draft
(Hustler Multimedia/Hunter Long) Vanderbilt has many young players expected to participate the 2021 draft.

2021 Major League Baseball Mock Draft First Round

Once again, many young high school and college baseball players will hope for the best come July 11th. The draft is almost set in stone, so Vendetta’s own Milo Coulter and Christian Lathrope will do their best to guess how the first round will end up. Here we go.

1. Kumar Rocker – RHP – Pittsburgh Pirates

It is no shocker that Kumar Rocker is the presumed 1st overall pick for the 2021 Draft. At a staggering 6’5, Rocker dominates on the mound with his great fastball command and off-speed pitches. His talent and size cannot be found anywhere else in the draft. Rocker finds himself a spot above Vanderbilt teammate Jack Leiter.

2. Jordan Lawlar – SS – Texas Rangers

Many see Dallas Jesuit high school player Jordan Lawlar as a potential five-tool type player. He can do anything well but his top attribute is his 70-grade hitting which many scouts see him going far with it. He is similar to Carlos Correa and will most likely be top five this draft.

3. Jack Leiter – RHP – Detroit Tigers

The son of the great Al Leiter has put together a spectacular collegiate career at Vanderbilt. At just 20 years old, Leiter holds a 1.14 ERA in his two years with the Commodores. His smoldering fastball and dominant off-speed pitches make him a problem for most hitters. Leiter joins teammate Kumar Rocker at the top of the draft board.

4. Marcelo Mayer – SS – Boston Red Sox

California kid Marcelo Mayer is above average at everything. Not one attribute stands out for the left-handed-hitting shortstop from Eastlake High School. He has increased his power to a 55 grade which could increase through the minor leagues.

5. Matt McLain – SS – Baltimore Orioles

UCLA’s Matt McLain is a speedster on the basepaths who defensively excels with a strong arm. Scouts see the shortstop hitting for average primarily but can provide gap-to-gap power. Some view him like Dustin Pedroia and Ian Kinsler.

6. Jud Fabian – OF – Arizona Diamondbacks

Florida’s Jud Fabian has special power along with his other four amazing tools. He did struggle with swing and miss, but this could be something he can work on in his progression. He could be a potential star.

7. Henry Davis – C – Kansas City Royals

Henry Davis is the complete package when it comes to a catcher. He can not only be decent at the backstop position but also hit and hit for power. His power stands at a 60-grade and has a 70-grade arm behind the dish.

8. Brady House – SS/3B/RHP – Colorado Rockies

The first two-way player to grace the list is Brady House. The Georgian High schooler is much more known for his flashiness on the left side of the infield. Although he struggled at the plate last summer, he has drawn comparisons to both Nolan Arenado and Josh Donaldson.

9. Adrian Del Castillo – C – Los Angeles Angels

Miami’s Adrian Del Castillo is sought after for his offense especially his power. His defense is average, yet scouts see him remaining behind the plate to enhance his skills there over time. Currently, he is getting strong comparisons to Victor Martinez.

10. Sal Frelick – Outfielder – New York Mets

Boston College’s Sal Frelick has so much upside that scouts just see the young outfielder getting better and better. He possesses plate discipline, and the ability to hit for both power and average. Many see him being a top-of-the-lineup guy who is aggressive on the basepaths.

11. Colton Cowser – OF – Washington Nationals

Out of Sam Houston University, Colton Cowser possesses a swing that has grabbed the eyes of many. At 6’3 tall, Cowser plays solid center field but also has potential at the corner outfield positions. Many believe Cowser possesses traits similar to those of Brandon Nimmo and Bradley Zimmer.

12. Ty Madden – RHP – Seattle Mariners

Ty Madden has shown his ability to dominate hitters with his smoldering fastball. With a fastball topping out at 99 MPH on occasion, and great control of his off-speed pitches, Madden can truly make a difference for any MLB club. The addition of 35 pounds has elevated Madden’s game.

