MAKING AN IMPRESSION
Baseball America|August 2021
Four draft classes that caught our attention for their upside potential
CARLOS COLLAZO

The draft was held in July for the first time, this year piggybacking with the Futures Game on the Sunday heading into the all-star break.

While it will take years to accurately assess how each team fared in the 2021 draft, it’s never too early to get excited about a few teams that stood out to us right away.

CINCINNATI REDS

First pick: 17th overall

Bonus pool: $11,905,700 (fourth highest)

Perhaps it’s unsurprising for a team with as many high picks as the Reds, who chose 17th, 30th, 35th and 53rd, to make the list of standout draft classes. Still, we loved seeing the up-the-middle bats the Reds drafted early and felt they got several notable values later.

UCLA shortstop Matt McLain (first round) was among the top college position players in a class without much inventory of that demographic. Between him and North Carolina State shortstop Jose Torres (third round), the Reds came away with two of just four college shortstops who ranked among the top 100 draft prospects.

In McLain, the Reds have a potentially plus hitter with plus speed and arm strength to go with it, while Torres was routinely cited as the best defensive shortstop in the class.

The Reds also scooped up three of the highest-rising players in this year’s class, between Florida State catcher Mat Nelson (first supplemental), Virginia lefthander Andrew Abbott (second) and North Carolina outfielder Justice Thompson (sixth).

With Nelson, the Reds have a catcher who pairs impressive defensive tools with a bat that took a massive jump in the power department. Abbott showed a real three-pitch mix and proved he could start or relieve. Thompson had the toolset to go among the top 100 picks, as did right-handers fifth-rounder Thomas Farr of South Carolina and seventh-rounder Kevin Abel of Oregon State.

It was a college-heavy class for Cincinnati this year, but its lone high school prospect—outfielder Jay Allen of Fort Pierce, Fla.—is a dynamic, multi-sport athlete who showed impressive hitting ability this spring and has a chance to play all three outfield positions, with spark-plug caliber speed.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM BASEBALL AMERICAView All

MAKING AN IMPRESSION

Four draft classes that caught our attention for their upside potential

5 mins read
Baseball America
August 2021

RARE AIR

Whether hitting or pitching, Jackson Jobe does things on the field that few have seen

5 mins read
Baseball America
August 2021

KIRBY'S DREAM WORLD

George Kirby has as much helium as any prospect in baseball. Along with Emerson Hancock, he headlines a wave of power pitchers making their way to Seattle.

9 mins read
Baseball America
August 2021

UP TO SPEED?

Quality of play in the full-season minor leagues had suffered from the lost 2020 season

6 mins read
Baseball America
August 2021

THE FUTURE IS NOW

Baseball’s golden age of young talent takes center stage at the All-Star Game

5 mins read
Baseball America
August 2021

HISTORIC FINISH

Vanderbilt’s dynamic duo of Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter are the first teammates to win our College Player and Freshman of the Year awards in the same season

5 mins read
Baseball America
August 2021

FINAL PIECE OF THE PUZZLE

Chris Lemonis earned a reputation as a recruiter, but after winning a national title at Mississippi State, he will be remembered as a champion

6 mins read
Baseball America
August 2021

CREATING HIS OWN STORY

The Brewers’ Hedbert Perez may be the son of a Venezuelan baseball icon, but the 18-year-old outfielder is forging his own identity

6 mins read
Baseball America
August 2021

COMING TO FRUITION

Brooks Lee blossoms into a top draft prospect under his father’s tutelage at Cal Poly

6 mins read
Baseball America
August 2021

CATCHING ON QUICK

Emerging young catchers Gabriel Moreno and Francisco Alvarez were gaining helium in prospect circles for their immense offensive upside

10 mins read
Baseball America
August 2021
RELATED STORIES

3 big thoughts

CHOOSE A NEW NAME ALREADY

4 mins read
Warpath
February 2021

Gain and Glory

REDSEVEN LEVIATHAN

3 mins read
Guitar World
Holiday 2020

THE PRINCESS AND THE BABY

A long time ago in Egypt, there was a young Hebrew girl named Miriam. Her family had just had a beautiful baby boy. There was a big problem, though. The Pharaoh of Egypt had issued a decree that all Hebrew baby boys be killed to decrease the population of the Hebrew people, who were enslaved by the Egyptians.

2 mins read
White Wing Messenger
October 2020

Rivera becomes rallying cry

FROM WHERE I’M SITTING

3 mins read
Warpath
October 2020

Nameless crew may be better off

NO PRESSURE, NO DIAMOND

4 mins read
Warpath
October 2020

SPECIAL REPORT

HOW TO CROSS THE INDIAN OCEAN, BY JANNEKE KUYSTERS

9 mins read
Yachting World
October 2020

Stand and Deliver

Dwayne Haskins sometimes looked more like a film maker than a quarterback over the off season. He wanted fans to see how hard he was working so a constant Twitter stream of flicks showed the second-year passer hitting deep balls to someone running in a park.

5 mins read
Warpath
August 2020

NO PRESSURE, NO DIAMOND - Redskins fans today, tomorrow, forever

There will be much to miss about the death of the Redskins name. You will be reminded of it every time you put a Sonny Jurgensen, John Riggins or Sean Taylor jersey on. You will remember your life as a Redskins fan every time you go through your closet and find some old programs, or your scrapbook to see ticket stubs.

3 mins read
Warpath
August 2020

Mitchell, Marshall intersect once more

In life and death, George Preston Marshall and Bobby Mitchell remain intertwined.

3 mins read
Warpath
August 2020

Franchise name to be retired

Hail to the . . .

3 mins read
Warpath
August 2020