2021 Draft

nighthob

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They already have those better hitting OF prospects in the system (Duran, Jimenez, and maybe even York given that the IF is full at the moment). Again, a C with middle of the order power is a gigantic advantage, especially if Wong is as good, defensively, as they hope. If you use the DH spot to give games off to your C and Rafi, you're sitting in the catbird seat.
 

Rovin Romine

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They already have those better hitting OF prospects in the system (Duran, Jimenez, and maybe even York given that the IF is full at the moment). Again, a C with middle of the order power is a gigantic advantage, especially if Wong is as good, defensively, as they hope. If you use the DH spot to give games off to your C and Rafi, you're sitting in the catbird seat.
Yes. All they're missing is that power hitting catcher to take half the DH at bats.
 

BigSoxFan

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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.
I guess Buchholz counted for a brief stretch but, yes, this is why I want a Vandy SP. Either one is fine.
 

sodenj5

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House seems to have a lot of helium right now. Seen other mocks where the Sox take him… is Rocker falling because he won’t move off his bonus demands?
Rocker seems to be falling because he hasn’t really developed at Vanderbilt. Likes he’s the same dude that he was as a freshman. He’s big, throws hard, but has been getting hit around a bit, though he still flashes some immense upside.

Leiter, while smaller and maybe doesn’t have the same raw stuff, seems to have a better feel for pitching and has developed at Vanderbilt.
 

amRadio

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Rocker seems to be falling because he hasn’t really developed at Vanderbilt. Likes he’s the same dude that he was as a freshman. He’s big, throws hard, but has been getting hit around a bit, though he still flashes some immense upside.

Leiter, while smaller and maybe doesn’t have the same raw stuff, seems to have a better feel for pitching and has developed at Vanderbilt.
Do you have an article on that or something? He's had fairly well documented velocity issues this season, but he's basically improved in every meaningful statistic since his freshman year.

WHIP: 2019 - 1.094 2021 - 0.875
H/9: 2019 - 7.9 2021 - 5.1
K/9: 2019 - 10.3 2021 - 13.9
ERA: 2019 - 3.25 2021 - 2.45

The only thing that jumps out as having gone the other way is BB/9 but he still has a great K/BB. This article from fangraphs is about his velocity issues this season. It looks like he threw 116 pitches over 8 innings in early March vs. S. Carolina and averaged a 94 MPH FB with a peak of 96 and in his next two starts he peaked at 92 and 94 respectively while averaging 90. He more or less rebounded his velocity as the season went on - averaging 93.2 and peaks of 98, 98, 96, 96 and 95 in his final five GS - and was just great against Kentucky in the final start of his season but I can't find velocity info on that one.

The velocity inconsistency is why he is dropping I would think. If there are scouts putting it out there that he hasn't grown in his time at Vandy that would be highly disappointing. My overly optimistic assumption based on zero evidence about the velocity is that he changed his arm slot to improve movement and is learning to harness it. Fangraphs references a changed arm slot this year, so I hope that's the case. It could look alarming or rosy depending on how bias you are in favor of Rocker - in my case, very.



E: I had a heck of a time trying to make a table, so I apologize that my formatting on the numbers is shit.
 

nighthob

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Rocker seems to be falling because he hasn’t really developed at Vanderbilt. Likes he’s the same dude that he was as a freshman. He’s big, throws hard, but has been getting hit around a bit, though he still flashes some immense upside.

Leiter, while smaller and maybe doesn’t have the same raw stuff, seems to have a better feel for pitching and has developed at Vanderbilt.
It may also be a function of the reality that hitting might have a premium at the moment compared to pitching.
 

Joe Nation

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Chad Jennings of The Athletic: With crucial fourth overall pick looming, Red Sox narrowing down their draft list
Seven weeks before making their highest draft pick in 54 years, the Red Sox have narrowed their focus to 10 names, give or take. And with an open mind to new ideas and fresh information. Seven weeks, it turns out, is a lot of time — especially this year — and so the Red Sox’s wish list inevitably will change.

“And it has (already),” amateur scouting director Paul Toboni said. “We’ve seen it in the last three or four weeks. It has (changed), and it will continue to do so. Maybe it makes you feel a little bit uneasy, but it’s just part of the process. We’re operating in a different world than we were operating in 2019. We just have to accept that and do our best to make sure we’re thinking through this properly.”
For now, Toboni said the Red Sox have narrowed their focus to roughly 10 players — he said it’s “fair” to say they’re down to a top 10 — but he expects the exact order of those 10 to fluctuate as the Red Sox gather more information. It’s also possible someone new could emerge.
“We want the player that’s going to provide the Red Sox with the most value, no matter how that value takes shape,” Toboni said.
“Maybe you think through more than four names, maybe you don’t,” Toboni said. “I’m not sure, and we don’t really know what we’re going to be facing at that time, so we’ll just see how close our evaluations are on all of these players, and then from there, kind of decide the best route we want to take.”
 

Minneapolis Millers

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I’m going to be disappointed if the Sox take a signability guy who’s outside the consensus top 6-7 so that they can sign the #26 rated guy in Rd 2 and the #50 in Rd 3. It’s not an irrational approach, but I’d rather they take the guy they think is the best available at #4, not the best one who will sign cheaply.
 

OCD SS

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My thinking is they have the top guys lined up, and figure out their bonus demands, and “signability” is saving money at the margins where they don’t have a strong preference.

Just using BA’s last mock as a hypothetical, they think Rocker is the BPA, but he won’t move off $6M; Leiter is next on their board carries more uncertainty/ less upside and will take $5.55M because he knows he won’t fall, and Davis will sign for $5M and is safer but less impact, then signing Davis and having a million to spend later is defensible, but going off board to sign Jobe is a lot less so…
 

nighthob

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I’d argue that a catcher with a middle of the order bat actually has a lot more impact than someone like Rocker.
 

OCD SS

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I’d argue that a catcher with a middle of the order bat actually has a lot more impact than someone like Rocker.
Then flip them for purposes of the discussion; my thinking is just that this draft has enough uncertainty that including bonus demands seems reasonable. We’re all focused on pick #4, when really we should be looking at the entire draft and how we’re able to impact the talent in the end system when the first pick we’ll make has more uncertainty.
 

SouthernBoSox

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It’s really strange to me that people think Leiter has less upside and less “stuff”

He has the best fastball in college baseball. No one gets more swing and misses and he’s hit 99 multiple times this year.

I think his upside is considerably higher than Kumar.
 

JBJ_HOF

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Callis said on his pod today he'd having Rocker fall past the Red Sox again in the mock he is working on. Seems like it's going to be Davis, Leiter, or one of the HS SS.
 

nvalvo

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More pessimism than I'd seen before on Davis' defense.

Davis has continued to creep up the draft boards of teams looking for a college bat they can believe in. Offensively, he checks every box. His swing decisions are at a big-league level right now and there’s a feel for contact to go with above-average power. All-in-all, scouts’ median expectation involves him hitting .280 with walks and 20-plus bombs. That’s All-Star level production for a catcher, but not everyone is convinced Davis can stay behind the plate. His throwing arm is one of the best in this year’s class — he’s thrown out nearly half of opposing runners this spring — but teams are starting to question the ultimate value of cutting down the running game when big league clubs are currently making well under one steal attempt per game. Beyond the cannon, Davis is a below-average defender with inconsistent footwork and hard hands, and while he has the tools to give you acceptable defense in an outfield corner, the value of the bat dissipates considerably with a slide that far down the defensive spectrum.
 

Hairps

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Callis 5/26 mock draft:

4. Red Sox: Henry Davis, C, Louisville
The Red Sox feel like the absolute floor for Leiter, who probably won't get to them. Davis is the best college position player available, the high school shortstops also would be attractive and there are rumblings Boston could cut a deal with a lesser college bat to save money to spend big later.

