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2021 Texas 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. Jordan Lawlar, SS, Dallas Jesuit HS (BA RANK: 1)
Source: HS • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 185 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Vanderbilt

Whichever team picks Lawlar will be selecting a prep shortstop with a long track record of success. Lawlar was the shortstop and three-hole hitter for Dallas Jesuit from his first game as a sophomore to the final game of his senior year. He left an inch taller (6-foot-2) and 25 pounds heavier (195 pounds) than he was when he arrived, but his performance was remarkably consistent. Lawlar hit over .400 all three seasons and was one of the best hitters on the summer showcase circuit in both 2019 and 2020. Because he’s coming out of Texas two years after Bobby Witt Jr. (and like Witt he’s nearly 19 on draft day), Lawlar draws understandable comparisons. Witt had louder tools almost across the board with the exception of the hit tool, but Lawlar has plenty of plus tools himself, with future 60 speed (he’ll turn in 70 times right now) to go with 60 hit, a 60 glove and an above-average arm and future power. Lawlar has a high likelihood of staying at shortstop. Witt (picked No. 2 in 2019) is the only Texas prep shortstop to ever go in the top-10 picks, and Lawlar should be the second. There were concerns when Lawlar showed more swing and miss early in the season, but he resolved that as the season wore on. He struck out in 20% of his plate appearances over the first 21 games of the season. In his final 15 games he struck out once in 55 plate appearances with no degradation in his power production. Lawlar’s swing is compact with above-average bat speed. Lawlar is a fast-twitch athlete. Projecting how his power develops separates those who see him as the best prospect in the draft class from those who see him as just a top-tier draft prospect. If his power catches up to his other tools in his 20s, he could be a regular all-star. If not, his hitting ability, speed and defense still would give him a solid path to being an MLB regular with defensive value. The Vanderbilt commit also impresses with his intelligence and maturity.

2. Colton Cowser, OF, Sam Houston State (BA RANK: 11)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 195 • B-T: L-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

In a year where teams are frustrated by the lack of college hitters with lengthy track records of production, Cowser is a rare safe harbor who provides a long history of hitting. He hit .374/.490/.680 as a second-year sophomore with 16 home runs and 17 stolen bases in 20 attempts. He’s hit .354/.460/.608 for his career at Sam Houston State with more walks (78) than strikeouts (70). And he became the first player in school history to play for USA Baseball’s Collegiate National Team when he did so in 2019 after his freshman season, so scouts got to see him against top competition during the summer. That solid performance with Team USA helps blunt some of the criticisms that he played at a mid-major school. A high school teammate of Texas righthander and likely first-rounder Ty Madden (as well as 2019 supplemental first-round pick J.J. Goss and second-rounder Mathew Thompson), Cowser finished the season on an 18-game hitting streak. Cowser rarely misses a fastball. According to statistics compiled by Synergy, he has 17 extra-base hits on fastballs and just 19 swings and misses. He is more a hitter than a slugger for now, but he’s started to add strength and scouts wouldn’t be surprised to see his knack for hitting turn into 20-25 home run power eventually. Many of his home runs for now are pull shots or opposite-field balls that just clear the wall. Cowser is a plus runner who takes direct routes although his reads sometimes are a little slower than ideal. He shows an above-average arm when he lets loose and does a good job of getting rid of the ball quickly. He should be able to stay in center field at least for a few years, and maybe longer than that depending on how his body matures. As a lefthanded hitter and up-the-middle defender with excellent hand-eye coordination and speed, Cowser is one of the safer bets in the first round.

3. Ty Madden, RHP, Texas (BA RANK: 12)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 215 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Royals '18 (34)

In Madden’s senior season at Houston’s Cypress Ranch High, he was the ace of a team that also included junior righthanders J.J. Goss (a 2019 supplemental first-round pick of the Rays) and Matthew Thompson (a 2019 second-round pick of the White Sox). Outfielder Colton Cowser, another likely 2021 first-round pick, roamed the outfield and catcher Jared Alvarez-Lopez was a 2019 17th-round pick. Madden ranked No. 238 on Baseball America’s Top 500 draft prospects coming out of high school. The Royals selected him in the 34th round in 2018, but he headed to Texas instead, where he stepped into the weekend rotation by the end of his freshman season. Madden sat 90-93 mph in his first two seasons at Texas, but this year he’s proven to be one of the hardest throwing starters in college baseball, sitting 94-96 mph and regularly getting to 99. He also proved to be one of the most consistent Friday night starters in the country, combining that top-end velocity with above-average control. Madden’s plus fastball doesn’t have elite movement to go with that velocity, which may limit which teams are most enamored with him. His heater is much more effective down in the zone than up—hitters hit .333/.350/.846 on his fastball when he spotted it in the upper third of the strike zone, but only .179/.179/.282 in the bottom third. His fastball does pair well with his slider (which earns 60 grades as well and will flash plus-plus). His mid-80s slider has solid downward break with adequate power and depth. Madden largely shelved his fringe-average 86-89 mph changeup in 2021, but it’s been promising in the past. Madden works up and down. He largely works in on lefties and down and away from righthanded hitters. Some evaluators fear he’ll end up as a two-pitch power reliever, but his durable frame (6-foot-3, 215 pounds), long track record of success and above-average control give him a solid path to being a durable mid-rotation starter. He should be the first player from Texas selected in the first-round since Taylor Jungman in 2011.

4. Izaac Pacheco, SS, Friendswood (Texas) HS (BA RANK: 36)
Source: HS • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 210 • B-T: L-R • Commitment/Drafted: Texas A&M

Pacheco has long been on the radar as a lefty bat with big power, but he left the showcase season with plenty of questions about his tendency to swing and miss. Pacheco shows future plus productive power and present plus-plus raw power. He gets to that power by taking big hacks that sometimes will leave him finishing on one knee a la Adrian Beltre. Pacheco has a pretty advanced but somewhat limited approach. He looks for balls on the inner half that he can turn. He has the pitch recognition and awareness to make that work as he understands the strike zone, and that gives him a shot of posting solid on-base percentages despite a likely below-average hit tool. A pitcher with command to stay on the outer third of the strike zone can cause him issues, although he showed an improved ability to go the other way this spring. He has a fluid swing with some ability to use his hands to adjust to offspeed offerings. Pacheco alleviated some concerns by performing consistently throughout his senior season at Friendswood (Texas) High. He’s an average runner. Defensively, he’s likely to move immediately to third base as a pro—he has the hands for shortstop or third and a plus arm, but his filled-out frame (6-foot-3, 210 pounds) is seen as a better fit at third, and some scouts see an above-average defender there. Others see him needing to eventually move to a corner outfield spot or even first base. His plus power gives him a shot of fitting almost anywhere on the diamond if he can get to a fringe-average hit tool. Pacheco is committed to Texas A&M.