13. Gunnar Hoglund – RHP-Philadelphia Phillies

Currently a back of the rotation starter at Mississippi, Gunnar Hoglund is one of the best pitchers in the SEC. With a 3-1 record this season and a 2.57 ERA, many teams have yet to decide where Hoglund fits in. Whether it’s a starter role or reliever, Hoglund has the potential to succeed.

14. Kahlil Watson – SS – San Francisco Giants

At just 5’9, Khalil Watson’s speed and great discipline at the plate make him a great choice for any team. Watson’s ability to drag out counts and hit well when behind has allowed him to get on base and record around 12-15
stolen bases a year. Above all these great traits, Watson’s amazing power is another reason he would make a great addition to any team.

15. Jaden Hill – RHP – Milwaukee Brewers

With a build similar to Kumar Rocker, Jaden Hill has shown the strength he possesses in the sheer power of his pitches. Topping out at 99 MPH on occasion, Hill has shown his ability to be a strike thrower but must continue to perfect his command. Hill’s potential also extends beyond a rotation spot. If Hill does not show his ability to start, a spot in the bullpen could be the next best option.

16. Izaac Pacheco – 3B – Miami Marlins

Izaac Pacheco who was originally a SS will most likely find himself moving to 3B. Pacheco possesses great pop in his bat with his strength but struggles in the category of speed. An improvement in the discipline at the plate will allow Pacheco to showcase the skills he has at-bat. Over time Pacheco should develop as an infielder and provide a team with a solid hot corner.

17. Ethan Wilson – OF- Cincinnati Reds

Ethan Wilson has grabbed the attention of many teams with the power he possesses. Ranked as just a so-so defender, Wilson’s stock is high in the hitting category. At the University of South Alabama, Wilson improved on plate discipline and found himself drawing more walks and finding better pitches to hit. With continued defensive practice, Wilson can develop into an all-around great player with exceptional power.

18. Andrew Painter – RHP – St. Louis Cardinals

Standing at a massive 6’6 tall, Andrew Painter ranks as one of the most athletic pitchers in this draft. Already given the title of the best HS pitcher in the draft, Painter touches 95 MPH with his fastball and possesses a 12-to-6 curveball that dominates hitters. At only 18 years old there is a lot of development for Painter ahead. The mixture of his raw talent and MLB coaching could have Painter dominating hitters at the highest level in no time. 

19. Harry Ford – C – Toronto Blue Jays

This young catcher has the capacity to do just about anything on the field. He’s incredibly athletic and can play other positions outside of catcher. He is also fast, and his speed is surprisingly his standout attribute. He can hit and hit for power. Some are comparing him to Craig Biggio.

20. Benny Montgomery – OF – New York Yankees

The high schooler has impressive speed at a 70 grade as well as the ability to hit for massive power. He does swing and misses quite a bit, but he makes up for it defensively too. Many see Montgomery as a Jayson Werth-type player as he comes up through the ranks.

21. Joe Mack – C – Chicago Cubs

The left-handed-hitting catcher out of high school shows potential with an excellent pop time consistently under 1.9 seconds. He is an above-average hitter with power. He will improve defensively as he comes up in the ranks, but scouts see this as no problem for the young catcher.

22. Sam Bachman – RHP – Chicago White Sox

Bachman has a wicked fastball and slider combo which some scouts have ranked at 80 out of 80. His fastball has been clocked as high as 101 MPH. He is one of the premier right-handed pitchers on the list. His other pitches need some tinkering with like his changeup and his control can spotty at times. If he can get these elements under control, he may quickly get through the minors.

23. Jackson Jobe – RHP – Cleveland Indians

Jobe is another right-hander on the list who’s poised for greatness. His best attribute is his wipeout slider clocked in the mid-80s and recorded with 3,000 revolutions per minute. He has a very quick arm with a solid 94 MPH fastball. With his easy delivery, scouts say he could be a very solid starter.

