Notable picks, analysis from Day 2 of Draft
After a thrilling and historic opening night, the 2021 MLB Draft continued on Monday with rounds 2-10. The Draft concludes with rounds 11-20 on Tuesday, starting at noon ET, with no delay between selections, all heard on MLB.com. Here's a round-by-round look at the key names taken on Draft Day 2.
No clear theme emerged from the first round of Day 2, with the Pirates taking a prep pitcher to kick off the day and five teams following with position players before a four-team run on pitchers. Some of the top players left undrafted after Sunday went quickly, like Anthony Solometo with the first pick of the second round and outfielder Jud Fabian three picks behind him. Players recovering from injury were also nabbed, such as LSU righty Jaden Hill, who is on the road back from Tommy John surgery.
Pick 1 (37th overall), Pirates: Anthony Solometo, LHP, Bishop Eustace Prep School (N.J.)
A day after nabbing catcher Henry Davis out of the University of Louisville with the first overall pick in the Draft, the Bucs took a potential future batterymate for him in Solometo. Regarded as one of the best southpaws in the Draft, Solometo was the 17th-ranked overall talent in this year’s crop, according to MLB Pipeline, and carries a low- to mid-90s fastball as well as terrific command into the Pittsburgh system.
Pick 4 (40th overall), Red Sox: Jud Fabian, OF, Florida
There was a time before the season when the Red Sox may have looked at selecting Fabian with their first-round pick at No. 4 overall. Instead, they got him on Monday in the second round. Fabian will swing and miss, but his power is tantalizing, and his speed, arm and defense in center field are all average tools or better.
Pick 7 (43rd overall), Royals: Ben Kudrna, RHP, Blue Valley Southwest HS (Kan.)
The Royals nabbed a local player from just 30 miles away from Kauffman Stadium with their second-round pick. Kudrna’s fastball is already well above average, touching 95 mph during the Area Code Games last year, and he pairs it with a slider that he’s utilized to good effect.
Pick 8 (44th overall), Rockies: Jaden Hill, RHP, LSU
Before the 2021 season, Hill was in the discussion as a potential No. 1 overall pick, even though he worked just 21 2/3 innings during his first two collegiate seasons due to elbow issues and the pandemic. Concerns over his elbow were justified, as Hill ended up needing Tommy John surgery this year, but if his recovery goes smoothly, the Rockies may have found a steal. The right-hander touched 99 mph as a starter and can utilize a plus slider when the pitch is on.
Pick 12 (48th overall), Mariners: Edwin Arroyo, SS, Arecibo Baseball Academy (P.R.)
Arroyo is one of the most interesting stories in the Draft, attending his senior year of high school at Central Pointe Christian Academy in Florida and working as a two-way player. Drafted as a right-handed-throwing shortstop, Arroyo has also pitched left-handed and hits from both sides of the plate.
Pick 23 (59th overall), Braves: Spencer Schwellenbach, RHP, Nebraska
“No player in this Draft creates more split opinions on whether he has a brighter future as a hitter or pitcher than Schwellenbach,” said MLB Pipeline’s evaluation of the 21-year-old. Schwellenbach was selected as a pitcher but was the heart of a Nebraska regional team this year as both the team’s shortstop and closer. An All-American for the Huskers, Schwellenbach was also the Big Ten Conference’s Player of the Year and captured the John Olerud Award as college baseball’s top two-way player in 2021. His pitching arsenal includes a 99 mph fastball along with a plus slider and plus changeup.
Competitive Balance Round B
Pick 2 (65th overall), Orioles: Reed Trimble, OF, Southern Mississippi
Trimble has tools for days and batted .345 during his Draft-eligible sophomore year for Southern Miss with 72 RBIs, tying for the Division-I lead in that category. The outfielder with future 20-20 potential hits from both sides of the plate.
Pick 5 (68th overall), Rockies: Joe Rock, LHP, Ohio
Setting aside the Rock-Rockies connection, the southpaw from Ohio becomes his program’s highest-ever Drafted pitcher, surpassing former Major Leaguer Dave Tobik, who went in the third round in 1974. This is the continuation of a resurgence for Rock, who missed most of 2020 due to academic ineligibility before rebounding in a breakout 2021 for the Bobcats.
