The 2021 MLB draft is just a few days. The top of the draft is starting to take shape, but there remains plenty of uncertainty. With so much parity among the top prospects in the 2021 MLB draft, it will make July 11’s first round interesting to watch.
Below is a mock draft similar to my 2021 MLB Draft: Mock Draft 5.0 from a couple of weeks ago. This updated mock draft has a few tweaks based on the latest news and information circling regarding the first round and the top prospects.
1. Pittsburgh Pirates: Marcelo Mayer, SS, Eastlake (Calif.) HS
There are four or five players in the mix for the Pirates, but it appears this pick is down to Mayer and Texas prep shortstop Jordan Lawlar.
2. Texas Rangers: Jack Leiter, RHP, Vanderbilt
The Rangers are deciding between Leiter and Lawlar. Leiter can move through the minor leagues quickly and offers plenty of potential.
3. Detroit Tigers: Jackson Jobe, RHP, Heritage Hall (Okla.) HS
If Mayer and Leiter go in the first two picks, Jobe could be the Tigers’ pick. The Tigers are enamored with Jobe, even though the prep right-handed pitching demographic is risky. Despite the history of right-handed prep pitchers who have gone early in the draft, Jobe offers an exciting fastball, slider combination and doesn’t have nearly as much risk as other prep righties.
Read an in-depth feature story on Jobe and his skills HERE.
4. Boston Red Sox: Henry Davis, C, Louisville
Davis had a tremendous season this spring and presents all the tools to be a well-rounded catcher in pro ball. Davis has a great approach at the plate and consistently makes hard contact. Defensively, he is known for his above-average arm strength.
Read an in-depth feature story on Davis and his skills HERE.
5. Baltimore Orioles: Kahlil Watson, SS, Wake Forest (NC) HS
The Orioles are rumored to be interested in a college bat to sign for below slot value in the 2021 MLB draft. But would they pass on Watson, who has huge potential? It will be interesting to watch, but if Watson is available, don’t be surprised if the Orioles select him.
6. Arizona Diamondbacks: Jordan Lawlar, SS, Jesuit Prep (Texas)
Lawlar is in play in the top five and could go as early as No. 1 to the Pirates. Lawlar has five-tool potential and is a player some scouts believe is the best in this year’s draft class.
Read an in-depth feature story on Lawlar and his skills HERE.
7. Kansas City Royals: Kumar Rocker, RHP, Vanderbilt
Rocker was the top prospect in this year’s draft class at the beginning of the year. But prospect fatigue and decreased fastball velocity over a couple of starts in the middle of the spring season didn’t help his draft stock. Scouts also would like to see him generate more swings and misses on pitches in the strike zone. This would be a great value pick, as Rocker has ace potential.
Read an in-depth feature story on Rocker and his skills HERE.
8. Colorado Rockies: Brady House, SS, Winder-Barrow (Ga.) HS
House hits for average and power. He also has all the tools to stick at shortstop long-term. House could maybe sneak in the top five picks of this year’s draft.
The Rockies also could go a college pitcher or Pennsylvania prep outfielder Benny Montgomery with this pick.
9. Los Angeles Angels: Will Taylor, OF, Dutch Fork
There will be surprises in this year’s draft with so much parity among the top prospects. Taylor certainly has the talent, and the Angels love his potential. He is in the mix to go anywhere from picks 10-20.
10. New York Mets: Sal Frelick, OF, Boston College
Frelick profiles as a top-of-the-order hitter due to his strong plate disciple and ability to hit for average and power. He also is athletic and possesses above-average speed, which he uses to impact the game on the base pads and defensively in the outfield.
Read an in-depth feature story on Frelick and his skills HERE.
11. Washington Nationals: Sam Bachman, RHP, Miami (OH)
The Nationals prefer quality college pitchers with big-time stuff and potential. Bachman fits that exactly. He throws a triple-digit fastball and has a huge ceiling. He also comes with some reliever risk, however.
Read an in-depth feature story on Bachman and his skills HERE.
12. Seattle Mariners: Matt McLain, SS, UCLA
McLain seems like a legitimate option for the Mariners. McLain was a first-round pick out of high school but wanted to attend college instead. He has developed his skills and likely will be a top-15 pick in July. He has the skills to play the middle infield and outfield.
Read an in-depth feature story on McLain and his skills HERE.
13. Philadelphia Phillies: Benny Montgomery, OF, Red Land (Pa.) HS
Montgomery has elite speed, a strong arm from the outfield, and raw power at the plate. He needs to refine his offensive skills and clean up his swing to get to his power consistently. Montgomery has a high ceiling but comes with some risk.
14. San Francisco Giants: Ty Madden, RHP, Texas
The Giants could go in various directions with this pick. Kansas State lefty Jordan Wicks is a possibility. A position player also could be a possible option. Texas ace Ty Madden has a notable fastball, slider combination and ace potential.
Read an in-depth feature story on Madden and his skills HERE.
15. Milwaukee Brewers: Colton Cowser, OF, Sam Houston State
Cowser, a left-handed hitter, offers an intriguing combination of average and power offensively and hits the ball to all parts of the field. He also displays a notable strike zone discipline. He is an above-average runner who uses his speed on the base pads and in the outfield. Cowser has the intangibles to play center field in pro ball.
Read an in-depth feature story on Cowser and his skills HERE.
