Texas Rangers Selecting College Bat in Baseball America's First 2021 Mock Draft
With the expectation that the Texas Rangers will pick second overall in the 2021 MLB Draft, fans are curious who they might take with such a high pick.
General consensus around baseball has Vanderbilt RHP Kumar Rocker as the No. 1 prospect heading into next summer's draft, lining up for the Pittsburgh Pirates to select him with their No. 1 pick.
So, who's No. 2?
In their first 2021 mock draft, Baseball America has the Rangers selecting Adrian Del Castillo, a catcher out of the University of Miami (Fla.). Del Castillo may be the best hitter in the draft class, which would make sense if the top pitching prospect goes first overall.
Del Castillo slashed .336/.430/.571 over the 2019 and 2020 seasons with 14 home runs, 24 doubles and more walks (43) than strikeouts (32). According to BA's profile, Del Castillo is an offense-first catcher, but has spent time with Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez to improve behind the dish.
Drafting Del Castillo would go right in line with where Texas has gone with their first round pick in the previous two drafts. In 2019 and 2020, the Rangers drafted established college hitters in Josh Jung out of Texas Tech in '19 and Justin Foscue out of Mississippi State in '20.
However, Baseball America has Del Castillo as the No. 3 college prospect, behind Kumar Rocker at No. 1 and his Vanderbilt teammate RHP Jack Leiter at No. 2. In case the Leiter name rings a bell, yes, he's the son of former Major League hurler Al Leiter.
BA has Leiter going sixth overall to the Arizona Diamondbacks, citing some question marks around Leiter. Specifically, BA mentioned his fastball sat around 91 mph and his changeup was "less of a weapon than teams expected it to be." His limited college experience seemed to factor in to Leiter falling to No. 6 in their mock draft.
Of course, so much can change between now and next summer's MLB Draft. Leiter may prove this spring the combination of his stuff and pitching IQ makes him a consensus No. 2 pick. Or maybe BA is on the money and Del Castillo lights the world on fire with his bat, making him irresistible with the No. 2 pick.
Let the speculation begin.