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Early 2021 Top Draft Prospects

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A sleeper in round 3, Doug Nikhazy LHP Mississippi. I know him personally, watched him grow up. A very well-schooled kid, who gets the most out of what he has. Not projectable, but a very efficient pitcher with high spin rates. Doug is a pitcher, and knows how to vary his pitches to make them have different action. Has not had any injury issues that I am aware of. 

https://www.mlb.com/prospects/draft/doug-nikhazy-680951

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Vanderbilt played Miss. State this weekend. Louisville's games were canceled due COVID, so no games for Henry Davis.

Kumar Rocker

Rocker got the start on Friday night and got the win while pitching a complete game. Rocker went 9 innings, 3 hits 1 ER, 0 walks, 8 K's, 1 HBP and threw 109 pitches.

On the season, Rocker is 9-1 with a 1.55 ERA. 64 innings, 32 hits, 15 walks (2.11/9), 89 K's (12.52/9) and a .143 average against.

Jack Leiter

Leiter got the start on Saturday and took the loss. Leiter went 5 innings, 6 hits 4 ER, 3 walks, 8 K's, 1 HBP and threw 96 pitches.

On the season, Leiter is 7-1 with a 1.49 ERA. 60.1 innings, 23 hits, 25 walks (3.73/9), 102 K's (15.22/9) and a .115 average against.

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I would be happy with House.  Put him at 3B.  There are SS in the system - will Henderson stick at SS?  Getting the arm and bat of House at 3B would be a nice addition.  He is big with broad shoulders for a high school kid.  If he can turn on 96 mph at his age, I like the prospects of a quick rise through the minors.

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Keith Law mentioned House and the Orioles in his prospect writeup today.

Some draft chatter: Georgia prep slugger Brady House‘s name is bouncing around a lot, with chatter that the Royals are targeting him at pick 7, while the Orioles and Diamondbacks (5 and 6, respectively) might consider him for under-slot deals. 

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5 hours ago, MurphDogg said:

Keith Law mentioned House and the Orioles in his prospect writeup today.

 

 

Interesting. I am not sure he'll take an under slot deal, not much of one anyway. Why would he? He has all the leverage and his stock is back up, except with Keith Law, of course.

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Henry Davis and Louisville played Clemson Fri-Saturday. Davis went 5-12 with 1 HR, 1 2B, 1 BB and 1 K in the series. On the season, in 37 games (135 AB), he's hitting .400 with 9 HR, 9 2B, 29 Walks, 15 K's. He's also stolen 10 bases in 12 attempts. He has a .520 OBP and a.667 Slg% (1.187 OPS). Defensively, he's caught 12 of 25 runners attempting to steal.

Vanderbilt played Florida this past weekend. Florida won 2 out of 3. 

Kumar Rocker

Rocker got the start on Friday night and got the win. Rocker went 5 innings, 4 hits 2 ER, 4 walks, 8 K's and threw 95 pitches.

On the season, Rocker is 10-1 with a 1.70 ERA. 69 innings, 36 hits, 19 walks (2.48/9), 97 K's (12.65/9) and a .149 average against.

Jack Leiter

Leiter got the start on Saturday and took the loss. Leiter went 4 innings, 5 hits 5 ER, 4 walks, 4 K's and threw 93 pitches.

On the season, Leiter is 7-2 with a 2.10 ERA. 64.1 innings, 28 hits, 29 walks (4.06/9), 106 K's (14.83/9) and a .128 average against.

About 4 days ago, CBS released their Top 10:

1. Jack Leiter, RHP, Vanderbilt 

Preseason: No. 1

With a little over two months to go, Leiter is positioned to lead the class from flag to flag. Yes sir, his fastball can boogie, especially up in the zone thanks to his ability to impart spin and create a flat plane. Scouts would like to see more consistency from his secondaries, including both of his breaking balls, but he's a good athlete and a hard worker who should be able to make the necessary refinements. Some teams with high picks aren't even discussing Leiter as a contingency option, suggesting the industry believes he'll go No. 1 barring an injury or a Bob Nutting-forced cheap out.

