The 2021 MLB Draft will take place from July 11-13. There will be 20 rounds and 612 selections overall with the Pittsburgh Pirates selecting first overall. Let’s run down the top pitchers available for this year’s draft.
Jack Leiter (RHP) Vanderbilt
The Red Sox appear to have a great deal of interest in Leiter and Kumar Rocker. With Rocker being inconsistent lately, Leiter has risen to the top among pitching prospects and is heads above the rest in every MLB mock draft. Leiter appears to be the more polished of the two and compiled a 10-3 record with a 2.16 ERA this season. In 96 innings, he struck out 156 and allowed only 41 hits. The 21-year-old is 12-3 overall in two collegiate seasons.
Kumar Rocker (RHP) Vanderbilt
Rocker has dropped possibly out of the top five overall with recent struggle, but he’s the most well-known player in the draft, with likely the biggest upside. The 21-year-old power pitcher won 13 games as a 19-year-old in 2019 with 114 strikeouts in 99 2/3 innings. Despite recent issues on the field, Rocker still finished the 2021 collegiate season with a 13-3 record, 2.46 ERA, and 155 strikeouts in 106 innings.
Jackson Jobe (RHP) Heritage Hall High School (Oklahoma)
It is believed that the Washington Nationals have high interest in Jobe, who is considered the most polished high school pitcher in the country. He has a slider with high spin rates that tops in the low to mid 80s and a fastball that can reach 96 mph. Also in Jobe’s arsenal is a high 70s curveball and changeup. The 18-year-old has nice size at 6’ 2” and 190 pounds.
Sam Bachman (RHP) Miami (Ohio)
Although not having as much game experience at the collegiate level as some, Bachman has a fastball that has surpassed 100 mph. Despite the velocity on the fastball, Bachman’s out pitch is a devastating slide that has contributed to his 93 strikeouts in only 59 2/3 innings pitched this season. Bachman’s control isn’t pinpoint, but he has top of the rotation stuff and likely will be drafted in the top 15.
Jordan Wicks (LHP) Kansas State
One of the most advanced arms coming out of the draft could land in San Francisco. Wicks has great command of his pitches, having walked only 2.6 per nine innings during his collegiate career. Wicks needs to add a bit of velocity and improve on his other pitches, but has the making of being a solid MLB pitcher. He posted a 15-6 record with a 3.24 ERA and 230 strikeouts in 203 innings in 34 collegiate starts.
Ryan Cusick (RHP) Wake Forest
Cusick is an intriguing prospect that has a great arm with a dynamite breaking ball. However, his control is an issue, having walked 4.5 batters per nine innings in 35 collegiate games. The Brewers would be the ideal team to select Cusick, who has done well with pitchers with a similar make-up. Cusick went 10-10 with a 5.01 ERA and 206 strikeouts in 158 innings at Wake Forest.