As the 2021 MLB Draft quickly approaches, Cleveland’s “draft model” has generated many conversations at various sites (Fangraphs, Prospects Live, etc.). This piece attempts to identify hitters with the following specific traits; cold-weather player, above-average zone control or better, advanced hitting-ability, quality defense, middle of the diamond player, athleticism, bloodlines, young for the class, high-level experience & performance that correspond with the club’s recent draft philosophy.
HS denotes high school; COL denotes college
HS C Harry Ford – The immensely athletic Georgia Tech commit displays a strong throwing arm and the athleticism to play other spots on the diamond. Ford could be a future centerfielder thanks to his plus speed and strong throwing arm. He’s younger for the draft class and could require a significant bonus if he were to slip to 23.
HS C Joe Mack – A cold-weather player that has performed well in national events. Mack has an advanced eye at the plate with above-average raw power. He’s athletic enough to move to left field or play first if necessary. The New York native boasts a strong throwing arm with sub-1.9 times to second. He’s one of several intriguing Clemson commits.
HS SS/2B Peyton Stovall – The Louisiana prepster hits getting plus or better grades at most outlets. There’s potential for plus power, as well as he displays an innate ability to barrel the ball. Defensively, his future is likely at second base. He’s drawn impressive comparisons to former Colorado Rockies’ second baseman Todd Walker.
HS SS Carson Williams – A young for the draft class California shortstop with a plus throwing arm, Williams has ascended draft boards this spring. He’s pitched in high school, touching 95 mph, but his future may ultimately lead to third base. Williams has an average-looking bat with potential for continued improvement and above-average raw power.
HS SS Cody Schrier – Another California shortstop and big-game performer, Schrier has an average bat with above-average pop. He has a solid average throwing arm and could handle second or third base in the future.
HS SS Edwin Arroyo – One of the youngest players in the draft class, the Puerto Rico native’s bat lags behind his defensive tools. Defensively, he shows off a strong arm that’s touched 96 on throws across the diamond and excellent glovework. He switch-hits and switch pitches – he throws right-handed but pitches left-handed.
HS SS Noah Miller – Another switch-hitting shortstop, Miller is the younger brother of Cleveland’s Owen Miller. Like Arroyo, he’s a quality defender with defensive skills currently surpassing his ability at the plate. Miller does show advanced bat-to-ball skills and should continue to improve. He’s a cold-weather player with an Alabama commitment.
COL 2B Tyler Black – The Canadian native ascended draft boards this spring because of his advanced offensive tools. He walks more than strikeouts offering advanced plate discipline. Black had a shoulder injury his sophomore season, which could continue to limit him to second base, but he has experience at third base.
COL 2B Connor Norby – The East Carolina product displays plus speed and an advanced approach at the plate, taking plenty of walks. He’s a younger college performer with quality defense, a good arm, and a quality glove.
COL SS Trey Sweeney – The Eastern Illinois shortstop has the size to play third and may ultimately move there. Sweeney has an above-average hit tool with similar raw power potential. Sweeney has an advanced approach; he takes plenty of walks.
COL OF/IF Aaron Zavala – The Oregon product displays advanced hitting-ability with a keen eye at the dish walking more than he strikes out. Zavala plays corner outfield for the Ducks and has experience at third base. He’s projected to play second base or left field as a pro.
HS SS Cameron Cauley – The Texas native displays an advanced hit tool with little power. He has plus speed and is a quality defender. Cauley has the potential to handle shortstop or centerfield in the future.
HS CF Nick McLain – The younger brother of UCLA’s Matt McLain, he’s a switch-hitting centerfielder with double-plus speed. He’s relatively new to switch-hitting but has taken to it seamlessly, showing potential for an above-average hit. The California native lacks pop offensively but is a sound defender.
HS SS Maxwell Muncy – Another California prepster, Muncy (no relation to his MLB counterpart) displays an above-average bat with above-average power potential. He has a strong arm and consistent glove. There’s potential he slides over to third base, where his bat would play.
HS SS Jackson Merrill – The Maryland native physically matured throughout the winter, adding strength and healthy weight to his frame. He displays an above-average hit tool with similar raw power potential. Merrill, 18.2, shows a strong throwing arm and could handle second or third base if need be.
HS SS James Triantos – The Virginia prep product plays shortstop but may be better suited for third base in the future as he continues to physically mature. The switch-hitting Triantos shows an above-average bat with average pop and speed. Defensively, he has a solid glove and a strong plus arm.
Daylen Lile– CF Trinity HS, KY, Tyler McDonough– 2b/CF North Carolina State, Reed Trimble– CF Southern Miss, Davis Diaz– SS/C Alacanes HS, CA, Branden Boissiere– OF/1b Arizona, JT Schwartz– 1b UCLA, Darren Baker- 2B California, Michael Sirota– CF The Gunnery School, CT, Caiden Huber– SS/3B Yucaipa HS, CA, Dominic Keegan– 1B/C Vanderbilt, Casey Opitz– C Arkansas, Wyatt Hendrie- C San Diego State, C.J. Rodriguez– C Vanderbilt, Ali Camarillo– SS Otay Ranch HS, CA, Austin Schultz– 2B/OF Kentucky, Donta Williams– OF Arizona, Shane McGuire– C San Diego, Jacob Campbell– C Illinois, Tommy White– 1b IMG Academy, Tristan Peters– CF Eastern Illinois, Noah Cardenas– C UCLA, Charlie Saum– C Thousand Oaks, HS, CA, Matthew Polk– CF Orange Lutheran HS, CA, Nick Kent– 2B Virginia, Kyle Manzardo– 1b Washington State.
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