The 2021 Major League Baseball draft will start in a few weeks on July 11. With the top collegiate players currently battling it out in the College World Series, we wanted to take a look at the top five players that are draft eligible this year (espn.com). Each of these elite pitchers have a great chance of being drafted in the first round and scoring a huge signing bonus.
- Andrew Abbott, LHP, Virginia
Abbott, a 22-year old senior, has a small frame at 6-foot and only 175 pounds. However, the left-hander has remarkable stuff with three above average pitches. Abbott has had a solid senior season for the Cavaliers by posting a record of 8-6 with an ERA of 3.04 and 152 strikeouts.
- Ty Madden, RHP, Texas
Madden is a workhorse with the prototypical big league frame (6-3, 215 pounds) as well as a blazing fastball that hits 98mph. The 21-year old sports possibly the best slider in college baseball and that makes him super attractive to major league scouts. Madden has been the ace of the Longhorns pitching staff all year long.
His 2021 statline is impressive with a record of 7-4, a miniscule ERA of 2.41, and 119 strikeouts. Madden reminds some Texas fans of another famous alum, Roger Clemens.
- Will Bednar, RHP, Mississippi State
Bednar has skyrocketed up many big league scouts’ draft boards this season. The 6-2, 230 pound Pittsburgh native boasts a fastball that can hit 96mph on the radar gun. The 21-year old also possesses a devastating slider and a bulldog mentality.
Bednar has the best record on Mississippi State’s staff with an impressive mark of 7-1. Most major league scouts have Bednar going in the middle of the first round.
- Kumar Rocker, RHP, Vanderbilt
Most baseball savvy folks agree that Rocker will either be the first or second overall pick in the 2021 MLB draft. Just how dominant is this kid? Rocker has only allowed 59 hits in the 106 innings that he’s pitched so far this season.
The 6-5, 245 pounder intimidates most hitters with his imposing size and 99mph fastball. Rocker has a great athletic background as his father, Tracy, was a tremendous football player and is currently on the Philadelphia Eagles coaching staff. Rocker could be a true ace for whomever gets the pleasure of drafting him.
- Jack Leiter, RHP, Vanderbilt
It’s amazing to see how quickly Leiter has matured into a potential first overall draft pick. The 21-year old is the son of Al Leiter, who pitched in the majors for 19 seasons. Leiter dominated all hitters in 2021 as he posted a 10-3 record with a 2.16 ERA and 156 strikeouts.
Leiter hits 96mph with his fastball and makes it look easy. His curveball is also sharp and regularly hits around 82mph. The Pittsburgh Pirates have the first pick in the 2021 MLB Draft and they just may take Leiter off the board right away.