5. Robert Gasser, LHP, Houston (BA RANK: 64)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-1 • Wt: 190 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

Talk about a transformation. Gasser was draft-eligible in 2020, but even if the draft had been much longer than five rounds, no one was going to select an 88-91 mph lefty reliever who allowed two baserunners per inning and had an 11.57 ERA in four relief appearances. This year, he’ll likely hear his name called before the end of the second round. Gasser was Houston’s ace this year, putting himself on the radar by matching Ty Madden pitch for pitch in an early-season start. He went 6-6, 2.63 overall with 11.0 K/9 and 2.6 BB/9. Gasser spent his layoff in the weight room and on the field, long-tossing and lifting. It paid off as he showed up in 2021 throwing harder and with sharper secondaries. Gasser actually began his career at New Mexico, then transferred to Delta (Calif.) JC, where he went 14-0, 2.38. Along the way, he shortened his arm stroke. In 2021, that work paid off. Gasser sat 90-93 mph this year and could regularly reach back for 94-95 mph whenever he needed it. He’s added a pause in his delivery that seems to mess with hitters’ timing. His above-average slider improved as well. He can now bury it for swings and misses, but also can command it for strikes. He showed feel for spotting a mid-80s, below-average changeup, although that change lacks separation and late drop and fade to be a weapon. Gasser also has developed a big-breaking, mid-70s, fringe-average curveball that he uses almost entirely for early-count called strikes. Gasser projects as a back-of-the-rotation arm, but one with a high likelihood of success thanks to his work ethic and steady improvement.

6. Cameron Cauley, SS, Barbers Hill HS, Mt. Belvieu, Texas (BA RANK: 85)
Source: HS • Ht: 5-10 • Wt: 170 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Texas Tech

Although he’s a high school shortstop, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Cauley play a little bit of everywhere either in pro ball or at Texas Tech. He’s athletic and his plus speed, feel for the game and solid hands could help him develop into an above-average defender at second base or even in center field. Cauley could end up as an average shortstop or third baseman as well, although his average arm is less than many teams want at those positions. More than anything, he’s a proactive baseball player. He makes the routine play and has a good internal clock. At the plate, Cauley’s skinny frame and lack of projection make it unlikely he’ll ever hit more than 10-15 home runs a year, but he has excellent bat-to-ball skills. He has above-average barrel control and a simple, repeatable swing that generates plenty of contact and gives him a path to being an above-average hitter. Before helping lead Barbers Hill to its first ever Texas state tournament appearance, Cauley was a productive wide receiver for the school’s football team. Cauley’s father, Chris, pitched three years in the White Sox farm system and is an assistant football and baseball coach at Barbers Hill.

7. Eric Hammond, RHP, Keller (Texas) HS (BA RANK: 98)
Source: HS • Ht: 6-4 • Wt: 175 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Southern California

A high school pitcher from Texas has been taken in the first and supplemental first round every year since 2008. It’s become a fait accompli that every year, some Texas prep pitcher will take a big step forward as a senior and vault onto the national stage—Noah Syndergaard, Grayson Rodriguez, Michael Kopech and Kyle Muller all fit that description. But it never happened this year. Hammond is the best arm of the bunch, but his fastball didn’t take the leap forward this spring that evaluators had hoped to see. Hammond will pitch at 91-95 mph in early innings, but he quickly settles in at 88-92 as the game wears on. His fastball is relatively flat as well. What’s more intriguing at this point is his present ability to spin two breaking balls and locate an average changeup. Hammond throws two distinct breaking balls, with a bigger, high-70s average curve that he locates well and a harder, above-average slider. Hammond has some length in his arm action with a slow, deliberate delivery and a plunge in his takeaway, but he demonstrates average control and he has the body (6-foot-4, 175 pounds) to add more weight and stuff. Hammond is committed to attend Southern California.

8. Logan Henderson, RHP, McLennan (Texas) JC (BA RANK: 106)
Source: JC • Ht: 6-0 • Wt: 165 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Texas A&M

Normally the best pitching prospects in junior college baseball have a fire-breathing dragon of a fastball. That was the case for Luke Little, Nate Pearson, Jackson Rutledge and Antoine Kelly. Henderson is a different kind of pitching prospect. He’s maybe 6-feet tall, and while he can touch 94 mph, he generally sits at 90-92. But his high-spin rate fastball gets swings and misses up in the zone and he has three average or better pitches that all play up thanks to his plus control and command. The NJCAA Division I pitcher of the year, the true freshman led NJCAA Division I with 166 strikeouts and was third with a 1.66 ERA. He threw a seven-inning perfect game in late April and struck out 31 while allowing one run in 16 innings in two NJCAA World Series starts as he helped McLennan to the national title. Henderson’s plus mid-70s changeup is a weapon with excellent deception and late drop. He’ll use it against righties and lefties and is comfortable pitching in and out. He also throws his fastball to all four quadrants of the strike zone with plus control. His mid-70s curve is an average offering as well and like everything else he throws, he commands it well. Henderson is committed to Texas A&M and he could make an immediate impact if he heads there, but his advanced feel, plus control and solid three-pitch package could entice a team to take him in the third or fourth round.

9. Russell Smith, LHP, Texas Christian (BA RANK: 110)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-9 • Wt: 235 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Cubs '17 (38)

A 38th-round pick of the Cubs out of high school in 2017, Russell Smith is not what you might think. Watch a massive (6-foot-9, 235 pounds) long-levered lefty and you would expect big stuff and little idea of where it’s going. With such a massive frame it would understandably take quite a while for Smith to grow into his delivery. But that’s not him. Smith doesn’t have big stuff—he can touch 94-95 mph but he will generally pitch at 90-92. But he has a very smooth, repeatable delivery with solid body control. And Smith’s fastball plays well up in the strike zone with good vertical movement. It sets up his above-average 82-85 mph changeup which he commands extremely well. Smith throws his changeup almost always down and away to righthanded hitters and he rarely misses his spot. It’s a quality creator of ground balls, but it’s good enough to get some swings and misses as well. His average slider is somewhat sweepy, but he will bury it with two strikes. Smith missed the 2019 season recovering from Tommy John surgery, but he’s otherwise been reasonably durable. Smith seems more likely to be a relatively low-ceiling draft pick, but one who also has a very good chance to be a big leaguer. Whether that role is as a big lefty middle reliever or a back-of-the-rotation starter, his ability to consistently throw three pitches for strikes and attack four quadrants of the strike zone make him a valuable pro prospect.

