2021 Draft

snowmanny

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Leiter has to go #1. He's just that dominant and he's not going to have nearly as many innings under his belt that a pitcher would normally have if they went to college . Usually you go to college for 3 years and you're eligible for the draft. However Leiter went to prep school so he was at the HS level for 5 years(only threw between 50 and 60 IPs his junior and senior years) then his freshman season was cut short due to the pandemic. Pittsburgh is going to get a kid who has a more than full gas tank in terms of innings and can frankly get to the majors within a year of this year's draft. For all of the handwringing about Rocker, he's still limiting hitters to a .137 AVG, has a 0.84 ERA(4 ER's in 43 innings), and has 61 K's in those 43 innings. It does look like the Red Sox will miss out on these two plus Lawler, but Mayer or del Castillo is going to be a nice consolation prize at 4.
And I don’t know how you don’t factor in his bloodlines. His father and his uncle figured out how to play in MLB 30 years and this kid has more talent than either of them.

Obviously we know relatively little about how all these prospects will respond to the challenges of a pro career, but given the relative crapshoot of the MLB draft if I will happily bet on a Leiter.

Of course he is gone by #4 so that ship has left the barn door open
 

Papo The Snow Tiger

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For those with a BA subscription, Carlos Collazo did a mock draft this week.

1. PIT: Jordan Lawlar - SS (HS - Texas)
2. TEX: Kumar Rocker - RHP (Vandy)
3. DET: Jack Leiter - RHP (Vandy)
4. BOS: Marcelo Mayer - SS (HS - CA)

5. BAL: Adrian del Castillo - C (Miami)

Other notable pitching selections:
8. Gunner Hogland (RHP, Ole Miss)
9. Ty Madden (RHP, Texas)
12. Jaden Hill (RHP, LSU)

In reading about this draft, it appears that a consensus is forming around Rocker, Leiter, and Lawlar as a top three. I'm really hoping for del Castillo to turn it on so Texas or Detroit fall in love with a consensus #1 college bat.
I wonder how the contracted minor leagues will figure into the calculus of drafting a high school versus a college player. Up until this year a high schooler could spend time in rookie leagues, short season leagues, etc. with kids his own age and have time to get used to being away from home, figure it out and do some growing up. By the time your through with college, you should be ready to go out into the world. I'm not saying that a 22 year old is necessarily mature, I was still doing some idiotic things my senior year, but I'd age would be a positive factor with a high draft pick.
 

NJ_Sox_Fan

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Was really hoping the Sox would fall into Leiter at 4, but that is basically impossible now.
 

JimD

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It's gonna be another WTF pick for Boston in the 1st round this year, isn't it?
Maybe, but this is also essentially the first pick of the Chaim Bloom regime (given the Covid impact on amateur baseball in spring 2020) , so we can hope for an impact player even if the big guys are off the board.
 

DJnVa

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Article about Henry Davis (Louisville):

Louisville catcher Henry Davis has an incredible eye at the plate, rarely swinging and missing, making hard contact with power, and showing a plus arm with good hands on defense.

So why the &^@$ isn’t he the top prospect in this draft class?

The assumption all spring has been that the first overall pick, held by Pittsburgh, would be one of the two Vanderbilt right-handers, Jack Leiter (No. 1 on my board) or Kumar Rocker. But the industry has long held that position players are safer picks than pitchers, and there are few more valuable position players than catchers who can hit and defend. Davis can do those things, and there aren’t many better hitters in this class at any position.
Two days of watching Davis gave me strong Buster Posey vibes, and Posey, who went fifth overall in the 2008 draft, should have gone first. (He was No. 2 on my draft board that year, behind Tim Beckham, who was the first overall pick and the consensus top prospect. I had it wrong.) Posey hit with the old silly bats, but his .463/.566/.879 line as a junior — with a nearly 2:1 walk to strikeout ratio — would probably look a lot like Davis’ current line of .409/.533/.678, with a BB:K ratio over 2 if Posey used the modern composite bats the NCAA requires now.
Is Louisville's Henry Davis the best prospect in this year's MLB Draft? – The Athletic
 

burstnbloom

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Kumar was back in the mid 90's last weekend and is easily the most fun personality in the top 4. I would love it if he fell but I just think its going to be some combination of Leiter, Lawler,Rocker and the Red Sox juuuust miss on the three elite guys. I could be talked into being happy about the Louisville catcher or the two high school SS though.
 

nvalvo

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Kumar was back in the mid 90's last weekend and is easily the most fun personality in the top 4. I would love it if he fell but I just think its going to be some combination of Leiter, Lawler,Rocker and the Red Sox juuuust miss on the three elite guys. I could be talked into being happy about the Louisville catcher or the two high school SS though.
I don't always agree with Keith Law, but I'd be thrilled with Davis at 4. A catcher with a good chance to hit in the middle of the order is a franchise-changing pick comparable to a high-end SP, but may have a safer route to reach that ceiling.
 

burstnbloom

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I don't always agree with Keith Law, but I'd be thrilled with Davis at 4. A catcher with a good chance to hit in the middle of the order is a franchise-changing pick comparable to a high-end SP, but may have a safer route to reach that ceiling.
He's definitely exciting. I'd prefer him to the second tier pitchers or the high school SS (Marcelo Mayer and Brady House).
 

