2021 MLB Draft: Keith Law’s top 100 big board is out, and there is a shakeup at the top of his list.
While we have talked about how there has been a top tier of four players in the 2021 MLB Draft, we have also said that there we could see that tier change, with other players potentially cracking the top tier or one of those four dropping. We see that in this list, as KLaw has Louisville catcher Henry Davis at #1 on the board. Davis is fifth on the Baseball America board and has generally been seen as the top player in the draft aside from the top four of Jack Leiter, Kumar Rocker, Jordan Lawlar and Marcelo Mayer, and is seen as a terrific hitter who has a great arm and the ability to stay behind the plate.
Leiter, who some had anointed as the clear #1 after a great start to the season, drops to #5 on Law’s board due to concerns about a couple of shaky outings followed by a late scratch this past weekend. Leiter had barely pitched coming into 2021, and he isn’t a big guy, so one of the questions about him was how he would hold up over a full season.
If you’re thinking about who the Rangers might take in the second round, keep an eye on LSU righthander Jaden Hill and Ole Miss righthander Gunnar Hoglund, two guys seen as potential top 5-10 picks who will be on the shelf until the summer of 2022 due to Tommy John surgery. Law has them ranked in the 25-30 range now due to the TJS, but given that the Rangers will likely save some bonus pool money by signing the #2 pick for under slot*, they could go above slot in the second round to grab one of these two pitchers.
* Because of how big the drop in slot money is from pick to pick at the top of the draft, you will usually see a player drafted in the top few picks sign for less than slot, because you can offer a fair amount less than slot and still be offering more than slot money for the next selection would be. The exception is if you have a guy who is clearly head and shoulders above the other options at that pick, and who the team selecting next would go over slot to sign.