Draft | Mock Draft | 12/3/2020

PG Staff Mock Draft

Brian Sakowski         Vincent Cervino         Cade Schares         Colton Olinger         Connor Spencer         Greg Gerard         Jered Goodwin         Jheremy Brown         John McAdams         Tyler Russo        
Photo: Jud Fabian (Mario Houben)
It’s been a weird year, so we decided to do a weirdly-timed, staff-collaborated mock draft, and we had a lot of fun with it. We don’t know all the competitive balance picks, so this mock isn’t true to what the actual order will be beyond pick 29, so we just decided to give each team 2 picks in the same order as the first round. The majority of our scouting staff were assigned a handful of teams each to make selections for, while our draft experts Brian Sakowski and Vinnie Cervino took turns providing analysis of the respective selections made by our pseudo general managers.

Stay tuned to Perfect Game’s industry-leading MLB Draft coverage over the next several weeks, as we update and release draft boards across the next 3 classes from 2021 to 2023, including an expansion from 300 to 400 on the main board for 2021 as well as the initial JUCO draft board.

1. Pittsburg Pirates| Jud Fabian, OF, University of Florida | (2/30)  Jordan Wicks, LHP, Kansas State University
A year after selecting the highly acclaimed Nick Gonzalez, the Pirates continue their new draft perspective, instilled by Ben Cherington, of taking productive college hitters early and then solidifying their pitching staff after. Fabian was off to a good start in 2020 for the 16-1 Gators, while showing emerging power potential with 11 extra base hits in 68 at-bats. He may have to move to a corner outfield spot eventually but the hit tool will carry him through the ranks. In Wicks, the Pirates continue to bolster the depth of their minor league pitching ranks by adding a proven Power 5 winner that has continued to raise his stock after starting his college career with Freshman of The Year honors in the Big 12. The big-bodied lefty works into the low-90s with a little more recently, while flashing an above average changeup as the true separator. -John McAdams

Sakowski's Take: The Pirates will have their pick of the litter with the 1st overall pick, and at this early juncture that potential list of candidates is still shrouded in uncertainty. Several names have established themselves near the top, including Florida outfielder Jud Fabian. Pairing a potential Role 6 type of middle order bat with an advanced left-handed arm like Jordan Wicks would give Pittsburgh two big pieces as they sit at the nadir of their rebuild, and both could be quick movers as well. 

2. Texas Rangers | Kumar Rocker, RHP, Vanderbilt University | (2/31) Benny Montgomery, OF, Red Land
The Rangers gladly took the 6-foot-4, 255-pound Rocker with the second pick in the draft. The college standout had an illustrious freshman season at Vandy and has rocketed to the top of the draft boards ever since. With the 31st overall pick, they took one of the best athletes in the draft in Benny Montgomery. The 18-year-old runs a ridiculous 6.32 second 60-yard dash, throws it 97 from the outfield, and shows raw power at the plate. -Cade Schares

Cervino's Take: The Rangers love taking upside and athleticism but they’ll gladly take Kumar Rocker should he be available with the No. 2 pick. Rocker’s the presumptive 1:1 favorite and would likely be among the best prospects in the Rangers system as a safe, as you can be, arm, Major League starter with a straightforward track to the bigs. Benny Montgomery offers that athleticism and quick twitch that Texas loves as there might not be a prep player with more upside than Montgomery. 

3. Detroit Tigers | Matt McLain, SS, UCLA | (2/32) Christian MacLeod, LHP, Mississippi State
McLain put himself right back into the top prospect draft talk after hitting .397 with three home runs and 19 RBI in the shortened 2020 campaign at UCLA and he continued to rake this summer for Santa Barbara Foresters with a .436 batting average. In other words, he did exactly what he was supposed to do and if he puts together another season with similar numbers at the plate, he could go as high as two in this draft. Macleod looks primed for somewhat of a breakout season in 2021 as a backbone for the Mississippi State rotation. His high draft stock is rooted in projection as he stands 6-foot-4, 227-pounds, and he only stands to get stronger. The physical southpaw has a high over the top slot and comps very well to Yankee southpaw and former Gamecock Jordan Montgomery. He could easily work his way into the first round with a strong 2021 campaign. -Connor Spencer

