2021 Massachusetts Top MLB Draft Prospects
Today, Baseball America rolls out its state-by-state rankings for the 2021 MLB Draft. Additionally, you can find our:
Undrafted out of high school, Frelick emerged as one of the most exciting players in college baseball, combining a mix of explosive athleticism and speed at a premium position with high contact skills and strong game performance. Frelick is a quick-burst athlete who accelerates fast into 70-grade speed, consistently getting home to first in 4.0 seconds from the left side and sometimes a tick under. An infielder in high school, Frelick moved to the outfield and played primarily right field his first two years, but he handled center field in 2021 and showed strong instincts that improved throughout the season en route to becoming the ACC defensive player of the year. His speed translates to good range in center field, where he has a fringe-average arm with good accuracy. Frelick hit .359/.443/.559 in 2021, showing a simple, direct swing from the left side without much movement. At 5-foot-9, he has a small strike zone and mostly stays within that zone, with good hand-eye coordination to make frequent contact, even on times when he does chase. Frelick does a good job of going with where the ball is pitched, with quick hands, and he's able to pull inside fastballs up and in while also sending pitches on the outer third to left field. Frelick has some sneaky power for his size, with the ability to drive the ball out pull side when he gets a pitch up in the zone, but it's more occasional pop that plays below-average in games. Frelick doesn't get off his best swings on pitches down in the zone, but his bat-to-ball skills and elite speed help him beat out infield hits. Frelick is one of the safer college hitters in the draft, with a chance to be a dynamic sparkplug who hits at the top of a lineup and plays good defense in the middle of the field.
Baez is one of the youngest players in the class—he turns 18 at the end of June—but he's also one of the most physical and explosive players in the country. He has fast bat speed, he's strong for his age with more room to fill out and his raw power is already at least plus now with a chance to be a 70 in the near future and he could become a 35-plus home run threat. His arm is already at least a 70 tool from the outfield. He's been up to 98 mph on the mound this year and shown sporadic feel to spin a breaking ball, so pitching is a fallback option if hitting doesn't click, though he hasn't focused much on pitching and is still raw and wild. Baez has immense upside if he's able to make enough contact and draw enough walks, but swing and miss has been an issue. He performed well last summer on the showcase circuit and he started the spring by managing his at-bats well, but as the season progressed, he got more out of sync and swung through a lot of ordinary Massachusetts high school pitching. Baez isn't a free-swinger, but there's some stiffness to his stroke and he tends to get his front arm extended early, which hampers the adjustability of his swing to be able to react to and square up different pitch types and locations. In center field, Baez shined all spring. He's a solid-average runner underway who doesn't have typical burner speed or long gliding strides for the position, but he's a power runner who has good instincts, reading the ball well off the bat with good routes to both gaps. He's built like a corner outfielder and many scouts believe he will ultimately outgrow the position and head to right field, but he has enough athleticism and ball skills to start out in center.
Morissette and his center field teammate Sal Frelick brought plenty of scouts to Boston College to watch the two best college hitters in the Northeast. A hand injury slowed Morissette early in the spring and he re-aggravated it later, which may have taken a toll on his numbers when he returned, but he ended the season with a flourish to hit .321/.398/.497 in 41 games. While Frelick is a more dynamic, quick-twitch athlete with elite speed, Morissette is more steady than flashy, with his hitting ability standing out the most. Morissette has a better pure swing than Frelick. It's a fluid, easy stroke from the left side that's calm, smooth and under control with a compact path to the ball and good bat speed. That helps Morissette square up pitches middle-in consistently, and he generally stays within the strike zone, though he's been vulnerable against sliders at times. Morissette's raw power is fringe-average now with home run juice to his pull side. His swing is conducive to hitting the ball in the air, and with his bat speed, some strength projection remaining and barrel skills, he could get to average power, though it's a hit-over-power profile now. An average runner with an average arm, Morissette played second base this spring and projects to stay there in pro ball, though a team could also try him at third base or possibly the outfield as well in a utility role. Morissette doesn't make the acrobatic, highlight-reel plays or have above-average range, but he's a steady, reliable defender who should fit comfortably at second base.
Colleran is one of the younger pitchers in the high school class, turning 18 after the draft in August. Despite his youth, Colleran has good size, strength and some of the best stuff among Northeast pitchers this year, albeit with unconventional mechanics. He pitches exclusively from the stretch, starting his delivery with a big leg kick before reaching back with a long arm swing and slinging the ball from a low three-quarters slot. It's unusual and leads some scouts to think his future is in relief, but Colleran attacks hitters with a mix of two- and four-seam fastballs that are typically in the 90-93 mph range and can climb to 96 with good arm-side movement. Colleran is already fairly physical, but between his youth and an explosive lower half, there could be more velocity gains coming. His low-80s slider was his out pitch last summer, and while it's not consistent yet, it's been solid-average at times with tight spin to project for more. His firm changeup was more of a distant third offering that he didn't throw much last summer, but this spring he has sprinkled it in, showing better action and more separation off his fastball. Colleran had erratic control early this spring, but he threw strikes consistently at big events last summer and was the Most Valuable Pitcher at the Perfect Game World Wood Bat Association World Championship in Jupiter, Fla. in October.
