The 2021 MLB Draft gets underway this Sunday. It’s a day in which the dreams of so many ballplayers become realized. The draftees have thought about this moment for weeks, months, years. But for these five top prospects, they won’t have to wait long Sunday to find out where their career continues.
Jack Leiter, RHP, Vanderbilt
No player captivated the college baseball world this season like Leiter. In March, he posted a 16-strikeout no-hitter which came during an amazing streak of 20 consecutive hitless innings. He had 15 strikeouts against North Carolina State in the College World Series; no pitcher has had more K’s in the World Series over the past 25 years. A Golden Spikes Award finalist, Leiter recorded a 2.13 ERA and struck out 179 batters in 110 innings this season.
Marcelo Mayer, SS, Eastlake (CA)
There is no clear consensus as to who will be the No. 1 pick in this draft, but Mayer might be the safest bet. He is considered by some scouts to be the best hitter and best defender of any player available and should be able to stick at shortstop throughout his career. And how about some of these player comparisons? The 6-foot-3 lefty has been likened to, among others, Corey Seager, Carlos Correa, and Hall of Famer Chipper Jones.
Kumar Rocker, RHP, Vanderbilt
Rocker burst upon the scene as freshman in 2019. He threw a no-hitter in the Super Regionals and registered a 0.96 ERA throughout that NCAA Tournament en route to being named the College World Series’ Most Outstanding Player for the national champion Vanderbilt Commodores. His fastball can hit 99 mph, and Rocker used that power to strike out 321 batters in 236 2/3 innings throughout his career.
Jordan Lawlar, SS, Jesuit Prep (TX)
Lawlar is a five-tool shortstop with top-shelf makeup to boot. Lawlar earned plaudits for his approach at the plate as an 18-year-old and has drawn comparisons to Correa, Xander Bogaerts and current top MLB prospect Bobby Witt Jr. Others will tell you that his on-field presence reminds them of a young Derek Jeter.
Henry Davis, C, Louisville
Davis has everything you want from a franchise catcher — and a little bit more. He hit .370 with 15 home runs for Louisville this past spring, but he is also a smart baserunner who stole 10 bags this year. Behind the plate, he threw out about 50 percent of runners trying to steal thanks to a right arm that is probably his best tool. Davis has been compared to Giants star Buster Posey.