The 2021 Projected Top 5 Draft Picks Broken Down
1. Pittsburgh Pirates - Jack Leiter, RHP, Vanderbilt
The projected number one overall-pick was lights out for the Vandy boys last season. The son of Mets legend Al Leiter, Jack dominated teams in arguably the best college baseball conference as well as the infamous College World Series. Boasting an 11-4 record with a 2.13 ERA and 179 strikeouts, he has been nothing short of impeccable this season. In fact, when Leiter faced my school, the #22 South Carolina Gamecocks, he sadly no-hit them. In the outing, he compiled 16 strikeouts along with no hits allowed in his SEC debut. Though Leiter is not a big stereotypical pitcher, the 6’1, 205-pounder has a diverse arsenal of pitches to choose from as well as an unhittable fastball, making him the most devastating pitcher in the draft. Hopefully, the Pirates rebuild can begin with a strong starter in the young phenom.
2. Texas Rangers - Jordan Lawler, IF, Jesuit Prep (HS)
Jordan Lawler is a 5-tool shortstop out of Texas and is arguably the best high school player in the country. The 6’ 2” shortstop was the recipient of the Gatorade Texas Player of the Year award and every scouting report I've studied tells me that this kid is an absolute stud. The Dallas product has good speed, quick hands, a strong fluid swing, as well as a really strong arm. With these tools, he is establishing himself as a full-blooded shortstop. On the skill rankings, Lawler averages a 55 and 60 on all categories, showing his overall balance as a player. This past season, Lawler batted over .300 and knocked 7 home runs in his senior campaign. Lawler would be a great fit for the young, rebuilding Rangers who are trying to get back to their glory days of the early 2010s, while keeping him within 30 minutes of his hometown.
3. Detroit Tigers - Kumar Rocker, RHP, Vanderbilt
Out of the 5 prospects on my list, Kumar Rocker is the only one I’ve ever personally met and he’s as nice of a guy as he is good at baseball. The 6’ 5” RHP out of Vanderbilt is coming off of an electric season, where his teammate Jack Leiter and him were the best one-two punch in college baseball. Rocker has a 97 mph fastball that has been clocked up to 99, along with hard breaking pitches that result in a high number of K’s. With a relatively low walk percentage, implying some degree of big league readiness, Rocker would be a fantastic fit for the Tigers. Adding another ace to a young rotation with a young team is only going to make this Detroit club a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.
4. Boston Red Sox - Marcelo Mayer, IF, Eastlake (HS)
Marcelo Mayer is a 6’ 3” infielder out of Eastlake, California who has the potential to go anywhere in the top 5 but is projected to land in Boston. A balanced prospect across the board, Mayer can make a fantastic addition to an already solid Red Sox infield, taking over at 2B with all-stars already on the left side. Mayer batted an absurd .392 with 15 homeruns in his senior campaign, making twenty of his thirty eight hits for extra bases this year. Mayer is an above-average defender as well, committing only 11 errors through 34 games. With a great bat, good speed, and a plus arm, he is an exciting prospect to watch. I don't have much else to say about Mayer other than that this kid can play.
5. Orioles - Brady House, IF, Winder-Barrow (HS)
Ending our Top 5 prospects is the former number one prospect in the class of 2021, Brady House. The 6’ 3” slugger is a 3rd Basemen out of Winder-Barrow, Georgia. House has the highest power rating out of the prospects I have mentioned with a 70 on the grading scale. On top of that, he is regarded as one of the best all-around hitters in the entire draft. Along with a strong bat, Brady has been clocked at 97 mph on the mound! But for now, it seems that teams will more than likely draft him as a bat. House's strong arm and solid glove will make him a great addition at the hot corner for the up-and-coming Orioles led by previous 1st Overall Pick Adley Rutschman.