Most MLB mock drafts have D-backs eyeing pitching, SS at No. 6
Don’t look now, but the 2021 MLB Draft gets underway this weekend.
The draft is set to run from Sunday to Tuesday, and the Arizona Diamondbacks hold the sixth overall pick this year after posting a 25-35 record in 2020.
Here’s a look at which players are being mocked to the D-backs in the first round as we edge closer to Sunday:
Bleacher Report — Joe Tansey
Kumar Rocker, RHP, Vanderbilt
In 20 starts this past season, Rocker went 14-4 with a 2.73 ERA and a 0.934 WHIP.
He recorded 179 strikeouts and 39 walks over 122 innings pitched in 2021.
Vanderbilt lost to Mississippi State in the College World Series this year.
CBS Sports — Mike Axisa
Kahlil Watson, SS, Wake Forest HS (North Carolina)
Over 58 plate appearances (15 games), Watson averaged .513 and recorded 14 RBIs and six home runs during the 2020-21 season, according to Max Preps.
The Diamondbacks are said to be targeting one of the top high school shortstops here, though Rocker remains a possibility. Watson is the best available prep shortstop with House, Lawlar, and Mayer off the board in this mock draft. He’s steadily climbed draft boards the last few weeks, partly because he played games (and played well) longer than others, who wrapped up their seasons weeks ago.
MLB.com — Jim Callis
Kumar Rocker, RHP, Vanderbilt
The NCAA Division I co-strikeout leader (179 in 122 innings) along with teammate Leiter, Rocker stands out with his physicality and track record of big-game performance.
Sporting News — Edward Sutelan
Henry Davis, C, Louisville
Over 50 games this past season, Davis averaged .370 while slugging .663.
He recorded 68 hits, 48 RBIs, 15 homers, 10 stolen bases and 31 walks in 2021, while striking out 24 times.
This seems to be the floor for Davis, who’s been talked up as the top catcher in the draft — even if he’s not the first to go off the board in this mock. Davis’ bat will play anywhere as he has a promising hit tool and power, and it might have to as there are some who question if he can stay at catcher. He has a cannon for an arm though and with some refining, could be a threat to would-be base-stealers behind the plate.
FanGraphs — Eric Longenhagen and Kevin Goldstein
Jordan Lawlar, SS, Jesuit Prep HS (Texas)
Lawlar hit .412 this season to go along with 40 hits, five doubles, six home runs and 37 RBIs, both team highs. He was 32-of-32 in stole base attempts.
The Diamondbacks get to take their pick of two of the high school shortstops (Watson, Lawlar) in this scenario, which felt like a pipe dream about a month ago. They’d likely discuss Rocker here, but our sources believe they’d prioritize the prep shortstops and would choose between Lawlar and Watson. Once seen as a potential No. 1 pick, Lawlar’s age and some minor swing-and-miss tendencies have him slipping a bit, but this is still great value at six. Cowser also feels like a player this team would be on. Remember to stash away Noah Miller’s name for a later round here.
ESPN — Kylie McDaniel
Jackson Jobe, RHP, Heritage Hall HS (Oklahoma)
Jobe went 9-0 with a 0.14 ERA this past season. He struck out 122 and walked just five over 51.2 innings pitched, according to Max Preps.
I figured the D-backs would go with Jordan Lawlar in this scenario but I’m hearing that they just like Jobe more and were hoping for Davis or Watson. Keep an eye on them with an overpay for SoCal prep RHP Thatcher Hurd and SoCal prep 2B Roc Riggio.