24. Joshua Baez – OF – Atlanta Braves

Baez has prestigious power but has difficulty controlling it. He’s an all-or-nothing hitter with high strikeout rates. If he makes contact, the ball is traveling well over 400 feet. He has a great arm in the outfield ranking a 70 grade out of 80. If he learns to control his power stroke, he could perhaps be an exceptional all-around player.

25. James Wood – OF – Oakland Athletics

The powerful outfielder out of IMG Academy is also a burner on the basepaths. Some scouts see the left-handed hitter as a 30-30 man. As he develops more so, there is optimism that he’ll be able t0 hit for average at a high level if he can control his hands on the bat.

26. Chase Petty – RHP – Minnesota Twins

The hard-throwing right-hander out of New Jersey has what it takes to make it as a successful pitcher. His fastball has been clocked as high as 100 MPH. He also compliments it with a hard slider in the eighties and a 90 MPH changeup. The only question is if he has the build to be a pitcher who can continuously throw at those speeds with his 6’0 185 frame. He also has a three-quarter delivery to be watchful over.

27. Ryan Cusick – RHP – San Diego Padres

Perhaps Cusick’s best pitch overall is his fastball. It usually sits around 94-97 but has been clocked as high as 102. The Wake Forest right-hander is 6’6 and has an easy delivery. He improved his off-speed stuff adding a low eighties curveball. He also has a decent slurve and a sinking changeup.

28. Josh Hartle – LHP – Tampa Bay Rays

Hartle has been called one of the most accomplished left handed pitchers in the 2021 draft class. His tall and lanky frame is demanding, and so is his mixing of pitches. He records outs in this manner without one certain punch-out pitch. He has a solid fastball at 94, and a reliable 83 MPH slider.

29. Thatcher Hurd – RHP- Los Angeles Dodgers 

With pitcher Josh Hartle going a pick ahead of Los Angeles, the next best pitcher on the board is Thatcher Hurd. A former college catcher, Hurd has transferred to a pitcher where his fastball reaches around 90-92 MPH. Hurd’s fastball may not be his best, but his 3000+ RPM-breaking balls allow him to fan through batters. Many scouts believe the potential for Hurd is high, many expect his fastball to touch 95 in the future.

30. Luca Tresh – C – Miami Marlins

Luca Tresh is a great two-way player. His ability to play a secure and sound backstop along with his ability to hit for power makes him a steal for any club. Tresh has room to grow when it comes to many of his fundamentals, but it is obvious the raw talent is there. Many clubs search for a player of this caliber, Tresh possesses what many need.

31. Christian Franklin – OF – Detroit Tigers

Christian Franklin looks to continue to hit for power with his new club. The Arkansas outfielder also looks to improve on his swing and misses that have plagued him entering the 2021 season. Franklin brings power and a solid defensive glove to whatever team chooses him.

32. Gage Jump – LHP – Milwaukee Brewers

Gage Jump possesses what many believe is the best fastball in the draft class. Coming out of JSerra HS, Gage looks to improve on his other pitches to complete the already nasty arsenal he holds. Many believe that Jump going this high may be a stretch, but many also believe that he truly has what it takes to play in the big leagues.

33. Ben Kudrna – RHP – Tampa Bay Rays

Ben Kudrna coming out of Blue Valley Southwest HS, looks to show off his blistering fastball that tops out at 98 MPH. Along with his fastball, Kudrna is known for a great changeup and overall great command when it comes to his arsenal. Kudrna possesses great mechanics and could be a starter in the big leagues for years to come.

34. Tommy Mace – RHP- Cincinnati Reds

Tommy Mace looks to continue to dominate with his great four-pitch mix. Mace also looks to improve on his newest pitch, the 4 seam fastball he throws that contains an insane spin rate. Mace finally looks to bulk up approaching the draft, coming in at 230 lbs, Mace is a monster on the mound.

35. Peyton Stovall – SS – Minnesota Twins

Compared to Daniel Murphy, Peyton Stovall looks to bring his beautiful swing to a big-league club. Stovall also possesses impressive athleticism making him a very solid player at shortstop. Being a great two-way player, Stovall looks to bring a great bat and glove to a new club

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