The 2021 MLB Draft begins on July 11, 2021, and unlike in 2020, this will be a twenty round draft — shorter than the forty rounds the draft has been in the most recent years prior to 2020, but longer than last year’s five round version. The Rangers’ top three picks are at #2, #38, and #73.
In the coming days, we will be doing write-ups of potential Texas Ranger draft picks, looking both at players who are in the mix at #2 and players who would be candidates to be picked in the second or third rounds. Today we are looking at UC Santa Barbara righthanded pitcher Michael McGreevy.
Michael McGreevy is a righthanded pitcher who turns 21 tomorrow. Listed at 6’4” and from 200 to 215 lbs., McGreevy is a junior at the University of California Santa Barbara. McGreevy was undrafted and unranked out of high school and spent the 2019 season as a reliever for UCSB, striking out 53 and walking 13 while putting up a 1.94 ERA in 60.1 IP out of the bullpen.
McGreevy moved into the rotation in 2020 and was terrific, putting up a 0.99 ERA in four starts before the pandemic stopped the season. This year, he has an impressive 115 Ks against 11 walks (and 10 HBPs) as a starter, logging 101.2 IP in 16 starts with a 2.92 ERA.
McGreevy throws a fastball in the low-90s that touches 95, and described as having “good sinking movement,” so it would appear he throws a two seamer. He throws a slider and a curveball, with reports differing on which is the superior pitch, though each appears to project as at least average. McGreevy also has a changeup that is seen as at least average as well.
McGreevy is a strikethrower, with reports indicating that he can locate all four pitches effectively — BA says he “projects to have plus-plus control.” His stuff has steadily improved, and he gets good marks for his athleticism and his delivery. Between his repertoire, his build, his command, and his delivery, he projects as a starting pitcher with minimal reliever risk.
Baseball America has McGreevy at #16 on their current top 500 draft list. MLB Pipeline has McGreevy at #28 on their board. Over at ESPN Kiley McDaniel has McGreevy at #30 on his current board. Fangraphs has McGreevy ranked #42 on their board. Keith Law has McGreevy at #40 on his list.
Jonathan Mayo has McGreevy going to the Minnesota Twins at #24 in his latest mock draft, and also mentions him in connection with the Mariners at #12, the Cubs at #21, and the Indians at #23. Jim Callis’s latest mock draft has McGreevy falling out of the first round, but says he has “first round buzz,” and mentions him as a possibility with the M’s, the Cardinals at 18, and the Braves at 24, along with the Cubs and the Indians. Kiley McDaniel doesn’t have McGreevy going in the first round in his most recent mock draft, but mentions him with the Braves, the Padres at #27, and the Rays at #28. BA has McGreevy going at #23 to Indians in their latest mock, while also connecting him with the Mariners, Cubs and Braves. Fangraphs doesn’t have McGreevy going in the first round or the supplemental/compensatory first in their latest mock draft, though they mention him in connection with the M’s, the Yankees and the Rays. Keith Law has McGreevy mocked to Cleveland at #23.
McGreevy seems like someone who will more likely than not be off the board when the Rangers draft, but there’s a not insignificant chance he’s still there when the Rangers pick — the Fangraphs mock, for example, has him still on the board after the first 36 picks. There are always more guys who are seen as potential first rounders than who actually go in the first round, and McGreevy is someone who could end up still being on the board when the Rangers pick, and fit the profile of who they would potentially be looking at.
McGreevy has been connected with the Indians a fair amount in the past few weeks in mocks, and while that’s in part due to the fact the Indians are picking in the range where McGreevy could go and he fits their profile, it is also because Indians’ ace Shane Bieber came out of UCSB in 2016 with a similar profile to McGreevy. When the Indians took Bieber in the fourth round, he was a guy with great command who had a fastball he threw in the high-80s/low-90s and fringe average secondaries — BA said at the time that “[h]is lack of a present plus pitch limits [Bieber] to a back-of-the-rotation ceiling.”
Fangraphs notes that McGreevy being a sinkerballer in the spin rate era contributes to him being lower on boards (though they also mention his velocity being down in his last start). While being a fellow UCSB pitcher makes Bieber the go to comp for McGreevy, the guy who his write-up reminds me of is another 2016 draftee, Dane Dunning. Like McGreevy, Dunning, coming out of college, was a 6’4”, righthanded command-oriented sinkerballer with a good mix of pitches but without huge velocity or one really strong pitch, someone who profiled as a starter with minimal relief risk but who didn’t have a high ceiling. Dunning was ranked #60 on the BA list that year, and went #29 to the Washington Nationals.
Several places have mentioned that McGreevy is going to grade well with analytics-oriented teams since he has a strong track record of actual performance, and since their shift in focus a few years ago we know they fall more in that category, and put an emphasis with college players on having performed well against good competition. McGreevy is also relatively young for his college draft class and is seen as having some possible projection remaining. If he is there at #38, he’s someone I could see the Rangers jumping on.