2021 MLB Draft: Scouting Reports for Top Prospects Still Available on Day 2July 12, 2021
The first day of the 2021 MLB draft is complete, and while 36 players heard their names called on Sunday night, there is still a wealth of talent available for the final two days and 19 rounds of this year's draft.
As part of our predraft preparation, I wrote up a number of scouting profiles to be used in our live grades article. It's a way to stay ahead of the curve timing-wise while still providing in-depth analysis about each player.
There are inevitably a handful of those profiles that go unused. So here's a closer look at some of the best talent still on the board entering Day 2 of the 2021 MLB draft.
C Adrian Del Castillo, Miami
A lackluster spring in which he hit .275/.380/.395 with 17 extra-base hits in 237 plate appearances has taken a bite out of Del Castillo's draft stock, but he still profiles as one of the better college hitters in the class. He has a smooth left-handed swing and is willing to work a walk. He also showed some power potential when he slugged 12 home runs as a freshman. The big question is whether he can stick behind the plate defensively, and a move out of the crouch would obviously put significantly more pressure on his bat.
3B/SS Wes Kath, Desert Mountain High School (AZ)
Kath is seen by some scouts as "a slightly more athletic version of Red Sox prospect Triston Casas," and he offers a similar hit-over-power present profile with the potential to develop into a serious power threat as his 6'3", 200-pound frame continues to fill out. He has a better shot of sticking at shortstop than Izaac Pacheco and Colson Montgomery—two of the other top high school bats in the class—but he's lacking in quick-twitch athleticism and may ultimately wind up at third base.
2B Cody Morissette, Boston College
A three-year starter at Boston College, Morissette announced himself as one to watch when he hit .448/.522/.655 in 15 games before the 2020 season was halted. A hand injury slowed him this spring, but he still hit .321/.398/.497 with 16 extra-base hits in 191 plate appearances while showing a smooth left-handed stroke and good bat-to-ball skills. He's not flashy, but he's polished with a high floor and a plus hit tool.
2B Connor Norby, East Carolina
A Golden Spikes semifinalist, Norby hit .415/.484/.659 with 15 doubles, 15 home runs and 51 RBI in 61 games this spring, swiping 18 bases in 22 attempts while playing a strong second base. He gained valuable exposure playing for an East Carolina team that went 44-17 and reached Super Regionals, and he had two of the team's five hits in its two losses to Vanderbilt to close out the year.
3B/SS Izaac Pacheco, Friendswood High School (TX)
With tantalizing raw power and a fringy hit tool that results in plenty of swings and misses, Pacheco is the prototypical boom-or-bust prep power hitter. His 6'4", 225-pound frame has already filled out to the point that he's almost certain to shift to third base early in his pro career after playing shortstop in high school. If he can rein in an approach that often sees him selling out for over-the-fence power, he could develop into one of the better bats in this class.
2B Peyton Stovall, Haughton High School (LA)
Stovall hit a blistering .505/.664/1.031 with 14 home runs, 23 steals and 42 walks this spring to send his draft stock soaring. He profiles as one of the best pure hitters in the class with a smooth left-handed swing and sneaky power potential, but a limited defensive profile raises some questions. He played shortstop in high school, but he doesn't have the arm strength or quickness to stick there at the next level and will likely be limited to second base. That puts a lot of pressure on his bat.
OF Joshua Baez, Dexter Southfield High School (MA)
Baez is an imposing 6'4", 220-pound slugger with 70-grade power and a rocket for an arm, giving him the prototypical right fielder profile. He has a good feel for hitting and a plan at the plate, but he "swings through pitches while trying to hit the ball 600 feet every time," as MLB.com put it. If he can rein in his approach and smooth out his swing mechanics, he could be a perennial 30-homer slugger. The fact that he just turned 18 years old on June 28 is also a point in his favor.
OF Jud Fabian, Florida
Let's start with the good. Fabian ranked among the NCAA leaders with 20 home runs this spring, and he did it while showcasing all the defensive tools necessary to stick in center field long term. However, he also hit just .249 with 79 strikeouts and a 29.4 percent strikeout rate, raising some significant red flags about his ability to handle pro pitching. The upside here is significant, but so is the risk.
OF Christian Franklin, Arkansas
Franklin has one of the more complete profiles among this year's college outfielders. He hit .274/.420/.544 with 30 extra-base hits and 11 steals this spring, showcasing the potential to be a 20/20 player at the next level. His 28.5 percent strikeout rate is a red flag, but he has shown enough on-base ability and defensive acumen in center field to look past his swing-and-miss rate.
OF Will Taylor, Dutch Fork High School (SC)
A 247Sports 3-star athlete committed to play football and baseball at Clemson, where he would line up as a slot receiver and center fielder, Taylor was also a two-time state champion wrestler during his time at Dutch Fork High School in South Carolina. He is more polished than the average multi-sport athlete, though it's unclear how much pop he'll have at the plate. At the very least, his elite athleticism and plus speed give him a high floor as a surefire future center fielder.
OF Tyler Whitaker, Bishop Gorman High School (NV)
One of the biggest risers of this year's draft class, Whitaker had a terrific spring for Las Vegas powerhouse Bishop Gorman. In terms of raw tools, he stacks up to any prep prospect in this class with a rare 60-power/70-speed combination and a projectable 6'4", 195-pound frame that should allow him to add further strength. His hit tool is the question mark with significant swing-and-miss to his game, but he's a gamble who could pay huge dividends.
