Despite this year’s MLB Draft having a significant void in zero once-in-a-lifetime talents guaranteeing a number one selection, the conclusion of the draft still holds plenty of intrigue in the players chosen. NCAA Baseball odds should fear the potential talent ahead of the seasons to come. With powerful hitters owning great hope to evolve, a pair of interesting Vanderbilt pitchers, and a trio of high-school shortstops with unconditional promise – let us preview the top-five selection draft picks selected in round one of the MLB Draft 2021.
#1 Pittsburgh Pirates – Henry Davis (C) Louisville
Davis owned the #1 pick for both his defensive catching and batting abilities. He’s the most outstanding college batter in the draft, boasting a .370/.482/.663 with 15 home runs and 48 RBIs during his previous season at Louisville.
A confident and robust hitter, Davis has a good eye for pitches and makes hard contact or draws walks – having six more walks than strikeouts during his college career. He does show some inconsistencies behind the plate where he can sometimes struggle with quality pitching, but his offensive strengths make up for this.
The prospect’s defensive catching is above par, with a plus-plus arm behind an athletic build and flexibility.
#2 Rangers – Jack Leiter (RHP) Vanderbilt
Leiter is regarded as the most excellent college pitcher in the draft. His final year at Vanderbilt delivered some blistering numbers – finishing 11-4 with a 2.13 ER, 0.845 WHIP, 179 strikeouts, and an impressive appearance in the College World Series finals.
Standing in at 6-foot-1, some would say he’s small for a starter, but his strength-building should assist his climb through the minor ranks. In addition, Major League pitching is a family affair – his father, cousin, and uncle all pitched in the majors.
Owning one of the best curveballs in college assisted him in dominating mid-week starts, and the Commodores undoubtedly landed the most polished pitcher In their 2020 freshman class, following the year Rocker made it to Vanderbilt.
#3 Tigers – Jackson Jobe (RHP) Heritage Hall High (Oklahoma)
Jobe is ahead of his time as a high school pitcher. The youthful 18-year-old Gatorade Oklahoma high school player of the year has one of, if not the best slider in the draft, a quick arm and significant improvement with his secondary pitches, upping his low-80s switch up and improving his upper-70s curveball.
Jobe’s mature manner and natural athleticism on the mound produced a firm foundation for him to evolve further in the Tigers minor league system.
#4 Red Sox – Marcelo Mayer (SS) Eastlake High (California)
Marcelo Mayer is a prospect who’s leading the pack of elite high school shortstops with expectations to go early this year.
During his senior year at Eastlake High School, Mayer surfaced as one of the draft’s greatest hitters and defenders with .392, 14 home runs, and 45 RBIs.
A large 6-foot-3 stature with evident power has critics comparing him to the Dodgers Corey Seager. However, Mayer will probably spend a few years becoming accustomed to high-level pitching in the Red Sox’s minor league system before making his major league debut.
“It’s something that I’ve dreamt of for my whole life,” Mayer told journalists last Tuesday, “and just to be able to get the call from the Boston Red Sox – which is a franchise that’s a winning organization, has a great front office and fans – is amazing.
“I had no clue at what was going on. I was talking to my agent, and I could’ve gone from one to six. But I’m glad where the pieces fell.”
#5 Orioles – Colton Cowser (OF) Sam Houston
As one of the most potent left-handed bats from this year’s college group, Cowser is set to makes waves with a .374/.490/.680, 75 hits, 16 homers, and 54 RBIs in 2021, proving his worth.
The Southland Conference player of the year displayed success as a squad member of the U.S collegiate national team – batting .438 through six games versus Cuba while earning the MVP title.
His potential power has been in question alongside his ability to play center field. Still, with an instinctual mindset and continuous passion for refining his bat, he should climb up with the Orioles.
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