2. Jordan Lawlar, SS, Dallas Jesuit HS (TX)

Preseason: No. 2

If Leiter doesn't go first overall, then Lawlar would be the logical alternative. He's drawn comparisons to Royals prospect Bobby Witt Jr. because of his advanced age (he'll celebrate his 19th birthday before the draft), his Texas residency, and his skill set. His biggest fans within the industry believe he'll stick at shortstop for the long haul and have above-average grades for every tool at maturation, making him a potential all-star. Teams expect he'll require a larger signing bonus to forgo his commitment to Vanderbilt than the $5.2 million received by last year's No. 2 pick Heston Kjerstad.

3. Marcelo Mayer, Eastlake HS (CA)

Preseason: No. 5

Mayer doesn't receive as much attention as Lawlar does, but he's another high-end prep shortstop. Unlike Lawlar, there's no question that Mayer is going to remain at the six. He has all the proper weaponry, including a strong and accurate arm and light feet. Mayer's offensive future presents more volatility. There are those in the game who believe he'll grow into 15-to-20-homer power from the left side. Should that come to fruition, he's going to make whichever team lands him a happy one.

4. Kumar Rocker, RHP, Vanderbilt

Preseason: No. 4

Rocker remains the most famous player in this class, which in turn has led to some overexposure that borders on fatigue. He's had a tremendous collegiate career and his slider is one of the best chase pitches in the class, yet teams have reservations about his fastball's results (improved this season), his mechanics, and his durability. He recently went through a stretch where his velocity was down about two ticks from normal, according to data obtained by CBS Sports. Rocker's velocity has since rebounded, but that fluctuation isn't going to help his case with those who doubt him. He's hanging steady at No. 4, even though it's possible he slips a little further come draft day.

5. Henry Davis, C, Louisville 

Preseason: No. 8

To quote a snippet from our preseason rankings: "Don't sleep on Davis as a dark horse to go in the top five." Now he's in the top five, having further established himself as a good prospect by flirting with a .400 average and a 2-to-1 walk-to-strikeout rate so far this season. Davis seldom whiffs, he hits the ball hard, and he's going to remain behind the plate (with a strong arm to boot). There were scouts who were concerned that his swing was too strength-based to work against top-notch velocity. Maybe that proves to be the case, but some team is going to jump at the opportunity to find out.

https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/top-10-mlb-draft-prospects-2021-jack-leiter-still-no-1-vanderbilt-teammate-kumar-rocker-in-top-five/

 

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Louisville beat Vanderbilt on Tuesday. Henry Davis went 2-4 with a HR. He's now hitting .403/.520/.683 with 10 HR, 9 2B, 38 RBI, 29 walks and 15 strikeouts. He's also stolen 10 bases in 12 attempts.

Callis just did an updated mock draft. Here's the top 6:

1. Pirates: Jordan Lawlar, SS, Jesuit Prep (Dallas)
As a five-tool high school shortstop from the Dallas area, Lawlar draws comparisons to Bobby Witt Jr. (No. 2 to the Royals in 2019), who had louder tools but a less polished bat at the same stage of their careers.

 

2. Rangers: Jack Leiter, RHP, Vanderbilt
After taking college baseball by storm with a no-hitter in his first Southeastern Conference start and seven no-hit innings in his second, Leiter has surrendered eight homers in the last three weeks as scouts wonder how he'll hold up under by far the biggest workload he's ever had.

3. Tigers: Marcelo Mayer, SS, Eastlake HS (Chula Vista, Calif.)
He might be relatively anonymous compared to the other top-tier talents, but Mayer has the upside of a Corey Seager bat with a Brandon Crawford glove.

4. Red Sox: Kumar Rocker, RHP, Vanderbilt
Rocker's velocity dipped into the low 90s for three weeks early in the season but the Draft's most physical pitcher has performed consistently well and outperformed Leiter.

