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2021 MLB Draft order official, Rangers picking second

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The selection order for the 2021 MLB Draft was made official yesterday, and the Rangers are picking second

MLB: SEP 27 Astros at Rangers Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The 2021 MLB Draft order is now officially set, with the Pittsburgh Pirates on the clock with the #1 selection. The Texas Rangers will be picking second in the draft.

Normally, there are no questions about the MLB Draft order — once the season is over, the selections are in place based on previous year’s record and the established tiebreakers. Because of the COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic and the resulting changes for the 2020 season that had to be made as a result, MLB and the MLBPA had agreed that the draft order for 2021 could be modified if there were not enough games played to make basing the ordering on the 2020 records meaningful.

There had been some speculation that with just 60 games, MLB might use a combination of 2019 and 2020 records for draft slotting, or average the winning percentages for the two years. MLB has decided to stick with the normal way of ordering draft selections, however, which is to the benefit of the Rangers. Texas had the second worst record in MLB in 2020, and thus gets the #2 overall pick as a result, but would have dropped back into the 6-10 range, most likely, had 2019 records also factored in.

While there has already been speculation that Vanderbilt pitchers Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter could go 1-2, and some Rangers fans have expressed a strong preference for the Rangers to take one of those two pitchers, it is way too early in the process for anyone to have established themselves as the definitive top pick in 2021. This is particularly the case given that there was so little amateur action in the spring of 2020 due to the pandemic. Rocker and Leiter are well-regarded draft prospects, and they could go 1-2 in the draft, there’s an entire college season to go before the draft, and I expect we will see a good amount of movement at the top of draft boards in the coming months.