Pick 7 (70th overall), Cardinals: Ryan Holgate, OF, Arizona
Holgate chased baseball everywhere he could in 2020 after the cancellation of the college season. Originally slated to play in the Cape Cod League, he instead moved to a California collegiate summer league when the Cape season was canceled. Though his California season was also wiped out, his team managed to build a schedule against local opponents and then won the National Baseball Congress World Series. This year back at Arizona, Holgate continued to flash the power bat from the left side that has become his calling card.
Of the 30 picks in the third round, 18 were pitchers, including 12 from the collegiate ranks. A Clemson football commit led off the selections, while one of the most dominant pitchers in college baseball checked in toward the end of Round 3.
Pick 1 (72nd overall), Pirates: Bubba Chandler, RHP, North Oconee HS (Ga.)
Chandler was offered a football scholarship to play quarterback at Clemson but may have a brighter future on the diamond. The right-hander can also play shortstop and starred at North Oconee HS, which also produced this year’s 10th overall pick, Kumar Rocker, before his collegiate days at Vanderbilt.
Pick 6 (77th overall), D-backs: Jacob Steinmetz, RHP, ELEV8 Baseball Academy (Fla.)
Listed at 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, Steinmetz has the projectable frame out of high school that franchises dream of, and the D-backs selected the Fordham commit at 77th overall. A Long Island, N.Y., native, Steinimetz is attempting to become the first Orthodox Jewish ballplayer to reach the Major Leagues.
Pick 9 (80th overall), Angels: Landon Marceaux, RHP, LSUMarceaux was a member of the loaded 2017 USA Baseball U18 Baseball World Cup championship team that featured six first-round picks the following year. He instead opted to attend LSU, where his plus curveball and low-90s fastball were solid in the SEC and pitched him into the third round.
Pick 13 (84th overall), Phillies: Jordan Viars, OF, Rick Reedy HS (Texas)
The Phillies became the first team to go off MLB Pipeline’s Top 250 Draft Prospects board when they took Viars 84th overall. The outfielder is committed to play collegiate ball at Arkansas.
Pick 22 (93rd overall), Cubs: Drew Gray, LHP, IMG Academy (Fla.)
Gray played in the outfield and worked on the mound at IMG Academy, and his future is with the latter. While he’s a good contact hitter with some power projection in the lineup, he can already reach the mid-90s in fastball velocity on the mound and flashed a stellar slider and curveball last summer. Like Viars, Gray is committed to Arkansas, where his older brother Evan is on the Razorbacks roster.
Pick 26 (97th overall), Athletics: Mason Miller, RHP, Gardner-Webb
Miller struggled in his first two seasons as a reliever at Waynesburg, an NCAA Division-III program in Pennsylvania, posting a 7.10 ERA. The right-hander was then diagnosed with Type I diabetes and added 50 pounds after changing his diet. Now 6-foot-5 and 200 pounds, Miller struck out a school-record 97 batters in 67 2/3 innings in 2019, then pitched as a grad transfer for Gardner-Webb in 2021.
Pick 28 (99th overall), Padres: Kevin Kopps, RHP, Arkansas
One of the most dominant arms in college ball in 2021, Kopps dropped to the third round in part due to his age (24) coming out of Arkansas. Still, the right-hander went 12-1 with a 0.90 ERA in 33 appearances (one start) for the Razorbacks this year, striking out an eye-popping 131 batters against just 18 walks in 89 2/3 innings.
A run on arms continued with 11 of the first 15 picks of the fourth round coming on the pitcher’s mound, and teams started to move outside of MLB Pipeline’s Top 250 Draft Prospects list. Four of the first five picks in the fourth round were unranked, and nine total unranked picks came off the board in the round.
Pick 6 (107th overall), D-backs: Chad Patrick, RHP, Purdue University Northwest
Patrick becomes the first Purdue Northwest player to be drafted since the school’s baseball program started in 2014. The righty was brilliant in the Northwoods League in 2020, then kicked off his 2021 season with 24 1/3 scoreless innings and won Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference pitcher of the year accolades.
Pick 9 (110th overall), Angels: Luke Murphy, RHP, Vanderbilt
It’s always news when a Vanderbilt pitcher gets selected, and while Murphy didn’t come with the same focus as starters Jack Leiter and Kumar Rocker, he was still a crucial piece of the Commodores’ staff. The righty earned the win in a regional-deciding matchup with Georgia Tech this year, then notched a save against East Carolina in super regional play.