OF Lonnie White Jr., Malvern Prep (PA)
Aside from his upside on the baseball field, White is also a 4-star wide receiver recruit who is committed to play both sports at Penn State next year. The 6'3", 225-pound outfielder has a 55-hit/60-power offensive profile, and while he has limited remaining physical projection, he is already a strong, explosive athlete. He could take off with his full attention turned to baseball, but is he signable?
OF Ethan Wilson, South Alabama
Wilson slugged a South Alabama freshman record 17 home runs in 2019, and while he has since developed into more of a contact hitter, he still possesses plus raw power. He batted .318/.419/.528 with 25 extra-base hits and more walks (33) than strikeouts (21) this spring, and he stands out in a draft thin on productive college hitters. As with many of the other smaller-school prospects who didn't have a chance to play in the Cape Cod League last summer, the biggest question is how he'll fare against top-tier competition.
OF James Wood, IMG Academy (FL)
Kiley McDaniel of ESPN pointed to Wood as the best high school prospect who could end up on a college campus. The 6'7", 240-pound outfielder has tremendous offensive upside with loud raw power, but he struggled this spring after transferring from his hometown in Maryland to IMG Academy in Florida, striking out at a high enough rate to raise some red flags. Big risk, big reward.
RHP Chase Burns, Beech High School (TN)
Burns joined the second tier of high school arms by running his fastball up to 100 mph on the showcase circuit last summer. The 6'4", 215-pound righty backs his heater with a good slider and curveball, along with a developing changeup. With some effort in his delivery and inconsistent command, there is obvious reliever risk, but he has No. 2 starter upside if everything clicks.
RHP/SS Bubba Chandler, North Oconee High School (GA)
One of the best athletes of the 2021 draft class, Chandler is a 3-star quarterback recruit who is committed to play baseball and football at Clemson. He is also a legitimate two-way talent as a hard-throwing pitcher and a power-hitting shortstop. With a strong 6'3", 200-pound frame and two plus pitches in a fastball that touches 97 mph and a high-spin curveball, his future appears to be brightest on the mound.
RHP Jaden Hill, LSU
Hill is one of the most polarizing prospects in the draft. An athletic 6'4", 235-pound right-hander who was a 3-star quarterback recruit out of high school, Hill has flashed frontline stuff on the mound with an upper 90s fastball and a plus-plus changeup. However, he tossed just 51.1 innings in three years at LSU, and his 2021 season ended after seven starts when he underwent Tommy John surgery after looking more hittable this spring pre-injury.
RHP Ben Kudrna, Blue Valley Southwest High School (KS)
One of the breakout pitching prospects of last summer's showcase circuit, Kudrna solidified his status with a strong spring that included a three-hit shutout in the Kansas 5A state title game. With a mid-90s fastball, a sharp slider and a projectable 6'3", 175-pound frame, he has significant upside. The development of his changeup and continued physical growth will determine his ceiling.
RHP Tommy Mace, Florida
The No. 88 draft prospect in 2017, Mace was selected in the 12th round by the Cincinnati Reds but honored his commitment to the University of Florida. The big 6'6", 230-pound right-hander went 6-2 with a 4.38 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 113 strikeouts in 90.1 innings this spring. He is more floor than ceiling with average stuff and will likely be a pitch-to-contract, sinker/slider guy at the next level.
RHP/SS Spencer Schwellenbach, Nebraska
Schwellenbach won the 2021 John Olerud Award as the best two-way player in the country. He hit .284/.403/.459 with 19 extra-base hits as Nebraska's starting shortstop while also posting a 0.57 ERA and 9.7 K/9 with 10 saves as the team's closer. His offensive game has been steadily improving, and he is just scratching the surface of his potential on the mound. With three plus pitches, good command and a strong 6'1", 200-pound frame, he could conceivably handle a starting role.
LHP Ky Bush, Saint Mary's (CA)
Bush posted a 12.69 ERA with 77 hits and 21 walks allowed in 39 innings as a freshman at Washington State in 2019. He spent his sophomore season at Central Arizona JC before transferring to St. Mary's this spring, and his stock has skyrocketed. The 6'6", 240-pound lefty had a 2.99 ERA with 112 strikeouts in 78.1 innings, showcasing improved command after getting himself into better physical shape. Few have done more to boost their draft status this spring.
LHP Matt Mikulski, Fordham
Undrafted in 2020, Mikulski returned to Fordham for his senior year and boosted his stock considerably. He cleaned up his mechanics and saw an increase in his fastball velocity, going 9-0 with a 1.45 ERA, 0.82 WHIP and 124 strikeouts in 68.1 innings to steadily climb the list of college arms. His stock as a starter is trending up, and he also has a high floor as a reliever with a good fastball/slider combination.
LHP Anthony Solometo, Bishop Eustace High School (NJ)
A pop-up prospect on the showcase circuit last summer, Solometo continued his rise up draft boards this spring. The 6'2", 210-pound southpaw has a lively mid-90s fastball and a plus slider, and his stuff plays up thanks to a funky delivery and an arm slot reminiscent of Madison Bumgarner. The upside is there for him to wind up as the best prep arm in this class.
All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference.