We’re now less than three weeks away from the start of the 2021 Draft, and Jim Callis and I have continued to work to uncover as much info about how the first round will unfold in our weekly mocks.
It’s typically difficult to pinpoint the back end of the first round in any Draft, and this year seems to have even more uncertainty. As a result, there have been more and more names who are coming up in conversations among teams with a first-round selection. On this week’s podcast, we broke down five guys who could sneak into the first round when it goes down on Sunday, July 11.
Wes Kath, 3B, Desert Mountain HS, Scottsdale, Ariz. (No. 33)
It’s not so much of a stretch to see Kath mentioned as a potential first-rounder given his ranking, but he’s yet to appear in one of our mocks. The Arizona State recruit is one of the better pure high school hitters in the class, from the left side of the plate, no less, and certainty in a hit tool often helps a player rise as the Draft approaches.
Tyler Black, 2B, Wright State (No. 55)
Black can really hit (60 grade on that tool), and he backed it up with performance this year for Wright State, finishing with a .383/.496/.683 line with 13 homers, 59 RBIs and 11 steals to boot. That, plus a dearth of college bats in this class, has his name coming up in the back end of the round more and more.
Andrew Abbott, LHP, Virginia (No. 62)
A reliever for most of his career at Virginia, Abbott not only pitched well for the Cavaliers as a starter this year, he convinced a lot of scouts he has the chance to start at the next level. His six innings of shutout ball with 10 K’s in Virginia’s College World Series opener certainly didn’t do anything to curtail his helium.
Ky Bush, LHP, St. Mary’s (No. 66)
While Bush and St. Mary’s season ended a month ago, Bush finished with a flourish by striking out 24 over his final two starts, allowing him to finish with a 112/19 K/BB ratio and a 2.99 ERA for the year. He’s 6-foot-6, left-handed and has the chance to have four pitches he can throw for strikes. What’s not to like?
Cooper Kinney, 2B, The Baylor School, Chattanooga, Tenn. (No. 90)
Like Kath, Kinney is another high schooler who can really hit. Coming from a strong prep program that has three other legitimate Draft prospects, Kinney has an advanced approach and plenty of bat speed from the left side of the plate, showing a knack for barreling up the baseball with the potential for solid power to come in the future.