Sakowski’s Take: As the Tigers start to look towards contention with their nucleus of power arms starting to take center stage and big bats like Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson coming soon, this could be the last time we see Detroit pick this high up for awhile. McLain would give Detroit an injection of athleticism with top-of-the-order tools, while MacLeod brings SEC performance and big projection traits for new pitching coach Chris Fetter to work with. A draft like this would go a long ways towards adding to the core of the next Tigers contender. 
 4. Boston Red Sox | Jaden Hill, RHP, Louisiana State | (2/33) Gunnar Hoglund, RHP, Mississippi
Hill possesses as much upside as any in the class with a three pitch arsenal that have all flashed plus at times. He relies mostly on a mid-90s fastball and wipeout slider but has a feel for his changeup as well with the ability to get it to both sides of the plate, Hoglund has been a name steadily rising up boards ever since his prep days. The Ole Miss junior comes with a starter’s arsenal of four pitches that he commands as well as anyone in the class. The fastball will sit in the low-90s and the addition of a slider in his sophomore year proved to be a true swing and miss offering bumping his strikeout per inning to 1.56. -Colt Olinger

Cervino’s Take: College pitching has been a staple of day one of the draft in recent years and the Red Sox in this situation grab two of the best available in Jaden Hill out of LSU and Gunnar Hoglund out of Ole Miss. Hill has the most upside of any available college arm with electric stuff while Hoglund profiled better as a back end rotation arm with polished command. Two SEC proven arms would bode well for the Red Sox and would be a jump start in rejuvenating their pitching crop. 

5. Baltimore Orioles | Jack Leiter, RHP, Vanderbilt | (2/34) Malakhi Knight, OF, Archbishop Murphy (Wash.)
Like they did this past summer, the Orioles go with a college player with their top pick in this mock in choosing right-hander Jack Leiter who had an impressive start to a freshman campaign for the Commodores. Showing low to mid-90s on a quality fastball alongside three secondary offerings that have a chance to be above average or better at the next level, Leiter shows one of the cleanest operations of any arm in the class. Malakhi Knight in the second gives them a well-rounded prep athlete with tremendous upside on both sides of the ball. He’s a 6.6 runner and it plays into his abilities in the outfield to go with the big power potential/hit tool combo in the bat. -Tyler Russo

Sakowski's Take: As things sit right now, Leiter at 1:5 would be a value match, and the Orioles under Mike Elias have established that they will take more analytic-heavy arms, which Leiter certainly is. Slated to pitch behind Kumar Rocker in the Vandy rotation, Leiter will definitely have the chance to prove he’s a top 5 talent this spring. Knight represents more of a long-term bet as a prep bat, but he performed all summer and has middle-order tools along with a non-zero chance to play center long term. 

6. Arizona Diamondbacks | Brady House, ss, Winder Barrow HS | (2/35) JP Massey, RHP, Minnesota
The Diamondbacks land arguably the top prep prospect in the class with Brady House, an ultra-physical shortstop who showed particularly well on both sides of the ball as the circuit came to a close in the fall. At 6-foot-3, 210 pounds there’s ample strength to his frame, allowing him to whip the barrel through the zone with big strength at impact. Any while some may be quick to point to a slide over to third base, the combination of athleticism, body control and a plus arm leave plenty of optimism for him to stick up the middle. Like House, Massey is relatively young for the class and has seen his stock soar since arriving in Minnesota though there’s reason to believe he hasn’t reached his ultimate ceiling. Standing 6-foot-5, 205 pounds, Massey generates easy velocity given his plus arm speed, reaching the mid-90s while showing the potential for a plus slider as well. -Jheremy Brown

Cervino’s Take: The Diamondbacks go with massive upside in their first two picks in potentially the top prep prospect in Winder-Barrow’s Brady House and young-for-the-grade right-hander out of Minnesota in JP Massey. House capped off the year with a scorching hot fall and there’s real All-Star potential should he put it all together while Massey has continued to make strides given the arm talent, stuff, and athleticism. Pairing these two makes for a particularly enticing duo to kick off what would be an exciting draft. 

