Baseball America's draft content is powered by

Baseball America 2021 MLB Staff Draft

Image credit: Jordan Lawlar (Photo by Eddie Kelly)

For the fourth consecutive year, we’re putting Baseball America staffers in MLB war rooms.

Below you’ll see the results of our two-round staff draft. Keep in mind this is not a mock draft — we aren’t necessarily predicting what teams will do — but rather an experiment of how we would make picks if acting as decision-makers for various teams. 

If you’d like to see Baseball America’s latest mock draft, click here

Carlos Collazo, J.J. Cooper, Ben Badler, Mark Chiarelli and Chris Trenkle participated.

You can see the team-by-team results below, followed by our pick-by-pick rationale below.

First, here are the team-by- team results. Scroll past the table to find our pick-by-pick rationale.

Round Pick Slot Value Team Writer Selection Position BA 500 RANK School
1 9 $4,949,100 Angels Mark Chiarelli Will Taylor OF 21
Dutch Fork HS, Irmo, S.C.
2 45 $1,650,200 Angels Mark Chiarelli Ryan Cusick RHP 37 Wake Forest
1 25 $2,740,300 Athletics Ben Badler Max Muncy SS 52
Thousand Oaks (Calif.) HS
2 60 $1,157,400 Athletics Ben Badler Maddux Bruns LHP 48
UMS-Wright Prep, Mobile, Ala.
1 19 $3,359,000 Blue Jays Mark Chiarelli Jay Allen OF 38
Carroll Catholic, Fort Pierce, Fla.
1 24 $2,831,300 Braves Mark Chiarelli Gavin Williams RHP 30 East Carolina
2 59 $1,185,500 Braves Mark Chiarelli Cooper Kinney 2B/3B 70 Baylor HS
1 15 $3,885,800 Brewers Ben Badler Harry Ford C 17
North Cobb HS, Kennesaw, Ga.
CBA 33 $2,202,200 Brewers Ben Badler Peyton Stovall 2B 33
Haughton (La.) HS
2 51 $1,436,900 Brewers Ben Badler Peter Heubeck RHP 105
Gilman HS, Baltimore
1 18 $3,481,300 Cardinals Chris Trenkle Ethan Wilson OF 26 South Alabama
2 54 $1,338,500 Cardinals Chris Trenkle Ben Kudrna RHP 47
Blue Valley Southwest HS, Overland Park, Kan.
1 21 $3,132,300 Cubs Carlos Collazo Will Bednar RHP 18
Mississippi State
2 56 $1,276,400 Cubs Carlos Collazo Dylan Smith RHP 56 Alabama
1 6 $5,742,900 D-backs Carlos Collazo Brady House SS 7
Winder-Barrow HS, Winder, Ga.
2 42 $1,771,100 D-backs Carlos Collazo Matheu Nelson C 50 Florida State
1 29 $2,424,600 Dodgers Mark Chiarelli Colson Montgomery SS 34
Southridge HS, Huntingburg, Ind.
1 14 $4,036,800 Giants Mark Chiarelli Matt McLain SS 10 UCLA
2 50 $1,469,900 Giants Mark Chiarelli Andrew Abbott LHP 67 Virginia
1 23 $2,926,800 Indians Chris Trenkle Benny Montgomery OF 23
Red Land HS, Lewisberry, Pa.
2 58 $1,214,300 Indians Chris Trenkle Tommy Mace RHP 65 Florida
1 12 $4,366,400 Mariners J.J. Cooper Ty Madden RHP 12 Texas
2 48 $1,543,600 Mariners J.J. Cooper Christian Franklin OF 57 Arkansas
1 16 $3,745,500 Marlins Carlos Collazo Andrew Painter RHP 15
Calvary Christian HS, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
CBA 31 $2,312,000 Marlins Carlos Collazo Adrian Del Castillo C 25 Miami
2 52 $1,403,200 Marlins Carlos Collazo Thatcher Hurd RHP 44
