Normally we would be in the week or so before the MLB Amateur Draft, but starting this year MLB has elected to move the draft to All-Star Week.
The hope is this will bring more attention to the event, and by doing it after the high school and college seasons end, perhaps there is a better opportunity to have more players on-site for the draft so you can get the nice pictures of the draft pick with the hat and jersey.
The 2021 MLB Draft is slated to occur July 11-13. As was announced at the beginning of April, the draft will be 20 rounds split across those three days.
Due to the Mets struggling in the shortened 2020 season, they will pick 10th in the draft this year.
The Mets have only picked in the top 10 three other times since 2010, selecting Matt Harvey No. 7 overall in 2010, Michael Conforto No. 10 overall in 2014, and Jarred Kelenic No. 6 overall in 2018 (sorry).
Over the course of the next month and a half, we will do some mock drafts for the top 10 picks to give an idea of which players I expect to be gone and the type of player the Mets may consider when they go on the clock.
Unlike the NFL Draft where teams just pick “best available,” the MLB Draft is a little different where asking price and how likely the player is to sign sometimes influences where a player may land. This is how the Mets were able to land prospects like J.T. Ginn and Matt Allan the last two years.
Here is SNY’s 2021 MLB Mock Draft 1.0…
1. Pittsburgh Pirates: SS Jordan Lawlar – Dallas Jesuit HS (Texas)
There is not a consensus in the scouting community as to who the best prospect in the draft is. There is not a slam dunk number one pick like in years past when you think of Bryce Harper or Stephen Strasburg, but Lawlar to me is the best one in this class. He shows above average tools across the board and has five-tool potential. He still needs to physically mature, but has the potential to be a high level major leaguer.
2. Texas Rangers: C Henry Davis – Louisville
Davis is one of the biggest risers in this year’s class, and scouts say he is a legitimate possibility to end up going No. 1 overall. Davis is hitting .367 with a .486 on-base percentage and 14 home runs in 49 games for Louisville. He has an above average hit and power tool, but his best tool is his throwing arm, which is considered “plus plus” by scouts. He needs some work on framing pitches and receiving, but should stick behind the plate.
3. Detroit Tigers: SS Marcelo Mayer – Eastlake HS (California)
Mayer recently was moved to the No. 1 spot on MLB Pipeline’s Top 200 Draft prospects list. This isn’t stunning to me, as Mayer might be the best pure hitter in the high school class. He still needs to grow into his 6-foot-3 frame to tap into power, but a pure stroke at the plate, good strike zone knowledge for his age, and the ability to stick at shortstop long term makes for a very valuable prospect. To me you can arrange the top three of Lawlar, Davis and Mayer however you want. And right now, about six weeks out, it sounds like the top three picks will be some combination of Lawlar, Davis and Mayer.
4. Boston Red Sox: RHP Jack Leiter – Vanderbilt
If you look on Twitter, many think Al Leiter’s son Jack should go No. 1 overall. He falls to four here, but Leiter to me is the top collegiate arm available in this year’s draft. Early on, Leiter was simply untouchable for Vanderbilt. He ended up having a couple tough starts in a row then missed a start due to Vanderbilt wanting to monitor his innings. Despite this, his numbers are fantastic, with a 2.12 ERA in 76.1 innings. He has allowed only 33 hits, walked 34, and struck out 127. Leiter does not have your prototypical starter’s build at only 6-foot-1 and 205 pounds. But he sports some special stuff including a fastball that touches 97 mph. Some in the community think Leiter’s potential is a better version of Sonny Gray.
5. Baltimore Orioles: RHP Jackson Jobe – Heritage Hall HS (Oklahoma)
Jobe is someone I highlighted last summer in the limited showcase circuit as a name to watch in the 2021 draft. He was showing a slider with a spin rate over 3000 rpm, which is crazy as a high school arm. That spin rate would put him in the elite category in the major leagues right now. This spring his stuff has held up, and he’s even added some ticks to his fastball, touching 99 mph. To me he is clearly the best high school arm in the class. If he is willing to sign for a sum of money around slot value here, I would be hard pressed to pass on his upside if I were the Orioles.
6. Arizona Diamondbacks: SS Matt McLain – UCLA
Coming out of high school, McLain was drafted by the Diamondbacks with the 25th overall pick and elected to attend UCLA to pursue education and also with a thought that he could potentially become a top-five pick in a couple of years. He struggled his first year at UCLA, but rebounded this year, hitting .325 with nine home runs in 40 games before suffering a thumb injury that is not expected to negatively impact his draft stock. He has made strides defensively where he has a chance to stick at shortstop, but if not his above average hit tool profiles well at second base.
7. Kansas City Royals: RHP Kumar Rocker – Vanderbilt
The slide ends for the consensus No. 1 pick coming into the spring and the Royals get a potential steal at No. 7 overall. Would it shock me if Rocker still went in the top five? Absolutely not. But he has had some inconsistencies with his velocity this year, some starts being down in the low 90s, then others being his mid-upper 90s self. The velocity inconsistency combined with the unlikelihood of him taking a discount financially gives him the opportunity to slide a little bit.
8. Colorado Rockies: SS Brady House – Winder Barrow HS (Georgia)
House has the most raw power in this prep class. Coming into the season there was worry about his contact ability and a hitch in his swing, and he has made some mechanical adjustments that have scouts believing he will hit for enough contact to have his plus power play. Last year, the Rockies drafted big power bat in Zac Veen and they add another here in House.
9. Los Angeles Angels: OF Sal Frelick – Boston College
Frelick is your prototypical leadoff type of hitter. He won’t hit for a ton of power, though he did have 23 extra-base hits in 2021 — including six home runs — while slashing .359/.443/.559. He has a good contact-based approach and utilizes his plus speed on the base paths. Frelick did not play center field full time until this year, but it sounds as if he is being talked about all over the top 10. And if you are drafting a player like Frelick in the top 10, you believe he is a center fielder long term.
10. New York Mets: RHP Sam Bachman – Miami (Ohio)
If you are looking for an arm with premier stuff, Bachman is your guy. He has two true plus-plus pitches. His fastball sits 95-98 mph and has touched 102 mph, and his slider is in the mid-to-upper 80s. Both pitches produce a lot of swings and misses. His changeup isn’t frequently used in game, but in workouts and using Rapsodo data, it shows plus movement. He just has not thrown it a lot in college, and he will need to refine that in pro ball to avoid the worry some teams have that he’ll end up as a reliever. The upside with Bachman is sky high, but he also has a lower floor than some other options who could end up being considered at this spot.