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2021 MLB Draft 2nd through 20th Round Primer: The Commits

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Which of the rest of the Class of 2021 will make it to campus?

2020 Major League Baseball Draft Photo by Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Commits Who Might Hear Their Name Called on Day Two (Rounds 2-10):

SS Davis Diaz

Though Perfect Game doesn’t have a grade on him, MLB.com likes him as a top 100 player. Here’s the MLB.com scouting report on the smooth SS:

Perhaps the best player from Northern California in this Draft class, Diaz has been on the national radar for some time now, playing for USA Baseball’s national 12U team back in 2015 and the 15-and-under team in both 2017 and 2018. He had a solid showcase showing in 2020, including being named to the all-tournament team at Perfect Game’s World Wood Bat Association World Championship.

While Diaz doesn’t have one tool that jumps off the page, he does a lot of things really well. The right-handed hitter has gotten stronger and does have the chance to eventually be a better than average hitter. He’s shown the ability to make hard contact and send line drives to all fields, with that added strength sure to help him get to more power in the future. He’s an average runner who has good instincts.

Those instincts have helped him on the defensive end as he’s shown an ability to play shortstop in high school despite that lack of first-step quickness. He has decent hands and an average arm, with many thinking that, plus the lack of range, will necessitate a move in the future. He’s offered scouts a new look by catching this spring and has shown a solid release and good hands behind the dish. Whether that addition to his profile is enough to sign him away from his Vanderbilt commitment remains to be seen.

Range: Rounds 3-10.

MLB.com Top 250 Ranking: #71.

Perfect Game Rating: N/A

Prediction: If he’s taken on Day 2 (rounds 2-10), consider him gone. If not, it’s unlikely they have met his signing bonus. I’ll say he goes in round three.

Chance He Signs With The Team Who Drafts Him: 75%.

RHP Michael Morales

Another RHP from the Northeast. We’ve had some success with those guys of late, no? Here’s the scouting report from MLB.com:

As Draft classes go, there’s a good amount of high-end high school talent in Pennsylvania this year. While there could conceivably be competition over which outfielder has the higher ceiling, Benny Montgomery or Lonnie White Jr., there’s no question that Morales is the top arm. While there are other prep arms in this class with better pure stuff, Morales had his feel for pitching on full display over the summer, particularly at the East Coast Pro Showcase.

Morales pitched in back of New Jersey flame-thrower Chase Petty at East Coast Pro and carved up hitters with a solid three-pitch mix and an idea of what to do with it. His fastball was up to 93-94 mph at that event, though he was a tick lower at other times in the summer, but he commands the pitch very well and it has good life to it. He complements it with a curveball, which is a plus breaking ball at its best and a solid-average changeup with run and sink that he locates well down and away to left-handed hitters.

The right-hander, committed to Vanderbilt, has a strong, athletic and durable body with a delivery that works, allowing him to throw all three of his pitches for strikes consistently. Scouts who have seen him a lot haven’t seen a jump in stuff or consistency in throwing better-than-average secondary offerings. But most agree he has the chance to make a big jump if the pitcher who was at East Coast Pro shows up on a regular basis.

Range: Rounds 3-10.

MLB.com Top 250 Ranking: #109.

Perfect Game Rating: 10

Prediction: Similar to Diaz, if he’s taken on Day 2 (rounds 2-10), consider him gone. I have a feeling he’s coming to Vanderbilt, though. If we don’t hear his name on Day 2, I’d bet he’s ours.

Chance He Signs With The Team Who Drafts Him: 50%.

LHP Carter Holton

It’s been a bit since Vanderbilt has had a stud LHP. Part of that was Jones injuring his arm, and part of that was the relative wildness of Jake Eder (and the depth of the rotation in his years), but Holton has a chance to join the ranks of Vandy southpaw starting pitchers—perhaps even as a freshman. Here’s the scouting report from MLB.com:

Benedictine Military School (Savannah, Ga.) has produced a pair of big leaguers in Hawk Harrelson and Mike Fitzgerald, but the Cadets have never had a pitching prospect of Holton’s caliber. He has repeatedly dominated on the showcase circuit and can flash four plus pitches, though he comes with relief risk because of his size. He’s the best pitcher in Vanderbilt’s recruiting class, but may be more signable than a typical Commodores recruit and could land in the top three rounds.