7.  Kansas City Royals | Jordan Lawlar, SS, Jesuit College Prep | (2/36) Josh Hartle, LHP, Reagan HS
First, we took the top-rated middle infield prospect in the prep class in Jordan Lawlar. He has all the tools to stay at shortstop with premium defensive ability and an offensive upside that projects to have high level hit and future power grades. The second round we stayed on the high school side with Josh Hartle who combines an unbelievably projectable frame and good polish for a high school southpaw. The ceilings on both prospects were too high to pass up at either point in the draft. -Jered Goodwin

Sakowski's Take: The Royals are certainly unafraid of taking high-end prep talent, and a draft like this with Lawlar and Hartle definitely represents that. Lawlar has established himself as one of the best prep prospects in the nation and pairing him in the KC system with Bobby Witt Jr. would be extremely fun, and Josh Hartle is the top lefty in the prep class to some, with excellent projection and long-term upside. Taking two prep players back to back with your first two picks is always a risky endeavor, but this particular hypothetical would represent one of the better upside drafts to be sure. 

8. Colorado Rockies | Ian Moller, C, Wahlert | (2/37) Ty Madden, RHP, Texas
Light tower power and Colorado seem to play well together and Moller has some of the top power in the class regardless of prep or college ranks and has a very high level skillset behind the dish as well. If the Rockies have the opportunity to take Moller this high in the first round, they should be excited about a player with his skillset, given that he is the top prep catcher in the 2021 class. Madden may be the steal of this Mock Draft as he slid into the second round for the Rockies to nab. Madden has good stuff from his over the top arm angle, showing a fastball that gets into the upper-90s with a plus slider and a solid curveball as well. The strike throwing ability and stuff he has at present, plus the projection left with him, have to be an exciting component for a player that falls into the early second round. -Greg Gerard

Cervino’s Take: The Rockies go back-to-back on day one prep catchers as they grab the top prep catcher in Ian Moller and get great value with Ty Madden out of Texas in the second round. Moller offers the rare combination of defensive ability along with being an advanced bat while Madden has real first round potential as a Friday night Big 12 starter with a plus slider. Moller’s power and Madden’s sinker-slider combination should play well at Coors field and the Rockies take a couple of impact pieces.

9. Los Angeles Angels| | Adrian Del Castillo, C, University of Miami | (2/38) Joe Mack, C, Williamsville East HS, NY
Without a catcher in the Top 30 of their most recent prospect depth chart, new GM Perry Minasian may be well versed to add these two impact hitters to bolster the position. Del Castillo may be the most respected and polished hitter available in this year’s draft. Although he may not stick behind the dish at the next level, Del Castillo’s keen eye, high level bat-to-ball skills and power potential will be too hard to pass up for an organization that is trying to get back in the playoffs after a recent dry spell. What Mack brings to the table is undoubtedly one of the more well-rounded skill sets in terms of both offense and defense. The left-handed hitting Mack has premium bat speed and legit juice, to go along with outstanding arm strength and defensive aptitude behind the dish. -John McAdams

Sakowski’s Take: While both of these Angels picks are technically listed as catchers, the reality is that both of these picks would be made with offensive value in mind first and foremost. Del Castillo is seemingly the most “sure bet” collegiate hitter even if he’s likely a 1B/DH long term, while Mack has impressive offensive tools in his own right with the potential to stick behind the dish long term, with his tools back there highlighted by a cannon of a throwing arm. This draft would inject a significant amount of potential offensive value to the Angel’s system. 

10. New York Mets | James Wood, OF, IMG Academy | (2/39) Harry Ford, C, North Cobb
The Mets like to swing big, and they certainly swung for the fences with some high ceiling players in their first two picks. James Wood comes off the board early thanks to his massive frame and huge power upside. Harry Ford is another tooled-up prep standout that has enough athleticism to be an above average defender behind the plate or in the outfield. The Mets have drafted a high schooler in the first round seven times in the past ten years, and we see that trend continuing this year. -Cade Schares