10. Dominic Hamel, RHP, Dallas Baptist (BA RANK: 152)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 206 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

Hamel was draft-eligible last year, but after two years at Yavapai (Ariz.) JC and just four starts (two good and two poor) for Dallas Baptist, teams decided they didn’t have enough to pick him in a five-round draft. There will be no such concerns this year. Hamel was Dallas Baptist’s ace in 2021, ranking among the nation’s top 10 in strikeouts (129) and top 20 in strikeout rate (13.4 K/9). He reached double digits in strikeouts in six of his first 15 starts in 2021. Hamel has shown the consistent ability to elevate his plus 90-94 mph fastball for swings and misses. It has the vertical movement that frustrates hitters, although he could still improve his command of it. Right now when hitters do catch up to it, they have done damage—all 14 of his home runs allowed came on his fastball. He spins an average low-80s slider with modest depth and some sweep, but it shows the potential to sharpen into an above-average pitch. It’s currently effective when he works it on the edge of the strike zone. He also throws a below-average changeup. Hamel’s steadily improving consistency, feel for spin and track record of success make for an alluring combination. Hamel has a good build (6-foot-2, 206 pounds), fast arm and gets good extension in his delivery. His fastball/slider combination presents options both as a starter and power reliever.

11. Bryce Miller, RHP, Texas A&M (BA RANK: 158)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 190 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Marlins '18 (38)

After a year at Blinn (Texas) JC and two years in Texas A&M’s bullpen, Miller stepped into the Aggies rotation this year. At times, he looks like a potential mid-rotation stalwart. He held No. 1 Arkansas to one run in six innings. He dominated New Mexico State, fanning 15 in seven scoreless innings. But Miller struggles to string that dominance together for long, which explains why he finished the year 3-2, 4.45. It could be his inexperience in a starting role, but could also be more a result of issues with control and his delivery. Usually a few times each game he will completely lose a fastball, sometimes yanking it and sometimes flying open. Miller’s plus 93-94 mph fastball has real teeth. He’ll reach back for 96-97, and he can blow hitters away up in the zone. His breaking ball has morphed into two distinct pitches as he throws a bigger, slower, downward-breaking, mid-70s fringe-average curveball and a harder, tight, fringe-average slider that has modest break. His average low-80s changeup has more deception than movement, but it will flash some arm-side fade. Miller missed two starts this year because of Covid-19, but otherwise has been durable. He has more upside than most of the players who will be picked around him in the draft, but he also has work to do to improve his control.

12. Hagen Smith, LHP, Bullard (Texas) HS (BA RANK: 170)
Source: HS • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 200 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Arkansas

Smith missed the 2020 high school season and the summer showcases as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. He made an emphatic return to the mound this spring to throw seven no-hitters in his first 10 high school starts. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound lefthander finished the year with stats that read like typos: 11-0 with just seven hits and 21 walks in 73 innings. He struck out 169 batters. Despite the numbers, evaluators aren’t sure if Smith will be picked high enough to convince him to spurn his Arkansas commitment. As effective as Smith has been, it’s been with stuff that requires a little further projection to be effective in pro ball. Smith has touched 93-96 mph at his best this year, but he’s also had outings when he’s sat 88-91 mph. He mainly throws a bigger-breaking curveball for now, but he’s been working on a slider that may eventually supplant the curve. It’s likely a better fit for his low-three quarters arm slot. He flashes an above-average change but he hasn’t needed to throw it much. Smith is young for the class—he won’t turn 18 until August. If Smith is drafted, he will top current Braves LHP A.J. Minter as the highest draft pick ever out of Bullard (Texas) High. Minter was a 37th-round pick out of high school although he opted to go to college.

13. Dru Baker, OF/INF, Texas Tech (BA RANK: 171)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-11 • Wt: 205 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

Baker’s consistent ability to hit is why teams will spend a lot of time figuring out where he can play defensively. He’s been a valuable table setter for the Red Raiders for three seasons. He has hit .330/.407/.478 for his three years at Texas Tech and hit .356/.420/.502 in 2021. Baker has solid adjustability to his swing, and he uses the entire field. With above-average bat speed and good timing, Baker should be an above-average pro hitter. He has well below-average power. Despite a strong frame, he rarely threatens outfield fences. Defensively, Baker has played everywhere. Baker immediately stepped into Texas Tech’s lineup at shortstop as a true freshman. He then moved to third base. But for 2020 and 2021, he moved to the outfield, playing left and right field. Baker does not fit in pro ball as a corner outfielder, since his game lacks power. He’s fringe-average defensively in the outfield—he sometimes struggles to get back on balls over his head, even though he’s an above-average runner. At third base, he handled balls hit at him, even if he didn’t look fluid doing it, but his range was limited. He has average arm strength, but it played better in the infield, as his accuracy is sometimes lacking in the outfield. His best pro position may end up being second base, but a team picking him is betting on the bat. Baker is a gamer who has shown he’ll play wherever he’s needed, so there’s a reasonable hope he may work his way into finding a playable defensive home.

14. Cal Conley, SS, Texas Tech (BA RANK: 185)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-10 • Wt: 185 • B-T: B-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

Conley signed with Miami out of high school and actually was a Hurricane for one semester before transferring to Texas Tech. He was draft-eligible last year as a redshirt freshman, but went unpicked in the abbreviated five-round draft. That won’t happen again this year. He provided consistent offense in the middle of Texas Tech’s lineup while also anchoring the infield defense. He almost single-handedly beat Army in a regional game with three hits and two home runs. As a pro, Conley projects as more of a well-rounded player than one with a lot of clear plus tools. The switch-hitter has pull power from both sides of the plate, and can poke a ball out down the line to the opposite field, but he projects to have fringe-average power with a wood bat. He puts together consistent at-bats and should be an average hitter. Defensively, Conley is athletic and he shows solid range going to his left. It’s when he has to go deep in the hole that his limitations at shortstop become apparent. If his momentum is taking him away from first, he doesn’t have the arm strength to make the play. It sometimes limits his range as well, as he will try to field backhanders to get his feet set for the throw. He has a solid internal clock. He should be able to stay in the dirt because his hands work well, but he probably fits better at second base long term.

15. Ryan Johnson, RHP, Red Oak, Texas (home schooled) (BA RANK: 189)
Source: HS • Ht: 6-6 • Wt: 205 • B-T: B-R • Commitment/Drafted: Dallas Baptist

The best is likely yet to come for Johnson. He has yet to fill out his 6-foot-6 frame and he has a significant head whack in his delivery—an indication of his need for further strength gains to generate velocity with less effort. Pitching for Texas Alliance of Christian Athletes this spring after pitching for the travel-team Dallas Tigers last fall, Johnson’s present stuff is already impressive, as he touches 95-96 mph at his best, but he often pitches at 90-92, and his fastball was not missing as many bats as one would expect.. At his best, Johnson flashes a plus slider, an average changeup and an above-average fastball, but his control and the consistency of his stuff need to improve. His slider gets bigger at times, but he’ll also tighten it into a pitch he can throw for strikes as needed. He will miss wildly at times. Like many young and lanky pitchers, he struggles to consistently repeat his delivery. Johnson is committed to Dallas Baptist. He has the stuff and frame to develop into a high-impact starter if everything clicks. Now, MLB teams will have to decide if they are willing to spend big for that potential or would rather wait to see how he fares in college.