Hairps

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We covered Davis in this morning's episode. Buried the lede a bit IMO, so I've highlighted it in the transcript of our blurb on him below:

Today’s third and final number is .524, the ACC-leading weighted on-base average of Louisville catcher Henry Davis. MLB Pipeline’s #7 overall draft prospect gave that number an upward nudge yesterday with a homer and a single in four at-bats against Vanderbilt, contributing to a midweek win for the Cardinals over one of the best teams in college baseball. It’s Davis’s combination of offensive and defensive prowess that makes him so valuable, drawing imprecise but inevitable comparisons with Will Smith, the Dodgers catcher who was drafted in the first round from Louisville five years ago. Unlike many college backstops, the Cardinal standout is likely to stick behind the plate. The College Splits defensive metric rates Davis as one of the top 20 Division One catchers this year—he has not only thrown out almost half of would-be base stealers, opposing baserunners are less likely than average to test his arm. Most remarkably of all, he has stolen almost as many bases himself as he has allowed, swiping 10 in 12 tries. Louisville is 15th in d1baseball.com’s latest rankings, so they’ll be a factor in the postseason, where pro scouts will be paying very close attention to the man behind the plate.

The Opener, Episode 32
 

nighthob

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If Wong is as good as Boston hopes, then Davis might be a real monster. Being able to limit him to 90-100 games per year behind the plate, while having him DH the rest of the time (using the DH slot as a means of giving guys days off) is a giant advantage (and would also lengthen his career by sparing his knees).
 

SouthernBoSox

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Leiter and Rocker going 1-2 certainly seems like a long shot now.

Certainly looks like one of them will be available at 4, now the question is.... is that who you want?
 

ehaz

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Leiter and Rocker going 1-2 certainly seems like a long shot now.

Certainly looks like one of them will be available at 4, now the question is.... is that who you want?
I like Leiter more. Younger and I think he has a better pitch mix. But I’d be thrilled with either. Rocker reminds me a TON of prospect/early career Michael Pineda with his frame and delivery (yes that’s a good thing despite Pineda’s awful injury luck).
 

The_Powa_of_Seiji_Ozawa

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For me it looks like there’s a consensus top 3 (Leiter, Lawler, Rocker), so the question is who are you looking at at #4. Somebody might go off book, but picking right if they don’t is where I trust Chaim & team’s evaluations.
Yes, as long as whoever they determine is the top talent available at #4 is the one they pick. I absolutely do not want them to pick an underslot guy.
 

JBJ_HOF

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Leiter, Lawler, Mayer, Davis, House hall have a pretty good chance to be drafted before Rocker.

Underslot seems like it could be the best option given how this is all playing out, its a mess with less eyes and data points on all these guys. Get a guy you really like, then spend the saving on like 3 or 4 half a million dollar high school guys.
 

Hairps

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Jim Callis contributed a great little nugget this morning to the #1 baseball podcast in the world (sources have confirmed):

Today’s third and final number comes from our friend Jim Callis of MLB.com: 23% is the amount that University of Florida outfielder Jud Fabian has improved his strikeout rate since making a swing adjustment after the first 25 games of the season. Midway through the season, the junior from Ocala’s K rate stood at a lofty 38%, but he’s been able to cut that down to just 15% in his most recent 21 games. Fabian entered the season as a consensus top-10-overall pick, but played himself out of the first round, batting .240 with an .874 OPS and 45 strikeouts in February and March. Then he changed his approach, cutting out his leg kick and stride when he got to two strikes, and his improvement has been dramatic. In his last 21 games, Fabian has hit .319 with a 1.235 OPS and just 14 whiffs. He has a two-homer game in each of his last two Southeastern Conference series, including one against potential No. 1 overall pick Jack Leiter of Vanderbilt, and is tied for second among D1 hitters with 18 longballs. Fabian is firmly back in the first-round mix and climbing back toward the top 10.
podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/max-muncy-doesnt-run-he-walks/id1558648774?i=1000521066892
 

Rovin Romine

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Underslot seems like it could be the best option given how this is all playing out, its a mess with less eyes and data points on all these guys. Get a guy you really like, then spend the saving on like 3 or 4 half a million dollar high school guys.
So long as it's not another SS/2B with character/work ethic. I'm tired of those guys.
 