Mira Costa HS, Manhattan Beach, Calif.
1 10 $4,739,900 Mets Ben Badler Sal Frelick OF 9 Boston College
2 46 $1,617,400 Mets Ben Badler Matt Mikulski LHP 40 Fordham
1 11 $4,547,500 Nationals Carlos Collazo Colton Cowser OF 11
2 47 $1,580,200 Nationals Carlos Collazo Trey Sweeney SS 55 Eastern Illinois
1 5 $6,180,700 Orioles Ben Badler Henry Davis C 4 Louisville
2 41 $1,813,500 Orioles Ben Badler Lonnie White Jr. OF 32
Malvern (Pa.) Prep
1 27 $2,570,100 Padres J.J. Cooper Gunnar Hoglund RHP 19 Mississippi
2 62 $1,102,700 Padres J.J. Cooper Malakhi Knight OF 73
Marysville-Getchell HS, Marysville, Wash.
1 13 $4,197,300 Phillies Chris Trenkle Michael McGreevy RHP 16
UC Santa Barbara
2 49 $1,507,600 Phillies Chris Trenkle Frank Mozzicato LHP 42
East Catholic HS, Manchester, Conn.
1 1 $8,415,300 Pirates Carlos Collazo Jordan Lawlar SS 1 Dallas Jesuit HS
2 37 $1,999,300 Pirates Carlos Collazo Anthony Solometo LHP 28
Bishop Eustace Prep, Pennsauken, N.J.
1 2 $7,789,900 Rangers J.J. Cooper Jack Leiter RHP 3 Vanderbilt
2 38 $1,952,300 Rangers J.J. Cooper Spencer Schwellenbach RHP/SS 51 Nebraska
1 28 $2,493,900 Rays Chris Trenkle Jaden Hill RHP 24 Louisiana State
CBA 34 $2,148,100 Rays Chris Trenkle Chase Petty RHP 29
Mainland Regional HS, Linwood, N.J.
2 63 $1,076,300 Rays Chris Trenkle Jose Torres SS 92
North Carolina State
1 4 $6,664,000 Red Sox Mark Chiarelli Kahlil Watson SS 6
Wake Forest HS (NC)
2 40 $1,856,700 Red Sox Mark Chiarelli James Wood OF 35
IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.
1 17 $3,609,700 Reds J.J. Cooper Sam Bachman RHP 14 Miami (Ohio)
COMP 30 $2,365,500 Reds J.J. Cooper Bubba Chandler RHP/SS 20
North Oconee HS, Bogart, Ga.
CBA 35 $2,095,800 Reds J.J. Cooper Robert Gasser LHP 64 Houston
2 53 $1,370,400 Reds J.J. Cooper Steve Hajjar LHP 61 Michigan
1 8 $5,176,900 Rockies Chris Trenkle Jackson Jobe RHP 8
Heritage Hall HS, Oklahoma City
2 44 $1,689,500 Rockies Chris Trenkle Joshua Baez OF 31
Dexter Southfield HS, Brookline, Mass.
1 7 $5,432,400 Royals J.J. Cooper Kumar Rocker RHP 5 Vanderbilt
2 43 $1,729,800 Royals J.J. Cooper Carson Williams SS 41
Torrey Pines HS, San Diego
1 3 $7,221,200 Tigers Chris Trenkle Marcelo Mayer SS 2
Eastlake HS, Chula Vista, Calif.
CBA 32 $2,257,300 Tigers Chris Trenkle Jud Fabian OF 27 Florida
2 39 $1,906,800 Tigers Chris Trenkle Cody Morissette 2B 45 Boston College
1 26 $2,653,400 Twins Carlos Collazo Joe Mack C 22
Williamsville East HS, East Amherst, N.Y.
CBA 36 $2,045,400 Twins Carlos Collazo Tyler Black 2B 82 Wright State
2 61 $1,129,700 Twins Carlos Collazo James Triantos SS 59
Madison HS, Vienna, Va.
1 22 $3,027,000 White Sox J.J. Cooper Jordan Wicks LHP 13 Kansas State
2 57 $1,243,600 White Sox J.J. Cooper Izaac Pacheco SS 36
Friendswood (Texas) HS
1 20 $3,242,900 Yankees Ben Badler Connor Norby 2B 43 East Carolina
2 55 $1,307,000 Yankees Ben Badler Wes Kath 3B 54
Desert Mountain HS, Scottsdale, Ariz.