16. Austin Krob, LHP, Texas Christian (BA RANK: 197)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 205 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

Krob was lightly recruited coming out of Lisbon (Iowa) High. But an excellent year with Kirkwood (Iowa) JC turned him into an in-demand prospect. Krob came to Texas Christian after one year at Kirkwood and immediately became a valuable reliever for the Horned Frogs. He worked seven scoreless appearances in the shortened 2020 season, then gained more experience that summer pitching in the Texas Collegiate League. That helped him get ready to become TCU’s Saturday starter in 2021. He went 8-1, 3.81 and struck out a career-high 13 in his last start of the year. Krob doesn’t have a plus pitch, but he does figure out how to keep hitters off-balance with his low-90s fringe-average fastball and low-80s average slider. He has a compact, uncomplicated and easy delivery. Almost everything to lefties is either in on their hands or down and away, and he largely works the same areas (glove side followed by down and in) to righthanded hitters. He has started to throw an average straight changeup to righthies. Krob has a solid feel for pitching and seems to thrive under pressure. He has only fringe-average control but average or better command—he’s around the strike zone consistently, but he will nibble at times. He doesn’t have the weapons to dominate, but he does provide consistency. A team that likes his competitiveness could be intrigued on Day Two of the draft.

17. Josh Stewart, RHP, Savio Catholic HS, Austin, Texas (BA RANK: 199)
Source: HS • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 180 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Texas

Stewart was one of the prep pitchers who was a pick to click this spring. Texas usually has prep pitchers who show up in the spring with 2-4 mph extra on their fastball, turning a projectable arm into one with present stuff. Stewart was a candidate to do that, and this spring he remained a very intriguing and projectable arm, but not one that took a big step forward. Stewart showed flashes of what he could become, but not with the consistency needed for a team to select him early in the draft. So instead, Stewart is likely headed to Texas, where he should become a very valuable member of the Longhorns rotation. Stewart isn’t all that consistent yet, but he has the makings of a very reliable starting pitcher. He’ll sit 89-92 mph most of the time right now, but he’ll pop the mitt at 94-95 mph occasionally. His low-80s slider isn’t consistent, but it flashes above-average at its best and he shows feel for spin. He’s 6-foot-2, 180 pounds with plenty of projection remaining. Stewart’s control will be pinpoint in one outing or one inning and sporadic the next. It won’t surprise evaluators if Stewart develops into a top-three-round pick as a college pitcher. He’s a name to remember in a couple of years.

18. Ivan Melendez, 1B, Texas (BA RANK: 200)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 225 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

For a stretch in April, Melendez was the hottest hitter in college baseball, hitting a home run in seven consecutive games. Melendez sees himself as a hitter first, and he does have a shot to be a fringe-average hitter. But his calling card is plus power and he posts the exit velocities to prove it. With his long limbs, he has solid plate coverage. He eats up pitchers on the outer third, with the ability to drive balls to the opposite-field power alley. With every college hitter in this year’s class, teams are operating with less information than in past years. Melendez didn’t get to show what he could do with wood last summer and he also wasn’t able to show what he can do defensively. Melendez played third base at Odessa (Texas) JC, and his average arm strength reminds everyone that he was a pitcher in high school before he suffered a labrum injury to his non-throwing arm playing football. But he’s been a near full-time DH for Texas (in deference to senior Zach Zubia). Scouts believe he could be average at first, but that’s based on very limited looks, and they haven’t seen what he can do with a wood bat. Melendez is a below-average runner, but moves well for his size. Melendez has a chance to be a well-rounded hitter with power, which should lead him to be a solid Day Two pick.

19. Braxton Fulford, C, Texas Tech (BA RANK: 207)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-11 • Wt: 190 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

When Texas Tech installed Fulford as the team’s everyday catcher late in 2018, it coincided with the team’s run to Omaha. He’s been the team’s catcher ever since. Any offensive production that a pro team gets from Fulford will be a bonus, because any team drafting him is going to feel comfortable that it is getting an excellent catch-and-throw receiver. Fulford handles a pitching staff well, and he has a plus arm. But his calling card is his receiving. He has excellent flexibility, setting a wide base for low pitches from a standard setup. He presents pitches well and has the hands of a magician when he’s trying to turn a borderline pitch into a strike. He’s the catcher that makes the Red Raiders pitching staff go. Fulford runs well for a catcher, and it’s not hard to get a fringe-average time from him down the line. Offensively, he’s limited. Texas Tech’s home park flatters his fringe-average power, but he’s a career .265 hitter in over 500 collegiate plate appearances. He will at times start his swing with a significant hitch that slows his trigger and he’s vulnerable to sliders away. But when he keeps his swing compact, he can drive the ball.

20. Caedmon Parker, RHP, The Woodlands (Texas) Christian Academy HS (BA RANK: 223)
Source: HS • Ht: 6-4 • Wt: 185 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Texas Christian

Most everyone expects Parker will head to Texas Christian. Many expect that he’ll settle in there, add strength and velocity and be a premium draft prospect in a few years. Parker has an extremely projectable body. He has an athletic, flexible delivery that portends future above-average or even plus command and control. The 6-foot-4, 185-pound righthander will likely add 20-30 pounds of good weight over the next few years, which will help add velocity to his fastball. He can touch 94 mph right now, but generally sits in the high 80s and low 90s. Parker got off to a slow start this spring, but when he’s locked in, he shows a potentially above-average changeup that has late tumble. He should eventually develop an above-average curveball as well, as he shows feel for spin, and it will sporadically flash above-average break. Parker is a name to remember, even if he may not hear his name called in the 2021 draft.

21. Seth Stephenson, SS, Temple (Texas) JC (BA RANK: 246)
Source: JC • Ht: 5-10 • Wt: 165 • B-T: B-R • Commitment/Drafted: Tennessee

Stephenson has a definite up arrow. He was hitting a relatively quiet .313 on April 1, but over the final half of the season, Stephenson went 43-for-94 (.457) with improved power and a reduced strikeout rate. That pushed his overall stat line to .383/.442/.674 with 31 steals in 35 attempts, nine triples and eight home runs. His production may convince teams to buy into the bat, which was the only question surrounding the athletic speedster. He hit from both sides in the past, but largely stuck to hitting righthanded this year. Offensively, the 5-foot-10, 165-pound Stephenson has above-average bat speed and some strength in his hands—he’s not just a slap-hitting speedster. But he can really run. Stephenson is one of the fastest players in the draft—a true 80 runner. He primarily played shortstop at Temple (Texas) JC, but he also played some center field as well, which may be the best long-term fit for his speed. He’s committed to Tennessee.

