Keep an eye on these names come draft night.
The 2021 MLB Draft is less than a week away and the rumors are swirling. The Nationals have the 11th pick in the first round, their highest selection since 2011 when they drafted Anthony Rendon number six overall. With the worst farm system in baseball, the Nationals need an infusion of talent and fast.
There has been plenty of speculation of who the Nationals will draft at 11, but it is widely assumed it will be another pitcher. This has always been Mike Rizzo’s MO. But who do the experts expect Washington to draft? CBS Sports, FanGraphs, MLB.com, Prospects Live, and The Athletic all released their most recent mock drafts over the last two weeks, with similar results.
CBS Sports & FanGraphs: Sam Bachman, Miami (Ohio)
In 59.2 innings this year at the University of Miami, Ohio Sam Bachman went 4-4, with 1.81 ERA, and 93 strikeouts. He has one of the best heaters in the draft, averaging 94-97 mph, but has topped out at 101. Some believe he projects more as a reliever due to his height and arm action.
Prospects Live: Ty Madden, Texas
Some see Ty Madden as the best college arm behind the Vanderbilt duo of Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker. The Texas ace finished the 2021 season 7-5, with a 2.45 ERA, and 137 strikeouts in 113.2 innings.
Madden’s fastball and slider project to be plus pitches. His heater averages 93-96 mph while topping out at 99. Madden’s slider has great movement and lands in the mid-80s. He also throws a curve and change that are decent offerings. The Texas star projects to be a frontline starter and he would join a promising young group in Cade Cavalli, Jackson Rutledge, and Cole Henry.
MLB Pipeline: Will Bednar, Mississippi State
During Game Three of the College World Series, the Mississippi State star outdueled Kumar Rocker, throwing six shutout innings. He didn’t allow a hit and walked three, while striking out four. His impressive performance on the biggest stage has skyrocketed his draft stock. He finished the season 8-1, with a 3.34 ERA, and 135 strikeouts in 86.1 innings.
Bednar has a four-pitch mix, with his fastball and slider being his best options. His heater averages 93-95 mph while topping out at 97. His slider has great movement, with his curve and change projecting as consistent pitches. He projects to be a middle-of-the-rotation starter.
The Athletic: Jackson Jobe, Heritage Hall (OK) HS
It is very unlikely Jackson Jobe falls all the way to 11 with the high school phenom being a projected top-five pick. Jobe is the best prep arm in the draft, with a nasty slider that MLB Pipeline gave a 70 (they use a 20-80 scale). His heater and changeup are also plus pitches, while his curveball has impressive depth.