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2021 Washington 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. Malakhi Knight, OF, Marysville-Getchell HS, Marysville, Wash. (BA RANK: 73)
Source: HS • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 187 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: UCLA

The top-ranked prep hitter in the Pacific Northwest in the 2021 class, Knight was on the same 3D Sweets travel ball team with 2021 prospects Thatcher Hurd and Max Debiec that spent a month this spring playing games in Arizona against local high schools. Knight is an impressive athlete who also excels on the basketball court, and there are few players in the class with better raw tools. The 6-foot-3, 187-pound outfielder had an excellent summer showcase circuit and shot up draft boards, but his stock has dropped slightly this spring due to concerns with his swing that have led some scouts to believe he will need to rework his overall approach at the plate. He sets up with his front shoulder tucked in and his hands pushed into his chest, freeing him to keep his hands inside the ball. When Knight is on plane, he has the ability to hit the ball to all fields, but he’s shown some swing-and-miss issues with both fastball velocity and offspeed pitches. Knight does well in a workout setting, with above-average raw power that could grow into more as he gets stronger, and he showed off his plus speed with a 6.4-second 60-yard dash time at the Perfect Game National showcase. Defensively, Knight makes reads and breaks that are advanced for a high school center fielder, with an above-average arm and the running ability to stick at the position. Due to concerns with his hit tool, Knight could drop in the draft and decide to honor his commitment to UCLA, but a strong showing at the pre-draft combine could lead teams to forget about the toolsy outfielder’s swing.

2. Kyle Manzardo, 1B, Washington State (BA RANK: 80)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-1 • Wt: 205 • B-T: L-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

Due in part to a dearth of quality college bats as well as an impressive season, Manzardo has shot up draft boards in his junior year and is now expected to be the first player taken out of the Pacific Northwest. The son of a coach, Manzardo was under the radar coming out of high school from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, but he’s performed since arriving in Pullman. Manzardo had a solid freshman season (.272/.335/.364), then hit .435/.500/.694 with three home runs and 14 RBIs in the shortened 2020 campaign. This year, he’s been just as good, hitting .365/.437/.640 with 11 home runs and 60 RBIs while cutting his strikeout rate significantly (12.7%) and raising his walk rate (10.9%). His defensive profile likely has him resigned to first base, with below-average defense at the position, and he’s not a great athlete, with below-average speed. Manzardo will have to rely on his bat to lead the way, but he has an advanced feel to hit from the left side. He gets credited for a strong approach to the game and has some of the best pitch-recognition skills of the class. Manzardo hits the ball to all fields, but can pull the ball well when needed and consistently works long at-bats. In addition to his plus bat, Manzardo has above-average power out of his 6-foot-1, 195-pound frame, with the potential to hit 20 home runs in the big leagues.

3. Max Debiec, RHP, O'Dea HS, Seattle (BA RANK: 163)
Source: HS • Ht: 6-7 • Wt: 200 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Washington

Debiec was on the same 3D Sweets team with Malakhi Knight and Thatcher Hurd that stayed in Arizona for a month playing local high schools and impressed on the circuit. He was considered the top prep pitcher in the Northwest heading into the spring after showing a fastball that sat 91-94 mph throughout the summer and topped out at 96-98 with high spin rates, with the ability to throw consistent strikes. This spring, while still ranking as the top prep hurler in the region, he’s looked like a different pitcher, with an effortful delivery that evaluators feel needs to be reworked and a fastball that went from sitting 90-94 mph in April down to 86-89 mph and topping out at 91 in May. His power breaking ball, which blends between a slider and curveball in shape and velocity, hasn’t shown its usual snap or power and his low-80s changeup, considered a weapon coming into the spring, has also struggled. Some evaluators believe Debiec’s regression could be due to fatigue from playing both basketball and baseball late into the spring, and a strong performance in the West Coast League in June could raise his stock. Debiec has great size at 6-foot-7, 200 pounds with some projectability left, but his decreased fastball velocity has added to concerns that he might need to move to the bullpen. Debiec underwent Tommy John surgery at the end of his season.