1. Pirates
Player: Jordan Lawlar, SS, Dallas Jesuit HS
Writer: Carlos Collazo

Rationale: I was hoping I didn’t wind up with the first pick because I wanted someone else to make the tough decision and sort through a group of four to five names up top. Oh well. For me, this pick came down mostly to Lawlar vs. Marcelo Mayer, but I also thought briefly about Jack Leiter and Kahlil Watson. Ultimately, Lawlar’s all-around tool set and outstanding summer performance were the deciders for me.

2. Rangers
Player: Jack Leiter, RHP, Vanderbilt
Writer: J.J. Cooper

Rationale: Yes, he’s a little home run prone, but other than that, there’s not much to nitpick about Leiter’s present stuff or his future projection. He gets swings and misses on elevated fastballs and has shown feel for throwing four pitches.

3. Tigers
Player: Marcelo Mayer, SS, Eastlake HS, Chula Vista, Calif.
Writer: Chris Trenkle

Rationale: This was an easy pick. I get the No. 2 player in the class at No. 3 overall and get to add the toolsy shortstop to an impressive group of hitters that includes Spencer Torkelson, Riley Greene and Dillon Dingler.

4. Red Sox
Player: Kahlil Watson, SS, Wake Forest HS (NC)
Writer: Mark Chiarelli

Rationale: Both Mayer and Leiter going off the board is a tough-luck scenario for the Red Sox at No. 4. Watson—one of the most exciting players in the draft class—is hardly a consolation.

5. Orioles
Player: Henry Davis, C, Louisville
Writer: Ben Badler

Rationale: Kumar Rocker is tempting here. But Davis is the best college bat on the board, and while the Orioles already have a franchise player and catcher of the future in Adley Rutschman, I’m taking the highest-ranked player available and letting a good problem to have sort itself out in the coming years.

6. Diamondbacks
Player: Brady House, SS, Winder-Barrow HS, Winder, Ga.
Writer: Carlos Collazo

Rationale: The five names in front of this pick were all of the players I expected to be gone in front of Arizona, just knowing the tendencies of my colleagues. For me, this pick came down to Jackson Jobe vs. Brady House. I think both are the best upside plays on the board at this point, and the attrition rate of pitchers scared me off enough to make House and his massive power potential the pick—though I don’t think Arizona makes this call in the real draft.

7. Royals
Player: Kumar Rocker, RHP, Vanderbilt
Writer: J.J. Cooper

Rationale: No need to overthink it here. Rocker gives Kansas City yet another productive college arm to join a staff full of them. He also could prove a steal here, as a year ago the thought of Rocker lasting to pick seven seemed unthinkable. If he continues to develop his changeup to pair with a plus-plus breaking ball, watch out.

8. Rockies
Player: Jackson Jobe, RHP, Heritage Hall HS, Oklahoma City
Writer: Chris Trenkle

Rationale: I’ll go with the upside play here and draft Jobe, who has a dynamic arsenal.

9. Angels
Player: Will Taylor, OF, Dutch Fork HS, Irmo, S.C.
Writer: Mark Chiarelli

Rationale: BA draft czar Carlos Collazo connected Taylor to the Angels in late June, and I see no reason to change that here. Taylor is a dynamic two-sport Clemson recruit with considerable helium.

