The MLB draft is one of the marquee events in the baseball world. The future of the sport is selected and pick-by-pick, teams attempting to build for the future.
Every draft pick has their own story and path to professional baseball. Some players are consensus number one picks, some players are late-round steals and others don’t pan out.
Like the betting world, the MLB draft is a gamble, but some players are worth the risk. With the MLB draft on the horizon, we take a look at the top picks ahead of draft day.
The Pittsburgh Pirates own the first overall selection in the 2021 Draft. Many believe that RHP Jack Leiter out of Vanderbilt is the number one pick for the upcoming draft, but Leiter has a trick up his sleeve. Leiter can still return to Vanderbilt for one more season if he chooses to.
Leiter has reportedly priced himself out of the salary ranges for teams like the Pirates, Rangers and Tigers. This means that if he were to be selected by either of the first three teams, he may return to Vanderbilt for one more season, as a deal would not be reached. Reportedly, Leiter wants to go to Boston. Will the Pirates, Rangers or Tigers take a chance on the Commodores ace?
So, if Leiter is expected to fall in the draft, who will go number one? Two of the hottest prospects in baseball right now are shortstops. Marcelo Mayer and Jordan Lawlar are both 18 and looking to be the next top pick out of high school.
Mayer has a large frame, standing in at 6-foot-3 and weighing 188 pounds. The SS played for Eastlake High School in California and was rated as one of the best hitting high schoolers in the nation. Mayer is projected to be a big-league bat similar to Corey Seager and have the defensive capabilities of Carlos Correa.
Lawlar played for Jesuit Prep in Texas. Lawlar is committed to playing for Vanderbilt in 2021, tallying 40 hits in 97 at-bats in high school. His 37 RBI were one of the highest in Texas and Lawlar committed just 6 errors over the entire season. Many believe that Lawlar may slip due to some swing-and-miss tendencies, but should easily go in the top-10.
Boston owning the 4th selection in the draft is interesting because they are currently listed at +1100 (Betway) to win the World Series in 2021. The Tigers, Pirates and Rangers are all longshots to win the World Series. Pittsburgh and Texas are listed at +100000 (Betway) and Detroit is listed at +75000 (Betway).
In 2020, the Red Sox were one of the worst teams in baseball and are now a popular pick for World Series odds. Adding another player like Leiter, Mayer or Lawlar would boost them even further.
The first few picks of the MLB Draft will be interesting because there is no consensus number one pick. Leiter is the best pitcher in the draft but could slide easily. Mayer is the projected number one pick, but it falls on Pittsburgh’s needs.
Other popular names you can expect to hear in the early rounds are RHP Kumar Rocker (Vanderbilt), CF Colton Cowser (Sam Houston State), C Henry Davis (Louisville), and SS Brady House (Winder-Barrow HS).
The MLB Draft is set to take place on July 11. With so many top prospects available, I don’t think you can go wrong. Whether Pittsburgh is looking for pitching or defense will impact who goes first overall in 2021.
Nothing is a gimmie either, so the Pirates need to be wise when making first pick. They have hit the nail on the head with Gerrit Cole in 2011, so can lightning strike twice?