1. PIT - Marcelo Mayer
2. TEX - Jack Leiter
3. DET - Jordan Lawlar
4. BOS - Henry Davis
5. BAL - Brady House

https://www.mlb.com/news/mock-mlb-draft-may-26?t=mlb-draft-coverage
 

OCD SS

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More pessimism than I'd seen before on Davis' defense.
Went back and listened to an MLB Pipeline podcast and Callis mentioned that other than his arm strength, Davis is not seen as elite defensively with regards to receiving, footwork, etc. It then transitioned to a discussion about catcher defense as a proxy for athleticism and the ability to make adjustments, and how a robo-zone might affect the assessments of catching prospects.
 

Plantiers Wart

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So a catcher with hard hands, shaky footwork, but a great arm who might not stick at catcher. Projected mid 20s HR and .280 but who walks.
Or a lesser player so we can save slot money for later.
Ugh.
 

Hairps

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Keith Law 5/27 mock draft:

4. Boston Red Sox: Kumar Rocker, RHP, Vanderbilt
The Red Sox seem to be on Rocker, Leiter, and Davis, and seem extremely likely to get one of them — or perhaps even have a choice among them.
1. PIT - Henry Davis
2. TEX - Jordan Lawlar
3. DET - Marcelo Mayer
4. BOS - Kumar Rocker
5. BAL - Harry Ford

https://theathletic.com/2613518/2021/05/27/2021-mlb-mock-draft-1-0-kumar-rocker-to-red-sox-pirates-go-with-a-catcher-at-no-1-in-keith-laws-first-look/

Mocks to Sox (beginning w/ Callis yesterday and moving forward, to include MLB, Law, Kiley McDaniel, FanGraphs and Baseball America):

Henry Davis (1, Callis 5/26)
Kumar Rocker (1, Law, 5/27)
 

TapeAndPosts

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Keith Law 5/27 mock draft:

1. PIT - Henry Davis
2. TEX - Jordan Lawlar
3. DET - Marcelo Mayer
4. BOS - Kumar Rocker
5. BAL - Harry Ford
Leiter not even in the top 5 in Law's take. I don't usually pay as much attention to the run-up to the draft as I have this year, so I don't know how normal it is, but things seem very fluid. Don't know whether the variability in the pundits' mock drafts also represents underlying uncertainty in the valuations of the teams themselves, but so far nothing seems to be settling down.
 

nvalvo

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So a catcher with hard hands, shaky footwork, but a great arm who might not stick at catcher. Projected mid 20s HR and .280 but who walks.
Or a lesser player so we can save slot money for later.
Ugh.
I think the enthusiasm for Davis came when people were describing him as basically Buster Posey with a bit less pop. An .850 OPS, plus defender at catcher is definitely worthy of a top-five pick. An .850 OPS, bat-first, possible-catcher/possible corner outfielder is probably not in all but the shallowest drafts. So... it all depends on how the amateur scouts feel about his defensive potential.

Anyone have any guesses at who the cheaper college bat they are talking about might be? I think the city would burn if they have Rocker on the board and take the 5th best college bat.
I suspect they might mean the Boston College product Sal Frelick: a sweet-swinging LHH outfielder with a good hit tool and patience and projectable power. He's been hitting well, and rising up a bunch of draft boards. I think most people see him as more of an 8-12 type pick than top 5, but he's been definitely one of the top handful of college position players and it wouldn't be insane to take him fourth, if you had misgivings about the pitchers. Probably a pretty high floor with his contact skills, and if the power develops and he sticks in CF, a very high ceiling.
 

Merkle's Boner

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Damn I really want Rocker or Leiter, but I have no idea who I would go with if they’re both available. I love Rocker’s size, results and personality. I love Leiter’s genes and his results earlier this year. Sort of hope one is gone to make the decision easier.
 