10. Mets
Player: Sal Frelick, OF, Boston College
Writer: Ben Badler

Rationale: Premium athlete, premium position, elite runner and high-end contact skills with a good offensive performance record. I don’t think Frelick is going to be an MVP, but he has a chance to be a Coco Crisp type player, posting a lot of 3-4 WAR seasons in his prime with the ability to help the varsity team within the next couple of years.

11. Nationals
Player: Colton Cowser OF, Sam Houston State
Writer: Carlos Collazo

Rationale: For me this pick comes down to the best two bats available on the board (Matt McLain and Colton Cowser) or a big group of arms that is tougher to sort through. Of that pitching group I’m most drawn to Ty Madden and Michael McGreevy, but I think I’ll still go with a bat, because the drop-off for the college hitters is coming fast and I like some of the arms I’ll have a shot at grabbing later.

12. Mariners
Player: Ty Madden, RHP, Texas
Writer: J.J. Cooper

Rationale: Madden has demonstrated durability and an ability to carry velocity deep into games. He was the ace of a team that went to Omaha, and he’s got a solid frame and clean delivery. There may be pitchers with a little more upside, but few can match his likelihood of being an MLB starter.

13. Phillies
Player: Michael McGreevy RHP, UC Santa Barbara
Writer: Chris Trenkle

Rationale: The Phillies are in win-now mode, and McGreevy is a control artist with four average or better pitches who could be a quick mover up the minor league ladder.

14. Giants
Player: Matt McLain, SS, UCLA
Writer: Mark Chiarelli

Rationale: We’ll go with our best available college bat, UCLA SS Matt McLain, who fits in this range based off talent (No. 10 on the BA 500) and fits with what the Giants have done each of the last two years.

15. Brewers
Player: Harry Ford, C, North Cobb HS, Kennesaw, Ga.
Writer: Ben Badler

Rationale: I think Ford is one of the best hitters in the high school class. I think the swing works, there’s good bat speed, good contact skills and he performed at a high level last summer. Will he stick behind the plate? I don’t know and I don’t know that I care all that much, because I see Ford having the athleticism, defensive tools and offensive upside to project well at different spots around the diamond if he does have to move.

16. Marlins
Player: Andrew Painter, RHP, Calvary Christian HS, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Writer: Carlos Collazo

Rationale: With Ben cornering the market on undersized hitters in front of me, I was debating on arms at this pick for Miami. Will Bednar is intriguing considering his late-season performance and I think Jordan Wicks would be a good value here as well as the top lefthander in the class, but I’m intrigued by Painter’s starter traits and overall upside potential. The local tie in for the Marlins is just a cherry on top. Fairly chalky draft for us so far, with Will Taylor (21) being the lowest-ranked player on the BA 500 to be selected.

17. Reds
Player: Sam Bachman, RHP, Miami (Ohio)
Writer: J.J. Cooper

Rationale: There’s a good chance that someone with as slider-heavy an approach as Bachman ends up being reliever, but with a 100-mph fastball and one of the best sliders in the class, he could make a big impact in the bullpen.

18. Cardinals
Player: Ethan Wilson OF, South Alabama
Writer: Chris Trenkle

Rationale: I thought about going with Jaden Hill here, but I love the idea of a Cardinals lineup that includes three huge power threats in Wilson, Nolan Gorman and Jordan Walker.

19. Blue Jays
Player: Jay Allen OF, Carroll Catholic, Fort Pierce, Fla.
Writer: Mark Chiarelli

Rationale: We heard the Blue Jays were connected with Allen and RHP Andrew Painter in our last mock. With Painter off the board in this scenario, the Jays land the dynamic prep outfielder.

20. Yankees
Player: Connor Norby, 2B, East Carolina
Writer: Ben Badler

Rationale: We’re in the range where teams are going to have their boards lined up in much, much different orders over the next 50 or so players. I like to bet on good hitters, and there’s a lot to like with Norby as a hitter, from his swing to his strike-zone control to his track record. If we had a normal 2020 and Norby had gone to the Cape Cod League last summer, I think he would have excelled there and he might not even be available with this pick, although I’m sure some teams will look at this as an early spot for Norby to go now, which is also why I’ll probably get him under slot and be able to pay more for some talented high school players with my later picks.