22. Dustin Saenz, LHP, Texas A&M (BA RANK: 256)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-11 • Wt: 190 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

A short (5-foot-11, 190 pounds) lefty, Saenz spent three years (2018-2020) as Texas A&M’s swingman who struggled to miss bats. But this year, he took over the Aggies’ Friday starter role and provided flashes of dominance surrounded by outings of ineffectiveness. Saenz got off to an outstanding start (3-1, 1.71 in non-conference games). He couldn’t match that run in SEC play as he tailed off to go 6-6, 4.72 overall. Saenz has a compact, athletic delivery and above-average control. That control allows his average stuff to play up, and he maintains his velocity deep into games. His average 90-92 mph fastball isn’t a real bat-misser, but he does locate it well arm side and glove side and he generally avoids the heart of the plate. Saenz’s slider is an above-average offering with moderate depth and late tilt. He also throws a fringe-average 81-83 mph changeup that has a little depth to it when he locates it down in the zone. Saenz's control and slider provide a path for him to be a back-end starter or a multi-inning reliever.

23. Cole Quintanilla, RHP, Texas (BA RANK: 302)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-5 • Wt: 220 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

College relievers are no longer in high demand come draft day. The days of teams picking closers in the first round because they expected them to move quickly faded away a decade ago. But when college relievers start going off the board, in the later rounds of Day Two of the draft, Quintanilla’s remaining projectability and solid production should entice teams. Quintanilla was excellent for Texas in 2021, going 4-0, 1.29 with 18 hits, 10 walks and 36 strikeouts in 35 innings after the NCAA super regionals. Scouts love Quintanilla’s build (6-foot-5, 220 pounds). He gets excellent extension as he practically leaps off the rubber in his delivery, working up and down in the strike zone thanks in part to his over-the-top delivery. Quintanilla is the typical fastball-slider reliever with a 91-95 mph average fastball and a plus low-80s slider. His slider is generally a one-plane pitch as it has depth, but little tilt. It misses bats and is hard to do much with as long as he keeps it down in the zone. Quintanilla had Tommy John surgery in 2018 but has been reliably durable since then.

24. Mason Montgomery, LHP, Texas Tech (BA RANK: 308)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 185 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: White Sox '18 (39)

After three years at Texas Tech, Montgomery is still searching for a consistent breaking ball. But Montgomery’s 90-95 mph fastball gets swings and misses up in the zone, which may be enough to convince a pro team to take a chance on a lefty with a very good arm. Montgomery’s control was well below-average early in his career at Texas Tech, but he has junked the windup he previously used. Now he pitches from an abbreviated stretch at all times, which has paid off with improved control. He has a little hiccup in his delivery that adds deception, and Montgomery works up and down in the strike zone. He has a fringe-average changeup, which he doesn’t command as well as he needs to, but it has some deception, especially when he works at the bottom of the zone. His low-80s below-average slider needs more work. He has scattershot command of it, and it doesn’t miss many bats.

25. AJ Smith-Shawver, RHP, Heritage HS, Frisco, Texas (BA RANK: 321)
Source: HS • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 205 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Texas Tech

Smith-Shawver had a wealth of options when it came to his college plans. He had Division I offers as a three-star recruit at quarterback. He topped 400 yards in passing in two separate games last fall while leading Colleyville (Texas) Heritage High to the Texas 5A regional semifinals. On the diamond, he’s a legitimate two-way player. His pro potential is most likely on the mound, where he’s touched 94-95 mph and has shown feel for spinning a mid-70s curveball that has good shape but needs some tightening up. But in college, he could also help as a third baseman at Texas Tech. He has solid all-fields power potential and his arm plays in the field as well as on the mound.

26. Tyler Collins, OF, Boyd HS, McKinney, Texas (BA RANK: 322)
Source: HS • Ht: 5-10 • Wt: 175 • B-T: L-R • Commitment/Drafted: Oklahoma State

Collins is a top-of-the-order sparkplug who looks to use his plus-plus speed with a heady approach. A four-year starter at McKinney (Texas) Boyd High, Collins chokes up on the bat and looks to spray line drives around the outfield. If he finds a gap, the lefty can quickly turn a double into a triple. He could speed up and be more decisive in his reads in center field, but he should end up as a rangy, plus defender. His arm is below-average, as his arm strength and accuracy need to improve. The Oklahoma State signee’s combination of speed, defense and a potentially above-average hit tool make him an intriguing, projectable outfielder.

27. Kevin Bazzell, C, Rockwall-Heath HS, Rockwall, Texas (BA RANK: 323)
Source: HS • Ht: 5-11 • Wt: 205 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Dallas Baptist

Bazzell led Rockwall-Heath High to the Texas 6A state title, providing both an offensive spark and steady defense behind the plate. In the playoffs, Bazzell hit over .400 and drove in two runs with a single and sac fly in the state championship game. Bazzell has above-average power potential with a filled-out thick frame and above-average bat speed. He has a rhythm to his swing as well, showing good timing and solid plate discipline. The Dallas Baptist signee has a little more work to do behind the plate with his framing, but he moves reasonably well at catcher and has a plus arm.

28. Micah Dallas, RHP, Texas Tech (BA RANK: 330)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 205 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

Dallas was Texas Tech’s Friday starter as a true freshman. He was the team’s closer in 2020 as a sophomore. This year he did a little of both. Dallas made 10 starts, but also made seven relief appearances and worked exclusively as a reliever in the postseason. Dallas has a solid track record of success, average control and an above-average slider. He throws the slider nearly as often as his fastball. Opponents hit only .137 against it and they swung and missed 60% of the time when they offered at it. The rest of his stuff is harder to feel confident about. Dallas has lost a tick on his fringe-average fastball from where he sat as a starter as a freshman. This year he sat 88-90 mph, touching 93. He did maintain that velocity throughout his starts. He does not command and have much confidence in a below-average changeup. Dallas is competitive, has shown he can handle a variety of roles and has feel for pitching. That combination is enticing, even if he doesn’t have a second average pitch as of yet.

29. Pete Hansen, LHP, Texas (BA RANK: 339)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 200 • B-T: R-L • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

Hansen came into the year expected to be one of the best pitchers in Texas. After a slow start and a dead arm period, he earned a spot in the weekend rotation. He went 9-1, 1.84 and was one of the big reasons Texas returned to Omaha. But that didn’t keep scouts from being somewhat disappointed in what they saw. Evaluators were hoping to see Hansen take a step forward with his velocity to pitch in the low 90s. Instead, he pitched effectively against Big 12 hitters while sitting 86-88 mph and rarely topping 90. Hansen spots that below-average fastball precisely and he throws his average mid-70s slider in any count. Hansen’s plus command and control are assets, but it’s hard to find MLB pitchers who have success with Hansen’s pitch profile. He turns 21 after the draft and has three years of eligibility remaining. Most likely, the second-year freshman will get to be a key part of Texas’ rotation again in 2022 while pro teams hope his velocity catches up to his ability to pitch.

