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New McDaniel mock has Rangers going college route

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Kiley McDaniel has the Rangers going for a college bat at #2 in his latest mock draft

Syndication: Louisville George Walker IV / Tennessean.com

2021 MLB Mock Draft: Kiley McDaniel’s latest mock draft for ESPN has the Texas Rangers taking Louisville catcher Henry Davis at #2 overall, passing on, among others, Vanderbilt pitcher Jack Leiter and Dallas Jesuit shortstop Jordan Lawlar.

Davis, who we wrote about here, seems to be the undisputed best college position player in the draft, with a bat that could potentially play at a corner spot should he not stick behind the plate. I still tend to think that the Rangers will go with one of the prep shortstops at #2, but that’s not much more than an educated guesstimate.

What is interesting to me about this mock is that it has three prep shortstops — Marcelo Mayer, Brady House and Kahlil Watson — all going in the top five, with Lawlar dropping to the Arizona Diamondbacks at #6. McDaniel suggests that Lawlar might be the most aggressive among the prep infielders in his bonus demands, and also notes that Lawlar would be a draft-eligible sophomore in 2023 if he goes to Vanderbilt, which would give him additional leverage and allow him to be drafted again a year earlier than most high schoolers would be.

Lawlar has spoken publicly about being firm in his commitment to Vanderbilt, and I generally assume when high schoolers say that that it is mostly posturing, thinking that even slot money at around #10 — which is $4,739,900 — would be enough for them to sign. Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter dropped in the draft in recent years due to bonus demands and ended up taking their talents to Nashville, and so it isn’t out of the question that the same could happen with Lawlar.