4. Brandon White, RHP, Washington State (BA RANK: 228)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-8 • Wt: 240 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Dodgers '18 (14)

Drafted in the 14th round by the Dodgers in 2018, White decided to go to school at Washington State and since then evaluators have waited for a breakout year from him that has not come to fruition. He went 2-8, 6.52 with 49 strikeouts and 24 walks in 58 innings as a freshman, made just two starts in the shortened 2020 season and went 6-4, 4.98 with 61 strikeouts and 39 walks in 68.2 innings this year. At 6-foot-8, 230 pounds from the right side, White is an imposing figure on the mound with deceptive athleticism for his size and repeatability in his delivery. He throws his fastball from a steep angle, and the pitch got up to 97 mph in the fall, although it topped out around 93 mph this spring. White has relied heavily on his above-average to plus changeup, and during the 2020 shutdown he ditched his slider for a cutter. The cutter lacked movement, leaving him without a suitable third pitch at the moment. White struggles with his command and control, leading to reliever risk, but he has enough upside that a club that feels confident in its player development system could scoop him up.

5. Braiden Ward, OF, Washington (BA RANK: 355)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-10 • Wt: 160 • B-T: L-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

The best athlete in the Pacific Northwest and possibly the fastest player in the entire draft class, Ward hit over .300 in each of his first two seasons at Washington in 2018 and 2019 before an impressive summer in the wood bat Cape Cod League where he hit .303/.386/.407 with three home runs and 21 RBIs. Ward didn’t hit as well this season, with a .285/.374/.378 slash line while showing an uptick in strikeouts (42) compared to just 12 walks. Ward has bat speed in his slashy bat, but he’s struggled seeing pitches this year and too often swings early in counts instead of working longer at-bats, with minimal power. Ward’s carrying tool is his 80-grade speed, and he’s an excellent basestealer—89 stolen bases in 104 attempts in his collegiate career. The speed plays well in center field, where he’s a plus defender, but he’s also played some second base this season and played shortstop in high school. Top-of-the-scale speed is hard to come by, and Ward’s defensive versatility could make him intriguing for teams.

6. Tyson Guerrero, LHP, Washington (BA RANK: 374)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-0 • Wt: 195 • B-T: L-L • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

After posting a 1-2, 3.63 mark as a freshman at Washington State, Guerrero transferred to Lower Columbia (Wash.) JC, and cruised in his two outings, putting up 20 strikeouts and four walks over 10 innings. Guerrero ranked as the No. 253 prospect in the 2020 BA 500 but went unpicked in the five-round draft and transferred to Washington. Guerrero suffered an MCL sprain in his knee in one of his first outings of the season, but returned to post a 3-3, 2.96 mark with 50 strikeouts and 18 walks in 54.2 innings over 11 starts. The 6-foot, 195-pound lefthander is athletic, and shows feel to spin. He utilizes a three-pitch mix, headlined by a fastball that was up to 94-95 mph last season and regularly sat 90-91 this season and topped out at 93-94 mph. Due in part to his deception, Guerrero gets swings and misses on the pitch. His best secondary offering is a high-spin curveball, followed by a changeup, each of which he throws for strikes. Guerrero is a control-over-command pitcher, and finds a way to stay off the barrel. Evaluators feel he is likely destined for a role as a middle reliever, where his fastball would play up, but a team could view him as a back-end starter. Guerrero is likely to go off the board late on day two or early on day three.

7. Zane Mills, RHP, Washington State (BA RANK: 426)
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-4 • Wt: 215 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

Undrafted out of high school from Lincoln High in Portland, Mills struggled in his first season at Washington State in 2019, posting a 2-4, 5.25 mark with 40 strikeouts and 21 walks in 36 innings, but took a step forward with an impressive summer in the West Coast League. He carried that momentum into the 2020 season and went 3-0, 0.58 in seven appearances (six starts) in the Northwoods League that summer. This season, Mills pitched well at times, with a 5-5, 4.15 mark, 83 strikeouts and 22 walks in 80.1 innings despite not having a dominant arsenal. At 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, Mills has good size on the mound and is lauded for his pitchability and polish. His three-pitch mix is highlighted by a fastball that sits 88-92 mph and a slider, and his command of both pitches is plus. He also mixes in a changeup, with the ability to throw the pitch for strikes. Thanks to his feel and command of his arsenal, Mills should be able to start at the next level.

8. AJ Guerrero, OF, Fife (Wash.) HS (BA RANK: 478)
Source: HS • Ht: 6-0 • Wt: 190 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Washington

Guerrero put up strong numbers for Fife (Wash.) High this spring while showing the impact of his bat. It’s not a smooth swing and he’s prone to taking aggressive hacks, but Guerrero has shown the ability to get the barrel on the ball and had no trouble hitting velocity and offspeed offerings this spring, posting high exit velocities thanks to his raw power. There are concerns about his frame at 6 feet, 190 pounds, and he’s a below-average runner. There are also questions about his future position, as he suited up as DH often this spring along with playing in the outfield and at shortstop. Guerrero is a below-average defender around the diamond, leaving more pressure on his bat to perform. Evaluators believe he would be best served to go to school.

