MLB Draft Profile: Will Bednar

MLB Draft Profile: Will Bednar

by June 7, 2021 4 comments

Will Bednar has certainly moved up draft boards with an excellent season at Mississippi State. He has even put himself in the first-round conversation. The right-hander only had four appearances (one start) at the college level before this year, but he made some improvements this fall and it has shown. Let’s take a look at what Bednar brings to the draft.

Make sure to check out all of our other MLB Draft Profiles.

Will Bednar, RHP, Mississippi State

Height: 6’2″
Weight: 230 lbs.
Age: 21
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
2020: 4 G (1 start) 0-0, 1.76 ERA, 23 Ks in 15.1 IP
2021: 15 G (12 starts) 7-1, 3.17 ERA, 109 Ks in 71 IP

Scouting Grades

Fastball: 60
Slider: 60
Changeup: 45
Curveball: 50
Control: 50
Overall: 50

Bednar recently pitched in the first game for Mississippi State in the Regionals of the College World Series. He went seven innings and settled down after a leadoff home run allowing only two earned runs on six hits while walking one and striking out eight. That start showed the kind of mentality that the right-hander brings to shake off a leadoff bomb in an important game and come back to win.

Strengths

Bednar’s fastball is a plus pitch and he throws it from 92-94 and can touch 96. While the triple digits aren’t there, the pitch has great life and riding action at the top of the zone. His fastball generates a ton of swings and misses when paired with his diving slider. The Bulldog ace deploys the slider in the low 80s and it has exceptional spin and fading action away from right-handed hitters. Bednar also tunnels it well with his short-armed delivery which adds to the deception.

His curveball is solid and heavy with some depth to it. When he commands it and can throw it for strikes, it can be a weapon and a very effective offspeed pitch in the high-70s. Overall, Bednar controls his current three-pitch mix pretty well and has a good idea of how to attack hitters. His confident demeanor on the mound and intelligence is also a plus. His build is solid and should allow him to work plenty of innings at the major-league level.

Weaknesses

Bednar’s changeup is a work in progress. He telegraphs it too much right now by slowing his arm speed. While it has decent separation from his heater at around 80-83 mph, he will need to disguise it better. The Mississippi State righty uses it against left-handed hitters but with the command and deception he is lacking on it now, it may not develop into more than an average offering.

His delivery is a little forced and while he has improved the command of his top pitches, there is still work to do on making his delivery more repeatable. Some scouts fear he may wind up being a two-pitch pitcher which will play as a reliever but not as a mid-rotation starter as a team would hope for in the first or second round.

Pro Comparison: German Marquez

The Rockies right-hander has a similar build and throws his fastball-slider combo more than two-thirds of the time. Bednar will likely fall into that category as those are his top offerings right now. Marquez has used his curveball more and Bednar will need to develop that third pitch to stick as a starter. Hopefully, for the Bulldog, he doesn’t wind up in Colorado.

Draft Projection: Round 1, Pick 21, Chicago Cubs

The Cubs see the potential here and are willing to roll with the Mississippi State kid who turns 21 on Sunday. He has the mentality and baseball IQ to succeed at the major-league level. Chicago feels they can get the most out of him and he will turn into a top-of-the-rotation guy for the foreseeable future.

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Main Image Credit: https://www.clarionledger.com/

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