Holton ran his four-seam fastball up to 96 mph last summer at the Perfect Game All-American Classic and usually favors a two-seamer that sits in the low 90s with sink. He has two distinct breaking balls, with scouts slightly preferring his upper-70s slider to his mid-70s curveball, and both pitches have been more consistent this spring. He also has a low-80s changeup with some sink and keeps hitters off balance by mixing his pitches.

Holton is doing a better job of staying more under control and pitching with less effort than he did last summer. He has some crossfire in his delivery that adds deception, especially against left-handers. He has a quick arm and throws all of his pitches for strikes, so the only real concern about him remaining a starter is his 5-foot-11, 195-pound frame.

Range: Rounds 5-20.

MLB.com Top 250 Ranking: #128.

Perfect Game Rating: 10

Prediction: I have a good feeling that Holton is coming to Vanderbilt, but similar to Diaz and Morales, if you see his name called on Day 2, he’s agreed to their proposed signing bonus.

Chance He Signs With The Team Who Drafts Him: 50%.

SS Jonathan Vastine

Here’s the scouting report from MLB.com:

Two years ago, right-hander Ryan Harbin was taken out of Bartow High School in Florida in the 17th round of the Draft and got fifth-round money to sign with the Pirates. Based purely on talent, Vastine might belong right around where his former teammate got paid, though signabiity might come into play for the infielder.

Vastine doesn’t have the loudest tools in the world, but he can do a lot of things well. His best offensive asset is his feel for the barrel, making consistent hard contact coming from an upright stance and short stride. There’s some good bat speed leading to excellent exit velocities at times, though he’s more of a gap-to-gap type of hitter from a power perspective. He does run well, posting good times down to first base from the left side of the plate along with strong 60-yard dash times at showcase events.

He does have a chance to stick at shortstop, though some wonder about his range there long-term. He has more than enough arm for the spot, firing 90-91 mph fastballs from the mound as a pitcher. His overall feel for the game and work ethic make all of his tools play up, which could entice a team to try to sign him away from his commitment to Vanderbilt in July.

Range: Rounds 5-20.

MLB.com Top 250 Ranking: #147.

Perfect Game Rating: 10

Prediction: Carter Young will be blocking him for a year, but is that enough to cause him to rethink his Vanderbilt commit? I honestly do not know, but it wouldn’t shock me to hear his name called in Day 2 or 3. Of course, I think it’s a better bet he’ll come to campus.

Chance He Signs With The Team Who Drafts Him: 40%.

LHP Devin Futrell

Here’s the scouting report from MLB.com:

American Heritage High School in Plantation, Fla., has a very long history of producing outstanding Draft talent, most recently first round infielder Triston Casas in 2018. It’s not been as successful on the pitching front, with Shaun Anderson the lone arm to come out of the program to make it to the big leagues, by way of the University of Florida. Futrell, a super-projectable left-hander, has the chance to become the second, though he might need to follow the same college route first.

It’s easy to dream on Futrell’s stuff improving as he fills out his 6-foot-5 frame. Right now, his fastball sits in the 88-90 mph range, commanded fairly well and thrown with decent life. His changeup is his best secondary offering at present, sold with good arm speed and thrown with good sink when at its best. He throws a slower 12-to-6 curve in the low-70s that will need some tightening at the next level.

Futrell does a decent job of repeating his delivery and staying around the strike zone, though like with a lot of young arms, he needs to refine his overall command. There are some definite starting pitcher attributes here, but it might take some time for it to all click, with the added challenge of trying to sign him away from his commitment to Vanderbilt.

Range: Rounds 5-20.

