A new 2021 MLB mock draft has dropped this evening, this one from Jim Callis of MLB Pipeline, and Callis has the Texas Rangers taking Vanderbilt righthanded pitcher Jack Leiter with the second overall pick.
Callis has California prep shortstop Marcelo Mayer going first overall to the Pittsburgh Pirates, while Leiter, who was outstanding early on in the season but hit a rough patch not long ago, goes two to Texas in this write-up, with Callis saying the floor for Leiter appears to be Boston, which is picking at #4.
The most interesting thing to me in this write up is Callis saying that, should the Rangers opt to go with a prep shortstop instead of one of the Vandy pitchers (or Louisville catcher Henry Davis) at two, they could go with Khalil Watson instead.
Who is Khalil Watson, you ask? Watson is a shortstop out of Wake Forest High School in North Carolina. Callis makes Watson to the Kansas City Royals at 7, though he says “[m]any clubs don’t believe Watson actually will last this long.” Watson is tenth on the Baseball America top 400 board currently, though he’s steadily been moving up the rankings. He’s listed at 5’9”, 178 lbs, with what they call “an advanced hit tool and approach,” which we know the Rangers love.
Keith Law has Watson eighth on his most recent rankings, saying he has “above-average tools across the board,” and notes that Watson’s season didn’t start until about a month ago, which would help explain his late surge in the rankings. MLB Pipeline also has Watson 8th on their rankings.
Anyway, Watson is another name to keep in mind, and remember, the draft is still over a month away, and there’s a lot that can — and will — change in that time.