Mostly every organization is done with in-person evaluating. Live looks this late are primarily to make sure their potential early round selections aren’t getting hurt, as well as finishing up the interview/signability process. Most top prospects don’t disclose medicals prior to the draft, which will always affect the bonus’ afterwards. It’s something to remember when discussing the volatility of certain draft stocks in the first round.
With that being said, you can find full reports and rankings on the 2021 draft by clicking here.
1st Overall — Pittsburgh Pirates
Marcelo Mayer, SS, Eastlake (HS)
In a true model-driven organization fashion, the Pirates won’t be taking a pitcher here unless something changes with Jack Leiter. They’ll be taking one of the high school shortstops and Henry Davis. It would appear value-wise it’s down to Mayer/Davis with financials being the barrier to break.
2nd Overall — Texas Rangers
Kahlil Watson, SS, Wake Forest (HS)
Jon Daniels has seen every single player worth consideration at this spot now, and the last time I mocked Marcelo Mayer to them he was in California to see him. He didn’t perform as well as Watson, but he’s also not available this time. Which leads to Watson getting taken here. This pick is narrowed down to a similarly model-driven list like Pittsburgh, except they’re considering Jack Leiter slightly more here.
3rd Overall — Detroit Tigers
Jackson Jobe, RHP, Heritage Hall (HS)
The Jackson Jobe to Detroit rumors are heating up. He’s been casted off as a slot-saving pick, which is a bit presumptuous given his advisor being widely known as one who doesn’t give specific numbers before the draft. I’m not so sure about this pick, but every sign is pointing towards it happening.
4th Overall — Boston Red Sox
Jack Leiter, RHP, Vanderbilt
This feels like the sweet spot for Leiter, who could still get the largest signing bonus in the draft even with an allotted pick value nearly two million dollars less than the first pick. I think this spot is the earliest Brady House goes.
5th Overall — Baltimore Orioles
Henry Davis, C, Louisville
The Orioles want to save money here, Brady House will be the best value with regards to talent/bonus. There have been Jackson Jobe connections to Baltimore, but he’s gone in this scenario. Davis could end up at third base with Adley being the guy behind home plate. I think this is the latest Kahlil Watson would fall.
6th Overall — Arizona Diamondbacks
Jordan Lawlar, SS, Jesuit Prep (HS)
Lawlar’s the biggest wildcard among the prep shortstops because he could go first, or fall to Kansas City. In this case he doesn’t quite fall that far. The concerns about swinging and missing in the spring aren’t as concerning as the average bat speed and exit velocities being produced at an old age relative to his peers.
7th Overall — Kansas City Royals
Kumar Rocker, RHP, Vanderbilt
I think Rocker goes later than this on draft day, but Kansas City’s being connected heavily to him here and it’s hard to ignore a month out. If they went with Cowser, Frelick, or Jobe here it shouldn’t be too shocking. I’d put my money on one of the college outfielders.
8th Overall — Colorado Rockies
Brady House, SS, Winder-Barrow (HS)
This pick is still unknown. I don’t think they’d take Rocker unless House, Cowser, and Frelick were gone and they felt like Rocker would be a good sell to the fans. This would be way too early for Ty Madden, but it’s possible. Anyways, House is like the Zac Veen pick; a supremely talented high school bat that shouldn’t have been on the board when they picked.
9th Overall — Los Angeles Angels
Benny Montgomery, OF, Red Land (HS)
Montgomery could go in the compensation round or as early as 9th to Los Angeles. He’s talented, the question is whether he’ll be signable after the first round. He’s tough to figure out, like most Virginia commits. Bubba Chandler was connected to this pick, but that’s simmered down.
10th Overall — New York Mets
Sal Frelick, OF, Boston College
New York could go the Brett Baty route here and take Colson Montgomery, who’s been connected to them of late. It’s more likely they go the college bat route and take Frelick, Cowser or McLain. This is likely the latest Jobe would fall. New York doesn’t expect Montgomery to be on the board when they select next, so if Frelick goes to KC/Colorado, they could cut a deal here.
11th Overall — Washington Nationals
Ty Madden, RHP, Texas
Nobody really knows where Madden goes. He’s an odd case. He could go to Kansas City or New York, maybe even Colorado. Bachman has been linked to them. As Well as mostly every college arm, just look at their recent drafts.
12th Overall — Seattle Mariners
Matt McLain, SS, UCLA
McLain seems likely to go just outside of the top 10. I’d expect a college bat or arm to go here. The Mariners have an obvious type and don’t enjoy taking risks this early. I’m under the impression this is the absolute earliest Ryan Cusick could go, which seems unlikely now.
13th Overall — Philadelphia Phillies
Gavin Williams, RHP, East Carolina
There’s no chance Williams makes it out of the first round after his recent outings. I also can’t imagine him making it past Cleveland at 23. Because the Pennsylvannian, Benny Montgomery is gone; they’re the team who jumps on Williams’ elite stuff.
14th Overall — San Francisco Giants
Colton Cowser, OF, Sam Houston State
I’d expect one of the college bats to go here, whether that’s Matt McLain, Sal Frelick or Colton Cowser. I’d expect some sort of collegian. Trey Sweeney could also be in the mix this early. But that may only be the case if teams in the top 10 take some of the options listed above.
