The Pittsburgh Pirates made Henry Davis, a catcher from the University of Louisville, the somewhat surprising No. 1 overall pick as the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft began in Denver on Sunday.
Highly touted Vanderbilt pitcher Jack Leiter was selected second by the Texas Rangers; his teammate and fellow starter Kumar Rocker fell to No. 10, where he was snapped up by the New York Mets.
After the Detroit Tigers took high school pitcher Jackson Jobe at No. 3, the Boston Red Sox pounced on MLB.com’s No. 1 prospect, high school shortstop Marcelo Mayer.
“It’s everything I could have asked for,” Mayer told MLB Network. “I knew that they were high on me, and I’m just super blessed to be part of the organization.”
Mayer is the second player from Eastlake High School to be selected in the first round. Adrian Gonzalez, who also played for the Red Sox, was the No. 1 overall pick in 2000 by the then-Florida Marlins.
The Baltimore Orioles rounded out the top five, selecting Colton Cowser, an outfielder from Sam Houston State.
Commissioner Rob Manfred announced the pick of Davis, who is 6-2, 210 pounds and was the No. 5 overall prospect, per MLB.com.
“I’m pretty excited,” Davis told MLB Network. “Just fired up. Ready to go, ready to get to work.”
Davis hit .370 this season, with 15 home runs and 48 RBIs in 49 games for Louisville.
“He checks off all the boxes as a person,” former Colorado Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd said on the MLB Network broadcast. “The bat is a legitimate bat. … It’s a position of need within our game.”
It was the second time in the past three years a catcher has gone first overall. The Baltimore Orioles took Adley Rutschman in 2019.
The Diamondbacks took Jordan Lawlar, a Texas high school shortstop who was Baseball America’s No. 1-rated prospect, with the sixth overall selection, and the Marlins jumped on high school shortstop Kahlil Watson at No. 16. Watson was MLB.com’s fourth-best prospect in this draft.
Here are the first-round selections:
Team, Player, Position, School
Pirates, Henry Davis, catcher, Louisville
Rangers, Jack Leiter, pitcher, Vanderbilt
Tigers, Jackson Jobe, pitcher, Heritage Hall (Okla.)
Red Sox, Marcelo Mayer, shortstop, Eastlake High (Calif.)
Orioles, Colton Cowser, outfielder, Sam Houston State
Diamondbacks, Jordan Lawlar, shortstop, Jesuit Dallas Preparatory (Texas)
Royals, Frank Mozzicato, pitcher, East Catholic High (Conn.)
Rockies, Benny Montgomery, outfielder, Red Land High (Pa.)
Angels, Sam Bachman, pitcher, Miami (Ohio) University
Mets, Kumar Rocker, pitcher, Vanderbilt
Nationals, Brady House, shortstop, Winder-Barrows High (Ga.)
Mariners, Harry Ford, catcher, North Cobb High (Ga.)
Phillies, Andre Painter, pitcher, Calvary Christian Academy (Fla.)
Giants, Will Bednar, pitcher, Mississippi State
Brewers, Sal Frelick, outfielder, Boston College
Marlins, Kahlil Watson, shortstop, Wake Forest High (N.C.)
Reds, Matt McLain, shortstop, UCLA
Cardinals, Michael McGreevy, pitcher, UC Santa Barbara
Blue Jays, Gunnar Hogland, pitcher, Mississippi
Yankees, Trey Sweeney, shortstop, Eastern Illinois
Cubs, Jordan Wicks, pitcher, Kansas State
White Sox, Colson Montgomery, shortstop, South Ridge High (Ind.)
Indians, Gavin Williams, pitcher, East Carolina
Braves, Ryan Cusick, pitcher, Wake Forest
Athletics, Max Muncy, shortstop, Thousand Oaks High (Calif.)
Twins, Chase Petty, pitcher, Mainland Regional High (N.J.)
Padres, Jackson Merrill, shortstop, Severna Park High (Md.)
Rays, Carson Williams, shortstop, Torrey Pines High (Calif.)
Dodgers, Maddux Bruns, pitcher, UMS Wright Prep School (Ala.)
–Field Level Media
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