Minneapolis Millers

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Damn I really want Rocker or Leiter, but I have no idea who I would go with if they’re both available. I love Rocker’s size, results and personality. I love Leiter’s genes and his results earlier this year. Sort of hope one is gone to make the decision easier.
Yeah, me, too. Although I actually am a liiiittle bit worried about Rocker’s size, given how his knee hyperflexes on the plant. 10 lbs lighter would be nicer…
 

Hairps

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Given the Yorke pick last year, is there a decent chance the Red Sox go underslot at four so they can spend more on later draft picks? If so, who might the Sox take as the underslot guy?
Keith Law: Haven’t heard that at all. Yorke is off to a rough start too, for a guy who was supposed to be able to hit above all else, so that may deter them from doing the same.
http://meadowparty.com/blog/2021/05/27/klawchat-5-27-21/
 

brandonchristensen

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As someone who doesn't pay much attention to the MLB Draft - it's interesting how fluid the mocks are. They change radically day to day it seems. Football it was like "Trevor Lawrence" and that mormon kid #1 and #2. No matter what.
 

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I think we’re to the point where we’re looking for warts (this probably isn’t helped by the draft being a month later), but I’m trying to think about lists and mocks the same as prospect rankings, ie as a snapshot in time. So since all I can do is read reports and compare those characterizations against my own hunches/ preferences, I’m trying to focus on who projects best.

I’m not sure about the HS SS’s (who don’t look like they’ll be there anyway. Davis has to stay behind the plate to be worth the pick at 4. Leiter’s smaller frame looks like he will be more about polish than projectability. Which leads me to Rocker.

How will his frame and and current plus stuff respond to big league coaching and training? I’m thinking about pitchers like Verlander and how they came out of college. I’m also thinking that it is a lot harder to land areal #1 SP these days; you can’t really count on swindling the Orioles every couple years.

That brings me to Jobe, and his athleticism and stuff (measured with our favorite advanced Statcast measures). How would he benefit from having his arm developed by a major league team, and the Sox in particular? Maybe we have to look back at our track record (Matta, Espinoza), which is less than encouraging. OTOH if he would sign for a discount at #4, does that offset the risk of a HS SP? If the Sox are not aiming at the top 4-5 guys and looking to spread money around in a deep draft, I’d rather they grab him than a college OFer.

Overall I expect to be pretty pleased with the pick, and to try to figure out what this tells us about how Bloom was looking at the puzzle, rather than relying on what I think about these guys now.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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To me the MLB draft is such a crapshoot in the first place that if there are consensus top players available, I wouldn't want to pass on them for the sake of getting tough signs later knowing that those guys are usually not better than anyone else they might have taken at slot. Have seen—and been excited about—more than enough later round bonus babies in my dozen or so years of really paying attention. Just feels too cute to not go with the BPA with a pick this high.

Sure, maybe you hit on a Mookie once in a generation, but in that very same draft they also went way overslot for Swihart, Henry Owens, Jordan Weems, Noe Ramirez, and Cody Kukuk. The prize overslot guy the next year was Ty Buttrey. The next year, when they saved some slot money on Trey Ball, the worst draft pick I've seen them make, the savings went to overslot bonuses for guys like Jon Denney, Jake Drehoff, Gabe Speier, and Nick Longhi. We'll see how things go with the Yorke/Jordan maneuver from last year's draft. High school tough signs have so much development left, and so much can happen.

I do trust Chaim, but cutting a deal at 4 would feel to me like trading a dollar for 5 quarters but 3 of them turn out to be made of chocolate.
 

Yo La Tengo

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Rocker's line against Arkansas: 3 1/3 innings, 5 runs, 4 hits, 4 walks, 1 HPB, 6 Ks

Leiter's line against Ole Miss: 6 2/3 innings, 3 runs, 3 hits, 2 walks, 2 HBP, 8 Ks

It looks more likely that one or both of these pitchers could be available at #4. I'd like the Sox to take one of the two, since both have proven they can be elite and I'm not surprised they have hit some bumps as the college season progresses due to this bizarre last year. If you had to pick one, who would it be?
 