MLB.com Top 250 Ranking: #225.

Perfect Game Rating: 10

Prediction: Similar to Holton, I have a good feeling Futrell will be wearing the Gangster Pajamas in Hawkins Field. If I had to bet, I’d bet he bets on himself and joins Brownie’s Pitching Lab. He’s a big lefty, and Brownie can work wonders with lanky, projectable lefties.

Chance He Signs With The Team Who Drafts Him: 25%.


Commits Who Might Hear Their Name Called on Day Three (Rounds 11-20):

RHP James Peyton Smith

Here’s what Perfect Game has to say about him:

James Peyton Smith is a 2021 RHP/1B with a 6-4 215 lb. frame from Springfield, TN who attends East Robertson. Outstanding young pitcher’s body with long limbs, good present strength and plenty of physical projection remaining. Very fast arm from an extended 3/4’s arm slot, has energy at release but repeats his mechanics well and shows athleticism in his delivery. Consistent mid-90’s fastball, ball explodes out of his hand, mostly straight with occasional sink down in the zone but explodes on hitters at the plate, velocity plays up due to his throwing his secondary pitches for strikes. Threw both a slider and curveball but slider is the much better present pitch, maintains slot and tunnels the pitch well. Flashed quality deception to his change up with swing and miss potential in the future. Impressive combination of velocity, secondary pitches and ability to throw strikes. Very good student, verbal commitment to Vanderbilt. Selected to play in the Perfect Game All-American Classic.

Range: Late Round flier to Undrafted.

MLB.com Top 250 Ranking: N/A

Perfect Game Rating: 10

Prediction: Not chosen on Day 2, but possibly chosen in the later rounds.

Chance He Signs With The Team Who Drafts Him: 5%.

LHP Ryan Ginther

Here’s what Perfect Game has to say about him:

Ryan Ginther is a 2021 LHP/OF with a 5-11 201 lb. frame from Hendersonville, TN who attends Station Camp. Strong athletic build. Up tempo aggressive delivery that he controls well, 3/4’s arm slot, very fast arm coming through. Fastball topped out at 94 mph and explodes on hitters at the plate, lots of deception with his angle and fast paced delivery, fastball rides up in the zone and gets over barrels consistently. Solid slider with big sweeping depth at times. Pounded the strike zone to both sides of the plate and was in complete command while creating very uncomfortable at-bats. Stuff has jumped forward over the past year. Very good student, verbal commitment to Vanderbilt. Named to play in the Perfect Game All-American Classic.

Range: Late Round flier to Undrafted.

MLB.com Top 250 Ranking: N/A

Perfect Game Rating: 10

Prediction: Not chosen on Day 2, but possibly chosen in the later rounds.

Chance He Signs With The Team Who Drafts Him: 5%.

RHP Greysen Carter

Here’s what Perfect Game has to say about him:

Greysen Carter is a 2021 RHP/OF with a 6-4 205 lb. frame from Louisville, CO who attends Fairview. Big and strong athletic build with the chance to get even stronger. Hands over the head delivery, compact arm action in back with over the top arm slot that creates big angle to the plate, stays on line well, very little upper body lean off line for his arm slot. Fastball topped out at 93 mph with occasional nice cutting action, holds his velocity well from the stretch, fastball gets on hitters quickly, no reason he can evolve into a steady mid-90’s thrower when physically mature. Firm change up to slow down hitter’s bats a bit, tends to slow arm on his curveball, primary fastball pitcher at present. Switch-hitter who is much stronger at present from the right side, hits from a spread stance with a deep load and fast level swing, generates power to the middle of the field right handed and projects lots of power. Excellent student.

Range: Late Round flier to Undrafted.

MLB.com Top 250 Ranking: N/A

Perfect Game Rating: 10

Prediction: Not chosen on Day 2, but possibly chosen in the later rounds.

Chance He Signs With The Team Who Drafts Him: 5%.