21. Cubs
Player: Will Bednar, RHP, Mississippi State
Writer: Carlos Collazo

Rationale: With the board really starting to open up a little bit, I see a ton of good value available here for the Cubs. I thought about Jordan Wicks at pick No. 16 for the Marlins and am a bit surprised he’s still available here. Additionally, I think Gunnar Hoglund would be a great value, especially given the research that suggests pre-draft Tommy John players pan out as well as their pitching contemporaries. Will Bednar still be available as well? Man. This one is tough. Give me the College World Series’ Most Outstanding Player. Also note that Ben continues to take short hitters. I think he has a type.

22. White Sox
Player: Jordan Wicks LHP, Kansas State
Writer: J.J. Cooper

Rationale: I didn’t expect to find Wicks still on the board at this spot, and considering where the White Sox are in their development cycle (playoff contender in 2021-2023), getting a fast-moving college arm fits.

23. Indians
Player: Benny Montgomery OF, Red Land HS, Lewisberry, Pa.
Writer: Chris Trenkle

Rationale: Montgomery is one of the toolsiest prep players in the draft and could be a good fit for the Indians player development team.

24. Braves
Player: Gavin Williams, RHP, East Carolina
Writer: Mark Chiarelli

Rationale: The Braves have been tied to several college arms. We’ll go with Gavin Williams, who has one of the best fastballs of any college pitcher and enjoyed a breakout year at East Carolina. (Carlos note: if the draft goes like this, ECU will have a pair of first-rounders in the same year for the first time in program history. Their only first-round pick prior to this is Jeff Hoffman in 2014. In 1993 Pat Watkins was selected in the supplemental first.)

25. Athletics
Player: Max Muncy, SS, Thousand Oaks (Calif.) HS
Writer: Ben Badler

Rationale: The A’s stay in state to get one of the most well-rounded high school players in the country. No, he’s not in the top tier of shortstops who will go in the top 10 overall picks, but Muncy has a good blend of tools and game skills across the board, with a chance to be an above-average hitter who could stick at shortstop.

26. Twins
Player: Joe Mack C, Williamsville East HS, East Amherst, N.Y.
Writer: Carlos Collazo

Rationale: With teams in front of me continuing to pile on with hitters, I am curious to see if an arm that I like here will fall to my next pick. I’m happy to get Mack in this spot because he’s probably been the best hitting prospect on the board for some time now—in front of some of the bats that have gone ahead of him. I like this value for the Twins and watch out for this pick during the actual draft.

27. Padres
Player: Gunnar Hoglund RHP, Mississippi 
Writer: J.J. Cooper

Rationale: If Hoglund wasn’t recovering from Tommy John surgery, he wouldn’t still be on the board for pick 27. The opportunity to add him to a deep group of Padres starting pitchers was too tempting to pass up.

28. Rays
Player: Jaden Hill RHP, LSU
Writer: Chris Trenkle

Rationale: I love the idea of the Rays player development team working with Hill, who was a projected top 10 pick before the season.

29. Dodgers
Player: Colson Montgomery SS, Southridge HS, Huntingburg, Ind.
Writer: Mark Chiarelli

Rationale: There’s increasing chatter surrounding Montgomery ahead of the Dodgers, so we’re thrilled the late-rising high school shortstop out of Indiana makes it to 29.

30. Reds
Player: Bubba Chandler RHP/SS, North Oconee HS, Bogart, Ga.
Writer: J.J. Cooper

Rationale: Chandler likely will cost more than slot to buy him out of a Clemson football commitment, but with two compensatory picks, Cincinnati has the ability to go above slot here if it goes below slot with its next pick.