Sakowski's Take: Two of the more intriguing prep prospects on the circuit this summer, Wood at one point looked like he might be the best prep bat in the class before cooling off in the fall, while Ford is one of the most interesting profiles in the class. Wood has something of a class lefthanded-hitting, power-driven right field profile with absurd power projection, while Ford's athleticism, potential both behind the plate and in center field, and feel to hit with power stand out and give him one of the more unique profiles in this class.
11. Washington Nationals | Steve Hajjar, LHP, Michigan | (2/40) Rodney Boone, LHP, UC Santa Barbara
Hajjar jumped on the scene in 2020 going 3-0 in his four starts for the Wolverines as an already polished southpaw who has a strong fastball with plus command of his entire arsenal. He’s a guy who has the opportunity to really move on the draft board depending on his performance this season. The 2019 Big West pitcher of the year noticeably made strides in 2020 as he generated more empty swings on the mound and posted a 13.08 K/9 rate. He’s another southpaw on this list that has the opportunity to float his stock if he looks dominant in 2021. With so much high-end similar talent in this draft class, experience and maturity may be a difference maker on the mound in this draft and Boone possesses plenty. -Connor Spencer

Sakowski’s Take: A pair of college lefties who represent two of the more intriguing data sets in college baseball, this hypothetical draft would definitely give the Nationals a couple high-end arms right away. Hajjar has a chance, with a big spring, to potentially move even higher up the board while Boone has been a tremendous performer throughout his career out west with the metrics that more analytically-savvy teams salivate over. 

12. Seattle Mariners | Marcelo Mayer, SS, Eastlake HS | (2/41) Max Debiec, RHP, O’Dea HS
Mayer was on a short list at the top of our board as we viewed him as a top ten pick. With him still available at 12 it was a no brainer as he brings a shortstop profile with a middle of the order type bat. Debiec is a guy we have gotten plenty of looks at being from right here in Seattle. He brings a projectable 6-foot-7 frame with a mid-90s fastball and a feel for two distinct breaking balls as well as a changeup with some deception from his quick arm. -Colt Olinger

Cervino’s Take: Marcelo Mayer is potentially the top prep prospect in the class and grabbing him along with hometown prep arm Max Debiec. Mayer is a classic Southern California shortstop and fits that profile of athleticism, shortstop projection, and a polished hit tool. Debiec is a massive right-hander that offers substantial projection and should develop nicely given the time in a Mariner’s system that has turned out solid pitching in the past. 

13. Philadelphia Phillies | Andrew Painter, RHP, Calvary Christian Academy (Fla.) | (2/42) Christian Franklin, OF, Arkansas
Getting the chance to select the top-ranked prep pitcher in any class is something to be thrilled about and the Phillies get a good one with right-hander Andrew Painter here in this mock. His fastball works comfortably in the mid-90s, with flashes of even more at times, while showing polish to a full four-pitch mix to go with projection to even more at a daunting 6-foot-7, 230 pounds. Christian Franklin in the second round gives them an established outfielder from the talent-rich program of Arkansas who has a combination of high contact rates and present power that could carry him through to the big leagues at a pretty quick rate. -Tyler Russo

Sakowski’s Take: Painter has established himself as the top prep arm at this point and while prep arms are extremely volatile, there’s a certain degree of polish to his profile and the mid-1st looks like a good value pick this far out. Franklin seems unlikely to get to pick 42 at this point given his toolset and performance, but that’s a monster pick in this hypothetical, and the Phillies would certainly feel great if they were able to nab this type of haul next July. 

14. San Francisco Giants | Kahlil Watson, SS, Wake Forest HS | (2/43) Cody Morissette, SS, Boston College
Watson burst onto the national scene this summer and didn’t slow down at all, both literally and figuratively as his plus speed was consistently on display while his offensive output only seemed to excel throughout the circuit. He’s a left-handed hitter with lightening quick hands and proved that the power plays while showing a solid collection of tools up the middle where you can easily project him to stay at the next level. With the second pick the Giants grabbed another up-the-middle prospect, this time from the collegiate ranks with Cody Morissette of Boston College. His fluidity in his left-handed swing and pure hit tool have been on display since arriving on campus and he was off to a torrid start prior to the shutdown in 2020 with a .448 average. He’ll anchor the middle of the diamond on defense for the Eagles where he’ll remain at the next level, though it’s the offensive skillset that has helped set him apart thus far. -Jheremy Brown

Cervino’s Take: Prep shortstops are the headliners on the high school side of the draft and the Giants grab the biggest riser in Kahlil Watson in the first and a safe college bat in Boston College’s Cody Morissette. Watson’s the first prep shortstop the Giants would have taken since 2013 and Morissette fits their draft trends a bit better given his college resume and safe hit tool. Regardless the combination of high ceiling and high floor with their first two picks make for a solid pair. 