SS Rob Gordon

Here’s what Perfect Game has to say about him:

Rob Gordon is a 2021 SS with a 6-1 174 lb. frame from Smyrna, GA who attends East Cobb Baseball Home School. Slender live bodied build with huge physical projection remaining. Very quick first step on defense, shows plus range is balanced through the ball, plays low and under the ball, refined footwork, has quick hands and a very quick and compact release from multiple arm slots, has a feel and a flair for playing defense. Right handed hitter, deep hand drop load, short and direct swing, gets to his front side well with his swing, line drive gap to gap approach. Excellent student, verbal commitment to Vanderbilt. Named to play in the Perfect Game All-American Classic.

Range: Late Round flier to Undrafted.

MLB.com Top 250 Ranking: N/A

Perfect Game Rating: 10

Prediction: Not chosen on Day 2, but possibly chosen in the later rounds.

Chance He Signs With The Team Who Drafts Him: 5%.

C Anthony Migliaccio

Here’s what Perfect Game has to say about him:

Anthony Migliaccio is a 2021 C/3B, OF with a 6-1 190 lb. frame from Wyandotte, MI who attends Detroit Country Day. Strong athletic build with room to get stronger. 6.76 runner. Very athletic for a primary catcher, may end up in the outfield if his bat continues to advance, fundamentals behind the plate still developing but athleticism and arm strength stand out in the outfield. Switch hitter, has better bat speed at present from the left side, gets extended out front with good extension, shows barrel control and carry off the barrel. More rotational from the right side with a middle of the field line drive approach. Good student, verbal commitment to Vanderbilt.

Range: Late Round flier to Undrafted.

MLB.com Top 250 Ranking: N/A

Perfect Game Rating: 10

Prediction: Not chosen on Day 2, but possibly chosen in the later rounds.

Chance He Signs With The Team Who Drafts Him: 5%.

RHP Miles Langhorne

Here’s what Perfect Game has to say about him:

Miles Langhorne is a 2021 RHP/1B with a 6-4 205 lb. frame from Greenwich, CT who attends Greenwich. Nice athletic build with present strength and more to come. Low effort delivery, high front side in his delivery, high 3/4’s arm slot that creates plenty of leverage and downhill angle, ball comes out of his hand easily. Fastball topped out at 93 mph with good run and sink at the plate. Showed a nice feel for his curveball with tight spin on it and occasional sweeping depth. Developing change up. High ceiling arm that should keep improving. Good student, verbal commitment to Vanderbilt.

Range: Late Round flier to Undrafted.

MLB.com Top 250 Ranking: N/A

Perfect Game Rating: 10

Prediction: Not chosen on Day 2, but possibly chosen in the later rounds.

Chance He Signs With The Team Who Drafts Him: 5%.

SS Matthew Polk

Here’s what Perfect Game has to say about him:

Matthew Polk is a 2021 OF/IF with a 5-11 170 lb. frame from Long Beach, CA who attends Richard Gahr. Medium athletic build with some present strength and more to come. Very quick twitch athlete, has explosive actions in everything that he does. Right handed hitter, hits from a quiet spread stance with a pretty simple and short load and shift, aggressive hitter who attacks the ball with bat speed and doesn’t get cheated, has impressive bat speed and ball comes off the barrel hard, showed power and the ability to lift and drive the ball. Fast to the ball in the outfield with a quick exchange, shows good arm strength with carry when he stays behind the ball. Plays with energy and performs. Good student, verbal commitment to UCLA Vanderbilt. Named to the Underclass All-American Games Top Prospect List.

Range: Late Round flier to Undrafted.

MLB.com Top 250 Ranking: N/A

Perfect Game Rating: 9.5

Prediction: Not chosen on Day 2, but possibly chosen in the later rounds.

Chance He Signs With The Team Who Drafts Him: 5%.

OF Kenneth Mallory, Jr.