30. Johnny Ray, RHP, Texas Christian (BA RANK: 352)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 220 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

In 2021, Ray found out that velocity isn’t everything. There are few pitchers in the 2021 draft class who can throw harder. Ray sat 94 mph and touched 96-98 for Texas Christian. But as fast as his fastballs came in, they left just as quickly. He generated only 38 swings and misses on his fastball while giving up 11 home runs on his heater. Ray’s curveball has tight 1-to-7 break at its best and flashes above-average potential, but he has a tendency to rush his delivery and loses feel for locating it. Ray failed to retire a batter in his final two outings of the season and finished with a 6.50 ERA. Ray once looked like a potential early Day Two pick, but his inconsistency means he’ll now be on the fringe of Day Three.

31. Brandon Birdsell, RHP, Texas Tech (BA RANK: 366)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 225 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Astros '18 (39)

After a year at Texas A&M and a year at San Jacinto (Texas) JC, Birdsell stepped into the Friday starter role at Texas Tech in 2021. He was on track to go pretty well in the 2021 draft, but in his eighth appearance of the season he had to leave the game with a shoulder injury that led to him being shut down for the remainder of the season. Birdsell was 4-1, 3.06 with 36 strikeouts in 35.1 innings with a .217 opponent batting average before the injury. He sat 93-95 mph and touched 99 mph in that role and he carried 95-97 mph deep into his starts. In addition to a plus fastball, Birdsell showed solid command of an above-average 84-88 mph slider with 1-to-7 movement. Few scouts saw Birdsell’s delivery as being a good fit to be a starter long term, but his fastball/slider combination seemed pretty tailor made to fit in a high-leverage relief role. Now his injury status makes it more likely that he’ll return to school to prove he’s healthy.

32. Ryan Sublette, RHP, Texas Tech (BA RANK: 383)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 190 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

Sublette was one of the more reliable relievers in college baseball in 2021. He was asked once a weekend to get the Red Raiders six to 12 outs in a tight game and was effective at doing so. Sublette struck out 13.2 batters per nine innings and held opposing hitters to a .183/.270/.209 slash line. His 92-95 mph above-average fastball has late life to generate swings and misses in the strike zone. His above-average mid-80s slider is effective thanks to its power and modest break because he does a good job of spotting it glove side and down on the black or just off the plate. Sublette has the stuff of a lower-leverage MLB reliever, but he will have to show he can handle the workload and usage patterns of a pro reliever. He pitched on back-to-back days only twice all season and generally worked one day a week.

33. Jonathan Childress, LHP, Texas A&M (BA RANK: 386)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-4 • Wt: 205 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

Much like Texas A&M’s season, Childress’ 2021 did not go as planned. Two years removed from his 2019 Tommy John surgery, Childress dominated in some early-season non-conference outings. After striking out 13 in 7.2 innings against Samford on March 13, he entered conference play as the Aggies’ Saturday starter with a 1.11 ERA. But after three poor starts against Southeastern Conference teams he was banished to a mid-week role. Childress’ overall stats (3-4, 4.61, 53 hits in 52.2 innings) look much better than his performance in conference play (0-2, 11.85, 24 hits in 13.2 innings). Childress’ 87-91 mph below-average fastball has just enough oomph to it to work if he locates it, and he also throws an average changeup and slider. There is hope that eventually he’ll end up pitching more at 90-93 mph, but that didn’t happen in 2021. His stuff backed up half a grade this year and his control backed up at least a full grade. Childress must have above-average command to succeed. This year he showed below-average command. A team that liked him out of high school and as a freshman could still be interested, but more likely he’ll get another year to prove it in college.

34. Jordan Viars, OF, Ricky Reed HS, Frisco, Texas (BA RANK: 405)
Source: HS • Ht: 6-4 • Wt: 215 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Arkansas

One of the younger players in the draft class (he’ll turn 18 a week after the draft), Viars is an already filled-out (6-foot-4, 215 pounds) lefthanded hitter who has the plus power potential that teams look for in a corner infielder. A team could see if he can stick in a corner outfield spot, but he’s likely to slow further as he matures. Viars hits from a crouched stance, generating power with leverage. He’s an Arkansas signee who finished his senior season with a flourish.

35. Marcelo Perez, RHP, Texas Christian (BA RANK: 407)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-10 • Wt: 180 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

There used to be a pretty strong aversion to drafting short (sub 6-foot) righthanders. The idea was that a shorter pitcher’s fastball would be too easy to hit out because it lacks plane (and shorter pitchers may wear down easier as well). But some teams have become more willing to take a look at short righties. That’s good news for Perez, a 5-foot-10 righthander who has been a reliable reliever for Texas Christian for three seasons. If Perez can improve his below-average control, he has the makings of being an effective reliever. Perez has a fast arm, a compact delivery and the ability to touch 95-97 mph, although he sits more 92-94. Perez shifted to longer relief stints this year, working two or more innings in eight of 13 appearances. Perez’s slider is at least above-average and flashes plus, with two-plane tilt at its best as it darts toward the dirt when he locates it down to his glove side. But the entire package has been hindered by his control. He misses the strike zone on 0-0 too often, and when he does, hitters tee off on his fastball.

36. Kolby Kubichek, RHP, Texas (BA RANK: 414)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-0 • Wt: 180 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

Kubichek was an extremely productive member of Texas’ rotation this year (5-3, 3.86, 7.2 K/9, 4.7 BB/9) after a solid four-game stint during the 2020 season that was cut short. But Kubichek’s lack of significant upside may dim his draft stock. He can sink his low-90s average fastball and pairs it with an above-average slider and average changeup. Kubichek is a short (6 feet, 180 pounds) righthander who has some effort to his delivery. He has shown he knows how to pitch and he does not get rattled by traffic on the basepaths. He keeps the ball in the ballpark but he doesn’t have a pitch to generate plenty of swings and misses. His fringe-average control needs to improve if he’s going to succeed in pro ball.

37. Rawley Hector, RHP, Anna (Texas) HS (BA RANK: 416)
Source: HS • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 192 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Texas A&M

After an excellent summer on the showcase circuit in 2019, Hector didn’t get to pitch in the summer of 2020 as he recovered from a knee injury. He returned to action this spring and once again showed the command and feel that made him a prominent prospect before his knee injury. Hector has a clear understanding of his craft. He attacks hiters with an 89-92 mph fastball and a low-80s slider that flashes above-average. He also has some feel for an average changeup. There may be more to come as he adds more strength to his 6-foot, 192-pound frame. He should make Texas A&M’s new staff very happy if he gets to school.

38. Will Frizzell, 1B, Texas A&M (BA RANK: 420)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 235 • B-T: L-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

Frizzell has been a key member of the Aggies’ lineup since the day he arrived as a freshman in 2018, but he reached a new level of production in 2021. The senior hit .343/.451/.686 with a career-high 19 home runs. Frizzell may have shown increased pop, and his solid exit velocities predict that he should have above-average power in pro ball, but he’s a pure hitter first. Frizzell is a plus hitter who controls the strike zone, understands pitchers’ tendencies and can go with the pitch when it’s needed. He projects as an excellent senior sign. Defensively, he’s a below-average defender who may need to play a lot of DH in pro ball, as a team will likely have a better option at first.