15. Milwaukee Brewers | Ethan Wilson, OF, University of South Alabama | (2/44) Mike Vasil, RHP. University of Virginia
We stayed with college players in the top two rounds and both could be serious risers in the spring to bring some value here. Wilson had a monster freshman year hitting seventeen home runs and these type of left-handed college bats are always a premium. Vasil seems to have gotten back to form as the fastball is back in the mid-to-upper 90s with a refined delivery. They both could be fast risers in the minor leagues. -Jered Goodwin

Sakowski’s Take: It looks like a good crop for the Brewers here, with Wilson potentially looking like a Heston Kjerstad type of college bat who could rise up boards with a strong spring. Vasil turned down substantial money as a prep to head to Virginia and has been up-and-down, but as Jered alluded to, the velocity seems to be back and should he regain the form he flashed a couple years ago, he could potentially look like a steal in the 40’s once we look at the board in July.

16. Miami Marlins | Jonathan Cannon, RHP, Georgia | (2/45) Anthony Solometo, LHP, Bishop Eustace
Cannon is a draft-eligible sophomore with more than enough projection on him to go extremely high in this draft class. A mid-90s fastball, plus changeup and room for continued development seem like a solid proponent for Miami. Cannon also does not have a lot of mileage on his arm at this point logging just 11.1 innings prior to the COVID-19 shutdown and he's a player that could really rise given the spring he and the Bulldogs of Georgia have in 2021. Funk and deception are what Solometo fires at hitters of either handedness. The left-hander from New Jersey has seen his fastball tick up as high as 96 mph for scouts from a tough angle and a slider that will grade out as plus at times. A pair of arms in as many picks for Miami in this mock recognizes a need for the Marlins in this year’s draft. -Greg Gerard

Cervino’s Take: Jonathan Cannon makes for the second sophomore eligible arm taken and, like Leiter, Cannon will have to prove his stuff over a full year in the SEC. The Marlins like prep lefties, such as Braxton Garrett and Trevor Rogers of recent memory, and Solometo might be the best left-hander in this class. These two picks would be a jolt of pitching depth to the Marlins system and both of the arms have power arsenals along with the ability to stick as starters long term. 

17. Cincinnati Reds| Ryan Cusick, RHP, Wake Forest University | (2/46) Jack Perkins, RHP, University of Louisville
With a good crop of potential impact position players already in their system, the pitching centric Reds expand upon their new developmental mindset in landing both Cusick and Perkins with their first two picks. Cusick has continued to raise his stock in the same manner as the velocity on his fastball has. The 6-foot-6 right-hander has steadily improved each year and took it to a new level in the shortened 2020 season. With more focus on the use of his lower half, Cusick has been able to hold the mid-90s deep into starts and even touched 99 mph a few times. Cusick is a high upside prospect with a power fastball that will need to refine his secondary offerings to stick as a starter long term. Seemingly recovered from Tommy John after the 2019 season, the reports on Perkins have been intriguing as he hopes to be part of another Louisville CWS run in 2021. Perkins has the high spin rate fastball that Kyle Boddy and the Reds pitching development staff crave. The strongly built right-hander has seen his velocity creep back towards the range it was prior to surgery and has continued to develop his secondary offerings, highlighted by a true swing-and-miss curveball. -John McAdams

Sakowski’s Take: In this hypothetical, we see the Reds put all their eggs in the “stuff” basket, something that’s always risky but also comes with a bigger payout if the bets hit. Cusick is a monster right-hander who flirts with triple digits as a starter with huge projection traits, while Perkins, a former PG All-American, has had some trouble with strikes in his career but when he’s in the zone he’s nearly unhittable, with mid-90s heat and a hammer breaking ball. 

