The draft, different than all others. The year, different than all others.
MLB has witnessed plenty of hiccups over the last 16 months. One area that has stayed the same? Young stars shining on the big stage. With players like Fernando Tatis Jr., Shohei Ohtani, Juan Soto, and Ronald Acuña Jr. balling out, the league’s future is beyond bright and ready to rock.
This year, a very unique draft class heard their names called. Plenty of surprises, beginning with pick No. 1, blended nicely with some more standard, expected selections.
Let’s learn more about the draft’s first 10 picks.
1. Pittsburgh Pirates: Henry Davis, C, Louisville
Davis was not the consensus No. 1 pick, though he does have the makings for it. With aggression and athleticism that is impressive for this position, Davis will fill a void the Pirates have had for a long time: a franchise catcher.
2. Texas Rangers: Jack Leiter, RHP, Vanderbilt
When looking for a pitcher, teams tend to set their sights on someone big and strong. Leiter has defied the odds as a shorter player, though he still boasts immense power. With an elite fastball and a hammer curve, Leiter should help Texas build a forceful rotation in no time.
3. Detroit Tigers: Jackson Jobe, RHP, Heritage Hall (OK)
A high school pitcher is supposed to be raw and not very projectable. That’s not the case with Jackson Jobe, who has the makings to be the best pitcher in the draft and join a long line of dominant prospects in the Detroit system. With a lethal slider that is the best in the draft and a fastball that can hit triple-digits, Jobe is ready to take the minors by storm.
4. Boston Red Sox: Marcelo Mayer, SS, Eastlake (CA)
Mayer easily could have gone No. 1 overall. Instead, he was a gift to the Red Sox with the fourth pick. His movements at shortstop are smooth and athletic, plus his hit tool is tremendous. Add in the power and speed combo and we are looking at a potential five-tool shortstop on the way.
5. Baltimore Orioles: Colton Cowser, OF, Sam Houston
Colton Cowser is currently a center fielder but may move out once all is said and done. He possesses a very athletic speed and power combination in addition to a great hit tool. He is very well-rounded but still needs to cut down on his swings and misses, as well as bad reads. Overall, the makings here are very promising.
6. Arizona Diamondbacks: Jordan Lawlar, SS, Jesuit Prep (TX)
Another super athletic shortstop, Lawlar has a better speed tool than he does power tool. Granted, they both are 60-grade or above. Lawlar’s movements are elite in the field and, while it sounds like a broken record, we may have a five-tool shortstop ready in a few years for Arizona.
7. Kansas City Royals: Frank Mozzicato, LHP, East Catholic (CT)
This was clearly the biggest surprise in the top-10. Mozzicato is an impressive high school lefty who has as much potential as anyone in the draft. He also threw multiple no-hitters in a row, leading his team to a state championship. Mozzicato has a great fastball and curveball combination but can use another pitch and some control refinement. Overall, we are looking at a potential workhorse on the way for Kansas City.
8. Colorado Rockies: Benny Montgomery, OF, Red Land (PA)
Benny Montgomery may be the best prep athlete in the country. He has a speed and power combo that is elite and unlike any other player. Pairing that with his defense and hit tools may turn Montgomery into the best player in the draft class once all is said and done.
9. Los Angeles Angels: Sam Bachman, RHP, Miami (OH)
The Angels always have needed pitching, but this pick was fairly strange. Bachman is a great pitcher, but he protects more as a closer long-term. He has a great fastball and slider combination, as well as a fringe changeup. If Bachman can polish up that changeup for Los Angeles, we may be looking at a starter here. Otherwise, he’s likely a closer or set-up man.
10. New York Mets: Kumar Rocker, RHP, Vanderbilt
The Mets may have landed the steal of the first round with the 10th overall pick. Rocker, the co-ace next to Leiter at Vanderbilt, has as good of a repertoire as anyone in the draft. He has a fastball that can get up to triple-digits, as well as a slider that he puts guys away with on the daily. The right-hander also boasts a hammer curve just to keep hitters off balance. The Mets have a great pitching system in St. Lucie and should succeed in furthering Rocker’s development.
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