31. Marlins
Player: Adrian Del Castillo C, Miami
Writer: Carlos Collazo

Rationale: Before JJ made his pick for the Reds at No. 30, I was eyeing either Bubba Chandler or Adrian Del Castillo for the Marlins. I promise I didn’t target South Florida prospects for Miami—it just so happens that the top two players in the area fell to both of their first two picks. Del Castillo slid significantly this season, but entered the year as arguably the best hitting prospect in the class. If 2021 was simply a down season this is exceptional value for the Marlins.

32. Tigers
Player: Jud Fabian OF, Florida
Writer: Chris Trenkle

Rationale: I was hoping Del Castillo would fall to me at 32, but since Los picked him at No. 31, I’ll go with Fabian. There are swing-and-miss concerns with Fabian, but his combination of power and defensive profile make him a worthy addition to the Tigers system.

33. Brewers
Player: Peyton Stovall, 2B, Haughton (La.) HS
Writer: Ben Badler

Rationale: The Brewers stay hitterish with their second pick, taking one of the top pure hitters in the country in Stovall. He’s not going to make the acrobatic defensive plays, but he consistently puts together quality at-bats with a sweet lefthanded stroke, good plate coverage and a knack for barreling baseballs as well as nearly any high school hitter in the class.

34. Rays
Player: Chase Petty RHP, Mainland Regional HS, Linwood, N.J.
Writer: Chris Trenkle

Rationale: Petty is one of the more exciting players in the class, with a fastball that has topped out at 102 mph. I’m taking him here to pair with Hill, giving the Rays a high-upside pitching duo with their first two picks.

35. Reds
Player: Robert Gasser, LHP, Houston
Writer: J.J. Cooper

Rationale: On pure talent, this is a reach. But we’re trying to be realistic here, and if Cincinnati is going to be able to afford Chandler’s asking price at pick 30, it likely will need to go well under slot here at pick 35. After an excellent year at Houston, Gasser is a solid prospect in his own right.

36. Twins
Player: Tyler Black, 2B, Wright State
Writer: Carlos Collazo

Rationale: Black was a player I was eyeing for the Twins here before the start of the draft, and I’m relieved to get him in this spot after seeing some of the hitter selections that went in front of this spot. Black controls the zone at a high level and scouts seem to have a strong conviction in his hit tool. This gives me two offensive-oriented lefthanded bats for the Twins with their first two picks.

37. Pirates
Player: Anthony Solometo, LHP, Bishop Eustace Prep, Pennsauken, N.J.
Writer: Carlos Collazo

Rationale: The Pirates have their choice of a number of high-upside preps at this spot, and with the biggest bonus pool they should be able to take their pick of that group. I thought about a college bat like Trey Sweeney or Matheu Nelson, but ultimately the upside with Solometo excites me, and I like going heavy on upside preps for the Pirates given their competitive window. It’s a good draft class to target that demographic.

38. Rangers
Player: Spencer Schwellenbach, RHP/SS, Nebraska
Writer: J.J. Cooper

Rationale: I’m trying to break a curse here, as the Rangers have had one second-round pick produce 1-plus career WAR since 1988 (Robbie Ross, 2008), a span of 32 picks. Schwellenbach gives me two chances to break that streak. He’s a solid prospect as a middle infielder, but he’s chosen here to pitch.

39. Tigers
Player: Cody Morissette, 2B, Boston College
Writer: Chris Trenkle

Rationale: The Tigers will need to go above the slot value to sign Fabian at pick 32, so I’ll go with Morissette here. The second baseman isn’t flashy, but he’s got a solid all-around tool set and gives the Tigers a long-term solution at the position.

