Yankees Take Shortstop in First Round of 2021 MLB Mock Draft

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We're still a few months away from the 2021 MLB draft. In honor of this week's NFL draft, however, let's take a quick look at a mock draft.

Jonathan Mayo and Jim Callis of MLB.com did their best to project 11 weeks into the future, predicting how the first round will transpire in a mock this week.

With the No. 20 overall pick, the Yankees will be in a slightly better spot than they were in last year when they picked catcher Austin Wells out of Arizona with the 28th overall pick. 

Here's who Mayo and Callis have going to the Yankees and why:

20) Yankees: Matt McLain, SS, UCLA

Let’s make it two college bats in a row for the Yankees, who took Austin Wells in 2020. McLain started the season incredibly slowly, otherwise he’d be in the conversation much higher than this.

Could McLain be a long-term replacement at shortstop for Gleyber Torres?

Maybe that's getting a little too far ahead of ourselves, but McLain has been tremendous over his three seasons at UCLA. 

The shortstop struggled to start his college career, hitting .203 (44-for-217) over 61 games in 2019. He's been a different player ever since, though. In last year's shortened campaign, McLain hit .397 in 13 games. He's been solid in 2021, going 48-for-146 (.329) through his first 36 games. The power numbers are up as well as McLain has already set a new career-high with nine home runs and counting. 

McLain has been stellar on defense as well, committing just 12 errors over 110 games. Versatility can never hurt as well and McLain is listed as an infielder on UCLA's site. 

This wouldn't be the first time New York has taken a shortstop in the first round. Just a few years ago, in 2019, the Yankees selected Anthony Volpe 30th overall. Back in 2015, the Bombers picked Kyle Holder in the first round.

If you're curious, Mayo and Callis have the Pirates taking Jack Leiter with the first overall selection. The right-hander from Vanderbilt, who threw a no-hitter just a few weeks ago, is the son of former Yankees starter Al Leiter. 

To see the rest of the mock draft, click here to head over to MLB.com.

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