18. St. Louis Cardinals | Chase Petty, RHP, Mainland Reg | (2/47) Cody Schrier, SS, JSerra Catholic
The Cardinals take Chase Petty with the 18th overall pick, hoping to find their next Jordan Hicks. Petty is young for his class with electric arm speed and has already shown the ability to touch triple digits. St. Louis has a serious need for a shortstop in their farm system, with just one true shortstop being ranked within their top 30 prospect rankings (per mlb.com). They fill this need by drafting Cody Schrier in the second round as he possesses an advanced hit tool as well as the defensive skill set to play shortstop at the next level. -Cade Schares

Cervino’s Take: The Cardinals swung big in the 2020 draft with prep players like Jordan Walker, Masyn Winn, and Markevian Hence on day one and they’ll replicate that formula pairing prep arm Chase Petty with prep shortstop Cody Schrier. Petty’s a triple digit high schooler with the best stuff on the prep side in the class while Schrier has been a consummate performer on the circuit. The Cardinals bet on their player development, often correctly doing so, and adding two more exciting high schoolers to the system will be fun. 

19. Toronto Blue Jays | Colton Cowser, OF, Sam Houston State | (2/48) Tyree Reed, OF, American Canyon HS
Cowser was the Southland Conference hitter of the year in 2019 and was named to the USA Baseball National team. Although he displays plus athleticism in the outfield, his carrying tool is without a doubt his feel for the barrel. If his power tool shows improvement in 2021, he’ll have the opportunity to go very high in the first round of the draft. Reed has been a well-known name on the national stage for quite a while now with his athleticism and projectable hit tool. His overall talent cannot be ignored and he has the potential to develop into an everyday player in professional baseball with exciting tools. -Connor Spencer

Sakowski’s Take: An interesting pairing here. Connor Spencer touched on what a power surge could do for Cowser’s draft stock, and his present toolset already intrigues in a top half of the first round kind of way. Reed was a bit of an enigma this summer as COVID limited travel, but in underclass looks as well as briefly this fall, he still shows high-end projection for left-handed power along with very good athleticism and a clean stroke. 

20. New York Yankees | Tommy Mace, RHP, Florida | (2/49) Izaac Pacheco, SS, Friendswood HS
Mace will bring a projectable starters arsenal to the organization with a fastball that he has shown great command of in the 91-94 mph range with the ability to bump it up to 96 mph. He has also flashed the makings of a plus slider with his second offering in the upper-80s with real swing and miss bite to both righties and lefties. Pacheco, listed as a shortstop, projects more as a corner guy down the line. His middle of the order profile from the left side should allow him to play either corner while his defensive ability will certainly give him a chance at third. -Colt Olinger

Cervino's Take: This would make it three years in a row for the Yankees in taking a college prospect and they’ll grab projected-2019-pick Tommy Mace along with prep shortstop Izaac Pacheco. Mace returns to lead a talented Florida squad on Fridays and is one of many impressive college arms this year while Pacheco showed some of the best power on the high school side. Giving the Yankees a likely-corner power bat and a rotation starter is a strong way to kick off a draft. 

21. Chicago Cubs | Jackson Jobe, RHP, Heritage Hall (Okla.) | (2/50) Jon Childress, LHP, Texas A&M
A great athlete that has made a full transition to the mound, Jackson Jobe has now become one of the nation’s premier arms and lands himself in the first round in this mock to the Cubs. At 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, he looks the part with the athleticism as a sub-7.0 runner and secondary shortstop to control the limbs well, but it’s the mid-90s fastball and what may be regarded as the best slider in the class that garners this much helium. Jon Childress gives the Cubs a former Perfect Game All-American, and premier prep talent a couple years ago, as their second-round pick from College Station. The long and projectable left-hander works in the low-90s with great angle at release while showing feel for a firm cutter and an even better slider with big potential. -Tyler Russo

Sakowski’s Take: Jobe earns rave reviews for both the evaluation and the metrics of his stuff on the mound, highlighted by a slider that flashes 70 (on the 20-80 scale) at times. He’s got tremendous upside with that combination of stuff and athleticism, while Childress, a Tommy John survivor, represents another potential upside play at pick 50. Childress has the upside to go higher if he performs in the SEC this spring, but pick 50 looks like a good spot right now based on fall intel. 

