2021 MLB Mock Draft: Rumors continue to swirl around Jack Leiter, Marcelo Mayer, Kumar Rocker, and the rest of the top tier of players in the 2021 MLB Draft, and Jonathan Mayo’s latest mock draft has a different look at the top.
While Mayo has Marcelo Mayer going to the Pittsburgh Pirates at #1 — and that is the most common projection for the Pirates right now, though everything is still in flux — he has the Rangers going with North Carolina high school shortstop Kahlil Watson with the second pick. Watson has recently moved up on boards, and while the consensus still seems to have Mayer and Jordan Lawlar as being ranked higher than Watson, the gap seems to have closed in recent weeks.
There are four prep shortstops that folks are thinking have a good chance of going in the top ten picks, with Winder, Georgia, shortstop Brady House also expected to go high — House has been mentioned as a possible pick at #3 by the Detroit Tigers. The fact that there are several quality high school shortstops that could go high means that there is a certain amount of gamesmanship that teams at the top will engage in — even if Marcelo Mayer is off the board, the Rangers at #2 can play Jordan Lawlar and Kahlil Watson off against each other, making them weigh the possibility of a somewhat below slot deal at #2 versus the risk of potentially dropping out of the top five, where even a slot deal is going to be less than what Texas is offering.
Mayo also has Oklahoma high school pitcher Jackson Jobe slotted to the Detroit Tigers at #3, which has a trickledown effect where Henry Davis and Kumar Rocker drop out of the top five altogether. Just remember, though — we are still more than three weeks away, and things will likely change a lot in the final days.