Pick 17 (118th overall), Marlins: Tanner Allen, 1B, Mississippi State
Allen, a 2021 college national champion, is also a three-time draftee. He was taken by the Cubs in the 36th round in 2017 out of high school and two years later by the Rockies in the 34th round as a Draft-eligible sophomore. In 2021, the first baseman upped his stock 30 rounds after batting .383/.456/.621 and posting 11 home runs and 66 RBIs in 67 games for the Bulldogs.
Pick 24 (125th overall), Indians: Ryan Webb, LHP, Georgia
Webb dealt with injuries and adversity in 2021, seeing his season come to an end in May due to an elbow injury after he recovered from COVID-19 earlier in the year. Still, the left-hander did nothing to diminish the Draft stock he built during his first three years with the Bulldogs and showed he could start in his final college season, doing so for all 11 of his outings after making just seven starts in 43 games during his first three campaigns.
Pick 26 (127th overall), Athletics: Denzel Clarke, OF, Cal State Northridge
Clarke was a member of Canada’s U18 national team for the 2017 World Cup in Ontario and is a cousin of Cleveland big league first baseman/outfielder Josh Naylor as well as Naylor’s brother Bo, a Cleveland prospect. The Ontario-born outfielder is the son of an Olympian. His mother, Donna, competed in the heptathlon during the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.
The Draft’s fifth round was heavy on college players, with just four high school selections for the round. Nine of those picks came from the SEC, with another six coming from the ACC.
Pick 3 (135th overall), Tigers: Tanner Kohlhepp, RHP, Notre Dame
Kohlhepp is one of college baseball’s most fascinating resurgent prospects. The big right-hander went to Tennessee out of high school but couldn’t find the strike zone there and pitched only four innings before surfacing at Iowa Western Community College in 2020. Though he still struggled to nail down his command there, he landed with the Irish in 2021 and figured it all out. Kohlhepp pitched in 23 games for Notre Dame this year, making one start and going 7-2 with a 3.08 ERA and 65 strikeouts against 22 walks in 61 1/3 innings.
Pick 7 (139th overall), Royals: Eric Cerantola, RHP, Mississippi State
Being drafted is nothing new to Cerantola, in more ways than one. The righty was selected by the Rays in the 30th round in 2018 before going to Mississippi State for his college career. He was also selected in the eighth round of the Ontario Hockey League draft in 2016. While the 2021 season was a struggle -- he posted a 5.71 ERA in 10 games (four starts) -- and Cerantola wasn’t on Mississippi State’s College World Series team, his fastball still reaches 100 mph, and his curveball is a plus pitch.
Pick 16 (148th overall), Astros: Quincy Hamilton, OF, Wright State
The 2021 Horizon League Player of the Year, Hamilton was a collegiate teammate of Tyler Black, who went to the Brewers with the 33rd overall pick on Sunday. Hamilton batted .374/.535/.771 in 48 games for the Raiders this season. A center fielder in college, he’ll likely shift to a corner-outfield spot as a pro, according to MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis.
Pick 21 (153rd overall), Yankees: Tyler Hardman, 1B, Oklahoma
After using the pandemic to get into better shape and drop 20 pounds, Hardman returned to Oklahoma and won a Big 12 batting championship by batting .397 with a .481 on-base percentage and .661 slugging percentage in 2021.
Pick 22 (154th overall), Cubs: Liam Spence, SS, Tennessee
The first Australian player taken in the Draft, Spence is the younger brother of former Arizona State standout and Padres pitcher Josh Spence. The younger Spence batted .336 with a .472 on-base percentage and .459 slugging in 65 games for the Volunteers in 2021, drawing 54 walks against 50 strikeouts.
Pick 7 (169th overall), Royals: Dayton Dooney, 2B, Central Arizona College
After starting his career with a stellar freshman year at the University of Arizona in 2019, Dooney struggled during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season and transferred to Central Arizona, where he helped lead the Vaqueros to the Junior College World Series championship game. Though limited on the basepaths and defensively by a hamstring issue in 2021, the switch-hitting Dooney has an advanced feel at the plate.