40. Red Sox
Player: James Wood, OF, IMG Academy, Bradenton, Fla.
Writer: Mark Chiarelli

Rationale: Wood entered the year as a potential top-10 pick but swing-and-miss concerns precipitated a drop down our board. The 6-foot-6 Mississippi State commit has an enticing package of tools, headlined by massive power potential, but reportedly has a big asking price. The Red Sox have gotten creative under Chaim Bloom, going overslot a year ago to draft Blaze Jordan, another high-profile Mississippi State commit, and it’s easy to dream on Wood’s potential. 

41. Orioles
Player: Lonnie White Jr., OF, Malvern (Pa.) Prep
Writer: Ben Badler

Rationale: What is it going to take to sign White, who is committed to Penn State for both baseball and football? I don’t know, but I love White’s talent. He originally committed to Clemson for baseball and I think he loves playing the sport. If I have to trim some money with a later pick or two to get him signed, so be it. He has physicality, athleticism, a power/speed combo (though the speed probably slows down) and he hit well with a wood bat against good competition last summer, all from a high school player who hasn’t been focused on baseball full time.

42. Diamondbacks
Player: Matheu Nelson, C, Florida State
Writer: Carlos Collazo

Rationale: For most of the top college catchers in the class, their ability on the defensive end seems to be a real question. Not the case for Nelson, who has a chance to be an above-average defender and also just had one of the better home run hitting seasons of any Division I bat.

43. Royals
Player: Carson Williams, SS, Torrey Pines HS, San Diego
Writer: J.J. Cooper

Rationale: You can never have too many shortstops, because shortstops can end up playing almost anywhere. Williams joins Bobby Witt Jr., Adalberto Mondesi and Nicky Lopez. Williams could end up sliding over to third.

44. Rockies
Player: Joshua Baez, OF, Dexter Southfield HS, Brookline, Mass.
Writer: Chris Trenkle

Rationale: I’ll happily take Baez here at pick 44, giving the Rockies the highest ranked player left on the board.

45. Angels
Player: Ryan Cusick, RHP, Wake Forest
Writer: Mark Chiarelli

Rationale: The Braves, where new GM Perry Minasian previously worked, took Jared Shuster out of Wake Forest in the 2020 draft. We’ll go with Cusick, who has one of the best fastballs in the draft but faces reliever concerns.

46. Mets
Player: Matt Mikulski, LHP, Fordham
Writer: Ben Badler

Rationale: It’s a local pick here for the Mets, who might be able to get a discount on a senior and go over slot later on, but this pick is mostly about Mikulski’s talent. He’s a lefty who saw his stuff spike this season, with deception that helps everything play up and it’s led to plenty of swings and misses.

47. Nationals
Player: Trey Sweeney, SS, Eastern Illinois
Writer: Carlos Collazo

Rationale: Sweeney is a bat who has a chance to go in this range or higher in the actual draft. The Nationals system could use a boost in the hitting department and Sweeney might be able to provide that.

48. Mariners
Player: Christian Franklin, OF, Arkansas
Writer: J.J. Cooper

Rationale: My pocket was picked with the Sweeney selection, but Franklin is a wonderful fallback option as a center fielder with a discerning batting eye and plus defense.

49. Phillies
Player: Frank Mozzicato LHP, East Catholic HS, Manchester, Conn.
Writer: Chris Trenkle

Rationale: I went with a fairly safe pick for the Phillies in the first round, so I’ll take Mozzicato here. He should pair well with Mick Abel at the top of the system.

50. Giants
Player: Andrew Abbott, LHP, Virginia
Writer: Mark Chiarelli

Rationale: The Giants under Farhan Zaidi have shown a proclivity toward both ACC players and, at least last year, lefthanders. They take Abbott here, who shined in a full-time starting role for Virginia and posted some of the best whiff rates against his fastball of any college arm in the 2021 class.

51. Brewers
Player: Peter Heubeck, RHP, Gilman HS, Baltimore
Writer: Ben Badler

Rationale: We went with hitters for our first two picks, but the Brewers’ system needs pitching. They love their lefties, so I thought about Maddux Bruns here, but I really like the three-pitch mix that Heubeck brings. It’s an extremely quick arm with a chance for more velocity and I see two secondary pitches that have a chance to miss a lot of bats.