15th Overall — Milwaukee Brewers
Sam Bachman, RHP, Miami of Ohio
Expect a college guy to go here. Jordan Wicks is a big play. Bachman could help Milwaukee in the playoffs. They’ve been pretty consistent with the risk-averse approach these last few years. I wouldn’t expect that to change.
16th Overall — Miami Marlins
Jordan Wicks, LHP, Kansas State
I think Wicks goes to Milwaukee or San Francisco, if not, Miami would be the next possible spot. Harry Ford is somebody I think may become a possibility here as the draft gets closer and signability becomes more clear.
17th Overall — Cincinnati Reds
Matthew Mikulski, LHP, Fordham
There’s a rumor floating around that Mikulski could end up going in the first 20 picks for a large discount. His agency had a left-handed college arm taken high last year, and it happens again. With Cincinnati being such a data-driven org now, Mikulski is a perfect fit. The red flag with Mikulski is the small sample of trackman data, but some data on him in the summer (which is nearly identical to his ’21 data) might’ve made its way into Cincinnati’s hands.
18th Overall — St. Louis Cardinals
Spencer Schwellenbach, SS/RHP, Nebraska
Numerous teams around here like Schwellenbach, including a team a few spots earlier. The Cardinals have been mostly connected to high schoolers with Hoglund/McGreevy mixed in. If it’s not Schwellenbach, I’d lean Hoglund.
19th Overall — Toronto Blue Jays
Jud Fabian, OF, Florida
Toronto selected Bo Bichette knowing the approach was an issue and the raw tools were incredible. Fabian’s entire rollercoaster of a junior year was caused by an iffy two-strike approach and questionable plan-of-attack early in counts. This entire pick rides on the Blue Jays confidence in it’s development staff that’s proven it can develop hitters in the past. They’ve been linked to Ford, Mack, and McGreevy.
20th Overall — New York Yankees
Harry Ford, C, North Cobb (HS)
They’ve taken a high school catcher this high recently, so that’s not gonna stop them from grabbing Ford here. He’s being mentioned at basically every pick. I highly doubt he goes this late. New York could grab Hoglund or Cusick if Ford is in fact off the board.
21st Overall — Chicago Cubs
Ryan Cusick, RHP, Wake Forest
Everybody is saying McGreevy here. Between him and Cusick it’s a coin-toss three plus weeks out. Nearly every player has been name dropped here, of the dozen, Will Taylor and Trey Sweeney seem most likely outside of the names already mentioned.
22nd Overall — Chicago White Sox
Joe Mack, C, Williamsville East (HS)
I’m pretty confident if the board turned out this way, they’d be picking between Mack, and Colson Montgomery. Both could also be long gone before this pick. They could also grab Gavin Williams if he were still on the board.
23rd Overall — Cleveland Indians
Colson Montgomery, SS, Southridge (HS)
Cleveland is being linked heavily to Joe Mack, Gavin Williams, and Colson Montgomery. There’s zero chance they’re taking Michael McGreevy. His pitch metrics aren’t good, and the Indians aren’t the type to take command-first small school arms in the first round.
24th Overall — Atlanta Braves
Gunnar Hoglund, RHP, Ole Miss
Had he not gotten hurt, he’d have been in the conversation 15 picks earlier. The Braves are being connected to all these college arms: Michael McGreevy, Tommy Mace, and even Ky Bush according to MLB Pipeline.
25th Overall — Oakland Athletics
Trey Sweeney, SS, Eastern Illinois
Sweeney went from a round 5–10 pick in January, to a round 2–3 pick in March, to an early second pick last month and is now in the mix as early as the teens. There are at least two teams with him as their no. 2 college hitter, and if the draft shakes out differently; he may not make it this late.
26th Overall — Minnesota Twins
Will Bednar, RHP, Mississippi State
Bednar seems to be one of the last college arms available from the top tier (outside of Leiter who’s in his own tier). This late in the draft nobody knows who’s taking who, and Minnesota is being connected to every demographic/player. The best way to put it is they’ll be taking somebody with either good batted ball data or good pitch metrics; that’s why they pick this late every year.
27th Overall — San Diego Padres
Will Taylor, OF, Dutch Fork (HS)
The Padres are being connected to a ton of upside, specifically three prep outfielders: Josh Baez, Lonnie White Jr, and of course, Taylor. They were linked to Solometo for the longest time, which still seems possible. Chase Petty seems likely to be taken around this spot.
28th Overall — Tampa Bay Rays
Gage Jump, LHP, JSerra Catholic (HS)
For a while it seemed like Jump wasn’t going to get first round buzz, but he has lately. Tampa Bay was all over him earlier in the spring, and they’re all over him right now. The Rays are the best team at identifying arm talent, so it’s fitting they’re being matched with Gage.
29th Overall — Los Angeles Dodgers
Aaron Zavala, OF, Oregon
Peyton Stovall is still connected to the Dodgers, but that’s a bit outdated, although still possible. Because teams haven’t finished model inputs yet, Zavala’s not yet been connected to anybody. That will change in the coming weeks. Other names like Tyler Black and Connor Norby will also start getting chatter soon, not necessarily here, but towards the backend of the first round.