Hairps

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Kiley McDaniel's first mock draft:

4. Boston Red Sox
Kumar Rocker, RHP, Vanderbilt


I wouldn't say that Rocker is exactly Chaim Bloom's type, per se, but there's widespread industry speculation that the Red Sox are likely to take Rocker if he's available, which he's expected to be. His velocity has rebounded a bit since dipping in March, but his last outing vs. Alabama was less than stellar.
https://www.espn.com/mlb/insider/story/_/id/31422161/kiley-mcdaniel-2021-mlb-mock-draft-10-pirates-tough-choice-make-no-1-overall-pick
 

OCD SS

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On Chin Music KG & Longenhagen were talking about the variability at the top of the draft. With assements of the top talent shifting around, they think the top teams will find the player who will sign for less and so they can spread that money around to the deep lower rounds. That's certainly a strategy I can see Bloom employing. Of course the only issue would be if Pit/ Tex/ Det are all doing that the Sox are going to have less flexibility unless they take lesser talent out of the top 5.
 

Niastri

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I hope the teams ahead of us go for "best value" allowing us to get our "best talent!"

Last year was a good year to be clever, and supposedly it worked out as planned... Don't be clever when drafting top 5, we only get this chance every other decade!
 

Hairps

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New Callis/Mayo MLB Draft Top 200 out today. The Top 10:

1. Marcelo Mayer, SS, Eastlake (CA)
2. Jordan Lawlar, SS, Jesuit Prep (TX)
3. Jack Leiter, RHP, Vanderbilt
4. Henry Davis, C, Louisville
5. Kumar Rocker, RHP, Vanderbilt
6. Brady House, SS, Winder-Barrow (GA)
7. Jackson Jobe, RHP, Heritage Hall (OK)
8. Kahlil Watson, SS, Wake Forest (NC)
9. Ty Madden, RHP, Texas
10. Colton Cowser, OF, Sam Houston
https://www.mlb.com/prospects/draft/
 

pokey_reese

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Has Leiter really dropped that far?!?
He was #2 in the latest ESPN mock (https://www.espn.com/mlb/insider/story/_/id/31422161/kiley-mcdaniel-2021-mlb-mock-draft-10-pirates-tough-choice-make-no-1-overall-pick), so I think it's more just that he isn't such an obvious #1 that some teams might prefer to take a prep bat, or what have you. He is still the top pitcher in almost every list I've seen.

The important thing is that the Sox are picking in a spot where one of the top 2 high school SS (Mayer, Lawler) or top 2 college pitchers (Rocker, Leiter) will be guaranteed to be available. They could go for Davis or House if they really love one of them over whichever of those top 4 is left, but that's a choice they get to make, as opposed to a circumstance that will be imposed upon them by other teams.
 

nighthob

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Yeah, a catcher that's also a middle of the order bat is a huge advantage. Especially if you have a quality backup and can DH your catcher 60-70 games a year.
 

chawson

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Here’s my hang-up with Davis: Would the prospect of robot umpires down the line make him less valuable relative to the average catcher in 2025?

I may be overthinking it (and maybe Keith Law has addressed this somewhere in his praise for Davis), but I’d think it’d be much easier to find a good-hitting catcher with pitch framing much less important. That’s part of why we grabbed Ronaldo Hernandez, as I read it.
 

RIrooter09

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1. Leiter
2. Davis
3. Rocker

I don’t think Leiter will fall to us and I’d still be very happy with Davis.
 

nighthob

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Here’s my hang-up with Davis: Would the prospect of robot umpires down the line make him less valuable relative to the average catcher in 2025?

I may be overthinking it (and maybe Keith Law has addressed this somewhere in his praise for Davis), but I’d think it’d be much easier to find a good-hitting catcher with pitch framing much less important. That’s part of why we grabbed Ronaldo Hernandez, as I read it.
Davis is a defensive plus with 30HR power, that’s where his value is. They have Wong waiting in the wings to be a semi-regular, allowing Boston to keep Davis fresh by DHing him a lot.
 

Hairps

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Jonathan Mayo/MLB.com mock:

4. Red Sox: Brady House, SS, Winder-Barrow HS (Winder, Ga.)
He might be able to stick at shortstop and even if he can’t, adjustments he’s made at the plate have allowed him to show off his immense raw power more consistently.
1. PIT - Mayer
2. TEX - Lawlar
3. DET - Davis
4. House
5. BAL - Leiter
6. ARZ - Rocker
7. KCR - Watson
8. COL - Frelick
9. LAA - Jobe
10. NYM - Cowser

https://www.mlb.com/news/mlb-mock-draft-2021-may-19?t=mlb-draft-coverage
 

Marbleheader

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Whomever they get will be good as long as they don't reach. The Red Sox haven't drafted and developed a legit front of the rotation starter since Jon Lester, so I would be mildly disappointed if they passed on Leiter if he was available.
 

Rovin Romine

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Or maybe extra necessary if you have a zero hitting elsewhere.
Or not if you draft a better hitting OF prospect and develop an average catcher.

But the catcher would have trade value. And in the end I think that's what they should go for rather than positional fixes. Get the most likely prospect to develop into a +MLB player. Use or trade to plug holes.