6. D-backs: Henry Davis, C, Louisville
In a down year for college bats, Davis is perhaps the only preseason projected first-rounder in that group to exceed expectations, batting .403/.520/.683 with more walks (29) and extra-base hits (19) than strikeouts (15) while continuing to display plus-plus arm strength.

https://www.mlb.com/news/mock-mlb-draft-2021-may-5?t=mlb-pipeline-coverage

 

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36 minutes ago, calsmanystances said:

Louisville beat Vanderbilt on Tuesday. Henry Davis went 2-4 with a HR. He's now hitting .403/.520/.683 with 10 HR, 9 2B, 38 RBI, 29 walks and 15 strikeouts. He's also stolen 10 bases in 12 attempts.

Callis just did an updated mock draft. Here's the top 6:

1. Pirates: Jordan Lawlar, SS, Jesuit Prep (Dallas)
As a five-tool high school shortstop from the Dallas area, Lawlar draws comparisons to Bobby Witt Jr. (No. 2 to the Royals in 2019), who had louder tools but a less polished bat at the same stage of their careers.

 

2. Rangers: Jack Leiter, RHP, Vanderbilt
After taking college baseball by storm with a no-hitter in his first Southeastern Conference start and seven no-hit innings in his second, Leiter has surrendered eight homers in the last three weeks as scouts wonder how he'll hold up under by far the biggest workload he's ever had.

3. Tigers: Marcelo Mayer, SS, Eastlake HS (Chula Vista, Calif.)
He might be relatively anonymous compared to the other top-tier talents, but Mayer has the upside of a Corey Seager bat with a Brandon Crawford glove.

4. Red Sox: Kumar Rocker, RHP, Vanderbilt
Rocker's velocity dipped into the low 90s for three weeks early in the season but the Draft's most physical pitcher has performed consistently well and outperformed Leiter.

6. D-backs: Henry Davis, C, Louisville
In a down year for college bats, Davis is perhaps the only preseason projected first-rounder in that group to exceed expectations, batting .403/.520/.683 with more walks (29) and extra-base hits (19) than strikeouts (15) while continuing to display plus-plus arm strength.

https://www.mlb.com/news/mock-mlb-draft-2021-may-5?t=mlb-pipeline-coverage

 

I forgot to include the O's pick!

5. Orioles: Brady House, SS, Winder-Barrow HS (Winder, Ga.)
House has bounced back after struggling on the showcase circuit last summer and offers some of the best power in the Draft and possibly enough athleticism to stay at shortstop.

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9 hours ago, calsmanystances said:

I forgot to include the O's pick!

5. Orioles: Brady House, SS, Winder-Barrow HS (Winder, Ga.)
House has bounced back after struggling on the showcase circuit last summer and offers some of the best power in the Draft and possibly enough athleticism to stay at shortstop.

Thanks for posting these.  It will be interesting to see who the O's pick.  Seems like Davis has a pretty high floor but House may have the higher ceiling.  I wouldn't mind having another top C prospect in our system.  And if Leiter or Rocker fall past pick 4?  Seems unlikely but you never know.

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3 hours ago, Sports Guy said:

There seems to be 4 studs in this draft...irritating that we lost out to Boston by 1 meaningless win.

Hopefully one of those 4 somehow drops.

I doubt it will seem like that four years from now. Though the top 4 picks does seem to be coalescing around those 4. Still two months to go, a lot can change.

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3 hours ago, Sports Guy said:

There seems to be 4 studs in this draft...irritating that we lost out to Boston by 1 meaningless win.

Hopefully one of those 4 somehow drops.

Who knows, maybe the team picking second will go underslot! 

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6 hours ago, Sports Guy said:

There seems to be 4 studs in this draft...irritating that we lost out to Boston by 1 meaningless win.

Hopefully one of those 4 somehow drops.

Maybe not?

 

 

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