The 2021 MLB draft is only six weeks away. One player who might hear his name called is Louisville’s infielder Alex Binelas. The Wisconsin native entered the season as a potential top-15 pick but has struggled with injuries. Let’s take a look at where the 21-year-old stands with the draft approaching.
Alex Binelas, 1B/3B, Louisville
Weight: 225 lbs
2021 stats: 50 G, .256/.348/.621, 19 HRs, 63 RBI’s, 50 H, 43 R
Binelas hit 14 home runs as a freshman after being selected by the Nationals in the 2018 MLB draft. He declined to sign with Washington and has been a power bat for Louisville. He is currently the 70th ranked prospect and one of the top third basemen in the 2021 draft class.
The track record for college 3B ranked in the top 10 is strong.
Alex Binelas fits the criteria entering 2021.
He’s one of the better hit/power bats in the class, and could boost his stock even more 📈https://t.co/5bD1PY2F1U
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) January 29, 2021
The Louisville infielder’s strength is his power and plate discipline. In his freshman year, he had 33 extra-base hits in 59 games as Louisville made it to the College World series. His stellar season placed him among the league leaders in RBI’s and extra-base hits for a true freshman. Binelas also has an ideal bat path and has shown the ability to hit the ball to all fields. He has squared the ball up more often than not during his college career and had an average exit velocity of 95 mph in 2019. He also has a strong arm and has proven to be a solid defender. Scouts believe he can stick at third and should be at least an average defender.
While Binelas is a very good all-around player, he does have some weaknesses. After an impressive freshman season, he has battled injuries. In 48 games this season, his power has returned, but his strikeout rate has increased. While he has matched his freshman year numbers offensively, his walk rate has decreased. In the majors, he will need to stay healthy, but his approach should translate well.
Pro Comparison: Jarred Kelenic
The Louisville product has a similar stance to the Mariners’ top prospect Jared Kelenic. While Binelas hunches a little more over the plate, they have similar posture and load mechanisms. Although Binelas is currently an infielder, he has the arm strength to play the outfield like Kelenic. The twenty-year-old could be a first-round pick and play a vital role in a team’s future. Due to his success at every level, Binelas could be in the majors by 2023.
Draft Projection: Round 2, Pick 45, Los Angeles Angels
Binelas was a projected first-round pick when the season began. His stock, however, has taken a slight dip as the college season has progressed. He is still considered to be one of the top college bats in the draft but will most likely be taken in the second round. The Louisville product would provide power to an Angels lineup that already includes Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani.
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