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I'm high on Rocker and Leiter with an admitted bias because I watch way more than the average # of Vandy baseball games. Slight edge to Leiter due to better control (Rocker bounces an unbelievable number of curveballs, catcher had to tag batter or throw to 1st on about 1/2 of the 19 K's in his no-hitter against Duke as a Freshman) would be thrilled to get either though, both seem like high character guys.
 

tbb345

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I’m kind of surprised no one has commented on this yet but this doesn’t strike anyone else as monumentally stupid by Law?
I don’t know what the Sox FO will do but I trust that they have more faith in their processes/scouts that they won’t go “Hey guys, we really believe in this one player that we could get for an under slot deal but remember what happened last year? We can’t ever do another under slot deal with the failure there.”
(Even though that player has had barely any AB’s and it being way way too early to make any sweeping conclusions like that)
 

billy ashley

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I’m kind of surprised no one has commented on this yet but this doesn’t strike anyone else as monumentally stupid by Law?
I don’t know what the Sox FO will do but I trust that they have more faith in their processes/scouts that they won’t go “Hey guys, we really believe in this one player that we could get for an under slot deal but remember what happened last year? We can’t ever do another under slot deal with the failure there.”
(Even though that player has had barely any AB’s and it being way way too early to make any sweeping conclusions like that)
100%

I like Law but this is a really bad take. Yorke is barely out of HS and playing in full season ball. He's gotten an aggressive placement, and has struggled, in a limited number of at bats. None of that should influence how Boston is thinking.

I'll be dissapointed if they draft a "signability" guy, because I really want Boston to secure a top draft prospect this draft, and as fans, we almost never get to draft fourth.If the talent pool was weaker in the top 6, I'd be more open to it, but they really shouldn't get cute unless they have really troubling scouting on the top of the board to justify it.
 

amRadio

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I'm high on Rocker and Leiter with an admitted bias because I watch way more than the average # of Vandy baseball games. Slight edge to Leiter due to better control (Rocker bounces an unbelievable number of curveballs, catcher had to tag batter or throw to 1st on about 1/2 of the 19 K's in his no-hitter against Duke as a Freshman) would be thrilled to get either though, both seem like high character guys.
Just here to point out that Rocker's BB/9 and K/BB were 2.6 and 4.62 respectively in the NCAA. Leiter has about half as many NCAA innings pitched but his BB/9 is 4.1 and despite the overwhelming amount of K's his K/BB is 3.55. I'm not sure if watching Rocker bounce curveballs on TV means Rocker has worse control.

The one thing about his statistical profile that elicits a little worry with Leiter is his control related stats.
 

RedOctober3829

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The Sox are in a really good position at #4 because I think they'll get a really, really good player no matter what happens. If I had my choice, I'd take Jack Leiter as I've been saying since the draft process started. Control issues aside, he's got the most electric stuff of any draft-eligible pitcher and has less stress on his arm than most 3rd year eligible guys due to his post-grad year and the pandemic.
 

Hairps

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Jonathan Mayo 6/2 mock draft:

4. Red Sox: Jordan Lawlar, SS, Jesuit Prep (Dallas)
The Red Sox can see who doesn’t go in the top three and react from there and would be thrilled for Lawlar to be an option.

1. PIT - Marcelo Mayer
2. TEX - Henry Davis
3. DET - Jack Leiter
4. BOS - Jordan Lawlar
5. BAL - Brady House

https://www.mlb.com/news/mlb-mock-draft-june-2?t=mlb-draft-coverage

Mocks to Sox (beginning w/ Callis 5/26 and moving forward, to include MLB, Law, Kiley McDaniel, FanGraphs and Baseball America):

Henry Davis (1 -- Callis 5/26)
Kumar Rocker (1 -- Law 5/27)
Jordan Lawlar (1 -- Mayo 6/2)