Pick 14 (176th overall), Giants: Seth Lonsway, LHP, Ohio State
Lonsway, 22, finished his fourth year of college with the Buckeyes in 2021 after redshirting and missing a season due to a transcript issue. Now, he’s ready for pro ball. The lefty led Division I baseball in strikeout rate with 21 K’s per nine innings in 2020, but he deals with command issues at times. His curveball is his signature pitch, with the offering drawing comparisons to that of former Cy Young Award winner Barry Zito.
Pick 18 (180th overall), Reds: Justice Thompson, OF, North Carolina
Thompson’s baseball tools and physical ability could’ve put him in the conversation as a first- or second-round selection, but scouts are down on his spread-out stance and long swing from the right side, according to MLB Pipeline’s scouting report. Formerly at Northwest Florida State JC, the outfielder transferred to North Carolina and had a strong Division I season in 2021, batting .304/.386/.444 for the Tar Heels.
Pick 23 (185th overall), White Sox: Taylor Broadway, RHP, Ole Miss
Broadway returned to Ole Miss with his extra year of eligibility after the pandemic wiped out the 2020 college season. Back with the Rebels, he starred, making 30 appearances on the mound and leading the SEC with 16 saves to go along with his 4-3 record and 3.44 ERA. The right-hander, the son of former professional bowler Danny Broadway, was a two-way player at junior college before arriving in Oxford.
Pick 3 (195th overall), Tigers: Brant Hurter, LHP, Georgia Tech
The Tigers have shown an affinity for college arms in recent years and got another one with a potential high ceiling in Hurter. After working with catcher Joey Bart for a season at Georgia Tech, Hurter looked ticketed for a high selection in the 2020 Draft. Then came Tommy John surgery toward the end of the 2019 season, wiping out his entire campaign the next year. After returning to the mound, Hurter looked much the same as he did before the injury, with a big league rotation spot as a very likely future role.
Pick 10 (202nd overall), Mets: Kevin Kendall, SS, UCLA
A three-year starter at UCLA, Kendall was his team’s primary shortstop in 2018 and ‘19 and missed the ‘20 season with an injury before moving to center field in 2021. His strikeout rate dropped in his final collegiate season, which enabled him to lead the Pac-12 in hits per game (1.6) during the 2021 campaign.
Pick 13 (205th overall), Phillies: Christian McGowan, RHP, Eastern Oklahoma State JC
Ranked behind Eastern Oklahoma State teammate Andrew Walling, McGowan came off the board first, going to the Phils in the seventh round. The righty “has more athleticism and room to add polish,” according to MLB Pipeline’s evaluation, and he can reach 99 mph with his fastball to go along with a slider and changeup.
Pick 19 (211th overall), Cardinals: Alec Willis, RHP, Regis Jesuit HS (Colo.)
In the first MLB Draft to be held in his hometown, Willis went to the Cardinals in the seventh round. Listed at 6-foot-5 and 220 pounds, the big right-hander has projectability written all over him and can already sit in the low 90s with his fastball velocity. He’s committed to play collegiately at Minnesota if the Cardinals can’t bring him into the fold.
Pick 25 (217th overall), Braves: AJ Smith-Shawver, RHP, Colleyville Heritage HS (Texas)
A prep teammate of top Royals prospect Bobby Witt Jr., Smith-Shawver is currently committed to play college baseball at Texas Tech and could get a look at quarterback for the Red Raiders should he not sign. If he does, Atlanta will get a 6-foot-3 righty who touched 95 mph on the showcase circuit last summer and sat in the low 90s this year during his senior season.
Pick 8 (230th overall), Rockies: Robby Martin, OF, Florida State
At 230th overall, the Rockies got MLB Pipeline’s 104th-ranked talent. A freshman All-American from his inaugural campaign with the Seminoles in 2019 after batting .315/.398/.449, the 6-foot-3 Martin bulked up and belted 11 home runs in 54 games this season for FSU.
Pick 10 (232nd overall), Mets: Mike Vasil, RHP, Virginia
Vasil could’ve been a high Draft pick in 2018 as the top prep player out of Massachusetts but told teams he’d rather honor his commitment to the University of Virginia, which he did. During the 2021 season, he was the Cavaliers’ Saturday starter and went 7-5 with a 4.52 ERA. Though his college career wasn’t dominant, his arsenal and feel still excite big league teams, and the Mets will get a righty with high upside.
