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2021 Nebraska Top MLB Draft Prospects

Today, Baseball America rolls out its state-by-state rankings for the 2021 MLB Draft. Additionally, you can find our:

500 Draft Rankings | 2021 MLB Mock Draft | MLB Draft Tracker

1. Spencer Schwellenbach, SS/RHP, Nebraska (BA RANK: 51)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-1 • Wt: 200 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Indians '18 (34)

Schwellenbach is one of the most intriguing draft storylines as a legitimate two-way player who scouts continue to be split on. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound shortstop at Nebraska is solid at the position, though his foot speed limits him defensively. He doesn’t have the athleticism to stay at shortstop long term and could potentially see a future at third base. He hasn’t shown power but he has consistently high exit velocities off the bat and the analytics are promising. Where Schwellenbach has drawn even more interest is with his arm, as a player who rolls in from short and has been up to 99 mph on the mound. He sits 94 to 97 with super easy velocity but generic life. The righthander has an average slider in the mid-80s with good shape, and a changeup he can throw for strikes that will be an average pitch, though he hasn’t showcased it often. Though his delivery could use refining, he throws strikes, commands his secondaries, knows what he is doing, has good feel for the zone, lands everything, and does it easily. He hasn’t pitched a lot, getting into 16 games out of the Huskers’ bullpen and posting a 0.71 ERA over 25.1 innings with 29 strikeouts this year, which might temper some enthusiasm for his starter upside. Schwellenbach has had arm issues in the past, including a non-Tommy John UCL reparation surgery, but the arm strength and strikes are impressive and he gets a higher consensus rank for the pitching profile.

2. Drew Christo, RHP, Elkhorn (Neb.) HS (BA RANK: 153)
Source: HS • Ht: 6-4 • Wt: 225 • B-T: L-R • Commitment/Drafted: Nebraska

The 6-foot-4, 225-pound righthander is a physical specimen with his large frame and adult body, but he leaves little to the imagination when it comes to projection. Christo has advanced talent for a high schooler, and despite being somewhat inconsistent all the ingredients are there with a group of average to slightly above-average pitches. The Nebraska commit has had his fastball up to 95 mph and it was electric early on, and he has been sitting in the low 90s. He gets good life with the pitch, he has some sink with it and he can turn it into a cutter that runs off barrels, depending on the grip. Christo’s secondaries are adequate and he tunnels well with a changeup that has been pretty good, and the righty has some feel to spin the breaking ball, though his slider is inconsistent. He has a sound delivery from a three-quarter slot and a relatively clean path, though his arm action leaves something to be desired. Because he already looks like a grown man, mature and muscle bound, some evaluators would rather look to pitchers with more projectability and something to dream on. Christo has proven himself to be hardworking and incredibly intelligent, scoring in the 99th percentile of the ACT. If he joins the Huskers, he’s likely to be their Friday night guy and find success with his advanced presence and ability.

3. Cade Povich, LHP, Nebraska (BA RANK: 276)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 185 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

The 6-foot-3, 185-pound southpaw had a lot of success at Nebraska this season, posting a 2.82 ERA over 13 starts and 73.1 innings, walking 19 and striking out 79 for the Huskers. Povich can run his fastball up to 93 mph and he gets swings and misses on it, but it sits in the upper 80s and questions remain about whether he can add strength to his frame and find more consistent velocity. If he can, the lefthander is a pretty good arm with the ability to spin a downer curveball and an average changeup to go along with the fastball. He throws strikes and some projection remains, but so do some questions.

4. Matt Keating, INF/RHP, Southeast Nebraska JC (BA RANK: 415)
Source: JC • Ht: 6-1 • Wt: - • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Southern California

Keating has impressed this season at Southeast Nebraska CC on both sides of the ball. At the plate, he slashed .404/.534/.949 with 19 homers and 29 stolen bases in 56 games, but his future is on the mound. He made nine appearances for the Storm, posting a 0.56 ERA over 16 innings, allowing just one earned run, five walks, and striking out 33. The Southern California commit has been up to 97 mph with his fastball and has the stuff to be a pitcher at the next level.

5. Cam Wynne, RHP, Nebraska (BA RANK: 490)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-6 • Wt: 220 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

The 6-foot-6, 220-pound righthander has impressed at Nebraska this season, sitting 94-95 mph and touching 96 with a solid slider. He’s not as consistent as teams would like him to be with his strike-throwing ability but he’s big, athletic, and he has arm strength. He made 15 appearances for the Huskers this season, walking eight and striking out 17 over 15 innings.

6. Jake Bunz, LHP, Nebraska
Source: 4YR •

7. CJ Hood, RHP, Norris HS
Source: HS • Ht: 6-4 • Wt: 194 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Nebraska

8. Shay Schanaman, RHP, Nebraska
Source: 4YR •

9. Richie Holetz, RHP, Nebraska-Omaha
Source: 4YR •

10. Jacob Mohler, RHP, Nebraska-Omaha
Source: 4YR •

11. Alan Roden, RF, Creighton
Source: 4YR •

12. Dylan TeBrake, RHP, Creighton
Source: 4YR •

13. Jake Fosgett, RHP, Concordia Nebraska University
Source: 4YR •

Jorge Lopez (Photo By Kirk Irwin:Getty Images)

Trade Central: Orioles Trade Closer Jorge Lopez, Get Cade Povich In Return

The Orioles traded away another key piece of their 2022 club, sending closer Jorge Lopez to the Twins. In return, the Orioles received Cade Povich, Yennier Cano, Juan Nunez and Juan Rojas.

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