52. Marlins
Player: Thatcher Hurd, RHP, Mira Costa HS, Manhattan Beach, Calif.
Writer: Carlos Collazo

Rationale: Hurd has really loud pure stuff and I think he’s got a lot of upside remaining considering his natural athleticism and how new he is to pitching full-time.

53. Reds
Player: Steven Hajjar, LHP, Michigan
Writer: J.J. Cooper

Rationale: Hajar’s velocity waxed and waned during his 2021 season as he returned from a torn ACL. I expect he’ll find a few more ticks in pro ball, which will match nicely with his already present feel and command.

54. Cardinals
Player: Ben Kudrna, RHP, Blue Valley Southwest HS, Overland Park, Kan.
Writer: Chris Trenkle

Rationale: Kudrna’s upside is too much to pass up. He’s already topping out at 97 mph with more projection remaining, and he has an impressive slider to boot.

55. Yankees
Player: Wes Kath, SS, Desert Mountain HS, Scottsdale, Ariz.
Writer: Ben Badler

Rationale: Kath is one of the better high school hitters in the country, with good swing path from the left side and the physical upside for more power potential as he grows into his 6-foot-3 frame.

56. Cubs
Player: Dylan Smith, RHP, Alabama
Writer: Carlos Collazo

Rationale: Smith has a lot of starter traits and I love the looseness of his arm action, his movements on the mound and a real four-pitch mix. 

57. White Sox
Player: Izaac Pacheco, SS, Friendswood (Texas) HS
Writer: J.J. Cooper

Rationale: I didn’t expect to see Pacheco here. Getting a high-upside bat of this caliber this late in the second round is a nice surprise.

58. Indians
Player: Tommy Mace, RHP, Florida
Writer: Chris Trenkle

Rationale: The Indians went with a pitchability righthander from the SEC in Tanner Burns in 2020 and they draft another one here with Mace.

59. Braves
Player: Cooper Kinney, 2B/3B, Baylor HS
Writer: Mark Chiarelli

Rationale: Kinney is a offensive-minded infielder who won Tennessee’s Mr. Baseball award as a senior and shows a penchant for finding the barrel with a sweet lefthanded stroke. While his future defensive position remains an unknown, there are teams bullish on the bat, and Kinney seems to match some of the characteristics the Braves have identified in recent years. 

60. Athletics
Player: Maddux Bruns, LHP, UMS-Wright Prep, Mobile, Ala.
Writer: Ben Badler

Rationale: It seems like Bruns is getting a little bit lost in the shuffle with buzzier high school lefties like Anthony Solometo and Frank Mozzicato getting more attention. But Bruns’ stuff is just as big if not better, with a fastball that he can crank up to the mid-90s or better at his best and feel to spin a pair of breaking balls that can be bat-missing weapons.

61. Twins
Player: James Triantos, SS, Madison HS, Vienna, Va.
Writer: Carlos Collazo

Rationale: Like many of the prep shortstops in this range, the industry has split opinions on Triantos, but I really like the collection of hitters this would give Minnesota. Triantos was a late reclassification after originally being in the 2022 class, but many scouts who saw him this spring are fully in on his hitting ability.

62. Padres
Player: Malakhi Knight, OF, Marysville-Getchell HS, Marysville, Wash.
Writer: J.J. Cooper

Rationale: The Padres are happy to draft toolsy outfielders with high ceilings. There are few players in this year’s draft with a higher ceiling than the athletic Knight, who was a basketball star in high school with power and speed potential.

63. Rays
Player: Jose Torres, SS, North Carolina State
Writer: Chris Trenkle

Rationale: Torres is a plus defender and can play a variety of positions, giving him a floor as a solid utility infielder.

Comments are closed.

Download our app

Read the newest magazine issue right on your phone