39. Teo Banks, OF, Permian HS, Odessa, Texas (BA RANK: 436)
Source: HS • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 190 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Tulane

Close your eyes and imagine what a tooled-up outfielder looks like and chances are you’ll envision someone with Banks’ build. He has broad shoulders, a tapered waist and clearly knows his way around a weight room. Banks was an excellent linebacker for Permian High in Odessa, Texas earlier in his high school career and has a long track record of hitting in high school. He led Permian to the district 2-6A championship in 2021 and was the district MVP. The Tulane signee has a chance to develop into a well-rounded outfielder with plus power potential, above-average speed and a strong arm (he’s been clocked at 91-92 mph off the mound). He’s relatively young for the class as he turns 18 the day before the draft.

40. Ryan Hernandez, 1B, Houston (BA RANK: 439)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-4 • Wt: 233 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

The massive (6-foot-4, 233 pounds) Hernandez was arguably Houston’s best hitter in 2021. He tailed off late in the season to finish with a .287/.345/.497 stat line with a team-best 11 home runs. Unlike many of this year’s college draft prospects, Hernandez demonstrated the ability to hit with wood in the Texas Collegiate League last summer. He was the TCL’s player of the year as he led the league in batting average (.364) and home runs (nine). Hernandez has some feel to hit but his average power and below-average defense will make him a tough fit in pro ball.

41. Ryan Prager, LHP, Hillcrest HS, Dallas (BA RANK: 444)
Source: HS • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 185 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Texas A&M

Prager is a name to remember in a few years from now. It’s likely that he will head to Texas A&M in the fall, and it’s just as likely that he’ll end up being a very productive starting pitcher in the Southeastern Conference. But pro teams have reason to wait and see just how he’ll develop as the 6-foot-3, 185-pound lefty fills out and gets stronger. Prager has touched 93-94 mph this spring but he generally sits in the 88-92 mph range. His delivery currently has a significant head whack, but that is something that will likely subside as he gets stronger. He has a very promising 12-to-6 curveball. With an over-the-top delivery, Prager has the ability to work up and down in the zone, changing hitters’ eye levels.

42. Jackson Glenn, INF, Dallas Baptist (BA RANK: 451)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-11 • Wt: 205 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

Glenn should provide a team with a solid senior signing as a productive infielder who led Dallas Baptist in almost every offensive category. He hit .366/.438/.732 with 21 home runs, 13 steals in 13 tries and walked almost as much as he struck out. The downside is he is quite old for a prospective draftee. A fifth-year senior, the 23-year-old is older than a number of established major leaguers. He’s already finished his degree in business administration and is working on his masters of business administration. Glenn primarily played second base in 2021 after playing third base full-time in 2020. He has played everywhere around the infield at various points in his career. He fits best at second, where he’s shown above-average range, a quick transfer and an ability to throw with various arm angles. His average arm does limit him when he plays on the other side of the infield. At the plate, Glenn has shown above-average raw power which generally plays in games to his pull side. Glenn’s 2021 production was excellent, and a clear notch above his previous years--he hadn’t hit .300 in his first two years at Dallas Baptist. Teams have to decide how much of that was a product of being a savvy fifth-year college player.

43. Mason Auer, OF/RHP, San Jacinto (Texas) JC (BA RANK: 452)
Source: JC • Ht: 6-1 • Wt: 210 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Oregon

Coming out of high school, Auer was viewed as a developing pitcher who could also play in the outfield. Now he’s an outfielder who can also pitch. Auer pitched and hit at Missouri State in the shortened 2020 season, then transferred to San Jacinto (Texas) JC for 2021. Auer was San Jac’s best hitter, hitting .373/.525/.627 with 11 home runs and 34 steals in 37 tries. Auer also made nine relatively effective outings on the mound for the Gators, but his speed, developing power and center field defense are now more alluring than his arm strength on the mound. He’s committed to Oregon.

44. Creed Willems, C, Aledo (Texas) HS (BA RANK: 456)
Source: HS • Ht: 6-1 • Wt: 220 • B-T: L-R • Commitment/Drafted: Texas Christian

Willems most likely will get to Texas Christian, but the stout catcher has legitimate pro potential. Willems moves better than his 6-foot-1, 220-pound frame would seem to indicate. He has a plus arm behind the plate. He’s been clocked 92-93 mph off the mound and shows some feel for pitching, too, with a promising slider. He has present strength that also plays as a hitter. Willems hits from a very wide base with a short stroke. He has plus raw power. Willems will have to stay on top of his conditioning as he’s already filled out, but he has many of the attributes teams look for in a catcher.

45. Phillip Sikes, OF, Texas Christian (BA RANK: 465)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 190 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Diamondbacks '19 (33)

After starting his career at New Mexico, transferring to Paris (Texas) JC and getting drafted in the 33rd round in 2019 (by the D-Backs), Sikes came to Texas Christian in 2020 and was the Horned Frogs’ best hitter in 2021. The center fielder hit .329/.427/.620 with 11 home runs and 13 steals in 14 attempts. SIkes has a solid, well-rounded tool set. He’s a plus runner who has demonstrated that he can catch up to a good fastball, although he can be enticed to chase a tantalizing slider. Sikes has a short, direct swing that is geared more for hitting for average than power, but he has enough strength to drive balls to the right field power alley as well. Sikes is a well-rounded outfielder who can play center field in a pinch and is average in the corners. His arm is fringe-average but accurate.

46. Patrick Monteverde, LHP, Texas Tech (BA RANK: 469)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 190 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

Monteverde is very well traveled at this point. He began his college career at Virginia Wesleyan, then transferred to Seton Hill (Pa.). But after a solid sophomore season, he missed most of the next two years because of Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow. He transferred to Texas Tech as a graduate transfer and earned the Friday starter role. Monteverde is more crafty than overpowering. He succeeds thanks to plus control of a below-average fastball, average slider and average changeup. He’s a very useful senior sign.

47. Carlos Tavera, RHP, Texas-Arlington (BA RANK: 483)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-1 • Wt: 195 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

Tavera combined with Tanner King this season to throw Texas-Arlington’s first no-hitter since 1983. Tavera went nine innings on that day, but it took Texas-Arlington 11 innings to win the game, 1-0. That was just part of a dominating season where Tavera went 3-4, 3.04 with 12.7 K/9 and 3.6 BB/9. His 117 strikeouts ranked 25th among Division I pitchers. Tavera has gone from sitting in the high 80s to 91-93 mph with the Mavericks. In addition to his average fastball, he spins an above-average slider and mixes in a changeup. His delivery is a very simple one—he has an abbreviated takeaway that ensures his delivery is repeatable.

