Texas Rangers 2021 draft preview: Will Bednar

George Walker IV / The Tennessean via Imagn Content Services, LLC
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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 Mississippi State pitcher Will Bednar.

Will Bednar is a 6’2”, 229 lb. righthanded pitcher at Mississippi State. A draft-eligible sophomore (though technically he’s a draft-eligible redshirt freshman, due to the 2020 season being wiped out due to COVID-19), Bednar was ranked #190 on the Baseball America top 500 draft list in 2019 as a high schooler out of Pennsylvania, but went undrafted, apparently at least in part because of concerns about a shoulder injury.

Bednar got off to a good beginning of his college career in 2020, striking out 23 of 63 batters he faced in 15.1 IP while walking just six and putting up a 1.76 ERA before the season was canceled. He has built on that this year, racking up 113 Ks against just 20 walks in 74 IP over 13 starts and three relief appearances, with a 3.53 ERA.

Bednar appears to be peaking at the right time — just last night, he struck out 15 Texas Longhorn batters in six innings of work in the College World Series, the most Ks by any pitcher in a game in the College World Series in 25 years. Mississippi State plays Virginia on Tuesday, and then will play again either Thursday (if they lose to Virginia) or Friday (if they beat Virginia), so it seems likely that Bednar will be back on the mound at least once more before the draft.

Bednar is primarily a fastball/slider guy right now — BA says he sits 92-94 mph, MLB Pipeline has him at 95-96 mph, and both say he touches 97. He’s a high spin rate guy, so his fastball plays up — the link above has the University of Texas coach talking about his hitters swinging under the fastball all game. His slider is a quality pitch, and his changeup is described as a pitch that can generate swings and misses, but he apparently hasn’t used it much this year.

There are concerns with Bednar in regards his ability to stay healthy, as he had a shoulder issue in high school, and his delivery is considered to be fairly high effort. The combination means there’s more injury risk there than with the average prospect. That also leads to concerns about his ability to consistently command his pitches — that, along with the questions about his changeup, create a fair amount of reliever risk with Bednar.

Unlike Michael Morales, who was our last profile, the rankings with Bednar seem pretty consistent. Baseball America has Bednar at #38 on their current top 500 draft list. MLB Pipeline has Bednar at #36 on their board. Over at ESPN Kiley McDaniel has Bednar at #20 on his current board, while at the Athletic Keith Law has Bednar as the #37 player in his draft rankings. Fangraphs has Bednar at #44 on their board.

Kiley McDaniel’s most recent mock draft has Bednar going off the board to Atlanta at #24, and mentioned as a possibility as early as St. Louis at #18. Keith Law’s mock has Bednar going to the Cardinals at #18. Baseball America doesn’t have Bednar going in the first round in their mock. Fangraphs doesn’t have Bednar on their mock, either, though they only go through Cincinnati at #17. Jim Callis has Bednar going to the Minnesota Twins at #26. Jonathan Mayo doesn’t have Bednar on his most recent mock.

I’m skeptical that Bednar is still around when the Rangers pick at #38, especially after his performance on Sunday on the biggest college baseball stage against a top team. The July draft date means that there should theoretically be less late movement, but for college players whose teams go deep into the playoffs, it means more looks against top competition, and so a strong CWS performance can result in some late helium.

As a draft-eligible sophomore/redshirt freshman, Bednar has a little extra leverage as well, and I suspect he’s going to be asking for mid- to late-first round money to sign. I think he almost certainly would need above slot to sign at #38. I don’t know what the Rangers would do if he’s still on the board at #38 — he’s a high spin rate guy, which the Rangers have gravitated towards, but the reliever risk and potential injury concerns make me think they’d shy away from him there, at his likely asking price.

Jay Allen — Florida HS outfielder

Izaac Pacheco — Friendswood, TX, shortstop

Connor Norby — East Carolina University second baseman

Henry Davis — University of Louisville

Peyton Stovall — Louisiana HS infielder

Michael Morales — Pennsylvania HS pitcher

Comments

He was fantastic last night.

I guess his stock will rely heavily on the medicals

Struck out 7 straight longhorns at one point, I believe

I obviously want the Horns to win the CWS

But watching Bednar yesterday was an absolute treasure. It was an incredible performance, and one that I think could potentially help him sneak him into the top 30.

our 2nd-5th rounds depend so much on 1.2 (obviously)

And same as other teams at the top of the draft. If we can negotiate a good underslot signing at 1.2, so much more flexibility to be able to snag talent like this in the 2-5 rounds.

Pass

With his throwing motion he’s due for a major arm injury. I’m tired of Rangers selecting broking down pitchers Michael Matuella Tanner Shappers Owen White Cole Ragans and others. Also No to Jaden Hill.

Calm down bro

Bro

Calm down for what??? I guess you like watching bad baseball. I’m tired of this organization of bad drafting,terrible developing of talent,and also rushing prospects to the big leagues before they are ready.

Calm down bro.

He's the guy that can't spell and likes rapists

There always two sides of a story.
Just Saying

Posted by GRanger15 on Jun 20, 2021 | 12:16 PM reply rec (1) flag

.

Women
I forgot we should believe everything what a woman say,even without evidence.
Posted by GRanger15 on Jun 20, 2021 | 10:11 PM up reply rec flag

I'm with Busey

Hey dumbass I never back rapists. She should have file charges. That’s why we the justice system to find out the truth. I’m curious why she never mentioned the player?

Get your vaccine and stop supporting rapists

calm down

If you want an answer

Based on correlating multiple data sources, RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) estimates that for every 1,000 rapes, 384 are reported to police, 57 result in an arrest, 11 are referred for prosecution, 7 result in a felony conviction, and 6 result in incarceration.

Don’t be that guy.

Calm down bro.

Tanner Scheppers?

You think his career was a failure? You must not have watched the 2013 season.

Tanner Scheppers

Oops you got me. I forgot he had one decent season before he broke down.

He broke down because we tried to make him a starter

See also: Feliz, Neftali; Ross, Robbie

Saying Scheppers, Feliz and Ross broke down because the team tried to make them starters is silly

Scheppers had injury issues well before then. Robbie Ross was a starter coming up in the minors and didn’t break down.

And I don’t think anyone believes being a starter rather than a reliever is why Feliz tore his UCL.

Matuella was a good risk where they selected him.

Keep an eye on Ragans.

Yeah but he's also got more potential to be great than some 92 mph pitcher with a clean delivery

I would love Jaden Hill

Yeah, I would not mind him with the 2nd round pick at all

My current favorite for that pick is Gavin Williams but I don’t know if he’ll drop to 38.

Ideal scenario right now would be drafting Davis at 1.2 for below slot, then trading for for TB or Milwaukee’s Comp A pick and drafting both Williams and Hill.

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