Here’s what Perfect Game has to say about him:

Kenneth Mallory, Jr is a 2021 OF/LHP, 1B with a 6-3 185 lb. frame from Lawerenceville, GA who attends Mountain View. Flashed an extra large, athletic build with very strong lower half. Long limbs showing some room to fill in the future. Ultra projectable build. Primary Outfielder tracking the baseball well staying behind it all the way through throws. Over the top arm action with a smooth release showing a very accurate arm to all bases. Secondary Firstbaseman proving to have good feel working around the baseball. Good feet underneath him as he showed raw mechanics. Arm accurate from all angles. Lefthanded hitter starting with a square stance working into a leg kick with high hands. Linear swing path showing a gap to gap type approach as he squared up the baseball. Gets extended at times showing he can drive the baseball for power to the pull side. Good Student.

Range: Late Round flier to Undrafted.

MLB.com Top 250 Ranking: N/A

Perfect Game Rating: 9.5

Prediction: Not chosen on Day 2, but possibly chosen in the later rounds.

Chance He Signs With The Team Who Drafts Him: 5%.

OF Christian Smith

Here’s what Perfect Game has to say about him:

Christian Smith is a 2021 OF/1B with a 6-2 180 lb. frame from Atlanta, GA who attends Grady. Tall and slender young build with plenty of physical projection left. 6.84 runner in the sixty, has good quickness in the outfield and shows range, fields the ball cleanly out front, arm strength still developing. Left handed hitter, hits from a spread and open stance with a short and quick swing path to the ball, has good looseness in his hands, best contact is when he’s directional through contact, moves the ball around the field with a high contact approach. Young athlete who should keep improving as he gets stronger. Good student, verbal commitment to Vanderbilt.

Range: Late Round flier to Undrafted.

MLB.com Top 250 Ranking: N/A

Perfect Game Rating: 9

Prediction: Not chosen on Day 2, but possibly chosen in the later rounds.

Chance He Signs With The Team Who Drafts Him: 5%.

C Sam Hunt

Here’s what Perfect Game has to say about him:

Sam Hunt is a 2021 C/1B/3B with a 6-2 195 lb. frame from Minneapolis, MN who attends IMG Academy. Big and strong athletic build. 7.03 runner, has athletic actions behind the plate, comes out of his crouch quickly with energy, solid arm strength and makes accurate throws, probably athletic enough to play multiple positions around the field. Switch-hitter, hits from a wide base from both sides of the plate, base creates some length in his swing, has better raw bat speed and a better swing plane from the left side at present, flashes power potential when on time. Good student, verbal commitment to Vanderbilt.

Range: Late Round flier to Undrafted.

MLB.com Top 250 Ranking: N/A

Perfect Game Rating: 9

Prediction: Not chosen on Day 2, but possibly chosen in the later rounds.

Chance He Signs With The Team Who Drafts Him: 5%.


Commits Who Are Unlikely to be Drafted:

OF JD Rogers

Range: Undrafted.

MLB.com Top 250 Ranking: N/A

Perfect Game Rating: N/A

Prediction: Undrafted.

RHP Bryce Cunningham

Range: Undrafted.

MLB.com Top 250 Ranking: N/A

Perfect Game Rating: N/A

Prediction: Undrafted.

RHP Kyle Magrans

Range: Undrafted.

MLB.com Top 250 Ranking: N/A

Perfect Game Rating: N/A

Prediction: Undrafted.

RHP Colton Regen

Range: Undrafted.

MLB.com Top 250 Ranking: N/A

Perfect Game Rating: N/A

Prediction: Undrafted.

RHP Joseph Hembree

Range: Undrafted.

MLB.com Top 250 Ranking: N/A

Perfect Game Rating: N/A

Prediction: Undrafted.

RHP Chris Lopez

Range: Undrafted.

MLB.com Top 250 Ranking: N/A

Perfect Game Rating: N/A

Prediction: Undrafted.

*Note: It is unlikely that the team will have a spot for all of these guys, so it is not unheard of for some of them to be either preferred walk-ons or open up their commitment late in the process.