Pick 24 (246th overall), Indians: Rodney Boone, LHP, UC Santa Barbara
Named Big West Co-Pitcher of the Year with Long Beach State’s Johnathan Lavallee, Boone finished his college career with his best season, going 11-4 with a 2.31 ERA in 16 starts. He doesn’t have the power arm of most pitchers in the modern game, generally sitting in the upper 80s with fastball velocity, but he commands his stuff well, racking up 128 strikeouts against 39 walks in 97 1/3 innings this season.
Pick 27 (249th overall), Twins: Noah Cardenas, C, UCLA
Out of high school, Cardenas went undrafted and was known more for his glove than his bat. He acquitted himself as a fine player at the plate during his three years in the Pac-12 and is still a terrific defensive backstop, throwing out more than half of attempted basestealers during his college career.
Pick 29 (251st overall), Rays: Patrick Wicklander, LHP, Arkansas
Wicklander went through ups and downs during his first two seasons with the Razorbacks, working as his team’s No. 3 starter in a run to the College World Series in 2019, then posting an unsightly 6.32 ERA in four starts in 2020. After being diagnosed with diabetes during the pandemic, Wicklander began 2021 in the bullpen and then made himself into a dominant starter for Arkansas, finishing the year with a 7-1 record and 2.09 ERA in 18 appearances (13 starts).
Pick 5 (257th overall) Orioles: Ryan Higgins, 3B, Fresno State
Higgins becomes just the third Fresno State position player to be taken in the first 10 rounds since Taylor Ward was a first-rounder in 2015. The third baseman raked in his third season with the Bulldogs, batting .352/.453/.667 with 11 home runs and 41 RBIs in 45 games. Drafted as a third baseman, he’s also played in the outfield.
Pick 11 (263rd overall) Nationals: Cole Quintanilla, RHP, Texas
Quintanilla was the seventh of eight consecutive collegiate players taken by the Nationals. An Austin native, Quintanilla worked exclusively out of the bullpen for the Longhorns in 2021 and was stingy, posting a 1.35 ERA to go with his 5-1 record in 26 outings.
Pick 12 (264th overall) Mariners: Spencer Packard, OF, Campbell
Packard had a strong debut season with the Camels in 2019 but struggled before the pandemic hit in 2020, batting just .164/.387/.236 in 16 games. He was back to form in 2021 with a .371/.488/.629 slash line, including 11 homers and 67 RBIs, and was named an NCBWA Second Team All-American.
Pick 25 (277th overall) Braves: Liam McGill, C, Bryant
As a graduate transfer from Columbia, where he was a three-time All-Ivy League selection, McGill was an ACBA second-team All-American and third-teamer on NCBWA and Baseball America’s All-American lists in 2021. He led all of Division I baseball in batting average (.471) and on-base percentage (.541) for the Bulldogs. McGill’s older brother Shawn played in the Atlanta system from 2010-13, reaching Triple-A Gwinnett. The younger McGill will do the same after being plucked out of Bryant in his home state of Rhode Island in the ninth round.
Pick 28 (280th overall) Padres: Garrett Hawkins, RHP, University of British Columbia
The University of British Columbia has produced more than two dozen pro players, but only one has reached the Major Leagues: 2002 ninth overall pick Jeff Francis. Hawkins, listed at 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds, will try to be the second. The right-hander sits in the low 90s with his fastball velocity and utilizes a changeup and curveball as his best secondary offerings.
Pick 11 (293rd overall), Nationals: Darren Baker, 2B, California
If not for J.T. Snow, this pick may never have happened. Yes, that Darren Baker goes to the Nationals in the 10th round. The son of longtime big league player and current Astros manager Dusty Baker was an All-Pac-12 First Team selection after posting career highs in batting average (.327), on-base percentage (.402), hits (73), runs (44), stolen bases (28) and walks (28) in 2021.
Pick 13 (295th overall) Phillies: Logan Cerny, OF, Troy University
Ranked as MLB Pipeline’s No. 173 Draft prospect this year, Cerny had a breakout season in 2021, batting .332/.424/.694 in 51 games for the Trojans.
Pick 30 (312th overall) Dodgers: Michael Hobbs, RHP, St. Mary’s
Hobbs was lethal out of the bullpen for the Gaels in 2021, appearing in 19 games and posting a 0.72 ERA. The right-hander led his staff with six saves and allowed just two earned runs in 25 innings, racking up 28 strikeouts against 10 walks.