48. Luke Heefner, SS, Home School (Texas) (BA RANK: 497)
Source: HS • Ht: 5-11 • Wt: 170 • B-T: L-R • Commitment/Drafted: Dallas Baptist

The son of Dallas Baptist head coach Dan Heefner and the nephew of big leaguer Ben Zobrist, Luke Heefner has grown up with baseball all around him. As you would expect from a coach’s son, Heefner has an advanced understanding of the game. Heefner isn’t particularly big (5-foot-11, 170 pounds) but he generates at least average power from a pretty simple stroke. Heefner begins with a high handset and a quick trigger. Eventually Heefner could end up at second base, as his range, arm and actions are all a tick below-average for shortstop. He’s signed to play at Dallas Baptist.

49. Zach Zubia, 1B, Texas (BA RANK: 498)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-4 • Wt: 230 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

A two-sport star in high school (he was also a quarterback), Zubia has become a fixture at Texas. He was actually part of David Pierce’s last recruiting class at Tulane, but when Pierce was hired at Texas, Zubia decided to come to Austin as well. He had to sit out that first year due to transferring, but he’s been a regular in the Longhorns lineup ever since. Zubia’s power has long been somewhat suppressed by Disch-Falk Field, but he has plus raw power and he’s shown his power plays with a wood bat. He holds the Northwoods League single-season home run record with 22. He has some feel for the barrel as well and projects as a fringe-average hitter with above-average power. Zubia is a potentially useful senior sign, but he’s a below-average defender at first who will likely play a good bit of DH. His age (23) is a hurdle as he’ll have to move extremely quickly if he is to be more than an organizational player.

Jordanlawlar Billmitchell

Analyzing The Top 2021 College Baseball Recruiting Classes

Breaking down all the key names to know in the 25 best recruiting classes.

50. Mason Marriot, RHP, Tomball (Texas) HS
Source: HS • Ht: 6-1 • Wt: 170 • B-T: L-R • Commitment/Drafted: Baylor

51. Trent Baker, RHP, Angelo State (Texas)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 240 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

52. Eric Kennedy, OF, Texas
Source: 4YR •

53. Austin Becker, RHP, Texas Tech
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-5 • Wt: 205 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Rangers '18 (37)

54. Austin Stracener, SS, Canyon (Texas) HS
Source: HS • Ht: 5-11 • Wt: 175 • B-T: L-R • Commitment/Drafted: Texas A&M

55. Chandler Jozwiak, LHP, Texas A&M
Source: 4YR •

56. Will Rizzo, RHP, St. Thomas HS, The Woodlands, Texas
Source: HS • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 195 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Texas A&M

57. Harrison Beethe, RHP, Texas Christian
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-5 • Wt: 220 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Brewers '19 (39)

58. Dylan Neuse, OF, Texas Tech
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-9 • Wt: 175 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

59. Hudson White, C, Byron Nelson HS, Trophy Club, Texas
Source: HS • Commitment/Drafted: Texas Tech

60. Rhett Kouba, RHP, Dallas Baptist
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-0 • Wt: 180 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

61. Riley Cornelio, RHP, Texas Christian
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 195 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

62. Ben Tadlock, SS, Coronado HS, Lubbock, Texas
Source: HS • Commitment/Drafted: Texas Tech

63. Ty Hodge, SS, College Station (Texas) HS
Source: HS • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 195 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Texas A&M

64. Colton Eager, OF, Abilene Christian
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-0 • Wt: 201 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

65. Devin Bennett, RHP, Benbrook HS, Fort Worth, Texas
Source: HS • Commitment/Drafted: Dallas Baptist

66. Hunter Teplansky, SS, Marcus HS, Flower Mound, Texas
Source: HS • Commitment/Drafted: Texas Christian

67. Ryan Wrobleski, C/OF, Dallas Baptist
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-0 • Wt: 202 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

68. Luke Marbach, 1B, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-11 • Wt: 175 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

69. Nathan Artt, P, Grayson County (Texas) JC
Source: JC • Ht: 6-8 • Wt: 230 • B-T: R-R •

70. Christian Okerholm, RHP, Vandegrift HS, Austin
Source: HS • Commitment/Drafted: Georgia Tech

71. Porter Brown, OF, Texas Christian
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-11 • Wt: 190 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

72. Chris Weber, LHP, Texas A&M
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-4 • Wt: 225 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

73. Mitchell Dickson, C, Abilene Christian
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 170 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

74. Ben Bosse, RHP, Brenham (Texas) HS
Source: HS • Ht: 6-1 • Wt: 195 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Auburn

75. Haylen Green, LHP, Texas Christian
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-11 • Wt: 185 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

76. Zach Bravo, RHP, Lamar
Source: 4YR • Commitment/Drafted: Rays '19 (29)

77. Andre Duplantier, RHP/3B, Texas
Source: 4YR •

78. Cole Moore, 1B, Dallas Baptist
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 214 • B-T: L-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

79. Gavin Kash, 1B, Monsignor Kelly HS, Sour Lake, Texas
Source: HS • Commitment/Drafted: Texas

80. Aaron Calhoun, RHP, Clear Brook HS, Pearland, Texas
Source: HS • Commitment/Drafted: Oklahoma

81. Garrett Martin, OF, McLennan (Texas) JC
Source: JC • Ht: 6-4 • Wt: 190 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Oklahoma State

82. Blayne Jones, SS, Dallas Baptist
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-0 • Wt: 195 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

83. Joseph Menefee, LHP, Texas A&M
Source: 4YR • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

84. Ace Whitefield, OF, Lampasas (Texas) HS
Source: HS • Commitment/Drafted: Texas

85. Chase Kemp, 1B, Lamar
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-1 • Wt: 220 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

86. Cameron O'Banan, RHP, Dripping Springs
Source: HS • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 185 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Texas

87. Harold Coll, SS, San Jacinto (Texas) JC
Source: JC • Ht: 5-11 • Wt: 185 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

88. Cody Howard, RHP, The Woodlands (Texas) HS
Source: HS • Ht: 6-0 • Wt: 180 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Baylor

89. Landon Ausley, RHP, Sam Houston State
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-6 • Wt: 210 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

90. River Town, OF, Dallas Baptist
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-11 • Wt: 180 • B-T: L-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

91. Cam Williams, INF, Texas
Source: 4YR •

92. Gage Wakefield, OF, Bullard (Texas) HS
Source: HS • Commitment/Drafted: Texas

93. Luke Eldred, RHP, Dallas Baptist
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-5 • Wt: 270 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

94. Jaycob Deese, RHP, Houston
Source: 4YR •

95. Max Marusak, OF, Texas Tech
Source: 4YR •

96. Jack Rogers, LF/1B, Sam Houston State
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 185 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

97. Ty Sexton, RHP, Lake Creek HS, Montgomery, Texas
Source: HS • Ht: 6-6 • Wt: 205 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Texas A&M

98. Tyler Bielamowicz, OF, Houston
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-1 • Wt: 182 • B-T: R-L • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

99. Jared Pettitte, LHP, Dallas Baptist
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 218 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

100. Sabin Ceballos, INF/C, San Jacinto (Texas) JC
Source: JC • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 180 • B-T: B-R •

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