    Bullard (Texas) HS LHP
    Notes:

    Ht: 6-3 | Wt: 200 | B-T: L-L
    Commit/Drafted: Uncommitted
    Scouting Report: Smith's 6-foot-3 frame and low-90s velo has landed him on the short list of top junior recruits in a state traditionally rich with pitching talent. Smith averaged 13.6 strikeouts per seven innings and held opponents to a .108 average in his first full season playing with Bullard High's varsity club. Armed with an impressive array of swing-and-miss stuff, he shined throughout summer ball, highlighted by a 5-inning, two-hit, 12-strikeout effort in late July while playing for the Academy Select Baseball Clubs 16U-Ingram squad.

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  25. 25

    Davis Diaz

    Acalenes HS, Lafayette, Calif. SS
    Notes:

    Ht: 5-7 | Wt: 130 | B-T: R-R
    Commit/Drafted: Uncommitted
    Scouting Report: Diaz has been on the national radar for some time, having been a member of USA Baseball's national teams since as far back as 2015. He was a full-time starter at the 2018 WBSC U-15 Baseball World Cup in Panama. A lean, quick and athletic middle infielder who's currently undersized, Diaz batted .367 as a sophomore for Acalanes in 2019 along with a 1.042 OPS in 26 games.

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