22. Chicago White Sox | Alex Binelas, 3B, Louisville | (2/51) Mason Black, RHP, Lehigh 
Binelas burst onto the scene as a true freshman for the Cardinals and though he dug in for just seven at-bats in 2020, the left-handed hitting Wisconsin native is still considered one of the premier college hitters. With 14 home runs in 2019, there’s no doubting the power he brings to the dish which fits into his profile as a hard hitting third baseman with game changing juice. Black looks to follow in the footsteps of former teammate Levi Stoudt, a 3rd round selection in 2019, though given his stuff and performance, there’s a chance he’ll go even higher come this June’s draft. Following a strong summer on the Cape, Black took his performance to the next level in his shortened 2020 season and there’s plenty of optimism heading into 2021 as he possesses all the traits of a starter at the next level with a heater that bumps into the mid-90s and a swing-and-miss type slider. -Jheremy Brown

Cervino’s Take: Alex Binelas has the potential to be one of the biggest risers in the draft given his freshman year’s resume and injury-shortened 2020 and the White Sox pair him with another potential riser in Lehigh’s Mason Black. Binelas has the chance to put up monster numbers in the middle of a potent Louisville offense while Black is the top small school pitcher in the class. The White Sox honed in on their top of the draft guys in 2020 and in this scenario they’d do it again in 2021.

23. Cleveland Indians | Joshua Baez, OF, Dexter Southfield HS | (2/52) Shane Panzini, RHP, Rad Bank Catholic HS
The high school route it is for both Indians picks. Baez sports some of the very best tools in the high school class, with the potential of all of them being average or much better. He is young for the class and brings toughness that will help his minor league journey. Panzini is a durable bulldog with a power fastball that holds during outings and two very good breaking pitches. The development of the changeup could help his future ceiling as well. -Jered Goodwin

Sakowski’s Take: What a prep haul this would be. Baez was likely the biggest riser throughout the course of the circuit, looking like a high-end power/arm strength/athleticism right field profile who has extremely loud tools, while Panzini did nothing but perform all summer and capped it off with a great outing at WWBA, working into the mid-90s with strikes, a full 4-pitch mix, and a physical, durable build. Cleveland has proven to be unafraid of taking upside preps early on, and Baez fits that mold perfectly.

24. Atlanta Braves | Alex Mooney, SS, Orchard Lake St. Mary’s | (2/53) Ryan Wrobleski, C, Dallas Baptist
The Braves have had success ahead of expectation for a club with talent throughout their farm system. Mooney, a prep shortstop from Michigan, could really be a big addition to that farm as he is just a flat-out great baseball player. Atlanta took a catcher in Shea Langeliers in the first round of the 2019 MLB Draft and adding Wrobleski to the mix could be interesting for the Braves as he has been a bit of a riser since joining DBU and transferring from NIACC. The tools are not huge, but the skillset and ability to hit, field and throw at a high level are intriguing for both of these Braves draft picks. It would be a pretty risky pick here at the backend of the first round, but the ceiling of Mooney could be well worth the risk and as for Wrobleski, the rise of him in the spring is a gut feel as is reason for taking him this far up the board. -Greg Gerard

Cervino’s Take: Alex Mooney would be the fifth prep shortstop taken in the first round in this situation and he’d also be the first Braves first round pick since Carter Stewart in 2018. The Braves pair Mooney with Ryan Wrobleski who’s got excellent defensive ability behind the dish as he transfers into Dallas Baptist. The Braves would pair Wrobleski with 2019 first-rounder Shea Langeliers and Mooney is a relatively less volatile prep prospect. 

25. Oakland Athletics | Sal Frelick, OF, Boston College | (2/54) Thatcher Hurd, RHP, Mira Costa HS, Cali.
In selecting Frelick, Oakland gets back to the small market thinking of taking the best available player that fits their high analytical front office. What you get with Frelick is a premium defender with plus speed and the ability to stick in centerfield. At the plate, he is a disciplined hitter with a propensity to find the barrel and a pretty high floor long term. With a full transition to pitching long term, Hurd burst onto the draft scene this summer by performing at the PG National Showcase. Blessed with a highly projectable frame and present athleticism, Hurd produces some of the easier velocity we saw in 2020. The fastball has been into the low-90s thus far with more expected as he fully takes to pitching full-time. Although there is some things that need to be refined, including the secondary offerings, there is near limitless potential with the young California native. -John McAdams

Sakowski’s Take: Frelick represents one of the PG scouting department’s favorite players in the class with a good mix of ceiling and floor, looking more and more like an everyday big leaguer with every evaluation. Hurd came on like gangbusters during the summer circuit with high-level spin data and projection, and the stuff is plenty good at present as well. This would be a really nice pairing of safety and risk, floor and ceiling.