16. Miami Marlins: Harry Ford, C, North Cobb (Ga.) HS
Ford has the athleticism and skill set to play catcher or the outfield in pro ball. He also is a talented offensive player with a high upside.
Read an in-depth feature story on Ford and his skills HERE.
17. Cincinnati Reds: Andrew Painter, RHP, Calvary Christian (Fla.) HS
Painter has a notable 6-foot-6, 210-pound frame and repeats his low-effort delivery well. He has a fastball that sits in the mid-90s and shows a solid feel for his changeup, curveball, and slider.
18. St. Louis Cardinals: Gunnar Hoglund, RHP, Ole Miss
Hoglund moved his way into top-10 pick consideration this spring until suffering an elbow injury and having to undergo Tommy John surgery. However, when healthy, Hoglund is one of the best strike throwers in college baseball. He has exceptional control and command of his pitches and isn’t afraid to attack the strike zone.
Read an in-depth feature story on Hoglund and his skills HERE.
19. Toronto Blue Jays: Will Bednar, RHP, Mississippi State
Bednar is in his first full season at Mississippi State after last season ended prematurely due to the pandemic. He has an above-average fastball-slider combination with a solid curveball and at least an average changeup.
Read an in-depth feature story on Bednar and his skills HERE.
20. New York Yankees: Bubba Chandler, RHP/SS, North Oconee (Ga.) HS
Chandler is a football and baseball commit to Clemson, but he likely won’t make it to campus. He is a two-way player who most scouts believe is better suited on the mound long-term. He has a mid-90s fastball.
Read an in-depth feature story on Chandler and his skills HERE.
21. Chicago Cubs: Colson Montgomery, SS, Southridge (Ind.) HS
Montgomery is drawing a lot of buzz starting with the Mets at the 10th pick. Montgomery profiles better at third base in pro ball. He also can hit for average and power in the future.
22. Chicago White Sox: Gavin Williams, RHP, ECU
Williams has a high-90s fastball that he locates well and a quality slider he uses as his outpitch. However, his lack of track record is one concern scouts have, as he was a reliever his first three years in college.
Read an in-depth feature story on Williams and his skills HERE.
23. Cleveland Indians: Jordan Wicks, LHP, Kansas State
Wicks doesn’t have premium velocity, as his fastball sits low-90s, but he has the best changeup in the class. As a result, he likely will be the first left-handed pitcher selected in the draft. The Indians do a great job developing pitchers and this would be a value pick.
Read an in-depth feature story on Wicks and his skills HERE.
24. Atlanta Braves: Spencer Schwellenbach, RHP/SS, Nebraska
Schwellenbach has shot up draft boards this spring due to his ability at shortstop and as a closer. Most teams believe his future is on the mound, which is an adjustment from what scouts believed earlier this spring.
Read an in-depth feature story on Schwellenbach and his skills HERE.
25. Oakland Athletics: Wes Kath, 3B, Desert Mountain (Ariz.) HS
Kath is a 6-foot-3, 205-pound left-handed-hitting infielder whose best traits are his skills at the plate. He currently is more of a contact over power hitter who possesses quick hands and some natural loft in his swing. In addition, he has the size and fundamentals to develop more power at the plate as he matures.
Read an in-depth feature story on Kath and his skills HERE.
26. Minnesota Twins: Jud Fabian, OF, Florida
Fabian entered the year as a potential top-five pick. But the Florida outfielder struggled with strikeouts early in the season, causing his draft stock to falter. However, he showed adjustments and more productivity later in the season to rebuild some of his draft stock.
Read an in-depth feature story on Fabian and his skills HERE.
27. San Diego Padres: Anthony Solometo, LHP, Bishop Eustace (N.J.) HS
Solometo is a 6-foot-5, 218-pound left-handed pitcher who has deception in his repeatable delivery. His fastball sits low-90s and touches the mid-90s. He offers a lot of upside.
28. Tampa Bay Rays: Trey Sweeney, SS, Eastern Illinois
Sweeney is a 6-foot-4, 200-pound left-handed hitter who is known for his offensive skill set. Defensively, he might be better suited at third base. Sweeney has a strong arm and reliable hands. But, some scouts wonder if he has the speed and range to handle shortstop long-term.
Read an in-depth feature story on Sweeney and his skills HERE.
29. Los Angeles Dodgers: Peyton Stovall, 2B, Haughton (La.) HS
Stovall has been one of the biggest 2021 MLB draft risers this spring. He is a talented hitter who has notable power from the left side of the plate. He has a shot to stick at shortstop long-term, but some scouts believe he might be better suited for second base.
30. Cincinnati Reds: Ryan Cusick, RHP, Wake Forest
Supplemental Round A
31. Miami Marlins: Connor Norby, 2B, East Carolina
32. Detroit Tigers: Tyler Black, 2B, Wright State
33. Milwaukee Brewers: Doug Nikhazy, LHP, Ole Miss
34. Tampa Bay Rays: Michael McGreevy, RHP, UC Santa Barbara
35. Cincinnati Reds: Joe Mack, C, Williamsville East (N.Y.) HS
36. Minnesota Twins: Ethan Wilson, OF, South Alabama
Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for six years. He has interviewed 253 of the top draft prospects in that period, including three No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com and The Arizona Republic, have quoted his work, while he has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.