Sheehan came into the year with less hype than Mason Pelio, but when Pelio struggled, Sheehan stepped into the Friday night starter role for Boston College by the end of the season. In his penultimate start, he set a single-game school record with 15 strikeouts against Pittsburgh, a Top 25 team at the time, and finished with 106 strikeouts in 76.2 innings. Sheehan's best pitch is his fastball, which at times sat 90-93 mph, though in some starts later in the year he worked more in the 91-95 mph range and touched 97. His fastball rides up in the zone longer than hitters expect, so he generates a lot of empty swings when he elevates with his heater, and that fastball is how Sheehan gets a lot of his swings and misses. However, when his changeup is on like it was against Pittsburgh, that gives Sheehan another pitch to miss bats. It's mostly 78-81 mph, so it has excellent separation off his fastball and good sink when he keeps it down. It's inconsistent, though, and in some starts he didn't miss any bats with his changeup. Sheehan's curveball has decent shape to it, but it's a fringe-average pitch that lacks the snap and bite to get whiffs. Sheehan issued 4.0 BB/9 and needs to tighten his fastball command. Sheehan isn't raw, but he has some promising raw components in his pitch mix that professional coaches could help him iron out.
Pelio entered the 2021 season as a potential Day One draft pick, but he finished the season with a 6.65 ERA, 54 strikeouts and 45 walks in 65 innings, dropping from Boston College's Friday night starter into a midweek role by the end of the year. How far those struggles cause Pelio to slide in the draft is unclear, but the reasons for his struggles weren't complicated. He has a big fastball, sitting at 92-95 mph with the ability to run it up to 99 mph, but he struggles to throw it for strikes. When his fastball is in the zone, he doesn't command it well and hitters are often sitting on that pitch ahead in the count, so it got clobbered. Pelio does throw a changeup that flashes as an above-average pitch, though his lack of control hampers its effectiveness. Pelio lacks a reliable breaking ball, with a fringe-average curveball that doesn't miss many bats. At this point, Pelio is a reclamation project that someone will take as a buy-low candidate. He will probably continue to develop as a starter in the minors, though he could end up in a bullpen role where he could sit in the upper 90s and won't have to get through a lineup multiple times.
Santucci has been difficult for scouts to see this spring, with his high school not allowing any outside spectators at home games and the same policy in place for most of the school's road games. He is playing at times for Worcester in the Futures League, giving scouts an opportunity to see him swing a wood bat against college pitchers, although many believe Santucci will be a difficult sign away from his Duke commitment. Santucci is a steady player who generally performed well in games last summer with a solid approach for his age. His hitting ability has stood out the most, and he uses his hips well in his swing, with power that has trended up and should grow into more as he fills out. He’s a fringe-average runner with a strong arm that should fit in right field. Santucci has primarily been a hitter, though he pitched at 87-92 mph and touched 93.
Linn is a physical, athletic outfielder whose bat speed and strength help him put a strong charge into the ball when he squares it up. He makes hard contact in batting practice, showing flashes of average or potentially better raw power with a swing geared to try to lift the ball. Linn has shown that power in games at times this spring, but it's an uphill swing path that gets longer against live pitching, and with his chase tendencies, that leads to swing and miss that could get exploited more against better arms. Linn is a slightly above-average runner, though with his body type he might slow down, and he projects long term as a corner outfielder. Linn has shown good raw arm strength at times, though it often plays down on his throws from the outfield. He has pitched too, throwing in the low 90s, but with scattered strikes, and a lot of scouts believe the rawness in Linn's game will lead him to Tulane.
9. Brandon Dufault, RHP, Northeastern
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-5 • Wt: 195 • B-T: R-R •
10. Jared Dupere, OF, Northeastern
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-11 • Wt: 200 • B-T: L-R •
11. Jack Penney, SS, Phillips Academy
Source: HS • Ht: 6-0 • Wt: 185 Commitment/Drafted: Notre Dame
12. Nick Remy, RHP, The Winchendon HS
Source: HS • Ht: 6-4 • Wt: 185 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: UMBC
13. Matthew Maloney, C, Central Catholic HS
Source: HS • Ht: 6-0 • Wt: 155 • B-T: L-R • Commitment/Drafted: Dayton
14. Luke Delongchamp, RHP, St. Peter-Marian HS
Source: HS • Ht: 6-1 • Wt: 190 • B-T: R-R •Commitment/Drafted: Boston College
15. Sam Griesbauer, RHP, Falmouth HS
Source: HS • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 225 • B-T: R-R •Commitment/Drafted: North Carolina State
16. Sam McNulty, SS, Milton Academy
Source: HS • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 200 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Boston College