26. Minnesota Twins | Levi Usher, OF, University of Louisville | (2/55) Hunter Goodman, C, University of Memphis
Minnesota takes Levi Usher with their first pick, hoping to see his college success transfer to the pros. Usher projects as a solid corner outfielder with a big arm and loud hit and power tools. The Twins were excited to see Hunter Goodman still on the board when it came time for their second-round pick. Goodman has really impressed scouts during his time at Memphis and in the Cape Cod League. He has spent time at LF, RF, C, and 1B over the past two years, and shows a physical frame with obvious strength and plenty of juice in the bat. -Cade Schares

Cervino’s Take: Levi Usher offers a unique profile for a college bat given his lack of track record and enormity of the tools but his upside is immense. Hunter Goodman is more of a traditional Twins pick given the bat-first profile and massive power as he’s one of the best small school prospects on the board this year. Both hitters have potential for very big springs and could boost their stock as the spring plays out. 

27. San Diego Padres | Doug Nikhazy, lhp, Mississippi | (2/56) Noah Cardenas, c, UCLA
Nikhazy has been a rock for Ole Miss since his freshman campaign in 2019, setting the school record for strikeouts by a freshman with 86. His K/9 rate doesn’t jump off the page, but his stuff is strong enough to generate consistent outs in the SEC which will of course gain attention. An argument can be made that Cardenas is the best defensive catcher in this class with a feel behind the dish beyond his years. Cardenas has the ability to both steal strikes and throw runners out from a multitude of crouches and slots. If Cardenas puts together anything close to what he did in 2019 at the plate, expect his name to appear far higher on this list. -Connor Spencer

Sakowski’s Take: Nikhazy represents an interesting play, with stuff that doesn’t wow on the surface but with metrics that say no-doubt first rounder. His success in the SEC to date stands out as well, and should be in line for a selection in this range with a strong spring. Cardenas, as Connor mentioned, is a standout defender behind the plate with intriguing offensive tools to boot, and should he hit in a big way in 2021, his stock is likely to rise up beyond the mid-50s. 

28. Tampa Bay Rays | Henry Davis, C, Louisville | (2/57) Brock Selvidge, LHP, Hamilton HS
Davis will bring a solid defensive skill set behind the plate with a proven ability to handle elite level pitching as he did at Louisville. Offensively he has shown an above average hit tool with solid bat speed and twitch in the hands from the right side. Selvidge has a projectable arsenal headed by a low-90s fastball with above average spin that will continue to see upticks in velocity as there will be no rush to push him through the ranks. The three-pitch mix is rounded out by a tight tilting slider and a changeup that he has shown the ability to turn over nicely. -Colt Olinger

Cervino’s Take: College catchers always tend to rise up boards as the draft gets underway and Louisville’s Henry Davis is one of the best in the draft. The Rays also like to hone in on particular prep arms and let their player development work as Brock Selvidge would be a pretty significant boon for that staff. The safety of a standout defender like Davis and the volatility of a prep arm make for a well-balanced first two picks for the defending AL champs. 

29. Los Angeles Dodgers | Braden Montgomery, OF, Madison Central (Miss.) | (2/58) Carter Holton, LHP, Benedictine Military (Ga.)
The Dodgers will enter the 2021 draft as the defending champs and this mock has them locking in on two big-time prep performers from over on the east coast with their first two selections. Braden Montgomery oozes what you want out of a prep player in a combination of upside and polish. He can swing it well from either side of the plate with maturity to the approach and a good bit of jump off the barrel, while showing big arm strength from both the outfield and on the mound where the mechanics mimic the smoothness he shows across his game. Carter Holton sits among the best in terms of flat out performances on the circuit that we have seen in some time with a near 2:1 K/IP ratio over his last two years, using an electric mid-90s fastball, a wipeout slider and an above-average changeup to dominate even the best of lineups. -Tyler Russo

Sakowski's Take: It seems unlikely that the Dodgers would roll prep-prep out of the chute, but in this hypothetical it’s easy to like what they’ve done here. Montgomery established himself on the circuit as one of the premier prep bats with the peripheral tools to stand out in an outfield corner defensively, while Holton dominated all summer and fall with loud, loud stuff that belies his undersized stature, and he’s considered to be perhaps the best lefty in the class to some. 

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