9. Nathan DeSchryver, RHP, Bainbridge HS, Bainbridge Island, Wash. (BA RANK: 487)
Source: HS • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 185 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Gonzaga

A Gonzaga commit out of Bainbridge High in Bainbridge Island, Wash., Deschryver is athletic with a fastball that has sat 87-91 and topped out at 93 mph this season, with the projectability in his 6-foot-2, 185-pound frame to add more velocity once he gets stronger. Deschryver does a good job of commanding his fastball and it shows some riding life. The righthander has shown feel to throw a changeup as well, and his slider is a clear third pitch. Some evaluators felt he struggled this spring and feel he would benefit from honoring his commitment to Gonzaga. A two-way talent who also plays the outfield for his high school team, Deschryver is noted for his strong makeup.

10. Brett Harris, 3B, Gonzaga
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-3 • Wt: 198 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

11. Collin Montez, CF, Washington State
Source: 4YR •

12. Tommy Brandenburg, RHP, Kalama
Source: HS •

13. Jessada Brown, C/OF, Chief Sealth HS
Source: HS •

14. Jessada Brown, C, Chief Sealth International HS
Source: HS •

15. Jackson Cox, RHP, Toutle Lake HS
Source: HS •

16. Willis Creswell, C, Puyallup HS
Source: HS •

17. Brice Crider, RHP, Skagit Valley (Wash.) JC
Source: JC •

18. Colin Curry, OF, Redmond HS
Source: HS •

19. Clyde Enos, RHP, Big Bend (Wash.) JC
Source: JC •

20. Kai Francis, RHP, Bainbridge
Source: HS •

21. Devin Fry, RHP, Wenatchee Valley (Wash.) JC
Source: JC •

22. Jojo Gonzalez, RHP, Shoreline (Wash.) JC
Source: JC •

23. Antonio Guerrero, OF, Fife HS
Source: HS •

24. Elijah Hainline, SS, Mead HS
Source: HS •

25. Dominic Hellman, SS/C, Jackson HS
Source: HS •

26. Tyler Hoefer, RHP, Central Washington
Source: 4YR •

27. Trevin Hope, RHP, Bellevue (Wash.) JC
Source: JC •

28. Michael Hyde, RHP, Seattle Prep HS
Source: HS •

29. Alek Jacob, RHP, Gonzaga
Source: 4YR •

30. Jaymz Knowlton, OF, Centralia (Wash.) JC
Source: JC •

31. Dillon Larsen, RHP, Central Washington
Source: 4YR •

32. Jake Larson, 3B, Kentlake HS
Source: HS •

33. Nate Leibold, RHP, Ballard HS
Source: HS •

34. Nate Liebold, RHP, Ballard HS
Source: HS •

35. Austin Lively, SS, Seattle
Source: 4YR •

36. Angel Maldanado, RHP, Bainbridge HS
Source: HS •

37. Riley McCarthy, C, Mountain View HS
Source: HS •

38. Tyson McInnes, RHP, Edmonds (Wash.) JC
Source: JC •

39. Connor O'Brien, SS, Seattle
Source: 4YR • Ht: 6-2 • Wt: 175 • B-T: R-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

40. Brandham Ponce, 3B/1B, Big Bend (Wash.) JC
Source: JC •

41. Tyler Rando, C, Gonzaga
Source: 4YR •

42. Donald Saltiban, OF, Yakima Valley (Wash.) JC
Source: JC •

43. Ben Steck, C, Everett (Wash.) JC
Source: JC •

44. Peyson Sweeney, P, Liberty HS
Source: HS •

45. Zach Toglia, 3B, Gig Harbor HS
Source: HS •

46. Jacob Trupp, LHP, Clark (Wash.) JC
Source: JC •

47. Michael Tsoukalas, C, Arlington HS
Source: HS • Commitment/Drafted: Oregon State

48. Luis Vales-Crespo, C, Bainbridge HS
Source: HS •

49. Aiden Van Rensum, SS, Archbishop McCarthy
Source: HS •

50. Tanner Vaughn, RHP, WF West HS
Source: HS •

51. Caden Vire, LHP, Skyview
Source: HS •

52. Ernie Yake, SS, Gonzaga
Source: 4YR • Ht: 5-11 • Wt: 165 • B-T: L-R • Commitment/Drafted: Never Drafted

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